Can You Pressure Wash Oil Stains?

Can you pressure wash oil stains?

Nobody wants to pull their car away from the driveway only to see that there is a massive oil stain covering the majority of the space underneath where the car was. Thankfully, it can be pretty easy to get rid of an oil stain when you have a pressure washer.

It’s easy to use a pressure washer to get rid of oil stains

As long as you have the right nozzles for your pressure washer, you can easily use it to get rid of an oil stain on your driveway.

Using a pressure washer is actually going to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of any oil stains on your driveway, assuming that you get to it before the oil has had enough time to really set in.

This is all assuming that your driveway is made of a surface that can be pressure washed, unlike brick.

What Will You Need?

The materials that you will need to get rid of oil stains on your driveway is going to depend on how long the oil stain has been there. For instance, if the oil stain is very, very recent, then you are going to want to get some materials to help absorb that oil before it seeps into the driveway itself and becomes more problematic to get rid of. On the other hand, if you know that the stain has been there for a while, you can skip that kind of preparation.

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Prepare your driveway with a broom

You are going to need a push broom to prepare your driveway for the pressure washing process. You are also going to want to get an ample amount of baking soda, corn starch, or cat litter if the oil stain is fresh, as you can use these to soak up excess oil. If the stain is older, you are going to need enough degreaser solution to cover the entirety of the stain and a nylon bristle brush to work that solution into the driveway.

From here, you are going to want to prepare the pressure washer. You are going to want to work with the black and yellow nozzles, as just about all pressure washer nozzles are universally color-coded. Finally, you will want to have a cleaning detergent that suits your driveway’s material. Some types of detergent might be more suited to concrete driveways, while others may be better for asphalt or aggregate driveways.

Cleaning Off the Driveway

First things first, you are going to want to prepare the driveway surface to get the job done. You will want to take the push broom and sweep everything off the driveway. This includes any toys your children may have been playing with, branches and dirt that found their way onto the driveway, and any other objects that have made their home on the driveway. It should go without saying that cars should be off the driveway as well.

Pour baking soda, cornstarch, or cat litter onto the fresh oil stain

Next, you will either want to pour the baking soda/cornstarch/cat litter onto the fresh oil stain or you will want to pour the degreaser solution onto the old stain. For fresh, small stains, you will want to leave the material on the stain for no more than 30 minutes.

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For fresh, but large stains, you will want to leave the material on the stain overnight so that everything has a chance to be absorbed before you use the push broom to sweep everything up. For older stains, you will want to leave the degreaser solution on the stain for no more than 10 minutes before you scrub the stain with a stiff nylon bristle brush.

Once you have taken care of this, you will want to scrub away as much of the surface stain as you can. This will make it easier for the pressure washer to get into the pores of the concrete to truly get rid of the stain.

At last, you can take the pressure washer to the stain, using the black nozzle first and making sure that you are utilizing the deterrent as well. Before you know it, you will be able to get rid of the oil stain and your driveway will look as good as new again. Now all that’s left will be to rinse the driveway off and to apply the sealant back onto the driveway once everything has dried off.

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Or: Is it OK to put vinegar in my pressure washer

More questions regarding removing oil stains with a pressure washer

How Long Does It Take to remove oil stains with a pressure washer?

The process of using the pressure washer to clean the oil stain will not take that long at all, though it will depend on the size of the stain and how long that stain has been on the driveway. You can expect the job to take 1-2 hours if you want to do a thorough job.

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How Much PSI Will You Need?

While you can work with just about any PSI you want, you won’t want to use too strong of a PSI because that can damage the surface underneath the oil stain and a weaker PSI will take unnecessarily long. Pressure washers that have a PSI rating between 2,000 and 3,000 will be the best for oil stains.

Should You Use Hot or Cold Water when you want to remove oil stains?

You should always opt to use hot water when getting rid of oil stains. Think about how dishwashers use hot water to get rid of grease and grime off plates and bowls. The method is the same, except you are using the hot water to get rid of an oil stain on the driveway, rather than your plate.

Can you pressure wash oil stains?

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