In the last post, I talked about catching and removing motor oil stains shortly after the oil has collected. Today, I’ll be discussing removing stains that weren’t treated immediately.
Its always going to be easier to remove a stain (oil or otherwise) if you catch it as it happens. Older oil stains tend to take more time to remove, and are a little more involved. However, in some cases they present an avenue to use an interesting set of tools.
Due to it’s high acidity, Coca-cola functions really well as a great tool for cleaning or removing a plethora of different things, from treating jellyfish stings to removing rust and battery acid. Coke is also a wonderful tool for removing old motor oil stains.
First, pour a can of Coke over the stained area, then leave it overnight, allowing Coke’s high acidity time to gradually eat away at the stain. In the morning, take a bucket of warm water and some dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent, and stir it a little until you’ve got a good mixture, then gently pour this over the Coked and stained area.
Secondly, cover the oily spots with kitty litter or baking soda or any other type of absorbent powder (cornmeal, sawdust, etc.). Do this while the stained area is still a wet. If you’ve waited and the area is dry, then cover the stained area with warm water. After you’ve covered the [wet] stained area with an absorbent powder, take a wired brush or similar brush, and gently scrub the area using a circular motion.
Thirdly, take a cup or so of dishwasher detergent (powder) and dust it over the stained area. Leave it for five minutes, and boil 2-3 cups of water (you may need more depending on the size of the stain). Take the boiled water and carefully pour it on the stained area. Afterwards, take a wired (or similar) brush and gently scrub the area, then rinse it again with more boiling water.
By now you should be making some headway. However, depending on the age of the stain, you could only be chipping away at shade of it. Remember that this is an old stain, so its usually going to take more effort/steps to remove it.
If you are still having trouble removing the oil stain, the get some commercial concrete cleaner (Red Devil Co.) or a grease solvent (Benzine) and follow their directions for use.
If this doesn’t work, then consider contacting a professional cleaning service in your area.
Photo courtesy of anomalousunderdog.