Pesky oil stains
If you have ever worked on your car in a driveway, or had an old run down car sitting in the driveway you know that oil stains are a big problem and happen all the time. I can't tell you how many times I've had to worry about an oil stain in my driveway and finding ways to get rid of it. Here are some tips and some products that I've located that will help you in cleaning up your driveway and making it look nice again.
We know that cat litter is great for cars that are stuck in ice or snow, but did you know that it's also a great absorber of liquids? If your oil stain is wet and fresh get some cat litter and dump it on top of the stain. What happens is the cat litter will absorb the oil stain because it's similar to dried clay, thus you won't have to do as much cleaning as you would if it dried up from the sun. I've used cat litter quite often when I owned an old 1992 Plymouth Voyager and the thing would constantly leak oil. Thankfully this next product I'm about to mention is a preemptive measure that will help remove future oil stains forever.
While an oil pan is not a product that removes stains, I felt it was appropriate to briefly mention this here as a way of preventing future oil stains from occurring. Buying a long oil pan and placing it under your car will allow your driveway or garage to stay free of any oil stains that may occur in the future from your cars because they catch the oil and you can quickly and easily clean it off. Take a moment and head out to your local home improvement store and buy a cheap one. It will save you money in the long run and frustration with having to clean your driveway or garage on a constant basis.
Concentrated laundry detergent is a powerful product to use on concrete driveways because of the deep cleaning agents it possesses in it. There is a reason why people love using concentrated laundry detergent for their stained clothes; because it works and gets the stains out! An oil stain is just as much a stain as is spaghetti sauce or grease, so the same logic applies here on your concrete driveway. For all degreasing products you want to make sure you have a nice new scrubber or hard steel wool to rub in the detergent and really grind the oil stain out. It's effective because of the active stain fighting ingredients and when really rubbing it in then it's removed with relative ease. Make sure you mix the detergent with some water so the concentration doesn't totally destroy your driveway as well as the stain. This is why the washing machine uses a lot of water with your detergent, so the same application should be made here as well.
Soap and water
For other types of driveways that are different from concrete you want to be using something less powerful or else it will completely destroy the stain and the driveway with it! For driveways like asphalt or a stone like driveway you want to use something weaker such as soap and water, or maybe a weak degreaser from Home Depot or Lowes. Let the solution settle in for a few minutes and then wash it away. If you want to it could prove beneficial to lightly rub in the solution to give it more of a push on the problem area, thus you will see better results. Do this a few times and it should be gone. Don't use powerful cleaning agents like you would on concrete, it's not wise and you will be upset with the results.
In addition to having the right solution for your type of driveway, it would also be beneficial to use a power washer to really drive out any oil stains the solution lifted up. You want to power wash that junk out of there, so a power washer will do the job well. It's good to have one for other reasons like the house or sidewalk, but this is another benefit for you and another reason why you should have one. Pick up the remaining mess with an old towel or rag and be done with it.
If you are living on a dirt driveway then things change because you can't use the above methods. Unfortunately because of the nature of this type of driveway your best and only real alternative is to gather up the material that is tainted by the stain and dig it up and get it removed. Use local dirt on your property or set out to a store and buy more dirt to fill up the hole or patch you made so you don't start having potholes and bumps. There is no way to clean oil out of dirt, so just dig it up and get rid of it and that's your trick to getting the driveway clean again.
Utilize further research
There are other products out there at your local department stores like Home Depot and Lowes that will do the job, but I have found that these methods are the most effective. There are degreasers and other high powered products that will destroy oil stains, just be cautious and make sure that they can be used on your specific driveway type and not for something like paint. Ask an associate and they will direct you to the material you need.
Either way, oil stains in the driveway can be a hassle but with a few quick steps and some cheap products like the ones listed above you can quickly see them gone and out of your life. Hopefully you can see them eliminated quickly and then use something like an oil pan to avoid any future stains from coming upon you.