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How To Clean Motor Oil Stains from Concrete

Concrete floors in your garage and driveway can acquire motor oil stains from drips and spills. Because of the porosity of some concrete, these stains are best treated promptly. Standard concrete is porous and will absorb the oil deeper into the material as time passes. All you need for clean up of oil stains on concrete floors are kitty litter, a disposable spatula, paper towels, newspaper, water, mild dish liquid, and a nylon bristle scrub brush. Remember, that concrete types and sealants can vary, and cleaning materials and techniques should be tested on a small area before using on a wider area.

Soak up the bulk of the stain by pouring kitty litter on it. Let the kitty litter to sit for up to two hours to allow it to absorb oil. If it is an extremely large spill, you can help prevent the stain from spreading and flattening out by wetting the concrete around the spill, and damming the stain around its perimeter with newspaper soaked in water. Once the kitty litter has absorbed the excess oil, scrape it away with the disposable spatula and discard. Wipe up any remaining kitty litter with paper towels.

Next, to help absorb any motor/engine oil that is remaining on and in the concrete, place newspaper directly over the stain, one layer at a time, until you have several layers. Once you have several layers of newspaper placed over the stain, wet the newspaper thoroughly with water. Allow the newspaper to dry.

Once the newspaper covering the stain has dried, remove and discard. If there is a stain remaining, treat with a lightly sudsy solution of mild dish liquid and water applied to the stain with the nylon bristle brush and a scrubbing motion. Older stains can likewise be treated by scrubbing with the nylon bristle brush and a dilute solution of mild detergent and water. Remove any remaining oil and suds with a light scrubbing of plain water. Blot with clean newspaper and allow affected area to dry thoroughly.

Note: If using a more aggressive technique, such as applying gasoline or kerosene with a rag to lubricate and dislodge the stain, keep in mind that the flammable vapors are very dangerous and can suddenly ignite or otherwise cause harm to you and your home. Use of this technique not recommened or at the very least should be limited to a very small section at a time. Keep storage cans closed and far from the work area.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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