How to Get Oil Out of Concrete


If left untreated, oil stains on concrete driveways and garage floors can be a real issue, becoming embedded and difficult to remove.

Thankfully, you can use some DIY hacks to remove oil from concrete quickly. All you need are everyday household items – everything you probably already have on hand!

Soak it up

Oil stains on concrete surfaces can wreak havoc on its aesthetic, create a slip hazard, and decrease property values.

The good news is that oil stains on concrete can usually be removed with patience and effort.

After a spill, it is best to attempt to remove the stain quickly. Doing so will prevent oil from setting in and make eliminating it more challenging.

If the spill is small, using a rag to wipe away excess liquid may be sufficient. However, if the area is large, you will likely require using a scraper.

Baking soda can effectively eliminate oil stains from concrete due to its porous nature that draws oil out of pore spaces.

Degrease it

Oil removal from concrete can be tedious, and the faster you tackle this task, the better off your pavement will be. Waiting too long may allow oil to seep into the mix and become harder to eliminate.

For more minor stains, you can use detergent with water, a scrub brush, and some elbow grease; however, you’ll need to invest in an effective concrete degreaser for larger ones.

A commercial cleaner or degreaser, diluted with water according to the manufacturer’s directions, should do the trick. Be sure to use either a steel brush or a stiff nylon brush for working the cleaner into small crevices and corners of your concrete surface.

Pressure washers can also help get rid of tough stains. Just be sure to aerate the color first and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution.

Scrub it

Oil stains on concrete can be easily removed with a strong detergent and scrub brush or sponge. How much detergent you need depends on the size and age of the stain as well as its location.

You might also want to try using a poultice as another option to loosen the oil. A poultice is a solution with an absorption compound and liquid chemicals that can penetrate concrete pores, pulling up any oil present.

For stubborn grease stains on concrete, you can try using WD-40. Spray it on the color and wait 20 to 30 minutes for its compounds to absorb into the surface’s pores.

Another environmentally friendly method to remove oil stains is employing particular single-cell microorganisms that feed on crude oil and its derivatives. These organisms consume the oil, leaving behind a residue that can be easily rinsed away once their food source has been removed. Popular brands of microbial cleaners include Terminator-HSD and ACT Concrete Cleaner.

Rinse it

Oil is one of the worst substances you can spill on concrete, causing extensive damage and polluting nearby water sources. Furthermore, oil attracts other pollutants, which makes cleanup much harder.

If you spill some, a few methods exist to get it out of your concrete. It may require some elbow grease, but the effort will be worth it.

Scrubbing with a stiff brush can do wonders, mainly if you use something non-toxic and non-corrosive such as a water-based degreaser or liquid detergent that has been certified USDA-safe. Ensure the cleaner you choose is non-toxic, non-corrosive, water-based, biodegradable, and non-hazardous for best results.

The next step is to rinse it away. You can do this with a hose or pressure washer, depending on your requirements. The key here is finding the product best suited for your situation, safe for children and pets, while doing a great job without causing any harm.