How to Remove Oil Stains From a Garage Floor

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Oil Stained Concrete
GrungeTextures/FlickrRemoving oil from concrete isn't impossible but does take work.
If you keep your car in the garage, chances are you'll see a few oil stains on the garage floor before long. If you want to keep your garage clean, and not track in oil and its toxins into your house, you'll want to remove those stains. Removing oil stains from a garage floor isn't as difficult as you might think, but it does take a little work. Here are a few methods:

Clay cat-litter, dish soap, and a quality wire scrub brush: Using these in three easy steps will remove an oil stain from a concrete floor, says Paige Ring, who runs a cleaning company in Toronto called Better Dwelling.

Step 1: Absorption.
Cover the stain in clay cat-litter, Ring says. Remove as much of the oil from the spot as possible before you start scrubbing. Clay litter, not clumping cat-litter, will absorb a lot after letting it sit for as long as possible -- up to two days, Ring says. Then sweep it up.

Step 2: Saturate.
Saturate the stain with your cleaning solution, in this case liquid dish soap to cut the grease and break up the stain. Cover the stain in liquid soap and let it sit for one hour.

Step 3: Scrub.
Oil stains in a porous material such as concrete require a bit of elbow grease. Using the right tools will save your arms a lot of strain, so buy a quality wire scrub brush. Work the brush in a circular motion, reapplying soap and adding a little water if needed. Rinse the soap away with clean water and let the area air dry.

Dry laundry detergents: Scrubbing a concrete floor with a basic dry laundry detergent will also remove oil stains, though the Tide Professional brand works best, says Derek Christian, owner ofMy Maid Service. It's basically an old formulation of Tide without any whiteners, brighteners or other things not needed when cleaning a floor, Christian says.

"This product has been used by gas stations for years to clean their concrete and it is sold to restaurants to clean their greasy quarry-tile floors," he says.

It may be difficult to find, but retailers that sell it to professionals also carry it, such as Smart & Final, and Gordon Foodservice Marketplace stores, he says. Don't use liquid detergents because they'll leave the floor too slick, Christian says.

Coca-Cola: The phosphorous in the soda is like acid and eats up the grease, says Birgitta Lauren, owner of Expecting Fitness. Lauren says she's used it on her garage floor, finishing the process by scrubbing the area with baking soda, or the dry cleanser Bar Keepers Friend, to clean up the color stain.

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