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What is the best oil remover for concrete?

What is the best oil remover for concrete?

Concrete is a versatile and durable material used for driveways, garages, basements, and more. However, oil stains can be unsightly and difficult to remove from concrete surfaces. Choosing the right oil remover is key to getting your concrete looking like new again. In this article, we will discuss the leading options for concrete oil removers, and provide tips on how to use them effectively. Read on to learn what is the best oil remover for concrete.

What Causes Oil Stains on Concrete?

Oil stains on concrete are usually caused by motor oil, cooking oils, grease, or fuel spills. Oil penetrates the porous surface of concrete, leaving behind hard-to-remove stains. Over time, the oil oxidizes and turns into a gummy dark substance on the concrete. Frequent parking of vehicles in the same spot can also lead to oil drips building up on concrete and asphalt. Fresh oil stains can appear as a dark spot, while old stains often have a yellow or brown tint. Identifying the source of the oil stain will help determine the best removal strategy.

How to Remove Oil Stains from Concrete

Removing oil stains from concrete requires using a powerful oil remover designed for concrete. However, the process also depends on how long the stain has set:

New stains: Addressing fresh oil spills right away is crucial. Immediately blot up any excess oil with rags or paper towels. Then, spray a concrete oil remover directly on the stain to break up the oil. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. This should lift most of the new stain.

Old stains: For dried, set-in stains, pre-treating is necessary for the oil remover to work effectively. First, scrub the area with a concrete degreaser or strong detergent. Then apply an oil stain remover, allow it to penetrate for 10-20 minutes, scrub vigorously, and rinse thoroughly. Repeat as needed for tough stains. Using a pressure washer can also help blast away the oil residue.

Proper protective gear like gloves, eye protection, and knee pads should be worn during the removal process. Promptly clean up any used materials. Let the concrete dry fully before re-staining or sealing.

Best Oil Removers for Concrete

Many commercial oil removers are specially formulated for use on concrete. Here are the top-rated options:

1. Zep Concrete Oil Stain Remover

Features Effectively breaks down and dissolves oil, grease, fuel, and transmission fluid stains
How to Use Spray directly on stain. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse. Repeat as needed for tough stains.
Pros Strong formula. Minimal scrubbing needed. Works on old or new stains.
Cons Has strong odor. Should not be used on asphalt.

2. Basic Coatings Oil Extractor

Features Uses natural citrus solvents to break down oil and grease stains on concrete
How to Use Pre-wet stained area. Apply remover and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Scrub with a bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Pros Non-toxic and biodegradable formula. Also removes other organic stains.
Cons Has a strong citrus scent. May need repeat applications for older stains.

3. Franmar Chemical Concrete Oil Stain Remover

Features Heavy-duty alkaline formula cleans oil, grease, transmission, hydraulic fluids, and more
How to Use Apply liberally over stain. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Scrub and rinse thoroughly with water.
Pros Works quickly and effectively. Helps lift tough, set-in stains.
Cons Harsh chemical formula requires safe handling.

4. Oil Eater Original Cleaner/Degreaser

Features Water-based cleaner uses plant-based surfactants to break down oil
How to Use Spray liberally over stain. Let sit for 5 minutes. Agitate with brush and rinse thoroughly.
Pros Non-toxic and septic safe for environmentally friendly cleaning. Also removes grease and grime.
Cons May require repeat scrubbing for tough set-in stains.

5. Concrete Solutions Oil Stain Remover

Features Specially designed to penetrate, lift, and remove petroleum-based stains on concrete
How to Use Pre-wet surface. Apply remover full strength. Let sit for 10 minutes then scrub with brush. Rinse thoroughly.
Pros Strong gel formula clings to vertical surfaces. Minimum scrubbing needed.
Cons Has strong chemical odor. Avoid using near plants or grass.

Homemade Oil Removers for Concrete

For a more natural approach, you can make your own concrete oil stain remover using common household ingredients:

– Baking Soda Paste: Mix baking soda with just enough water to form a spreadable paste. Apply to the stain and let sit for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The mild abrasiveness lifts oil out of concrete pores.

– Vinegar Solution: Combine equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Spray or pour over the oil stain. Let sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush. The acetic acid in vinegar breaks down oil bonds.

– Dish Soap: Make a concentrated soap solution by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap per 1 gallon of hot water. Scrub into the stain using a stiff bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly. Detergents emulsify grease and lift oil.

– Kitty Litter: Spread a thick layer of fresh, unused kitty litter over the stain. Let it sit overnight, then sweep away the litter. The absorptive properties draw oil out of concrete.

While not as immediately effective as commercial removers, these homemade solutions provide a more affordable and eco-friendly way to tackle oil stains with some diligent scrubbing. Test them in an inconspicuous spot first.

Tips for Using a Concrete Oil Remover

To get the best results from any concrete oil stain remover, follow these useful tips:

– Identify the oil type and age of stain – this determines the removal method needed.

– Pre-treat old stains with a degreaser to break down buildup before oil remover application.

– Apply remover liberally over stain according to product directions. Don’t let it dry on the surface.

– Let remover sit for recommended time to allow it to penetrate and lift the oil.

– Use a stiff nylon brush, broom, or pressure washer to agitate and loosen the stain as you rinse.

– Wipe up excess moisture to prevent oil redepositing. Allow concrete to dry fully before sealing or coating.

– Wear proper PPE – gloves, goggles, knee pads, and ventilated masks when needed.

– Properly dispose of used rags, towels, and remover according to manufacturer guidelines.

– Repeat treatments for stubborn stains. New concrete may require several applications.

With the right oil remover and some scrubbing elbow grease, you can successfully banish ugly oil stains from concrete. Pay attention to application instructions and safety precautions when using either commercial or homemade removers. Your freshly cleaned concrete will be revitalized and ready for stains-free use once again.


Oil stains don’t have to be a permanent eyesore on your concrete surfaces. The most effective concrete oil remover depends on the stain type and age, your safety, and environmental preferences. Commercial options like Zep Concrete Oil Remover provide strong cleaning power for the toughest oil stains. Non-toxic options like Oil Eater Cleaner offer more eco-friendly oil removal. Homemade removers like vinegar solutions give a comparable clean to store-bought removers with the right effort. Whichever method you choose, following product directions and scrubbing thoroughly is key to reviving your oil-stained concrete. With powerful oil removers and some elbow grease, you can restore the clean, pristine look of your concrete.