Everybody has seen those dark spots oil leave when it spills over the pavement. And they aren’t what you would call a pretty sight, that’s why it’s so frustrating when no matter how much you try, they simply won’t clear up!  

No worries, it is possible to clean even those obstinate spots out of your driveway so they don’t darken your door. Literally.  

House and driveway

If the oil ever drips in front of your house: 

  • If the leak is still wet, put clay cat litter over the stain. You can also use sand, baking soda, cornmeal, or cornstarch. This will help suck up the oil before it infuses into the cement. 
Baking soda and bowl
  • Once the slick has dried, gather up the absorbent material you used. Then, pour water over the stain. If it’s a set-in mark, begin the removal by dosing it with water. 
  • Use a firm brush or broom, and burnish the area with a paste made of baking soda and water. 
  • Use a hose to bathe the pavement clean.  
  • Let it air dry. 

Some other solutions are: 

  • Cleaning the stain with a grease-cutting dish detergent and a firm broom. 
  • Concealing the mark with spray lubricant and then washing with water. 
  • Spraying with a microbial stain remover. This type of stain remover is ecological, and you can wash the area with soap and water. 
  • Putting a paste of powdered laundry detergent and water on the stain. After letting it sit, burnish it with a broom or brush and clean the spot off with water. 

And just in case you have some spilled gasoline in your driveway as well – which not only leaves stains, but it will likely leave a smell you rather not have in your house – then let me hand you some tips and guidelines for cleaning those:  

Home with driveway

If the spill is fresh: 

  1. Cover it with an absorbent material, such as cat litter like I said above. Wait a few hours for it to absorb the gasoline. 
  1. Lift up the dirty litter, and brush the area.  
  1. Ask your local fire department or local waste management about how to correctly dispose of the saturated material. 

Once you’ve cleaned the spot: 

  1. Blend a moisture absorbent powder, such as cornstarch or diatomaceous earth (it can be found at home improvement and pool supply stores) into a liquid trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner to produce a thick paste. (Be sure to wear protecting eyewear and gloves while managing TSP.) 
  1. Apply the paste over the stain and use a firm brush to work it into the concrete. 
  1. Apply another fine coat of paste over the stain.  
  1. Wait until it dries completely. 
  1. Scrub off the dried paste with a putty knife, and then wash the area with a hose. 

And that’s it!  

As you can see, oil and gasoline stains aren’t as invincible as they appear, and they certainly don’t have to dirty the entrance of your house. These easy tips will help you get clean them away in no time!