Driveway stains and how to remove them before you sell!

If your car leaks fluids or you spill some while filling up your vehicle, lawn mower or weed blower, your driveway might end up with a stain or two and you might be wondering how to remove them. Fluids such as oil, transmission fluid and gasoline can leave a stain on paved driveways and garage floors. Because these liquids are all different, cleaning techniques vary slightly from fluid to fluid and surface to surface.

Whether the stain is new or old, there are some basic steps to help remove marks left by leaked fluids from a paved driveway or an uncoated concrete garage floor.

How to Remove Oil Stains from Your Driveway

Oil can leave a dark stain on your pavement. Here are some steps to help remove those stubborn oil stains from your driveway

  • Determine whether the fluid is wet or dry. If the spill is new, start by covering the stain with cat litter, cornstarch, baking soda or cornmeal, which may help absorb the extra moisture.
  • Once the pavement is dry, or if the stain was already dry, wet the stain with water and scrub with a stiff brush and a paste made from baking soda and water.
  • Finally, rinse the pavement with a hose and let it air dry.

To remove dried oil from concrete, douse the stain with spray lubricant and then rinse with water. Another method, is to put engine degreaser on the stain and scrub it with a wire brush, then cover with cat litter before sweeping it up.

How to Remove Transmission Fluid Stains from Your Driveway

Transmission fluid spills or leaks may leave a bright red stain on light-colored concrete. Here are some suggested steps for removing the stain:

  • Spray the stain with oven cleaner and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub the spot and rinse with a hose at its highest pressure.
  • If the stain is still there, try repeating the process.

How to Remove Gasoline Stains from Your Driveway

Spilled gasoline not only leaves stains on your paved driveway; the marks are likely accompanied by an odor you’ll want to neutralize. Try the following tips for removing a gasoline stain:

  • Put on protective gloves and goggles.
  • Soak a fresh gas spill with cat litter, baking soda or commercial absorbents.
  • Sweep the soiled litter or absorbent into a coffee can with a lid. Scrub the stain with a mixture of dishwasher liquid and water. Let it soak in for a few minutes before rinsing with a hose.
  • If that doesn’t take care of the problem, you can try buying trisodium phosphate from a hardware store, mixing it with warm water and scrubbing the spill with the solution until the stain lightens.

These spilled fluids may be unsightly, but they may not be permanent. If the cleaning tips above don’t fully remove the stain, you may want to consider calling in a professional cleaner to do the job.