How can I clean oil stains off my driveway? –

Jun 2, 2022, 3:00 PM | Updated: 4:27 pm
(Shutterstock Photo)
(Shutterstock Photo)
Rosie Romero, Host and Owner
Your home’s curb appeal is greatly affected by the condition of your concrete driveway. If your concrete is saturated in oils, grease, and radiator fluid, then it’s time to give your front yard a little face-lift.
If you have wet oil and grease stains, then you will need to start with kitty litter. The litter will absorb the excess oil and make stain removal easier.
Cover the entire stain generously with kitty litter and allow it to sit for a few days. Then sweep away the kitty litter. Now you are ready to begin cleaning. First, hose down the entire area. Use a solution of one part water to one part cleaner. Bruce Stumbo, project manager, Rosie Right | Design. Build. Remodel. suggests Goof Off Concrete Cleaner.
“Any hardware store these days typically carries a concrete cleaner that’s decent,” he says. “The most important thing with them is to be sure to follow the instructions.”
Allow the solution to sit for several minutes and then scrub the area with the broom. Concrete is porous; by allowing the concrete to absorb a layer of water, you will better be able to work the cleaner into the surface. Next, treat the oldest, darkest stains first.
Once you have hosed down these areas, you will notice that in place of those dark stains are bright clean spots. So, although you have rid your concrete of dark stains, the concrete will still be uneven in appearance. Using a less potent mixture of cleaner and water, treat the entire driveway and scrub with the broom. This will remove tire tracks, light rust stains, fruit stains (like olives and dates) and grime.
The cleaner will slightly etch the surface of the concrete. You will achieve a much more even color of concrete once the entire area has been treated.
When using a chemical cleaner on your driveway, use products that are nontoxic to animals or hazardous to your vegetation.
If you use a power washer, carefully read its instructions before using. You can damage the concrete if you use too high a setting in the cleaning process. Be sure to wear rubber gloves, eye goggles and rubber boots to prevent injury.
Once the driveway is clean, use a sealer to help prevent future staining on the concrete surface. OKON makes several concrete sealers and should be applied every 1-2 years.
Join Rosie on the House every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.
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