How Do You Remove Old Oil Stains From a Concrete Garage Floor

How Do You Remove Old Oil Stains From a Concrete Garage Floor?

How Do You Remove Old Oil Stains From a Concrete Garage Floor? Cover the oil stain with clay cat litter and let it stay for several hours (or overnight if it’s a particularly stubborn stain). After that, vacuum up the cat litter and use liquid dish soap to break up the grease stain. Allow it to soak for at least an hour before cleaning the stain with a wire scrub brush in a circular motion.

Have you ever seen a person on their hands and knees scrubbing at the garage floor?  Perhaps you look at them like they are crazy.  You may be thinking that it is just a garage floor, which is supposed to get dirty.  Many homeowners feel that if they spent the money on having concrete poured, they will do whatever it takes to keep it looking new.

Old oil stains on a concrete garage floor may not bother some people.  But for others, the spot makes them cringe every time they walk by it.  If the latter happens to be you, you will want to know how to remove old stains from a concrete garage floor.

The good news is that there are several methods that you can use to get old oil stains lifted from a concrete garage floor.

Some of these methods will be easier to use than others.  But they have been tested and have worked for many.

Should you see an oil stain on your concrete floor, do not wait to clean it up.  The sooner you clean up an oil spill, the less likely it will be to stain.  Concrete is very porous, so it will not take much time for it to absorb the oil allowing it to stain.

If you have oil stains on your concrete that have been there for a while, push up your sleeves and gather your materials.  It is time to get to work!

Methods to remove old oil stains from a concrete garage floor

There are various methods that one can use to remove old oil stains off a concrete garage floor.  Some of these products you may have on hand already.  And others are inexpensive and easy to find at the store.  You may find that one works better than another depending on how long the oil has been allowed to soak into the concrete.

Method 1:  Kitty litter

Kitty litter is not just for cats!  There are so many great things that you can use kitty litter for.  Cleaning up oil spills is a great reason why even if you do not have a cat you should have a bag of this on hand.

There are special bags of oil remover on the market that are similar to kitty litter.  Often it is called oil dry.  This stuff is pretty much the same thing as litter but is more expensive.  Many times you do not even get the same amount of product as you would from a bag of kitty litter.

Step 1:  Sprinkle litter

To remove old oil from your garage concrete floor, sprinkle clay kitty litter on the oil stain.  Be sure to cover the entire spot.  You do not need to use expensive kitty litter.  You can purchase the most inexpensive bag the store has.  Generally, you can purchase a 25-pound bag for under $5.00.

Step 2:  Let sit

You will want to let the kitty litter sit for several hours.  Overnight may even be best.

Step 3:  Sweep up

Sweep up the cat litter, throwing it away.

Step 4:  Liquid soap

Next, apply liquid dish soap to the stain.  This will assist in breaking up the oil.  Let it soak for an hour, or more if the stain is heavy.

Step 5:  Wire brush

Finally, use a wire brush to scrub the stain.  Use circular motions.  Rinse with fresh water and allow to dry.

Method 2:  WD-40

WD-40 is a wonderful product that many have sitting in their garages already.  It is often used for unsticking things and makes a great lubricant.  WD-40 is also a product that many individuals have had success with when removing oil from garage floors that are concrete.

Step 1:  Remove oil

Soak up any old from the garage floor (if there is any) with a paper towel.

Step 2:  Apply

Apply the WD-40 over the oil spill, making sure to fully saturate it.  Then allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Step 3:  Wipe

Wipe up the WD-40 with a rag.

Step 4:  Scrub

Scrub the area with a brush, water, and dish soap to remove the rest of the oil.  Rinse clean with fresh water.

Method 3:  Vinegar

Vinegar is another natural solution that may work with some elbow grease.

Step 1:  Pour sawdust

Begin by pouring sawdust on top of the oil stain.  If you do not have sawdust, you can use kitty litter. Allow it to sit overnight.

Step 2:  Sweep

Sweep up the sawdust.  Then apply a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon dish soap.  The best type of dish soap will be one that has a degreaser in it.

Step 3:  Soak

Allow the vinegar mixture to soak for a while.

Step 4:  Scrub

Scrub the oil spot with a scrub brush.  Rinse with fresh water when done.

Method 4:  Laundry soap

Laundry soap can be great at getting old oil stains up from a concrete garage floor.  This is because many of them will dissolve the oil that has set for a while. Professional race car associations, including NASCAR, have been relying on this for years.  Powdered laundry soap works the best.

Step 1: Blot

If the stain is an old one, it will be dry.  However, you will need to blot the stain if it is wet, otherwise, you may have a second stain set into the flooring.

Step 2:  Mix up soap and water

Next, you will want to mix a large amount of laundry detergent with warm water in a large bucket.  The water should be very soapy.  Pour the soapy solution onto the stain.

Step 3:  Add more soap

Next, you will want to dump a large amount of the powdered laundry soap right onto the stain and allow it to sit for several minutes.

Step 4:  Brush the stain

Next, take a nylon brush and scour the stain.  For best results, the bristles should be stiff.  Once you have scrubbed, you can rinse off the soap with a high-powered water stream.

Method 5:  Degreaser

You may wish to try out a degreaser to assist you in getting a stain out of a concrete floor.

Step 1:  Blot

If there is any excess oil, blot it up.

Step 2:  Sweep

Sweep up the area so all dirt and debris are removed.

Step 3:  Spread

With a trowel, spread the degreaser over the stain.  Allow it to dry to a powder.

Step 4:  Sweep again

Sweep up the powder.  The stain underneath may take several days to dry.  When it is completely dried, the stain should be lifted.

Method 6:  Mineral spirits

Many have had success with mineral spirits when trying to lift up an old oil stain.

Step 1:  Pour

Pour the mineral spirits on the oil stain.

Step 2:  Let sit

Allow the mineral spirits to sit for 5 minutes.

Step 3:  Scrub

Scrub with a stiff-bristled brush.

Step 4:  Cover

Cover with newspapers.  Allow to sit and dry.

Step 5:  Mix

Mix one cup of bleach with one cup of laundry detergent in one gallon of warm water. Wash the stain with this mixture.

Method 7:  Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is often used to clean up oil in a garage.

Step 1:  Mix

Mix the TSP with a gallon of hot water.

Step 2:  Pour and soak

Pour this solution on the oil stain.  Allow to soak for half an hour.

Step 3:  Scrub

Scrub with a stiff brush.  Rinse with fresh water.

When using this method, be sure to wear proper eyewear and rubber gloves.  Anytime you work with hazardous chemicals, it is a good idea to protect yourself.


Oil stains can be rather unsightly, even if they are found in a garage.  It is understandable that you want your garage to look nice, especially if you live in a new house.  But accidents will happen from time to time, and cars may leak oil.  Even when you are checking our oil, oil can drip off your dipstick.  So do not fret if you find oil has been spilled across your concrete garage floor.

If you want to keep your garage floor from looking its best, be sure to try one of the methods listed above for getting out a dried oil stain.  Many of these are tried and true methods that have worked for many homeowners.

If you have an idea about getting oil stains out of your concrete, do not be afraid to try it.  Chances are, even if it does not completely get rid of the oil stain, it can lighten it.