Four Ways To Keep Oil Stains From Ruining Your Asphalt

Oil stains are an ugly and all too common sight on asphalt pavement. Still worse, those oil stains can lead to serious structural problems if permitted to remain in place too long. If you own an asphalt surface--whether driveway, parking lot, or road--that is suffering from unsightly oil stains, read on. This article will present four effective ways to remove such oil stains.

#1 - Soapy Water

This is an easy and effective means of tackling fresh oil stains. Simply mix up a bucket of water and liquid dish soap, apply it to the stain using a thick sponge, and give it a good scrub. By emulsifying the oil, the soapy mixture will keep the oil from congealing in the asphalt's pores. Instead, provided you have applied enough soapy water, it can be effectively rinsed away using your garden hose.

#2 - Cat Litter

Like soapy water, cat litter is an especially effective way to handle fresh oil spills. The idea is that the super-dry litter will act to draw up and absorb the oil from the pavement. Before applying the litter, however, remove as much oil as you can using either newspaper or paper towels. Then spread a layer of cat litter on the stain and allow it to remain in place overnight before sweeping up the oil-saturated litter.

#3 - Penetrating Lubricant

Penetrating lubricants such as WD-40 are a great way to tackle oil stains--especially those that have already dried in place. All you have to do is saturate the stain thoroughly using the lubricant. Then give the area a good scrubbing with a stiff brush to ensure that it penetrates as deep as possible in the pavement. As the lubricant soaks into the asphalt, it should cause the oil to loosen back up. This will make it easier to remove utilizing one of the two methods above.

#4 - Cola

Any of the methods discussed above will do an admirable job of removing the oil itself from your asphalt. Yet it is possible that you may be left with a less than attractive residual stain. Fortunately, such stains can often be eliminated by reaching into the fridge for a can of Coke. Simply empty the can onto the stain, allow it to sit for several hours, and then hose the asphalt clean.

The cola's acidity will act to loosen and break up the oil molecules, while its effervescence will help it to penetrate deep into the surface of the asphalt. These two factors should combine to remove any lingering stains. If not, repeat the process using another can of soda. If stains remain, contact an asphalt company, like Sealcoating America, for more help.