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removing oil stains from concrete


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AGC
User

May 18, 2017, 10:44 PM

Post #1 of 11 (253 views)
removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

Can oil from a crankcase be removed from concrete with chemicals such as Tri-sodium Phosphate? Or what would you recommend? The oil has stained the concrete for maybe months. It's near black. My condo had the garage floor cleaned by "professionals" yesterday and they couldn't remove it.

Ideas?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 19, 2017, 12:26 AM

Post #2 of 11 (247 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

You can clean it. I use either spray carb cleaner or brake cleaner AFTER you've scraped up with a metal, flat putty knife, spatula or similar. Sweep up that with metal dust pan and brush.


Wet again with solvent for brake and carb cleaning and add literally cheap clay cat litter. Old shoes and grind that into oil based stains. Let that dry and sweep that up with metal dust pan again later - a day or more.


It comes out and slowly gets better over time. Color can't be any lighter than the concrete was to begin with.


Warning: Total ventilation and leave door open - fans if need be. Use good judgement if abutting a living space. Cleaning products mentioned can are most are flammable, are toxic use all cautions.
Warning II: Acids and salts are corrosive to concrete not to be used.


Last: Find a better cleaning company this is routine,


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2017, 5:32 AM

Post #3 of 11 (240 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

I disagree with the solvents. They will just dilute the oil and drive it further into the concrete. That makes matters worse.

The only method I have ever found to help is using a basic cat litter or commercial oil dry product and grind it in with a block of wood. It will help to draw it up from the concrete.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2017, 6:06 AM

Post #4 of 11 (235 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

I actually only tried that to make floor look untouched which I don't do. I do leave a small spill with cat litter on it and grind it in with my shoes if need be so it doesn't track around - not for cosmetics as concrete will absorb most oil anyway over long time periods. Tried carb cleaner and to add used paper towels did make one spot look great. Not bothering for whole floor.
Still surprised a cleaning company didn't have some method for pretty looking again and quickly!


Hey - if this is super smooth concrete I plead IDK - they don't do that for garage floors that I've seen shop or residential.
OP - is this floor painted or treated that you know of? It normally isn't a huge issue,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2017, 6:10 AM

Post #5 of 11 (228 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

A pressure cleaner may help but won't get it all out.

Muriatic acid will help but may damage the concrete.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



AGC
User

May 19, 2017, 6:48 AM

Post #6 of 11 (217 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

No need to try to scrap off the oil as Tom suggested? I mean it looks like "black paint" nut crusty. Can I only use typical cat litter and something to grind the litter into the oil stain? This is a condo garage.

I too found it VERY off the crew they had cleaning our garage didn't come prepared to remove oil stains from concrete ground (unpainted). I would have thought this would be VERY routine for a qualified commercial "ground cleaning company". But, our condo doe have a habit of hiring companies barely qualified to to their jobs. I think this crew was only equipped to dow a power wash with water. :)

Tomorrow my car goes to the shop to replace the crankcase seal. :) And I just checked the millage again...under 32k. :) But as Hammer or Tom said...some parts will just wear out with time (e.g. seals).


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2017, 7:05 AM

Post #7 of 11 (211 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

No, this is definitely not routine. In factg many will tell you it is impossible to remove. The concrete actually absorbs the oil and it is very difficult to draw back out.

You can use basic cat litter but it has to be just original basic can litter and none of the extra compounds like clumping and scented brands. It will be a light brown in color. Just a basic absorbent. They sell actual "oil dry" at auto parts stores which will be exactly what you are looking for. Use a small piece of wood like a small 2X4 or 2X6 and grind the absorbent into the stain and it will gradually lift it.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2017, 7:14 AM

Post #8 of 11 (208 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

Still at this? OK - they do sell mats for under engines of cars because many drip a drop anyway like even new showrooms notice that on carpeted floors.
Other mostly harmless products + have plenty of throw away "paper towels" is what I use not anything to be washed. The white wall tire cleaner "Westley's Bleche Wite" spelled that way will work but you use it without water first. Wire brush it after a couple minutes after wetting it with some plain water.


I know that works as I clean engine parts with it as wanted or needed as step one to paint something expressly for looks. Don't paint concrete though.
That product is a white wall or white letter tire cleaner still sold AYOR on certain wheels if you finish it off on tires what it's meant for.
Seriously - my shop has had whole buckets of used oil spilled use up bags of cat litter right away. No pun on my avatar but plain Walmart's Special Kitty heavy bag of the crap lots less than stuff auto parts stores sell and is the same dang thing for I think $3 bucks.


Yup - have to have clean up stuff for assorted messes you just can't help in a shop and sometimes just a garage you park in.


This is why I said I'm really shocked a cleaning company involved failed. It's not rocket science and concrete unless painted with something I couldn't know does clean up easily for me to "acceptable" for a flipping garage floor! If your condo association is all over you because of this or if renting this place maybe I can understand to a point.
It can be done. Just maybe need a stiff brush or wire brush if no build up to plain scrape off first like you said wasn't the issue,


Tom



AGC
User

May 19, 2017, 7:28 AM

Post #9 of 11 (201 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

"oil dry". Will look into that tomorrow when I get my car serviced. This franchised Pep Boys type shop sells almost everything automotive (e.g. parts, oils, and likely cleaners). "oil dry" sounds like it might be the "best" solution.

As well I'll look for "plain cat litter". Good thing I didn't run out and buy a bag blindly. :) Would have accidentally picked up maybe the scented kind with "anti-clumping". :)

Will comment again next week...thanks guys!


(This post was edited by AGC on May 19, 2017, 7:31 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2017, 7:42 AM

Post #10 of 11 (193 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

This went nuts - sorry. Scented would work just not necessary. Not clumping just the cheapest junk you can find. OK - condo setting. Make sure you put the messed up stuff in good sealed plastic or something to discard or even carry it to a hazmat disposal place!


T


AGC
User

May 19, 2017, 7:55 AM

Post #11 of 11 (180 views)
Re: removing oil stains from concrete Sign In

Ok noted Tom. Will first look for "oil dry" products at eh auto shop. I'm sure they have a boat load of those products. Failing that I might try the "basic kind cat litter" over scented. If I have a choice. :) For all I know the local grocer or Pet Smart might only carry "scented + non-clumping". :) Will comment again maybe next week...pls don't lock up this thread yet as my results might help the next guy (girl).






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