How to remove oil stains from pavers

how to remove oil stains from pavers

If you accidentally spill some oil on your pavers while you’re grilling on your patio, or your car has an oil leak on your paved driveway, this can leave pesky stains behind on your pavers. Fortunately, you can remove oil stains from pavers using baking soda, liquid soap, and degreasers.  

Pavers are used for outside flooring, including patios, driveways and walkways. They are made of brick, brick-like pieces of concrete, clay tile or paving stones. These outdoor surfaces are exposed to many elements and can be susceptible to staining.  

Why are pavers prone to stains?

Concrete pavers are great choices for driveways and patios. They look classy and they don’t require much maintenance. There is one problem though and that is the porous nature of their surface, which makes them susceptible to stains.

Fortunately, removing the stains is a simple task and you can do it using products that can be found in your home. Or if you do not have them at home you can simply purchase them from the nearest home improvement shop.

You can remove oil stains from pavers by first soaking up the oil with paper towels or rags and then using cat litter to soak even more up. Afterward use dish soap, water, and a scrub brush to vigorously scrub the stain. To finish, wash down the stained area with water.

Read on to learn how to get rid of oil stains on your pavers with this detailed method and a few alternatives.

Getting rid of oil stains with cat litter and dish soap

You can usually find oil stains on pavers near your grill, garage, or your outdoor kitchen. The good thing is that you can eliminate these oil stains using products inside your home. Another effective home remedy for oil stains on your pavers is liquid dish soap. It can cut through grease and oil with ease. 

These simple steps will help you remove oil stains from your pavers with a bit of elbow grease. 

Step 1:

If the stain is still fresh and there is still liquid on top of the pavers, use paper towels or rags to soak up as much of the oil or grease as you can.

Step 2:

There might still be a significant amount of oil left on your pavers after soaking them up. Your best option here is to use conventional cat litter (or flour) on top of the stain. Sprinkle the cat litter on the stain and let it soak up the oil. To remove, simply sweep the cat litter up and throw it in a garbage bag..

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Step 3:

Pour liquid dish soap over the stained area. Use dish soap, water, and a stiff-bristled scrub brush to scrub the stain until the stain visibly lightens.

Step 4:

The last step is to wash down the stained area using hot water, which will dissolve any remaining residue. Your best option to do this is by using a direct spray that has high pressure to clean the area thoroughly. A garden hose that has a nozzle would help you do the job and remove any leftover oil stains.

Baking soda: an effective stain remover for new oil stains 

If you’ve accidentally spilled oil on your pavers, it can leave unsightly dark stains. Fortunately, you can use a simple home remedy for this situation – baking soda. It’s an effective cleaning agent that can break down oil stains easily, thanks to its alkaline properties.  

If the oil stain is new, baking soda is the best home remedy for this, follow these simple steps to bring back your pavers’ optimal condition.  

  1. Grab a rag or paper towel and dab it on the stained area to soak up the excess oil. 
  2. Cover the affected area with baking soda. Do this by sprinkling the baking soda directly on the stain. This will help to absorb the oil residue from the stain.  
  3. Leave the baking soda on the stained area for 15 minutes. 
  4. After 15 minutes, sprinkle the same amount of baking soda on the stain and add enough water to create a paste-like consistency.  
  5. Use a stiff brush to scrub the area in a circular motion to eliminate the oil stain. 
  6. Continue scrubbing until all the oil is gone, and the stain visibly lightens.
  7. When the stain is no longer visible, rinse the treated area with clean water. 

Using a degreaser to get rid of old oil stains 

If the oil stain has been sitting on your paver for a while, it’s likely dried up and set in deep into the paver. For removing dried oil stains, you should try using an engine degreaser.  

One highly effective degreaser is WD-40, which many households already have on hand. It’s a multi-purpose solvent with an amazing ability to eliminate grease. You can use this product to get rid of oil stains on your pavers.  

Follow these steps to remove stains using a degreaser.  

  1. Grab your degreaser and spray directly on the oil stain. 
  2. Let the stained area soak in the solution and sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the degreaser to break down the stubborn dried oil stain. 
  3. After the allotted time, pour liquid soap on it, just enough to cover the stained area. 
  4. Use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the area to ensure no more oil stain or residue from the degreaser is left on the pavers. 
  5. Use hot water to rinse the area to ensure that all the oil was dissolved and flushed away. 
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Common questions about oil stains

Will bleach remove oil stains from concrete? 

Bleach is a simple but powerful cleaning solution. It’s very effective in getting rid of dirt deposits and grime. You can also rely on bleach on removing oil stains from concrete or your pavers, but be careful because it is very powerful. If you bleach mixture is too potent, it can damage your pavers.  

One benefit of using bleach is that in addition to removing oil stains, it can also kill algae on your pavers and prevent potential mold growth.  

Will Coke remove oil stains from concrete? 

Besides serving as a refreshing drink to enjoy, you can use coke for removing all kinds of stains on many surfaces, including oil stains on concrete. That’s because, like commercial degreasers, it also has grease-busting capabilities, thanks to the presence of phosphoric acid in the beverage. This acid helps loosen stains, allowing you to wash them away easily.  

How do I remove oil from driveway bricks?

Finding oil stains on your driveway bricks is not a hopeless cause. You can remove them or at least lighten the stain significantly. Try these tips:

  • Blot using rags – If the spill is still fresh, blot using fresh rags right away. It will help prevent a stain or at least limit it.
  • Soak up the stain using cat litter – For older stains, use cat litter to cover the stain. Leave it for four hours while slightly stirring the cat litter every hour before removal.
  • Use bleach – If the cat litter fails, try bleach. A mix of one parts bleach and four parts water will cover the stain. Leave for 30 minutes before wiping with a clean rag.
  • Use oven cleaning spray to scrub leftover stains – Spray a generous amount of oven cleaning spray if stain remains. Leave for 10 minutes before scrubbing with a wire brush.

Can you power wash oil stains? 

One way of cleaning oil stains from pavers is by using a medium or heavy-duty power washer. The first thing to do is to soak up excess oils from the stain by using paper towels. Then prepare your pressure washer by adding enough detergent, avoid adding bleach in your pressure washer since it can damage some parts of your washer. Begin spraying directly on the affected area until you get rid of the oil stains on your pavers. 

Does vinegar remove oil stains from concrete? 

Although there are commercial stain removers such as degreasers that allow you to get rid of oil stains quickly, sometimes, not everyone has the means to go out of their way to buy these products. An excellent home remedy that you can use to remove oil stains is vinegar. This kitchen product is a natural degreaser that easily breaks down oil stains thanks to its acidic properties. 

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What do the professionals use to remove old oil stains on pavers?

You have several options to choose from if you find that your pavers have old oil stains on them. The first and more affordable option is to remove it yourself. It is easy enough to do and you only need products that are already available at home. 

Another option is to get professionals to remove the stains for you. This is more costly, but they are likely to do a faster and better job than if you go the DIY route. Professionals use different techniques to remove the oil stains off your pavers, but here are some examples:

  • Pressure washing treatment
  • Protective sealant application
  • Spot cleaning

The sealant will be especially effective in keeping stains off your pavers in the future. This is an option that you will only get from working with the pros.

Can I use muriatic acid to remove old oil stains from my red pavers?

Muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid, can be used for removing old oil stains on your red pavers. However, you need to be very careful when using this substance. It can cause serious damage to your eyes, skin, lungs, throat, and more.

To use muriatic acid in removing old oil stains from your pavers, follow these steps:

  1. Protect yourself properly – Use a respirator that is designed specifically for muriatic acid, gloves, goggles, a face shield, and a chemically resistant suit.
  2. Mix the acid solution – Add one part acid to three parts water. Only add acid to water and not the other way around because it might cause an explosion.
  3. Apply the solution to the stain – Apply the chemical solution by painting or spraying it on your pavers.
  4. Spray water on your driveway – Once the stain is gone, wash the pavers with generous amounts of water.

The botttom line

Removing oil stains from your pavers is not really a major emergency, but the faster you act, the easier they’ll be to deal with. You can use simple products that can be found in your home to remove them and the steps are simple enough to follow.

Your pavers are a great contributor to the aesthetic of your landscape. And if you notice dark spots caused by oil stains, act immediately. Don’t let them sit for too long, follow the straightforward step-by-step guide we’ve mentioned above on how you can remove the oil stains from your pavers with ease and preserve the beauty of your surfaces at the same time. 

If your driveway has oil stains, but is made of another material, check out this article on how to remove oil stains from asphalt driveways or this one about how to remove old oil stains from concrete.  

How to Remove Oil Stains From Pavers

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