No matter how careful we are or how hard we try, eventually oil stains appear on driveways or sidewalks. Several commercial products have been designed to clean and degrease concrete floors, driveways, and sidewalks. Unfortunately, many of these products contain acid. And in California (and many other states), you must not allow the “dirty” water to flow into the storm drain. There are severe penalties for this.
Here are some basic strategies for removing or lightening oil stains:
Kitty litter to the rescue. If you have a fresh oil spill, then you can sprinkle a healthy dose of kitty litter onto it. Allow the litter to sit overnight so that it will absorb the oil as it soaks into the litter. In the morning, sweep up the litter. The oil is now absorbed into the litter and will be swept away. If you did not place enough litter onto the oil spill, you may have to repeat the process.
WD-40, Spray the oil spill liberally with the WD-40. Immediately use a rag to wipe up the mess. Repeat this process once if it hasn’t met your expectations.
Baking Soda or Dishwasher Detergent. Lightly wet the area with water first. Sprinkle the area liberally with baking soda or dishwasher detergent. Allow the area to sit undisturbed for several minutes. While you are waiting, boil a pot of water. Once the water is piping hot, pour it over the area, taking the proper precautions not to burn or scald yourself with the water. Once the water has cooled sufficiently to avoid any scalding, scrub the area with a scrubbing brush that has stiff bristles. Repeat this step as many times as you need in order to achieve the results that you want.
If you have more serious oil stains, hire a professional. Give us a call and we will come to your property and discuss solutions. We have years of experience and we offer free onsite consultations.
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