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How to remove oil from paving stones

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing paving stones can be an affordable way to beautify your driveway, and thus, the entire exterior of your home. The problem with using these lovely stones in your driveway, however, is that cars can be very messy. Leaking oil can easily stain any driveway, but it will be more noticeable on light-coloured paving stones. Removie oil as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage to your paving stones.

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  1. Lay a disposable cloth over the stain to soak up any surface or wet oil. Do not scrub or smear the oil, as that will sink it into the stones and make it harder to remove.

  2. Sprinkle an absorbing agent such as cat litter or talcum powder over the stain. These cleaners will absorb any oil that has not sunk completely into the surface. Let the absorbent cleaner sit on the stain for at least an hour, then sweep up.

  3. Cover the stain with a cleaner containing trisodium phosphate (TSP). Cleaners containing this chemical will be available at hardware stores. Trisodium phosphate is designed to cut through grease and oil.

  4. Allow the TSP to soak into the stain for two to three minutes. Apply another layer of the cleaner and scrub into the stain using a scrub brush. Rinse with clean water; repeat as necessary to remove the stain.

  5. Apply engine degreaser or engine cleaner to the oil stain using a rag or cloth. Degreasers and engine cleaners contain the same properties as TSP. Allow the cleaner to work on the stain for two to three minutes, scrub the stain, then rinse away residual cleaner and oil.

  6. Tip

    Do not let the TSP cleaner dry on the stain; work it into the stain, then rinse immediately.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rag or cloth
  • Absorbent cleaner
  • TSP cleaner
  • Scrub brush
  • Hose or water bucket
  • Engine degreaser or cleaner

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

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