One of the most unsightly things homeowner’s deal with when trying to keep the outside of their homes looking its best are gas and transmission fluid stains that build up on their driveways, sidewalks, and garage flooring. What really makes gas and transmission fluid stains so frustrating is how difficult it can be to get them out of concrete or asphalt, the materials our driveways, sidewalks, and garages are often made up of. Additionally, cleaning methods can vary depending on which type of fluid and which type of surface you are dealing with. But don’t worry, if your vehicle has a leak or if you simply spill fluids while adding them to your vehicle we have gathered every method you will need to remove these stains.
IS THE STAIN FRESH OR WET?
When dealing with an oil, gas, or transmission fluid stain in the driveway, sidewalk, or garage, the first thing you need to do is determine whether the stain is fresh enough that some of the stain is still wet. If the stain is not completely set-in, you will want to start by using kitty litter to absorb the moisture out of the stain. The key to the kitty litter trick is to use inexpensive kitty litter. The more expensive the kitty litter is, the more added perfumes it will have and the less effective it will be at absorbing the moisture. If the stain is small you can leave the kitty litter on it for about 15 minutes, but if the stain is large or there is an excessive amount of moisture on the ground you should let the kitty litter sit overnight. If you remove the kitty litter and realize that the stain is still moist you should repeat the kitty litter process again before moving on. If you don’t have kitty litter available, you could also use cornstarch, baking soda, or cornmeal. Do not move on to the next step until the remaining stain is completely dry and set-in.
DO NOT PRESSURE WASH!
When you are dealing with a difficult stain, especially on the outside of your home, one of your first instincts may be to spray the stain with a pressure washer as hard as you can to get the stain out of your driveway, sidewalk, or garage. Unfortunately, doing this will actually accomplish the exact opposite effect – setting the stain even deeper into your driveway, sidewalk, or garage and making it even more difficult to clean and remove the stain.
METHODS FOR REMOVING GAS STAINS
Gasoline stains are another easily identified stain because of the color and odor it leaves behind. Gasoline stains are often similar to oil stains, although much lighter in color and if in direct sunlight may even leave behind a rainbow-effect in color. Gasoline spills and stains are not only toxic to the environment, but can also be dangerous to you, so it is important to use caution when cleaning and removing these stains. These spills and stains often occur when you are adding gas to either your vehicle or lawn mower, so you can identify them quickly, and you should act quickly in cleaning them up. Before you begin cleaning and removing a gasoline spill or stain you should put on protective gloves and googles. After allowing a fresh and wet gasoline stain to sit in kitty litter overnight, sweep the kitty litter into a coffee can or another disposable container with a lid. Gasoline is highly flammable, so check with your local fire department on how to properly dispose of the container. You should then scrub the stain with a mixture of dishwasher liquid soap and water and let it soak in for a few minutes. After the cleaning mixture has been able to soak in for a few minutes, rinse it away with a hose on normal pressure. If the stain is not completely removed you may need to repeat the cleaning process.
METHODS FOR REMOVING TRANSMISSION FLUID STAINS
Transmission fluid stains will appear to be bright-red on light colored driveways, sidewalks, and garage floors. There are a couple different methods you can try to remove transmission fluid stains from your driveway, sidewalks, and garage floors. You can start by spraying the stain with oven cleaner and then letting it sit for about ten minutes. Once the oven cleaner has had time to soak in to the stain, use a stiff brush to scrub the stain and then rinse with a hose at its highest pressure. You can also try using a degreaser instead of oven cleaner. Whether you use oven cleaner or another degreaser, you may have to repeat the process a couple times before the stain is completely removed. If the stain is not completely removed with this process you may have to use muriatic acid to clean and remove the stain completely. Pour the muriatic acid over the transmission fluid stain and let it set for a day, then you can clean the remaining area of the stain with water and a broom.