How to clean motor oil off concrete

Written by amanda flanigan Google
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How to clean motor oil off concrete
Oil is essential for the life of your vehicle. (Wet oil. image by bluefern from

Motor oil--called engine oil by some--is used to lubricate the various moving parts of an engine. Not using enough motor oil will cause the engine not to run properly and could damage it beyond repair. When adding or changing the motor oil, it is not uncommon to accidentally spill oil onto your concrete driveway or garage floor. Motor oil can leave a difficult stain if not removed from the concrete as soon as possible.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clumping cat litter
  • Dustpan
  • Broom
  • Neat detergent
  • Steel brush
  • Garden hose
  • Mineral turpentine
  • Lime
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cling film
  • Tape
  • Paint scraper
  • Soapy water

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  1. 1

    Sprinkle clumping cat litter liberally onto the motor oil. The cat litter will absorb the oil.

  2. 2

    Allow the cat litter to sit on the motor oil for several hours. After the allotted time, sweep the litter into a dustpan with a broom.

  3. 3

    Add a few drops of neat detergent directly onto the motor oil stain. Scrub the neat detergent into the concrete using a steel brush. According to, neat detergent or soap is “the starting material for making bars, flakes, beads, and powders.” Neat detergent and soap is available at craft stores and various online merchants.

  4. 4

    Rinse the concrete with a garden hose.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process until the all traces of the motor oil is removed from the concrete.

  1. 1

    Create a paste by mixing two parts mineral turpentine with one part lime. Wear rubber gloves when working with these chemicals.

  2. 2

    Apply the paste directly onto the oil stain. Spread the paste a few inches out from the stain.

  3. 3

    Cover the stain with cling film and tape down the edges. Allow to sit for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Remove the cling film and scrape the paste off the concrete using a paint scraper.

  5. 5

    Scrub the concrete with warm, soapy water. Rinse the concrete with a water hose. Repeat the process until the motor oil is no longer visible.

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