How to Remove Old Oil Stains from a Driveway

Homeowners work hard to maximize the curb appeal of their houses. From trimming the front yard to repainting the exterior, there are several ways one can make their home look more functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, one thing most people have trouble cleaning is their driveway.

The unsightly stains can ruin the entrance to your house. Therefore, we have put together a comprehensive guide on how to remove old oil stains from driveway that every homeowner will find helpful.

Motor oil is one of the biggest culprits of stains on any driveway. Even if you are really careful about your vehicle’s maintenance, it could be quite aggravating to see a guest’s car or a delivery van leaking oil in front of your home. Since oil stains are much more apparent on concrete than on asphalt, your house’s curb appeal can suffer a huge setback due to these spots.

While power washing your driveway may seem like a tempting option, you will probably have to hire experts for the job. Needless to say, it can be a little expensive, which is why we have brought you this step-by-step guide. It will tell you exactly how you can get rid of the stains on your concrete driveway without putting a dent in your wallet.

How to Remove Old Oil Stains from a Driveway

So, let’s take a look at tips on removing old oil stains from the driveway and making it look spot-free.

What You Will Need

Here are the items you will need to remove stubborn fluid stains from your driveway:

Broom and dustpan

Clay cat litter

Plastic bags


Dishwashing liquid

Coarse bristle brush

Oven cleaner

Step 1: Sweep the Surface

It would be best if you started by sweeping the driveway using a broom and dustpan. Make sure to remove any loose dust and debris on the surface to ensure proper cleanup. This step is extremely important when it comes to cleaning your driveway, as dust and dirt can keep the cleaning supplies from doing their job properly.

Ideally, you should choose a sunny day to undertake this venture. Otherwise, you may have to sweep the area more than once.

Step 2: Our Fresh Cat Litter on the Stains

Pour fresh cat litter on the old oil stains and spread it around with a broom. You must make sure the cat litter completely covers all the stains. If the stain is small, you can leave the litter to absorb the residual oil for about two hours. However, if the stains are too big, allow the litter to remain on your driveway overnight or for 24 hours.

If the weather conditions are too windy or wet, you can cover the litter with plastic bags and secure them in place with tape.

Step 3: Remove the Cat Litter

Use a broom to sweep away the cat litter and place it in a plastic bag. You should loosely tie the bag and keep it away from the house as its fumes can be toxic. The oil stains on your drive should have lightened up by then. If not, you can cover them with litter for few more hours or choose to move on to the next step.

Please note that baking powder is also a good substitute for removing oil stains. So if you can’t get your hands on the cat litter, you can always use the baking powder from your pantry.

Step 4:  Squeeze Some Dishwashing Liquid

Once you have brushed away the litter, pour a few drops of grease-cutting dishwashing liquid on each of the remaining stains. Then, dip a coarse bristle brush in warm water and use it to scrub the surface thoroughly. Depending on how stubborn the stains are, you may have to put in some elbow grease to achieve the desired result.

Let the soap cover the stains for about an hour before scrubbing them again. Rinse off the dishwashing soap with clean water.

If you can still see the stain, no matter how faint, please move on to the next step in our guide on how to remove old oil stains from driveway.

Step 5: Cover the Stain with Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaners are great for cutting grease. They consist of a variety of chemical products, including caustic soda, dichloromethane and even ethylene glycol. It is one of the best cleaning supplies for removing oil stains from almost every surface.

Once your driveway is completely dry, cover the remaining stains with an oven cleaner. For better results, consider sealing the stains using plastic bags and tape.

Step 6: Rinse the Driveway with Water

For particularly tough stains, let the oven cleaner work its magic overnight. Next morning, take your coarse bristle brush and scrub the affected areas once again. When the driveway looks clean and the old oil stain is completely gone, you can use clean water to rinse the area.

You can repeat the steps mentioned above more than once if needed.

Our Final Thoughts

To conclude, fresh cat litter should be your starting point when it comes to removing oil stains. The clay in the litter can soak up the residual oil and make the surface easier to clean. If you don’t have access to cat litter, you can utilize baking powder to achieve similar results. Next, use a strong dishwashing liquid to scrub away the oil stains. If they are still evident, you can cover them with an oven cleaner and leave them overnight.

While a little time-consuming, this exercise can make your driveway look clean and flawless. If you are planning to sell or rent out your house, a spot-free entrance can put a good impression on the prospective buyers and tenants.

These tips on how to remove old oil stains from the driveway are both easy-to-follow and budget-friendly. So, please put on your rubber gloves and get cleaning whenever you have some free time because the result would be worth it.