Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Get Oil Out of a Concrete Driveway

By R.L. Cultrona

Concrete is commonly used for constructing driveways due to its durability and strength. Concrete, however, is also very porous and can stain easily. If a car leaking oil is parked on a concrete driveway, the oil can seep into the concrete and cause a stain.

New Oil Stains

Fill the bucket 3/4 full with water and add the dish soap. Mix well.

Place the sponge in the soap solution. Place the wet sponge on the stain and wash the stain thoroughly. The soap and water should start to emulsify the oil and bring it to the top of the concrete.

Scrub the oil away with the brush. If you have been scrubbing for 10 minutes and there has been no improvement, stop and try the method for older stains.

Use paper towels to dry the water from the concrete. This will keep the oil from running into storm drains and polluting the water and soil in the area.

Old Oil Stains

Pour enough kitty litter on the stain to cover it thoroughly. Add acetone to the kitty litter until a thick paste is formed. It should be slightly thicker than wet sand.

Cover the poultice with a plastic tarp and leave it for at least a week to give the mixture a chance to work. Weigh the tarp down with bricks or other weights to make sure the tarp doesn't blow away. Don't drive over the tarp.

Remove the tarp after a week. Shovel up the kitty litter mixture and place it in a double lined trash bag. Throw the trash bag away. Vacuum up any additional kitty litter and empty the vacuum bag into the double lined trash bag.


Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Nylon bristle brush
  • Paper towels
  • Kitty litter
  • Acetone
  • Plastic tarp
  • Bricks or other weights
  • Shovel
  • Vacuum


  • Although newer oil stains are much easier to remove than older stains, the same process may work for both. Try cleaning older stains with soap and water before using the poultice.
  • The process for older stains takes time. Be sure to give the poultice enough time to work. It may take a few weeks and several poultices to get the oil out completely.

About the Author


R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.