Have you ever looked at your driveway and just stared at the oil and grease stain, wondering if it’s possible to get the stain out? Did you change your car’s oil and spill it all over, making a slippery mess that you’re not sure how to deal with? Well, you’re in luck because with a few simple steps, you will be able to get your driveway looking as good as new.
To clean oil from your driveway, you will need a pressure washer and a degreaser that is compatible with your pressure washer. We recommend using Sun Joe Heavy-Duty Pressure Washer Concentrate Degreaser, which is safe to use on a multitude of surfaces.
While you don’t need too many things to clean your driveway, and while it’s not too difficult to do so, there is more to cleaning your driveway than just spraying it down with a degreaser and high-pressure water and calling it a day. There are more things to consider as you do this, such as if the oil spill is more recent or has been sitting in the sun for years. And once your done cleaning your driveway, you might have some more work to do as well to make sure you preserve its integrity.
Before you begin your conquest against oil, be sure to clear your driveway or garage of everything you aren’t planning on cleaning. This includes everything from other vehicles, boxes, bicycles, and those random Barbie dolls that seems to find their way into every aspect of your life. While it’s not one hundred percent necessary for you to clean out the leaves, twigs, and dirt seeing as they will be decimated by the power of your hose, especially if you’re cleaning your garage, doing so will make final cleanup easier.
Fresh oil spills
If you’ve only just spilled the oil that is making a slippery mess, before you go get your pressure washer, take a little time to soak up the excess oil, and I don’t mean with your paper towels that profess to be 10 times more absorbent than the leading brand. You’re going to want to use something like baking soda, clay kitty litter, sawdust, or a specific oil-absorbing product. If you don’t have any of these things, you can use paper towels – but only long enough to run to the store to get a product equipped to handle such a messy job.
Let your chosen material abosorb the oil for 24 to 48 hours before you sweep it up. You may need to repeat this process if you have an exessive amount of oil remaing in the area.
Now before you go grab your pressure washer, take some time to get on your hands and knees and scrub at the stain using a wire brush after allowing a cleaning solution of your choice to sit and soak in for up to an hour. For these cleaners, you can use water and dish soap, laundry detergent, or even coca-cola, which will eat at the grease, making cleanup a little easier. As you scrub, use additional cleaning solution as you need.
If your oil stain is not recent, however, and has had time to sink in deeper into the pores of the concrete, pour a layer of degreaser over the area and allow the solution to sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Take your wire brush and scrub in circular motions to further remove the oil. You didn’t think you’d get rid of grease without a little elbow grease, did you?
Using your pressure washer
Now that you’ve prepped the area, it’s time for the pressure washer. If you do not yet have a pressure washer as you are reading this article, not that hot water pressure washer will work better than cold water pressure washers. However, if you already own a pressure washer that is not hot water, don’t fret. Your cold water will still work just fine.
Set up your pressure washer with your chosen cleaning detergent. You’ll want to find one that will work on concrete as well as have a degreasing agent within it to further work against the oil. There are many you can find online or at your local Walmart, such as the Sun Joe Heavy-Duty Pressure Washer Degreaser or the Purple Power Heavy-Duty Premium Multi-Purpose Pressure Wash Concentrate. Make sure you use a solution that is compatible with your pressure washer to avoid any complications. Before you begin spraying your entire driveway or garage, test the solution on a smaller corner or section to be sure that there are no adverse side effects of using the solution.
As you spray, hold your wand no further than two feet away, but no closer than one foot from the concrete in order to get the most pressure. Spray in a sweeping motion back and forth until you have sprayed the entire area with the detergent. Allow for the detergent to sit for a few minutes to further losen the oil particles from the ground.
After having let the detergent sit, it is now time to rinse the area clean of it. Changing your nozel to the yellow colored tip spraying it down in the same manner as before, spending extra time as needed to clean the oil out of the pourous concrete.
Applying a sealant
After allowing your driveway to completely dry out overnight, you should consider applying a sealant on your driveway. By doing so, you can prevent the elements from damaging it and also deter oil spills from soaking in and staining your driveway in the future. This will help you not have to worry about doing this extensive process in the future.
You can choose to have this professionally done, but you can also do it yourself by using a paint roller and an extension pole – you will want to apply at least two coats of this. After the second coat has set for at least 24 hours, you can use your driveway again.