Q:

How do you remove gas and oil stains from an asphalt driveway?

A:

Quick Answer

To remove gas and oil stains from an asphalt driveway, any damp residue must first be blotted up, absorbent material should be applied on the spot to draw up the moisture, and the area should be scrubbed with a strong detergent and a brush. The scrubbing and rinsing step may need to be repeated several times before the stains go away.

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Full Answer

Fresh grease or oil puddles should be wiped up as soon as possible with paper towels, newspapers or cleaning rags to prevent the mess from soaking into the asphalt. One of the best absorbent materials to draw up residual moisture is kitty litter, which also deodorizes the area. Other options are baking soda, cornmeal, cornstarch or sand. Once the excess gas and oil is absorbed, the area should be swept clean and then washed down with hot water. Using a strong powdered laundry detergent and a scrub brush, the stained area should be scrubbed thoroughly. After it is flushed with hot water, the area should be scrubbed and rinsed again. For extremely stubborn stains, a paste of laundry soap can be left overnight and scrubbed off in the morning.

The best solution for gas and oil stains is preventive maintenance. When working on a vehicle, it is important to cover the driveway area with a large vinyl tarp. Liquids drained from the vehicle should be caught in a drip pan.

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