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How To Clean Oil Off Your Driveway

Updated on April 15, 2020
lisln profile image

I am a mother of three wonderful adult children, and I'm also a born-again Christian. I love to share my personal experiences.


Handy Tips To Transform Your Driveway Making it Spot Free

I was staying in Reno, Nevada (in Spanish Springs) to house sit for my son and his roommate, his best friend in life. They lived in a very nice home within a very nice neighborhood by the name of Liberty Hill Estates. Perfectly groomed upper middle class style.

Growing up as a child into adulthood my mother always taught us that whenever you are staying in someone's home that should always leave their home cleaner than what it was when you arrived. Ok well this place was already clean when I got here. So what I did is, I looked for things that I can actually make a bit better.

For one thing I got a stain off of a beautiful carpet in one of the rooms (the master bedroom) that I am sleeping in. I was told that it was there when they moved in. So I concentrated on getting that stain out. And believe it or not I got out at least most of it, you can't tell as much that it was there in the first place. If I would of known that I could actually improve the carpet in that way I would have taken before and after pictures to prove it. But I didn't think about it until after the fact. I know, I know call the wambulance right? ;)

Meanwhile I felt better about improving that area on the carpet. So I began to look for other areas to make small improvements. It was hard to do because everything looked new already. So I made their kitchen sink look shiny without any spots. And I was satisfied and feeling good about myself in the process.

But then I messed up on a couple of other things while still staying here. So much for feeling good about myself. For one thing I messed up a mattress cover when I washed it. So fortunately I was able to replace that by buying a new one.

But worse yet I parked my son's car in their perfectly clean driveway and when I was backing out of the driveway I noticed some fresh oil spots. Now these are expensive homes and all the neighbors kept their homes well groomed. So much to my dismay after wanting to improve my stay (being here almost three weeks), with less than a week to go. I had to come up with a solution to what home remedy to use to remove this new stain in their driveway. I was on a budget and I needed to come up with something that I can afford, so first I looked around their home to see what I can use to restore their driveway back to a perfect clean area that it was.

Now I know why they never park their cars outside of their garage. I wish I would had known that before. Where I come from I do keep my home clean but it isn't a place anywhere like it was there. So you can imagine my dilemma.

Stay with me and hang tight I will be showing you step by step about how I will attempt to remove that oil stain from their driveway, using my daughter as a guinea pig by coaching her on what to do, while taking pictures of our step by step plan on how to get those oil stains out. Wish us luck!

Pick Your Cat Litter - To Place Over The Spots

Steps One to Six - How To Clean Oil Off Of Your Driveway & What my daughter and I tried is cat litter, yes cat litter

  1. All we did was pour the cat litter on the oil stains, I don't really think it matters to the brand of the cat litter as it does to how well you apply it into the stain, as far as I am concerned anyway. Remember if I can get a stain out of a carpet that was there for a long time I surely can get an oil stain from a driveway out. HAHA :)
  2. My daughter and I poured the cat litter over the oil stain that was on the driveway. Then we rubbed the cat litter into the stain using a plastic cat litter scooper. You can use what you want, just don't get your hands all greasy by not using anything.
  3. After covering the stain completely, we are now going to let it set overnight and see what it does. So please stay tuned we will get back with you on it tomorrow.
  4. Ok so the next day my daughter and I went to remove the cat litter off of the cement driveway. She used a broom to sweep away the cat litter, you can also use a brush, whatever is easier for you. Dispose the cat litter in a safe container.
  5. It rained that night so a lot of the cat litter washed away but it faded the oil stain quit a bit. It lifted the oil stain from the driveway but it didn't remove it completely.

    So if you have to repeat the application for whatever reason, just follow the same steps from 1 through 4

  6. What we did is we got a laundry detergent and made a paste out of it leaving it on, overnight again. The next day we hosed it down leaving a thin layer of the paste on the spots remaining, getting a scrub brush and cleaning the area that was faded

My Conclusion

The cat litter helped fade the oil stain but because it rained that night when we applied the litter to the spots, however it didn't get the full effect that it should have gotten if it didn't rain. But the oil stains did fade away.

The reason I didn't do a repeat of cat litter the next night is because I wasn't sure if it would cause a discoloring of the driveway or not. Since it wasn't my place to begin with. I didn't want to take that chance.

I felt that using a laundry detergent would be safer than applying another set of cat litter but this was my personal experiment, perhaps I was wrong perhaps I wasn't? I will never know because that wasn't my driveway and I sure wasn't going to leave that place making it worse instead of better. I would have to test that in my own driveway if it is called for, to see the end result.

How To Use A Pressure Washer - For Driveways & Sidewalks

For those of us who don't feel like cleaning the driveway and sidewalks by scrubbing and rinsing, there are other options. The pressure washer is a powerful tool to use to loosen those stains, making it easier for removal.


Do You Use Fall Safety... Safety Equipment?

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Maintaining A Clean Driveway

The best way to keep a driveway clean is by at least hosing it two to three times per year.

To keep weeds from spreading spraying a weed killer from time to time would help, probably about the same amount of times as you power spray it.

For larger weeds just pull those out by hand, with garden gloves of course. The best time to spray is when it is hot.

Regular sweeping to prevent the build up of detritus and helps with the overall appearance of the driveway.

With general cleaning just use a hot detergent using a stiff brush to scrub the area then rinsing it with the hose.

Oil Stain Remover From Driveways

How To Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Driveway - 800-997-3873

What is your home remedy do you have one to share?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Always wanted to get rid of those oil stains. Your lens might just help me succeed this time. I used a lot of different chemicals during past times but without very obvious results...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very helpful article, oil stains are horrible so it's worth a try to get rid of them. I've never heard of using kitty litter and laundry detergent, great tips!


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