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Cleaning Oil Stains from a Concrete Driveway

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Tom in Texas is on the line and needs some help with a driveway-cleaning project. What’s going on?

    TOM IN TEXAS: I’ve got a driveway – a concrete driveway – that I put in about 10 years ago. And it’s maybe 60-plus feet, a couple of car lengths wide – a couple of car widths wide. And I had an oil leak in the truck and really wasn’t paying much attention to it until one day I noticed it. And there was quite a bit of staining down there, so I got some Oil-Dri, started putting it down. And it has held but there’s still some staining there.

    I never sealed it. And then I also get – from leaves and stuff. So, I just was wondering – I was thinking about getting a power cleaner and maybe some kind of detergent and clean it up. Or do I just live with it?

    TOM: What you can do to try to clean this is to use a product called TSP – trisodium phosphate. It’s available at home centers and hardware stores, usually in the painting aisle. You mix it up into sort of a paste-like consistency, apply it to the stain, let it sit there for a little while and then you can rinse it off. And that will tend to draw the oil out of it. It’s not a miracle cure but it does a pretty good job of cleaning up oil stains.

    TOM IN TEXAS: But do I need a power washer or just hose it off?

    TOM: No, you just hose it off. A lot of pressure is not your friend here. It’s really just having the right products on that oil to kind of draw it out.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And once – when you’re in the paint aisle getting the TSP, right next to it you can get a paint-tray liner and just maybe slide that under the truck for a little while.

    TOM: There you go.

    TOM IN TEXAS: I should probably just attach something under there.

    TOM: Yeah, attach it and then you can set up a couple of traffic cones. And then every day when you come home, you pull up to the cones, you know that the pan under the car will be directly aligned with the leak and that’ll be it.

    TOM IN TEXAS: Alright. Very good. Well, okay. I will take all that into consideration. Thank you all very much.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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