5

A few weeks ago, our car seems to have spilled some oil on our driveway. I regret that I didn't ask sooner but I hope it's not too late:

--> What can I do to remove these stains?

As for the car, I'm confused how this happened only once but it doesn't seem to be losing any more oil. There are no other stains than this.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Would this be a better question for DIY.SE? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 27 '15 at 16:57
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    @Paulster2 : It overlaps with DIY.SE but this is the audience in mech.SE is a far better fit. – Zaid Aug 27 '15 at 17:30
  • Had a guy going door to door with a spray bottle that would remove oil stains from cement. It worked great, but I didn't catch the name. Point is, there are products out there. Pour-N-Restore is one of them. – DustinDavis Aug 27 '15 at 17:49
  • Thank you @Zaid that was also my reasoning. I figured that people who work with cars have experienced this more than the average DIY person. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 27 '15 at 18:04
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    @DavidWinslow : High pressure water will take away any oily residues but will still leave visible stains. It takes a substantial number of passes for the stains to fade away. – Zaid Aug 27 '15 at 19:30
4

I have used powdered laundry detergent as Speedy-Dri to absorb the oil. Pour it over the stain allow it to sit for several days. Move the powder around with a brush or broom. Sprinkle enough water on it to make a slurry. Using a stiff brush scrub the area then rinse clean. Depending on the porosity of the material it may take two or three applications.

2

I would use the same procedure in the answer provided by mikes, but using trisodium phosphate (often called TSP) instead of laundry detergent.

It's readily available in home improvement stores, and is fairly cheap.

TSP is more strongly basic than laundry detergent, which is mostly sodium carbonate, so it's a stronger degreaser. It also doesn't foam up, which I prefer.

Since it is more corrosive than sodium carbonate, it's also more irritating to the skin, so you'll want to avoid skin contact (wear gloves and glasses), and avoid getting it on painted surfaces.

Cover the stain with TSP and enough water to produce a thick paste, brush it in aggressively, and let it stand for a couple of days.

1

My scooter often leaves stains in my garage.

My recipe is to pour fine sand (e.g. for birds from the pet shop) on it for a few days. After, I remove the sand and pour fresh sand on the stains, and pour some cleaning solvent on it. It enters the concrete and dissolves the oil. While the solvent evaporates above the sand, more solvent with oil rises from the concrete into the sand. Finally, all the solvent has evaporated, and the oil is in the sand. May be, you have to repeat the procedure.

While I believe that using cleaning solvent (or even gasoline) is more powerful than any water-with-chemicals, the vapours are highly flammable. You should also not inhale them. And most important for your case: You should never let such solvents get into the ground. So, while it's fine on a concrete plate, it is not on paving stones.

0

With all due respect to the previous answers, I'm a little confused as to whether or not the most appropriate product is available in your country as it has not been mentioned.

The most effective way of removing oil stains from a driveway is with the product intended for removing oil and grease: Degreaser.

Auto-parts stores usually sell it in spray can for easy application for about $2 a can right up to industrial drums.

Apply degreaser, wait a few minutes, hose off.

Example products:
US:
http://www.eastwood.com/engine-degreaser-16oz-4644.html
http://www.walmart.com/ip/16816129?reviews_limit=7&

AUS:
http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online-store/products/Export-Degreaser-400g.aspx?pid=1196#Recommendations UK:

  • Those products are intended to remove grease and oil from engines, they are not intended to clean porous surfaces like concrete. – barbecue Aug 29 '15 at 16:05
  • @barbecue: wrong. Read the supercheap auto link I posted... "Use on car, truck or motorcycle engines, mowers, outboard motors, concrete floors & more" – James Aug 30 '15 at 11:47
  • I can't find any details on the Supercheap product you mentioned, and i've never seen it or that store since I'm not in Australia, but I'm familiar with the other products you mentioned, and have used them many times. They are petroleum distillate based products which work by softening and dissolving grease. The problem with this is that these petroleum distillates then permeate the concrete itself. If you spray an oily degreaser on a clean unmarked section of concrete, you will CREATE a stain. – barbecue Aug 30 '15 at 14:07

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