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Cleaning Oil From Concrete: 101


Clean Oil From Concrete

Oil stains on concrete surfaces, whether in your garage, driveway, or workshop, can be stubborn and unsightly. Knowing how to clean oil from concrete effectively is crucial for maintaining the appearance and longevity of these surfaces. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to remove oil from concrete, complete with essential tips and product recommendations.

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Initial Assessment Of The Stain

Begin by assessing the oil stain. The age, size, and type of oil stain (motor oil, cooking oil, etc.) will dictate the approach you take. Fresh stains are generally easier to clean than older, set-in stains.

Immediate Action With Absorbents

For fresh spills, it’s essential to act quickly. Absorbent materials such as cat litter, baking soda, or cornstarch are effective in soaking up fresh oil. Generously cover the stain, let it sit for a few hours to absorb the oil, and then sweep it away. This step is crucial in the process to clean oil from concrete.

Using Commercial Degreasers

For more stubborn stains, a commercial degreaser is a strong ally. Products like Krud Kutter or Oil Eater are specifically designed to break down and lift oil stains from concrete. Apply the degreaser to the stain, let it sit to allow the chemicals to work into the stain, scrub with a stiff brush, and then rinse off.

Diy Cleaning Solutions

If you prefer a more homemade approach, mixing dish soap with hot water can effectively clean oil from concrete. This method is particularly effective on smaller, newer stains. For a stronger solution, create a paste using baking soda and water, apply to the stain, let it sit, then scrub and rinse.

Pressure Washing For Persistent Stains

For extensive or deeply ingrained stains, pressure washing can be an effective method to remove oil from concrete. The high-pressure water helps to break down and dislodge oil particles. However, use this method cautiously to avoid damaging the concrete surface.

Sealing Concrete For Future Protection

After removing the oil stains, consider sealing your concrete. A good quality sealer can prevent future oil stains and facilitate easier cleaning. This preventative measure is often overlooked in guides on how to clean oil from concrete.

The Impact Of Salt And Chloride-Based Ice Melts

While addressing oil stain removal, it’s important to consider the impact of using salt and chloride-based ice melts on concrete. These products can increase the concrete’s porosity, making it more susceptible to oil stains and other types of damage. They can also corrode the concrete over time.

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Safe Thaw: A Safer Alternative For Ice Control

For ice control, consider using Safe Thaw, a chloride-free and toxin-free product. Unlike traditional ice melts, Safe Thaw is non-corrosive and won’t harm your concrete surfaces. Its patented formula, which includes a modified crystalline amide core infused with glycol admixture and traction agents, ensures effective ice melting without the harmful effects associated with salt and chloride-based products. Using Safe Thaw helps maintain the integrity of your concrete, making it easier to clean oil from concrete in the future.


Cleaning oil from concrete surfaces requires the right approach and products. By following these steps and using environmentally friendly products like Safe Thaw for ice control, you can effectively maintain your concrete surfaces. Regular maintenance, coupled with preventive measures like sealing and careful choice of de-icing products, will keep your concrete surfaces clean, safe, and in good condition for years to come.

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