In a well-used garage, unsightly stains and spills are typical. Small oil splashes or drips can be washed away, but they leave stains on the concrete floor that might discolor it.
Oil and grease stains are not only unattractive on a garage floor; they are also hazards that can cause falls and accidents.
Imagine accidentally stepping onto one and damaging your shoes as well as leaving tracks into the home.
Oh, and you can forget about revamping that garage floor with a pristine finish until you remove all those oil stains on it.
The toughest part about an oil stain on a concrete floor in your garage is that it is extremely porous. It absorbs fluids by acting as a sponge, and hence it requires some extra attention.
While getting rid of them isn’t as tough as you would imagine, it does need some work.
Not to worry, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that can help you get rid of these stains one way or another.
Here’s some insight on how to remove oil stains from the concrete garage floor.
Method 1: Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Garage Floor With Detergent
The area and age of the oil stain on the garage floor will determine what method you should be used for easy cleanup.
For stains caused by fresh spills or leaks, a handy detergent will suffice.
This method is mainly catered to deal with small area spills or stains that are still fresh.
- The first step you need to take is to clean the oil with the help of a rag. Alternatively, you can also use kitty litter first to absorb the excess oil.
- Once the oil has been removed from the concrete garage floor, you can move on to scrubbing the pastedown. For this, you can use a mixture of baking soda, water, and any laundry detergent present at home.
- Mix it up into a thick paste and apply it over the stain. Please leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes, and then rinse it out with water.
If the stain hasn’t gotten out still, you can use dish soap and a brush, scrub it down rigorously, and that should do the trick.
Method 2: Remove oil stains from concrete garage floor with a garage floor cleaner
This is a more abrasive technique that can be used to scrape the concrete surface using a professional concrete cleaner or degreaser, which is a concentrated alkaline soap.
The disadvantage is that conventional degreasers do not truly break down the oil.
Thus they will not perform effectively on severely damaged or previously contaminated concrete. They are also more successful on porous concrete than on concrete with a solid or thick finish.
This method can be effective for both fresh and old stubborn stains. For this, you will need a dustpan to remove the dried-out cleaner, a notched trowel for application, a putty knife, and safety glasses, as well as gloves as a precautionary measure.
Keep a garden hose and bristle brush on hand as well.
Wipe the area down with a rag to ensure the stain on your concrete garage floor is dry.
Next, use the notched trowel to apply the garage concrete floor cleaner and make sure to go beyond the area of the boundary of the stain. After this is done, all you need to do is wait for it to dry into a powder.
You can read the instructions on the garage floor cleaner’s packaging to get an estimate. Generally, this process can take up to 8 hours, so leave it on and carry on with the rest of the day for now.
Once it is dry, get a putty knife and scrape any remaining oil and dirt off.
Sweep up the powder and dispose of it in the trash. Let the whole area get some air and check back on the stain; it should have been removed.
If there are still some remnants left, you can repeat the steps one more time but be sure to scrub it with a bristle brush after application.
Method 3: Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Garage Floor With Poultice
Using poultice is another typical method for cleaning oil stains from concrete.
You can make a poultice by soaking an absorptive substance such as kitty litter, pool filter media, or sawdust in a powerful solvent. You can use acetone, xylene, lacquer thinner, or MEK.
Once you have prepared the mix, spread the material over the stain. Next, cover the poultice with plastic wrap and let the osmosis process do its magic.
The science behind why this method can be effective for cleaning out oil stains on a concrete floor is simple.
The oil will be broken down by the surfactant, and the absorptive substance will suck it out of the concrete.
Keep in mind that this technique, however, is time-consuming and may be expensive, and thus not feasible for eliminating big stains.
Method 4: Remove Oil Stains From Concrete Garage Floor With Microorganisms
Do you ever wonder how large oil spills in beaches and rivers are cleaned up?
This method uses the same technique that is the most modern and technologically advanced of all the previous options.
It involves using unique single-celled bacteria that thrive on crude oil and its derivatives, devouring them like sweets.
Bio-remediates are hydrocarbon-eating bacteria that consume oil and produce water and carbon dioxide in the process as enzymes and oxygen break down the oil, producing carbon dioxide and new microorganisms.
With time the bacteria’ food source, which is oil in this case, is depleted; the concrete becomes clean and oil-free. The whole process is called remediation, and you don’t have to use it.
There are no harsh chemicals, no pressure cleaning, and no protective equipment is required; therefore, it is possibly the easiest and most environmentally friendly way to go about cleaning an oil stain on the garage floor.
The methodology to apply it is simple. All you need is this powdered cleanser which is easily available at hardware stores and even online.
Brush the powder on top of the oil stain and wait for it to work.
Consider how deep the oil stain is in the concrete; depending on that, it might take a few days, a week, or a month to entirely remove the oil.
So be patient. On the bright side, the bacterium continues to consume the oil, so you can apply it and step back.
Method 5: Use A Bottle Of Coke To Remove Oil Stains From The Concrete Garage Floor
I’m not sure how effective this approach might be on your oil stain, but I’ve seen this nifty trick being used and talked about a lot.
All you need is a scraper such as a putty knife and a bottle of coke.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I am referring to that fizzy black drink you love! Carbonated water, phosphoric acid, and citric acid are three of the components in Coke.
These three substances aid in the removal of persistent oil stains. Pour some Coke on your oil stain, softly scrape it around, and then wipe it clean.
You should be able to discern quite quickly whether or not this approach will work.
Frequently Asked Questions
After going through all these methods, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the informational overload. It’s only natural that some questions are running through your mind.
To help you clear out any confusion, some of the most frequently asked questions about cleaning oil stains on concrete garage floors are answered.
What removes oil from the garage floor?
If the oil stain is fresh, you can use your average laundry detergent or dish soap mixed with some baking soda.
Alternatively, special concrete floor cleaners or degreasers, poultice, and even microorganisms can be used to get stubborn oil stains off your concrete garage floor.
Does vinegar remove oil stains from concrete?
Vinegar can assist in eliminating oil stains from concrete floors, but it cannot do it on its own.
How do you remove oil stains from a concrete floor
You can use a variety of methods depending on the size and age of the oil stain. Some of the most popular techniques include using detergent, poultice, garage floor cleaner, and bacteria.
Does Dawn dish soap remove oil from concrete?
You can use any dish soap to remove fresh oil stains from concrete.
Yes, dawn dish soap can be used if the oil stain is recent.
Apply the dishwasher and scrub the area thoroughly. Rinse it out with water afterward.
I hope you found the methods mentioned above easy to replicate and follow through. These methods have only been shared with you after conducting thorough research so getting the results you seek is inevitable.
Be careful when handling harsh chemicals and detergents; always wear the right protective gear to ensure that you are not at the risk of any accidents. Good luck!