How to Remove Old Oil Stains From a Garage Floor

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how to remove old oil stains from garage floor

If you get oil stains on your garage floor, you probably want some tips on how to remove them. If you don’t act quickly, oil spots can soak in and can be nearly impossible to get rid of. 

Luckily, there are a few things you can try, even if you don’t catch them right away. 

Since the oil will have had time to soak into the pores, it will be relatively set. Trying a few different methods is your best bet with this issue.        

In this article, we have laid out some of the most effective methods for this issue. Try each of them until you are able to remove the stains entirely. 

Removing Oil Stains From Your Garage Floor: Basic Idea

There are a few different ways to remove old oil stains from your garage floor. Trying them one at a time can give you the best chance at making it work. 

These methods include: 

  • Use a concentrated soap solution 
  • Use vinegar 
  • Spread cat litter
  • Use a concrete degreaser 

How to Prevent Oil Stains

how to prevent oil stains

The best way to prevent oil stains is to make sure your car doesn’t leak in the first place. 

If you are noticing oil spots, take a look under your vehicle and see if you can spot the leak. If you can’t take your car into the shop and let them know what is going on. 

If you can’t get your car into the shop right away, lay a tarp under the car when you park. Make sure that there are no holes and no places for the oil to leak through. 

You can also preemptively lay down cat litter or another absorbent material. If your car drips oil onto this material, you can simply sweep it up before it soaks in. 

Making sure that your car is in good condition is your best defense. Keeping any leaks at bay will ensure that your garage floor stays clean

Concentrated Soap 

If the stain is relatively new, you can try removing it with concentrated soap. 

Some soaps come in concentrated forms that have to be watered down. If you don’t water them down, they can be powerful enough to remove oil stains from concrete.  

One of the things you need to be careful with when using concentrated soap is fumes. 

Most concentrated soaps aren’t meant to be used without being watered down. They can release dangerous fumes when used in full concentration. 

Make sure your garage door is open and that any windows are opened as well. This will ensure that you don’t inhale too many fumes when using the soap. 

Vinegar

vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent, all-purpose cleaner when it is properly used and properly diluted. 

While vinegar might not be able to remove oil stains once they have set, it can be helpful. If you notice some stains at the end of the day, it could still be early enough to remove them. 

Vinegar works by breaking down stains. It will not be able to penetrate into the cement, though. 

Simply apply the vinegar and let it sit for 30-40 minutes. Then mop it up with a squeegee or mop

Cat Litter

Cat litter is one of the best removers of oil stains on concrete. 

It has an absorbent quality that is perfect for this kind of job. It will actually pull the oil up out of the cement and soak it up. 

One of the reasons oil is so difficult to remove from cement is the fact that it is porous. The oil soaks down into the pores and won’t come up with standard mopping. 

If you spill oil or have a leak, lay down the cat litter and let it sit for one to two hours. Then, you should be able to sweep it up and throw it away. 

Concrete Degreaser

There are a number of concrete degreasers available on the market. These are designed to be used for this specific job. 

Degreasers work by breaking up the oils and turning them into a completely liquid form. Because of this, they can then be mopped up without spreading. 

Many green degreasers can even be washed into the storm drain. However, you should always check with the dumping laws in your particular area before doing this. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to remove old oil stains from garage floor

  • Does WD 40 remove oil stains from concrete?

WD 40 is technically a degreaser, but it may not be right for this particular job. 

This is because you will generally need more volume than would be practical. If you want to use a degreaser, an industrial variety is your best bet. 

  • Does Coca Cola remove oil stains from concrete?

Coca Cola will remove oil stains from concrete, but only if it is fresh. It may not be as effective as some of the other options we have laid out above. 

  • Will a pressure washer remove oil from concrete?

One of the issues with using a pressure washer to remove oil from concrete is that oil and water don’t mix. 

Because of this, you may just end up pushing the oil around. You won’t be able to completely remove it with a pressure washer alone. 

Conclusion 

Oil stains on concrete can be a frustrating problem. However, if you know the best ways to get rid of it, you can go back to your clean garage floor

Trying all of the above methods can help. Each of them will offer their own level of oil removal and you should be able to find one that works. 

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AUTHOR

Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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