Paving expert shares how to remove oil stains from driveways without a pressure washer

Driveways are meant to be used, so it’s inevitable that a couple of oil spills from a vehicle may occur. When this happens, removing oil from the driveway can be a painstaking task, especially if the oil has been caused by a leak or some other issue. If this happens, don’t worry as Daniel Scholfield, director of The Expert Gate Company has shared all the advice households need for cleaning their driveway.

If households find that their driveway has got any oil stains, the first thing they need to do is determine if the oil is still wet. If this is the case, most of the oil needs to be absorbed.

Daniel said: “If the oil is still wet, it’ll need to be absorbed before you can start treating any stains it may have left underneath. 

“You’ll need to cover it with an absorbent material as soon as you can such as with cat litter, salt or sand being your best options (cat litter works an absolute treat).”

Depending on the amount of oil, households may need to leave it to soak up for a few hours, before sweeping it all up and getting to work on any underlying stains.

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Some believe that water will simply wash away the stains, however, the expert argued that this is not the case. He said: “No, water will not wash the oil away from your driveway. This means that it also won’t wash away in the rain, so you need to take matters into your own hands to get oil off your driveway.

“If you’re not able to absorb wet oil spills when they first occur, you will need to remove dried oil stains from your driveway.”

While many opt for oil stain remover to get rid of the marks left on their driveways if this is used in the wrong way it can “end up causing damage”, warned Daniel.

Instead, the expert suggested three items which households most likely already own – the first being detergent and dish soap.

For those who don’t want to go out of their way to get some oil stain remover and want to use either a “cheaper method or one you may already have lying about the house”, cola can be a “very effective tool”. 

Daniel said: “Yes, it’s unlikely to work quite as well as an actual stain remover, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Simply pour over the problem area and get scrubbing.”

The methods used to get that pesky oil off a driveway will differ by the type of driveway you have, so the expert has shared advice on this.

How to remove oil from driveway bricks

When removing oil from a brick or paved driveway, it can be a good choice to go with a less abrasive option to “avoid any unnecessary damage”. 

Daniel said: “The earlier detergent/dish soap method is the one to go for here, as this is unlikely to cause colour differences in your driveway once you’re done with your scrubbing. We’d recommend avoiding oil removers here, as leaving them slightly too long can easily mark your bricks.”

How to remove oil from concrete driveways

Unsurprisingly, concrete driveways are plenty durable, so the method of choice doesn’t matter too much here. The expert said: “If you have a concrete driveway, an oil removal product may be worth investing in to have on hand whenever you may need it, as you won’t need to worry about damage or stains. Otherwise, both the detergent and baking soda methods will work no problem here too.”

How to remove oil from asphalt driveways

For asphalt driveways, Daniel recommends that “dish soap is the way to go”, mixing with hot water and using a stiff brush or scourer. 

He said: “While quite an effort, it’ll leave you with some great results. If you’re looking for a quicker method, it may be worth looking into some asphalt-friendly oil remover – it may not be as durable as concrete, but it’s still pretty hardy.”

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