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Removing Oil Stains From Concrete Surfaces

Stains on concrete caused by lubricating or petroleum oils are very common-any homeowner with a garage can tell you that. Oil can easily penetrate the surface of a concrete floor or driveway if given enough time.

How to clean oil from concrete surfaces

One of the best ways to avoid oil stains on concrete is to use some absorbent, inert, granular material to soak it up immediately, before it has a chance to penetrate the pores in the concrete surface. (Portland cement, cornstarch, talcum powder, or cat litter work well.) But, more often than not, the oil slick is not noticed right away, and other methods must then be used. The following is a list of methods, recommended by the Portland Cement Association in its technical pamphlet "Removing Stains and Cleaning Concrete Surfaces."


Troweled Concrete Surfaces


  1. Mix a solution of one part trisodium phosphate in six parts water. Apply to the stain and allow poultice to dry completely. Then, remove the dried paste and wash the concrete surface vigorously with clean water.
  2. Mix a solution of 5% sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). Let it dry on the stain for at least 24 hours and then scrub with clean water. Repeat as often as necessary.
  3. Apply mineral spirits or benzene to the stain. Let the solvent dry and remain on the concrete surface at least one hour after drying before washing with water. Repeat as often as necessary.


Broomed Concrete Surfaces


These methods can be used in addition to the ones listed above: 

  1. Saturate surface with mineral spirits, then apply absorbent granulated material such as portland cement, talc, cat litter, or cornstarch. Let the material stand overnight, then sweep away. Repeat if necessary.
  2. Scrub with trisodium phosphate solution.
  3. Scrub with laundry bleach.


For more information, please contact your Lafarge sales representative or technical sales engineer. 

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LafargeHolcim. Cement, aggregates, Concrete.