How to Clean Up Motor Oil Leaks

Motor oil leak on concretePerhaps you were going through a DIY phase, tried to change your oil at home, and ended up dribbling oil across the driveway. Or, maybe an engine gasket sprang a nasty oil leak, turning a little “drip drip” into a major “drop everything and head to the nearest shop!” Whatever the case, an oil leak can lead to an unsightly oil stain in your garage, driveway, or parking spot. Get that oil leak repaired at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care and learn how to clean up the stain it leaves behind in three simple steps. Please note that this method of cleaning up motor oil is specifically for concrete surfaces.

Step #1: Gear up and get ready

This method doesn’t require anything in the way of special tools or solvents. In fact, there’s a good chance you already have everything you need, especially if you have a cat!

  • Clay based kitty litter
  • A brick
  • Bucket of water and dish detergent
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Broom and dustpan
  • An airtight metal coffee can with lid
  • Garden hose (optional)

Step #2: Attack and attract the oil

When it comes to staining concrete, motor oil doesn’t bat an eye. Concrete is porous, meaning that it has small holes or spaces that oil can easily seep into. While this characteristic means it’s pretty easy for oil to stain concrete, it also means there’s a good chance you can also get the oil out of the concrete. In this step, you’re going to “attack” the stain with kitty litter, which will help “attract” or pull the motor oil up and out of the concrete.

  1. Spread the kitty litter over the oil stain.
  2. Grind the kitty litter into the stain using the brick.
  3. If the leak or spill is fresh, wait until the kitty litter has absorbed all of the oil. If you’re working with an older stain, let the kitty litter sit a few hours, even overnight.
  4. Sweep up the kitty litter and store it in the metal coffee can. Check the household hazardous waste laws in your city to find out how the container should be properly disposed of. Your local trash collection service may pick it up or you may have to bring it to a local disposal center.

Removing the ground-up kitty litter will reveal an improved patch of concrete. Even under the best of circumstances, though, there’s likely to be a slight discoloration left behind…which means it’s time for our final step: wet and wash!

Step #3: Wet and wash

To wrap up your clean-up, have your bucket of water and scrub brush ready.

  1. Scrub the lightly stained area with water and soap.
  2. Rinse with a garden hose or water bucket.
  3. Repeat as necessary to remove as much of the surface stain as possible.

When it comes to oil stains, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or should we say, a pound of kitty litter? Thankfully, our experienced technicians at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care offer some of the best preventative car care around, like fast oil change services and comprehensive oil leak repairs. Visit your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care today and help make sure you never have to clean up an oil leak or stain again!

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