How to Remove Grease and Oil from Concrete

can you remove grease and oil stains from concrete

Grease and oil stains on concrete are a common problem for homeowners, but they can be difficult to remove. It’s not uncommon for grease and motor oil to get on concrete surfaces from cooking or a car that leaks oil.

These stains can be hard to clean up, especially if you don’t know what products work best! I needed to remove a nasty oil spill on my garage floor and decided to research the best way to remove it.

In this article, I will share the tips I discovered about how to remove grease and oil from concrete surfaces. You’ll learn which products work best, as well as some helpful tips that make the process easier!

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Why Are Oil Stains Hard to Remove From Concrete

Dealing with grease and oil stains on concrete can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Concrete is porous so the oil or grease will find its way into the concrete through tiny cracks and crevices on the surface. Water won’t clean oil or grease stains instead you need some kind of degreaser.

Are Oil Stains Permanent on Concrete?

So much depends on the type of concrete finish. A smooth polished concrete surface is easier to clean successfully compared to a rough finish. Concrete with a rough surface provides more surface area for the oil to move into, and the stain may never go away completely.

Also if you move quickly to clean up after an oil or grease spill there is more chance of success.

What is a Fast Way to Clean an Oil Spill?

Act quickly wiping away as much of the liquid as possible with paper towels or absorbent cloth. Then find anything absorbent you might have to hand around the home or yard. This poultice will absorb the oil preventing it from penetrating deeply into the concrete.

Sprinkle anyone of the following and leave for at least 24 hours.

  • clay-based cat litter
  • sawdust
  • dry dirt from your garden
  • baking soda for small spills
  • talcum powder for small spots

Sweep away the material, and treat the stain with one of the following degreasing methods or products.

Will Dawn Dish Soap Get Oil Out of Concrete?

I found Dawn dish soap surprisingly effective, I just mixed dish soap 50:50 with water and scrubbed this mixture into the stained area of the concrete, with a nylon scrubbing brush.

The great advantage here is every home will have liquid dish detergent so no need to go out to the store to pick up other products.

I recommend trying this method first.

Can You Use Baking Soda to Clean Concrete?

Mix baking soda with powdered detergent and water to make a paste. Apply the paste and leave for about 1 hour. Then scrub the area with a nylon brush or yard broom. Rinse with water and repeat if necessary.

Washing Soda

Make up a mixture of 1 cup dish soap detergent, 1 cup washing soda (not baking soda) in 1/2 gallon of hot water. Scrub this mixture into the stain vigorously and rinse with water. Repeat if necessary.

Commercial Garage Degreaser

This is a strong degreaser designed to deal with old old stains on concrete. Follow the dilution recommendations.

Oil Eater Cleaner/Degreaser

Chomp Pull It Out Oil Remover for Concrete

This degreaser has some very good feedback from customers that have bought and used it.

A product to consider if other methods have failed.

Chomp Pull It Out Oil/Stain Remover for Concrete, Grease, Remover for Garage Floors & Driveways

Does Trisodium Phosphate Remove Oil Stains on Concrete?

Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is known as a great substance that removes oil and grease stains from concrete. It is a great choice for the most resistant stains on driveways and garage floors.

However, you need to note that TSP is toxic and corrosive so you need to follow the instructions and wear gloves and eye protection.

Trisodium Phosphate TSP Powerful Degreaser, Grease, Grime, Smoke, Soot, Clearing Oil Stains, on Concrete

Can Wd 40 Remove Oil Stains From Concrete?

WD-40 is great for removing oil stains from concrete driveways. It can penetrate and remove grease, so you don’t need to scrub too hard when cleaning up the mess! Just spray WD 40 on top of any greasy or oily substances then let it sit for at least twenty minutes before wiping away with paper towels or newspaper.

I would only recommend WD-40 for small stains. It would be too expensive and impractical to treat large stained areas.

Do Power Washers Clean off Oil on Concrete?

If you’ve recently spilled oil on your driveway, a heavy-duty pressure washer may get rid of the stain easily it’s not guaranteed of course!

Apply detergent, either dish soap or washing powder/liquid to the stained area first scrubbing it in well. Then turn the power hose on and wash the stain away. Repeat if necessary.

Methods I Would not Recommend

Here is a list of products that are meant to remove oil and grease stains from concrete. They are often quoted if you do a google search.

Go ahead and try them if you have no other alternatives. They certainly won’t do any damage.

  • vinegar
  • coke
  • gasoline


Spilling grease and oil on your driveway, garage floor, or around the grill looks awful. Anyone who is house proud will be keen to remove these marks and stains.

I hope you found this article useful and have been able to deal with oil and grease marks on your concrete areas.

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How to Remove Grease and Oil from Concrete