How To Remove Oil Stains from Concrete Floors
Improve the look and safety of your garage floor by eliminating those unsightly oil stains. Here's what you need to know.
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IntroductionRemove those garage floor oil and grease stains, making your concrete look good and improving garage safety.
- Broom and dustpan
- Garden hose
- Notched trowel
- Putty knife
- Safety glasses
- Spray Bottle
- Stiff bristle brush
How to Get Oil Off Concrete
Oil and grease stains don’t just make garage flooring look bad. They can also cause falls, ruin your shoes and get tracked into the house. And if you want to finish your floor with a coating, it’s essential to remove oil stain deposits for a good bond.
Solvent-based remedies are harmful to the environment and can damage the concrete surface. Cat litter, sawdust and other absorbent materials remove standing oil, but do nothing about the oily stain left behind. Commercial and household detergents require a lot of scrubbing and can leave behind residue or discolor the concrete.
Here are two products that actually work.
Project step-by-step (3)
Spread the garage floor cleaner over the stain
Pour-N-Restore, which combines a citrus degreaser with a non-leaching absorbent, is one option. It’s easy to use and works well for spot-cleaning smaller stains.
Start by scraping any standing oil, sand or grit off the spots with a stiff plastic scraper or putty knife, then sweep the area clean. Provide good ventilation and wear eye protection, gloves and a dust mask.
Spread Pour-N-Restore on the stain with a 1/4-inch notched trowel and let it dry. It can take eight hours or longer depending on the temperature and humidity. For best results, apply this product at temperatures higher than 60 degrees.
Let dry and sweep
Once it dries to a powder, sweep it up and throw it in the household trash. Let the moisture from the area evaporate completely, which can take a few days, and the stain should be gone. If using the product on a sealed concrete floor, evaporation can take several weeks.
If the stain remains, reapply the product and scrub it with a push broom or nylon bristle brush. Let it dry, then sweep up the powder and throw it away.
Note: Pour-N-Restore is not recommended on all types of driveways and garage floors, including asphalt.
Spray cleaner onto the stain
You can use something like Griot’s Oil & Grease Cleaner to clean and degrease small spots or your entire garage floor or driveway. It worked wonders on our oil stains. And the stuff is so mild it won’t harm grass or plants. It can be safely washed down the storm sewer, making it suitable for use with pressure washers on larger areas.
It’s also easy to use. Just spray the liquid on the spot, wait two to five minutes, then spray clean with a blast of water. If the oil spot has a heavy grease buildup, scrub it with a stiff nylon bristle brush (not a wire brush, which can scar the finish) before rinsing.