Driveways provide several benefits to people. They provide you with a safe parking spot for your car, act as a playground for your children, and enhance the aesthetics of your home. Depending on the driveway material, they must be maintained if you want them to have a long life. This includes regular maintenance in the form of cleaning and repairs. While dirt and debris can be easily cleaned through washing, the removal can prove to be more tedious if you spill oil on your driveway. Before providing tips and a DIY process to remove oil, let us look at what oil can do to your driveway.
What Can Oil Do to Your Driveway?
Oil can cause several problems for your driveways. Here are some of the ways that oil can damage your driveway:
- Stains: Oil stains are unsightly, and eliminating them can be incredibly challenging, especially if they are not addressed promptly.
- Surface Damage: Oil can penetrate the surface of the driveway, causing it to weaken and deteriorate over time. This can result in cracking and other types of surface damage.
- Slippery Surface: Oil on a driveway can create a slippery surface, making walking or driving safely more challenging.
- Environmental Impact: Oil that seeps into the ground can pollute soil and groundwater, causing environmental damage.
Simple Tips to Remove Oil and Oil Stains
We have listed down some simple tips which can help you remove oil and oil stains. Follow these general tips to remove spills.
- Act Fast: The sooner you start cleaning up the oil spill, the easier it will be to remove the stain. As soon as you notice the oil spill, try to absorb as much oil as possible with paper towels or old rags.
- Use a Degreaser: Many commercial degreasers are available on the market that can effectively remove oil stains. You can also make your own degreaser by mixing baking soda with water and then scrubbing the stain with the solution.
- Pressure Washer: Pressure washers can easily remove even the most stubborn oil stains from your driveway. Use the right nozzle and settings to get rid of stains.
- Cat Litter or Sawdust: Sprinkle some cat litter or use sawdust on the oil stains to absorb the oil, this will make clean-up easy for you.
- Use a Hot Water and Soap Solution: Combine hot water and dish soap, then apply the solution to the oil stain and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush.
- Repeat: If the stains don’t go away, repeat the process to get the desired result.
DIY Oil Removal from the Driveway
While the above tips are general, we have decided also to share a simple DIY method for removing oil stains from your driveway.
Step One: Gather Materials and Cleaning Supplies
- Cat litter or sawdust
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Hot water
- Stiff-bristled brush
- Garden hose
- Cover the oil stain with cat litter or sawdust. Use enough to completely cover the stain and allow it to sit for 24 hours. This will absorb any excess oil.
- Use a stiff-bristled brush to sweep away the cat litter or sawdust.
- In a bucket, mix together 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of dish soap.
- Add hot water to the mixture until you have a thick paste.
- Apply the paste all over the oil stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Use the stiff-bristled brush, working in a circular motion and scrub the paste into the stain.
- Use a garden hose to rinse the stained area
- Repeat if necessary.
Note: This method may require several attempts to remove the oil stain altogether. It is essential to act quickly and clean up the oil spill as soon as possible for the best results.
Household Products That Can Come in Handy
Many products are available in your home and can be used for removing oil and oil stains from your driveway. Some of these are mentioned below:
- Baking Soda: A natural and effective cleansing agent, baking soda can remove oil stains. Make an aqueous solution of baking soda, keep the consistency pasty, spread it all over the stains, and use a stiff brush to scrub it. Rinse in the end and repeat if needed.
- Dish Soap: Designed to remove oil and grease, dish soap is an excellent cleaning agent and can get rid of oil stains. Mix it with lukewarm water, and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub all the stains.
- White Vinegar: This natural cleaner can eliminate oil stains from many surfaces. Mix the same volume of water and white vinegar, pour it over the stain, and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse with water and repeat as necessary.
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola has been known to be an effective cleaner for oil stains due to its acidic properties. Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the stain, and wait for several hours before rinsing it with water.
- Salt: Salt can absorb oil and help remove the stain. Sprinkle some salt over the stain and wait for several hours or overnight. Then, sweep away the salt and scrub the stain with dish soap and hot water. Rinse with water and repeat as necessary.
Best Tools and Cleaning Products for Cleaning Oil from Your Driveway
Some tools and supplies which you should keep at home and which can come in handy for cleaning more than just driveways include the following:
- Pressure Washer: A pressure washer is a helpful tool that can quickly and efficiently remove oil stains from your driveway. Make sure to use the appropriate nozzle and setting for the job.
- Commercial Degreaser: Many commercial degreasers are available on the market specifically designed to remove oil stains. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use safety goggles and gloves.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural cleansing agent that can help remove oil stains. Use water to make baking soda paste, apply it to the stain, and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse with water and repeat as necessary.
- Dish Soap: Dish soap is designed to cut through grease and oil, making it an excellent option for removing oil stains from your driveway. Mix dish soap with hot water and scrub the stain with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse with water and repeat as necessary.
- Hot Water: Hot water can help loosen and dissolve oil stains, making them easier to remove. Use a bucket of hot water and a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the stain.
- Stiff-Bristled Brush: A stiff-bristled brush is essential for scrubbing and removing the oil stain from your driveway. Use a stiff bristle to scrub the stain thoroughly.