Nothing mars a beautiful clay brick driveway like a unsightly oil stain, but it is bound to happen. The best thing you can do if a car or other vehicle leaks oil or fluid onto your driveway is to deal with the stain immediately. The longer you wait to remedy the issue, the more difficult it will be to remove the blemish. Below are some tips on how to remove oil stains from your brick surfaces.
Soak Up The Excess
If you catch it right away start by blotting up as much of the oil as you can with a towel or oil absorbing sheet. Automotive stores may sell towels that are designed specifically for oil clean up. Also, clay kitty litter can be used to absorb some of the oil. Sprinkle it over the affected area and allow it to sit for an hour or so and then sweep up.
Start With A Household Degreaser
We recommend that you start with a common household cleaner and degreaser like Simple Green. Degreasers can be effective at cleaning lighter stains especially if you catch the stain before it really sets into the pavers. Simple Green is also nontoxic and typically safe to use around lawn and garden areas. Hot water in tandem with a degreaser typically helps clean oil and grease stains, but always use as directed.
Move To A Professional Product
For more stubborn oil and grease stains you might need to purchase a commercial degreaser to remove the stain. There are many brands on the market today such as SRW Products CD Cleaner & Degreaser or Alliance Gator XP Oil & Grease Remover. They are formulated specifically for clay and concrete pavers and can be found at your local hardscape or masonry supply centers. The XP Oil & Grease Remover can also be purchased off Amazon.
Follow the manufacturer’s direction for application and clean up. Additionally, a specialized oil and grease remover would also be very effective at cleaning cooking oil and wax stains from your patio’s BBQ area. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations. Test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area prior to moving on to larger areas. If your pavers have been sealed (not necessary or recommended for clay pavers) this can complicate the cleaning process. Consult the cleaners manufacturer directly if your pavers have been sealed.
Avoid the temptation to aggressively power wash the area. Power washers typically are not effective at removing embedded in stains like oil and grease. They can also damage your pavers and remove the sand in-between the joints. We recommend using a stiff bristle brush in our Proper Technique for Cleaning Your Brick Patio article to remove the most common types of stains found on brick pavers.