Tips on Cleaning Oil Stains From Driveway

cleaning oil stains from driveway

There are many things to consider when tackling this project and you will need to be prepared to have patience and to clean your driveway several times over. In order to protect the life of your driveway paint, rubber cement and asphalt, it’s very important to take preventative measures. The following guide is designed to offer advice and tips on how to keep your driveway free from nasty oil stains.

Dirt Travels Much Slower Than Oil

A close up of a cup

When you see oil stains on your driveway it’s likely because of dirt. Dirt travels much slower than oil so it can spread quickly to other areas of your driveway once it has formed. If dirt has been sitting for long periods of time, it can build up and make your oil stain far worse. There are several tricks you can employ to help reduce the speed with which dirt travels. If you live in an area where snowfall is common, you should consider covering your driveway with a tarp prior to the onset of any snow.

Another great trick to keeping your driveway clean is to apply a sealer or coating to it as soon as possible. This will help to prevent the penetration of water or moisture into the base material of your driveway which will worsen the severity of an oil stain. Sealant can be applied in a couple of ways. The first and easiest method is to simply follow the directions on the package; however, it’s important to follow the package directions closely because not all sealants will hold up well in different weather conditions.

Apply It In Small Batches

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A more elaborate coating or sealer will require that you apply it in small batches. It is a good idea to allow several hours to dry between applications as the weather can become very warm during this time. In addition, if you choose to use an oil stain remover it’s important to make sure the remover is PH balanced and doesn’t harm the paint. If you do find that a certain product has left paint streaks, it’s important to gently tap the spot and wipe away any excess dirt.

If your driveway is concrete or stone, it’s important to be aware that oil stains are actually a type of acid spill. In order to minimize or remove oil stains from your driveway, you should use a special cleaner that contains an alkali base. Alkali base cleaners can be found at most hardware stores as well as grocery stores. One of the alkali base cleaners that I prefer is called Diamond Clean. This cleaner was designed to work specifically on concrete and stone and is great at removing oil stains and odors.

Make Sure It Is Sealed Appropriately

If your driveway is asphalt you will need to make sure it is sealed appropriately. This can be done professionally at a maintenance center or at home by purchasing an organic asphalt sealer. This type of organic sealer will prevent future oil stains and keep the driveway looking fresh. There are a few different brands to choose from but one very popular brand is Color Grip which is made from natural oils and is easy to apply.


To avoid future spills when cleaning out your driveway, I recommend using a mop specifically designed to remove oil stains. When using this mop it is important not to run the mop over the area too much as you could possible cause more damage. Just take a little bit and rub the area in circular motions in order to remove the excess oil stain. To keep the driveway looking fresh after applying these products to it I recommend that you keep the door open and leave it closed for the full prescribed time. It is best to call a professional to correct any problems you may have with an oil stain.

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