If you have an oil stain on your asphalt driveway, wipe up the excess oil with an absorbent cloth or mop it up, then act quickly using the common household items below to make sure that it doesn't become a permanent eyesore or a headache to clean up later.
Dawn dishwashing soap, cat litter, a can of Coke, baking soda, and WD-40 spray are just some of the common household items that can help break down or absorb the oil before it permanently settles into the asphalt. Before doing any of the following, make sure to mop up excess oil or soak it up with an absorbent cloth. Also note that these tips are for asphalt, but they may also work for concrete driveways or on concrete slabs in your garage.
- Dish soap: Squirt the liquid soap onto the oil stain and add water. Scrub at the stain with a stiff brush and use a garden hose to rinse away the suds.
- Kitty litter: Cover the oil stain with cheap clay-based cat litter. Stomp on top of the litter granules to help it soak up the oil, then leave it out overnight. Sweep up the litter the next day, then hose off the area.
- Powdered laundry detergent: Sprinkle detergent on oil stain and add water. Scrub the stain with a stiff brush, then let sit for 30 minutes and hose off.
- Soda: Pour a can or two of Coca-cola, or a similar brand of cola, onto the stain. Let it sit overnight before cleaning further.
- Baking soda: Sprinkle a generous amount on the oil stain, then scrub with a stiff brush. Wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing off.
- WD-40 spray: Spray the stain with a generous amount before rinsing off with water.
- Oven cleaner: Spray the stain and let it sit for 5–10 minutes. Scrub it with a stiff brush, then use a hose at the highest pressure setting to rinse it away.
Take note that these techniques work best for fresh oil stains. You can still try using these techniques for old oil stains to make them less noticeable, but making the spot go away may take multiple applications or commercial stain removers. Also, you can try a combination of any of the above — just not at the same time! Some chemicals just don't mix well together.