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Clean Up Oil Spills On Driveway – 4 Best Ways In 2020

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Oil Spill On Driveway photo

Remove Oil And Other Hazardous Spills From Your Driveway, Garage Floors And Sidewalks

This article on how to clean up oil spills on driveway will cover most, if not all, situations. Driveways and parking lots can get dirty and stained over time. This can harm the appearance and safety of your property. Various vehicles park there and some leak oil or other fluids. Even small drips can accumulate over time and cause a lot of stains and slip hazards.

An unsightly driveway can make a home or business look bad. Burglars may even target the location, assuming it is poorly kept and therefore easier to gain entrance. Not to mention slip and fall accidents are far too common and are a major cause of injuries today. Don’t let oil stains have a negative impact on your business and livelihood. Read other important reasons to keep your parking lot clean.

The solutions below will also work on garages, sidewalks and anywhere else concrete or asphalt is used. One solution may be better for you than the other. For this we’ve included Pros, Cons, Cost, and Clean Time for each in hopes you can determine which is best for your specific clean up job. Please be sure to read the NOTES and IMPORTANT disclaimers for each.

NOTE: The first three cleaning methods outlined below use potentially harmful chemicals. Locate the phone number for poison control before beginning. Keep on hand in the event that you encounter a problem or have a reaction to any of the chemicals involved. Also, make sure that pets are not in the area, or any people who are sensitive to such fumes.

1

Kitty Litter To Soak Up Oil Spills

kitty litter for clean up of oil spills on driveway photo

Pros: Relatively cheap.

Cons: Not ideal for large spills, damaging to seal coats, must sit for 1-day to work effectively, requires heavy scrubbing and physical effort, creates hazardous waste that requires proper disposal, aggressive use of wire brush can damage concrete or asphalt surface.

Cost: $0 – $55 (depends on how much of the needed items you already have).

Clean Time: 25 – 26 hours (depending on the stain).

This option to clean up oil spills on your driveway is useful for smaller spills on non-porous surfaces. DO NOT purchase kitty litter that has a clumping agent, or that contains perfumes. Cheap, non-clumping unscented litter is preferred, so be sure to check labels. Here is a great review on the best non-clumping kitty litters.

NOTE: This method can damage sealers, DO NOT apply to seal coated driveways.

STEP 1

Buy or assemble the items you’ll need:

  1. Kitty litter
  2. Acetone or lacquer thinner
  3. Plastic wrap
  4. Duct or Masking Tape
  5. Steel brush
  6. Bucket of water

STEP 2

Put 2-3 cups of kitty litter into a glass bowl. Slowly add either acetone or lacquer thinner until it makes a thick paste.

STEP 3

Spread the paste so that it completely covers the stain, making sure that it forms a thick, even coat. The idea is that the chemical will work to dissolve the oil, while the kitty litter will absorb it.

STEP 4

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the entire area, and tape the edges to the ground. You’ll need the covering to stay in place for 24 hours to let it soak in and work on cleaning the oil.

STEP 5

The next day, remove the plastic covering. Sweep up all the materials, being careful not to leave any behind. The oil-soaked kitty litter is an environmental hazard and is also flammable. There is a danger of combustion if allowed to sit in an enclosed container for any length of time.

FINAL STEP

Rinse the area with a little water while scrubbing vigorously with a stiff wire brush. Mop up the water with a rag. Do not use a powerful hose to spray the area. This can spread harmful chemicals, or push any oil residue further into concrete. Properly dispose of dirty rags along with the kitty litter waste.

Important: The resulting waste must be correctly disposed of. Contact your local public works department for information about proper waste collection.

2

Soap & Detergents To Wash Away Oil Spills

detergent to clean up oil spills on concrete photo

Pros: Can be done with relatively cheap, common household items.

Cons: Not ideal for larger spills, the area remains toxic to people, plants and animals, risk of injury while handling scalding hot water, requires heavy scrubbing and physical effort, aggressive use of wire brush can damage concrete or asphalt surface.

Cost: $0 – $45 (depends on how much of the needed items you already have).

Clean Time: 35 minutes – 1 hour (depending on the stain).

This method to clean up oil spills on your driveway is better for small to medium sized stains or for stains that are older. Once oil has had time to sink into the pores of concrete or pavement, there is less hope of absorbing any excess. Instead, this technique attempts to break down the oil into smaller droplets. Once broken up, the droplets can hide deep within your concrete or be scattered to nearby areas.

The oil residue will remain toxic, and will still be there – although too small to see. Here is a great resource on the best dish soap.

NOTE: This method is not recommended for areas where children or pets play. It may also be harmful to plants growing close by.

STEP 1

Buy or assemble the items you’ll need:

  1. Dish Soap
  2. Large Pot
  3. Steel Brush
  4. Garden Hose

STEP 2

Pour the soap or detergent on the oil spot, covering it entirely. You’ll need to let it soak in for 20-30 minutes.

STEP 3

While you’re waiting for the cleaner to work, fill up a large pot with water and heat it to boiling on your stove. CAREFULLY carry the boiling hot water outside, and pour it onto the oil stained area.

STEP 4

Use a wire brush to scrub the very hot water and soap vigorously. Once you’ve scrubbed the affected area for about 10 minutes, rinse the soap off with a hose. You’ll need to spray a lot of water to be sure that you dilute the soap and oil enough that it doesn’t leave new stains nearby.

FINAL STEP

Once the area has had time to dry, check to make sure that the oil spot is gone. You may need to repeat the process if the concrete is still stained.

3

Degreaser To Break Down Oil Spills

degreaser to clean up oil spills on your driveway photo

Pros: Can be used on large stains, works relatively quickly.

Cons: Can be fairly expensive, uses harsh chemicals that can cause physical harm and requires protective gear, creates flammable hazardous waste that needs to be disposed of properly, leaves behind powerful chemical odors for an extended period of time, aggressive use of wire brush can damage concrete or asphalt surface.

Cost: $16 – $65 (depends on how much of the needed items you already have)

Clean Time: 20 – 40 minutes (depending on the stain).

This clean up oil spills on driveway method applies more to large stains. While using degreasers, you must wear protective clothing, gloves and eye protection. Degreasers contain harsh solvents that can damage your skin, eyes, and lungs. Be sure to cover your arms and legs. Do not breathe in the fumes from these chemicals – wear a mask the entire time you are cleaning.

Also, be sure to read all instructions and warning labels on the degreaser that you’ve chosen to use. There are slight variations in the application process. The use of degreasers will increase the amount of fumes and odors in the area for quite some time. Here is a great article on the best degreasers for heavy duty cleaning.

Important: Degreasers contain harsh solvents that can damage your skin, eyes and lungs. Wear eye protection, gloves and protective clothing at all times.


NOTE: Only apply degreaser when you are certain that no one will be in the area for at least two hours afterward.

STEP 1

Buy or assemble the items you’ll need:

  1. Industrial strength degreaser
  2. Protective eyewear, gloves, clothing and face mask
  3. Bucket of water
  4. Rags
  5. Steel brush

STEP 2

Put on your protective gear and pour the degreaser of your choice over the grease or oil stain. The strong chemicals usually only need a few minutes to work – up to 10 minutes for older, more serious stains. Don’t let the liquid dry on the stain.

STEP 3

Scrub the oil spot with the steel brush while wearing protective eyewear, gloves, clothing and face mask. Once you’ve worked the degreaser into the concrete, let it sit for another 10 minutes.

FINAL STEP

Rinse the area with a little water, and then mop it up with a rag. Do not use a powerful hose to spray the area, as this can spread harmful solvents and oil residue to nearby areas. The rags used to absorb the degreaser and oil residue pose a fire risk, and are hazardous to the environment. There is a danger of combustion if allowed to sit in an enclosed container for any length of time. To dispose of the contaminated rags responsibly, contact your local public works department. They’ll provide information about proper waste collection.

Once the area has had time to dry, check to make sure that the oil spot is gone. You may need to repeat the process if the concrete is still stained.

Important: The resulting waste must be correctly disposed of. Contact your local public works department for information about proper waste collection.

4

OPG+: The Green Alternative To Clean Up Oil Spills

OPG+ for clean up of oil spill on your driveway photo

Pros: Ideal for any size spill, works on any driveway material, environmentally friendly and all-natural, cost-effective, works quickly, non-toxic to people, plants, and animals, will not harm sealcoating or painted surfaces, requires minimal physical effort, does not require any secondary clean up or disposal of waste materials, does not leave behind any lingering odors or stains.

Cons: Requires OPG+1 on hand so that when oil messes arise, you can quickly clean up the mess without waiting for your order to arrive.

Cost: $25 – $35 (depending on how much of the items you already have)

Clean Time: 10-20 minutes (depending on the spill).

The OPG+ solution is perfect to clean up oil spills on your driveway and is great for small or large spills. There are several product quantity options available. Simply choose the amount that fits your needs. The OPG+ formula works on concrete, asphalt, pavers or any other driveway material.

OPG+1 will not harm sealcoating, paints, or other surfaces. Perfect for newly damaged driveways and parking lots or on oil stains that have been there for a short period of time. This cleaning product uses natural enzymes to turn oil into food for native bacteria. The process leaves behind only CO2 and water so there is no secondary clean up or disposal of materials required. No need to worry about harming pets, plants, or yourself while using it either.

STEP 1

Buy or assemble the items you’ll need:

  1. OPG+1 (order online at opgplus.com)
  2. Regular plastic bristle scrub brush
  3. Garden hose

STEP 2

Spray OPG+1 directly onto the oil spill. Next, use your brush to gently mix in a small amount of water, no need to scrub with force. Then, let sit for a few minutes to allow it to work.

STEP 3

Rinse the area with the hose. OPG+1 attaches to the oil droplets until it completely eliminates them. You don’t have to worry about any residue running off into nearby areas. It is OK to wash it down drains, or into nearby dirt or grass. It is not necessary to sop up the waste water with rags and dispose of them, as it is completely harmless.

FINAL STEP

After rinsing, if you still see a stain on your concrete, repeat the first 3 steps. Once complete there will be no lingering oil or cleaner odors.

Fastest & Safest Oil Clean Up Solution!

Video demo to see OPG+1 in action:

Order your bottle of OPG+ online today at opgplus.com/shop

Conclusion

Hopefully this instructional article on how to clean up oil spills on driveway will help you keep your driveways, sidewalks, garage and parking lots clean. Keep in mind one solution may be better for you than the other depending on your specific situation. Don’t forget to follow the NOTES and IMPORTANT disclaimers for best results when using any of the above solutions.