How to Remove Oil from Brick

Updated February 21, 2017

Oil, from your automobile or other source, stains a variety of surfaces including concrete, wood and even brick. The substance is thick, penetrates brick pavers and brick structures quickly and leaves a stain once it is dry. It is possible to remove oil from bricks without damaging the bricks' mortar or finish. And you don't have to buy a special cleaner or solution to complete the task. But it is important to rinse the brick surface thoroughly to remove any remaining residue before letting the bricks air dry.

Spray the oil stain on the brick surface with water from a water hose. Thoroughly saturate the stain to remove any loose dust and dirt from the oil stain. Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands dry and clean.

Place plastic sheeting over any area containing grass or plants below or close to the oil-stained brick to protect the foliage.

Apply 3 tbsp of white spirit or Trichloroethylene to a shop towel or rag. White spirit is available at a hardware or home-improvement store as well as online. Trichloroethylene is available at a chemical supply store and certain hardware stores.

If using Trichloroethylene, wear a nose mask to keep from inhaling the chemical's vapours.

Blot the oil stain with the towel soaked with white spirit or Trichloroethylene. If the oil stain is stubborn, scrub the stain gently with a scrub brush to break up the oil residue.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the oil stain is gone. Dispose of the soiled towel in a plastic trash bag then place the bag in your home's outdoor dustbin. Do not carry the soiled towel or rag into your home. The oil residue and white spirit/Trichloroethylene mixture is toxic.

Apply 3 tbsp of white vinegar to a clean towel or rag. Blot the brick area you just cleaned with the vinegar-soaked towel to neutralise the cleaning process.

Spray the brick surface with water to rinse the surface and surrounding area. Remove the plastic sheeting covering any foliage and dispose of the material in your home's outdoor dustbin.


If the oil stain is large, work in sections and thoroughly rinse the brick surface with water from a hose before moving on to the next section.

Things You'll Need

  • Water hose with sprayer
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic sheeting
  • White spirit or Trichloroethylene
  • Towels or rags
  • Mask
  • Scrub brush
  • Trash bag
  • Dustbin
  • White vinegar
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.