Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Whats the best way to remove oil from concrete?

I have a detached garage with an unfinished concrete floor, I always attempt to be careful about keeping oil off the concrete floor but I managed to knock over a one quart oil container and it leaked out on the floor. The stain does not bother me so much as long as it does not come off on your feet as you walk over it.

Whenever I have any oil get on my gravel driveway I usually get the weed torch out and burn it off, I obviously cannot do this in the garage. Any suggestions? I mainly am concerned about washing oil out onto the ground where it can make its way into the ground. I know I am worrying about silly stuff since many ignorant people around here dump their oil onto the ground since “it came from the ground”.

Anywho… Any ideas?

I’m sure you’ll get a variety of replies.

My preference is to:
wet the floor with water,
dump on ample amounts of laundry soap (for ex: Tide),
scrub it repeatedly with a floor brush,
let it soak for 10 minutes,
wet and scrub again,
splash gasoline on any stubborn spots,
scrub again,
finally rinse.

Dawn dishwashing liquid should break up the oil. Simple Green as well. The oil soaks into the concrete so wicking it back out with sawdust is always a favorite. Burn the sawdust outside the garage after.

I agree with Simple Green. Or a jack hammer.

You can buy an absorbent kind of almost cat litter at auto parts stores designed to sop up stains. Just dump some on the stains and it should help remove them in a couple days.

Most people think of the clay absorbent as the old and out of fashioned means and don’t realize its hidden potential.

When you use the kity litter / chicken feed style absorbent ( the clay based stuff , not the celulose, for this idea )
Don’t just sprinkle the granuals there and let it rest…( well’ you do that as step one to get the mass of it )
Do a little dance on it.
Yes, a little twist and shout will pulverize some of it into a fine powder…THAT fine powder is the final key to getting the soaked in stuff.
Leave it sit and sweep that up and follow with the Dawn or Simple green.

I use the inexpensive clay-based cat litter for this purpose.

Time. Concrete is very absorbent and the oil will migrate in to it until the surface though appearing stained, will not come off on your shoes. It’s OK not to be obsessed any more then cleaning the floor with a detergent than just leaving it alone.

@Ken green; I used to do the oil dry dance too, but have found something a little better for grinding it in.

I just flattened 6 inches of a piece of 3/4 inch conduit…screwed it to the top of the handle and then bent the handle up to a comfortable height.
Works like a charm.


You can always paint the rest of the concrete with motor oil so it matches the oil stain.

If you’ve got a bag of Portland Cement around, it actually works quite well in absorbing the oil.

Brake-Cleaner. Pour it on…let it soak in for a few hours…then wash it off. Repeat if necessary.

I’ve had good luck with kitty litter; it absorbs the oil and after a few weeks, just sweep it up and the concrete is dry.

Home deopt here had a product called “pull it out” I believe. I had a massive ATF leak in the garage that looked horrendous. To make things worse, it sat there for one day before I realized it was there (defective gasket). After going through a gamut of options, I used this product. It is liquid, you pour it and let it dry. It sucks the fluid out. The white liquid turned into red powder (ATF color). The concrete still looks stained but much better.