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How to remove vegetable oil stains from concrete

Vegetable oil spilt or splattered onto a concrete surface will absorb into it, if left unattended. Since concrete is hard and durable, most people believe a stain on concrete will merely sit on the surface. But concrete is porous by nature and absorbs oily and wet stains. When the vegetable oil is left on the surface and absorbs into the cement, it causes discolouration and acts like a stain magnet, attracting more dirt and debris.

Pour sawdust over the vegetable oil stain on your concrete surface. Use enough sawdust to cover the stain and create a mound over it. Allow the sawdust to absorb the vegetable oil for 30 minutes.

Sweep up the soiled sawdust with your broom and dustpan. Discard the oily absorbent in the dustbin.

Spray water on the site of the vegetable oil stain using your hose. Use enough water to make the concrete wet without creating a puddle.

Cover the wet stain with powdered washing powder. Scrub the detergent into the concrete, along with the water, long enough to create soap suds. Allow the soap suds to dry on the concrete; as they dry, the suds will emulsify and draw out the vegetable oil stain.

Remove the dried soap solution by sweeping it up with your broom and dustpan. Rinse off the concrete surface to remove any remaining soap solution. Let the concrete air-dry overnight.

Tip

A surface oil stain can be removed by washing it with grease-cutting dishwashing detergent, then rinsing it off with water. Blot up a vegetable oil spill before it has the chance to soak into the concrete. Substitute clay cat litter for sawdust to absorb an oil spill.

Things You'll Need

  • Sawdust
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Hose
  • Powdered washing powder
  • Scrub brush
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.