Oily or greasy stains on the asphalt and concrete surfaces of paths, and driveways are very often striking to the eye and cause certain visual discomfort.
A clean parking lot says a lot about your home and your business. It shows that you care about the little things. It gives your guests and customers an extra sense of peace of mind knowing that you will take care of them as much as you take care of your parking lot.
What is the difficulty in removing oil stains from asphalt?
Why oil stains are so difficult to remove in the first place is simple – because of their rapid penetration into the asphalt surface.
Asphalt is a very popular surface for roads, storefront areas, driveways, and parkways.
Once asphalt pavement is laid, it gets a distinctive sheen. But over time, the bitumen that makes up asphalt dries out and, day after day gets covered in dust and debris. The porosity of asphalt contributes to this. So if you want it to last longer, you need to take care of it.
How do you remove oil stains from asphalt when they first appear?
We are talking about oil stains that remain from cars and other vehicles. For a variety of reasons, oil can leak from the engine or other parts and leave a trail.
Quick stain cleanup
Removing a fresh oil stain from the asphalt will be much easier. If you spilled oil by accident, there is plenty of time to remove it.
To do this, you need to do the following:
- Backfill the spot with sand or cement.
- Sweep away the residue with a dry brush.
- Flush the entire site with water.
This option is good, but traces may remain. Try washing the stain with a powder or other detergent.
How to remove the oil stain from the asphalt, if the easy way and on fresh traces to do it was not possible?
It happens that traces of oil appear very often and at once in large quantities, for example, in the parking lot. Cleaning every spot with sand is going to be extremely difficult.
Scientific and technological development has led not only to the emergence of synthetic oils but also means to combat them. Using chemicals will save a lot of time to remove oil stains because the action of these substances is only aimed at breaking down oils (vegetable or synthetic).
What does it take to clean asphalt?
- Purchase the product in a specialized store. Consult the seller about the quality of the product.
- Read the instructions for the product. Pay special attention to the time of application.
- Clean the area of debris, apply the product and leave it for the time indicated on the package. (Attention! It is better to apply with a special sprayer to save the product).
- Once the oil has dissolved, use a vacuum cleaner or rinse it off with water.
The action of the cleaner is very fast and does not leave any traces on the asphalt.
Deciding what to remove an oil stain from asphalt, you should use professional products. This approach:
- Simplifies your task;
- Achieve a quality result;
- It takes less time to clean;
- Environmentally safe for you and the environment.
Below we will give you a comprehensive methodology and some tips on how to fight stains.
I’ll warn you right away before you start using anything for removing oil, you need to assess how it will affect the concrete itself, and the surrounding clean surface, we do not want to spoil everything.
Remove all the oil from the surface
The most important thing is not to delay, it plays against us. Oil quickly penetrates the surface and then it becomes more difficult to remove, so as soon as you see the stain, take care to prevent its spread.
- You can pre-scrub the surface with paper towels or tissues, not rubbing over the area, and remove the excess movements toward the center.
- Then you should generously sprinkle the stain itself with dry sand, sawdust or just cat litter. After that, it’s worth waiting a bit, allowing the oil to soak into the underlayment. And then before removing the sand with a soft broom, put it back and forth so that the oil is better absorbed, and then already remove the dirty filler.
- Washing, and degreasing liquid for car engines
- High-foaming detergent
- Concentrated liquid detergent
- These products are more effective when applied with hot water.
- Work with a stiff bristle brush.
In general, with these products we clean and degrease, I repeat, rub to the center, and do not spread to the surrounding concrete. Next, everything needs a good rinse.
A high-pressure washer such as the Kärcher is very effective for dealing with oil stains. In combination with the aforementioned cleaners (do not let them dry) they are very effective.
It is also a good idea to wash thoroughly both the dirty area and the surrounding concrete after using the cleaners to prevent the stain from spreading.
You need to be extremely careful when working with a concrete high-pressure washer.
- First, wear protective goggles and clothing (sand, concrete parts, and filler paving stone joints will fly off)
- Secondly do not go too far with the pressure on one place or you can “wash” up to flaking concrete.
To fix the result of washing
To do this, use a homemade remedy of lime (buy it in a store for country houses) and turpentine in a ratio of 1 to 2. This mixture should be applied to the surface of the stain in a thin layer with layering on the adjacent concrete. Then cover everything with a film and leave to dry for 24 hours.
After removing the lime, check the result, and if it was not enough for a deeply embedded oil stain, repeat the application.
The same lime compress may have to be repeated (if the oil from the depth of the stain begins to rise to the surface).
In conclusion, it is necessary to wash the stain with warm water and powder and rinse well to finish the treatment.
This is a comprehensive approach to removing oil stains from concrete. It’s not easy enough, so instead of cleaning the concrete floor, it’s better to engage in prevention – be careful with oil, do auto maintenance, put mats under the engine area and don’t drop canisters.
What other ways are there to remove stains from asphalt and concrete?
11 unique ways to remove oil stains from asphalt surfaces:
- Use soap and water. If you find a fresh oil stain, you can emulsify it with a mixture of liquid soap and water. This will prevent the oil from drying out and staining the asphalt because the soap will surround the small oil droplets and keep them from hardening. It won’t remove the oil completely, but it will make stain removal much easier.
- Using a pressurized steam wash: the heat of the steam turns the oil into a liquid, and the pressure removes it. This is one of the most effective ways to remove oil stains.
- Use trisodium phosphate (TSP). This substance can be quite dangerous, so be careful. First, make a paste of TSP and water. Then apply the paste to the oil stain with a brush. Allow the paste to absorb the oil for thirty minutes and then rinse it off.
- Use WD-40. Spray this product on the oil stain and leave it on for 30 minutes. WD-40 is strong enough that you don’t have to scrub the stain off. If necessary, you can scrub the surface with a stiff bristle brush and rinse with water after another 30 minutes.
- Use cat litter: first, wipe off any excess oil. Then cover the oil stain with a bag of cat litter. Start stepping on the filler (this will help absorb the oil). Leave the litter overnight. Come back the next morning, scoop up the filler and dispose of the leftovers. Remember that cat litter now contains oil, making it a hazardous material. Cat litter is effective on wet areas, but not on old oil stains.
- Use baking soda. Baking soda is an excellent absorbent for excess grease. Sprinkle baking soda on the oil stain and rub it with a stiff brush. Leave the baking soda for half an hour and then rinse with water. This method is only effective for recent oil stains.
- Use Coca-Cola, it can be used to remove oil stains. First, wipe off the excess oil, then pour a couple of cans of Coca-Cola on the oil stain and leave it overnight. Then wipe the stain down with a clean cloth. This isn’t the most effective method of removing oil stains, but it’s inexpensive. You may want to try it before moving on to more expensive remedies.
- Use laundry detergent. Pour laundry detergent powder on the stain, add water, scrub with a stiff brush and leave the solution for at least 30 minutes. Then rub the surface.
- Use a commercially available degreaser. Commercial asphalt degreasers break down oil to a biodegradable substance that is safe for the environment and the road.
- Hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid should be used last because it is harmful to the skin and eyes. Wear safety glasses and gloves when working with this substance. Mix a weak solution and let it sit for one minute. Then rinse it off with a high-pressure cleaner.
- Use a protective coating. If you encounter a stain that seems impossible to remove, it’s best to use a bitumen sealant. Coat the parking spot with a fresh coat of sealant and move on.
If you want to try more than one of these methods, try not to combine them at the same time. Some chemicals don’t mix well and can be dangerous.
When does removing asphalt stains have the best effect?
While the methods described above are certainly effective, there are times when they may not be enough and you should consider using other options.
Use a professional degreaser
One thing you can do is use an industrial degreaser. This type of product is specifically designed to remove stubborn stains on surfaces like asphalt and will make the job faster and easier.
Apply a fresh coat of asphalt
If your asphalt has streaked and become conspicuous, you may want to hire an asphalt service company to lay asphalt. This way, the top layer of asphalt will be removed and you will get a fresh top layer of asphalt without cracks, potholes, or oil stains.
Oil and grease stain prevention
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Instead of dealing with the process of removing oil stains from asphalt, it’s better to prevent them.
A protective coating of asphalt can prevent oil and grease from penetrating the sidewalk and forming stains. Not only that, it protects the asphalt from elements such as water, air, and ultraviolet rays that can damage asphalt.
Sealing prevents oil and grease stains that can ruin the appearance of an asphalt road, and it also gives your pavement a clean black color that makes it look like new longer.
Asphalt will beautify any road. With proper care, it can give your home a cleaner, crisper, more collected look that all your neighbors will see. Don’t let oil stains ruin its appearance and create a safety hazard. Follow the methods we’ve provided and get rid of the stains so your driveway looks like new.