How to Get Oil Stains Off Concrete


Motor oil from leaky vehicles can wreak havoc on concrete surfaces. The oil will not only cause unsightly stains on parking areas but will also break down the concrete if left unattended. For persistent oil leaks, homeowners should consider purchasing a suitable catch pan and placing it underneath a leaking vehicle. Fixing the problematic oil leak from a car, truck or motorcycle is always the best option when it comes to protecting concrete surfaces from further damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Cat litter
  • Push broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Chemical degreaser, grease-cutting detergent, or powdered laundry detergent
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket of hot water
  • Spread liberal amounts of cat litter over the oil stains. Cover the oil spots completely to allow for proper absorption of the excess oil.

  • Move the cat litter around with an outdoor push broom to allow the dry granules of cat litter to absorb any oil left on the surface of the concrete. After the cat litter absorbs the oil, sweep it up into the dustpan.

  • Blot up any residual oil from the concrete surface with paper towels. Dispose of the oil-soaked paper towels and cat litter according to your local guidelines.

  • Apply liberal amounts of a chemical degreaser, grease-cutting detergent, or powdered laundry detergent to the entire oil stain (use a little water to form a paste when working with powdered laundry detergent). Scrub the area with a scrub brush, varying speed and scrub pattern to lift the stain.

  • Flush the stain area with hot water from a bucket.

    Repeat the application of chemical degreaser or detergent, scrub, and flush the area with hot water again, if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Let the cleaning agents soak into the concrete and stain for an hour (or as directed by the chemical cleaner instructions) before scrubbing.
  • Always use rubber gloves when dealing with harsh chemicals, as certain types can cause skin irritations or chemical burns.
  • Do not keep oil-soaked paper towels or cat litter indoors or around heat sources, as they are a fire hazard.
  • Find out the correct way to dispose of the oil-soaked paper towels and cat litter from your local authorities.

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  • Photo Credit new home image by Scott Patterson from
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