How to remove oil stains from block paving

How to remove oil stains from block paving

Block paving is a popular surface choice for driveways and patios for homeowners. Block paving is a type of surface which is built to last for many years because of the strong surface base block paving uses. However, with block paving the surface can be easily stained which will ruin the beautiful look of your driveway or patio.

The most common stains found with block paving are usually oil stains. Oil stains are difficult to remove from your paving slabs, but the one benefit of block paving is that you can replace individual blocks when they suffer damage. Oil from motoring vehicles absorbs into the porous surfaces of the bricks, leaving spots of oil on the surface, which can be challenging to remove. In this blog post, we go through a step-by-step process on how to remove these stubborn stains and marks from your block paving, helping to keep your driveways in the best condition possible. 

Step 1

Before we start with the step-by-step guide, we should mention that prevention is usually the best cure for oil stains, but if you’re reading this your driveway/patio is probably already stained. If your vehicle has been leaking oil, put a drip tray or piece of cardboard to prevent the stain from causing more damage. Your vehicle has also more than likely had a poor history with leakages, and you might find it easier to place a drip tray/piece of cardboard in the leaking area at all times.

Step 2

Before you apply chemicals or solutions to the stain, we recommend you cover any previous stains with sawdust or a sweeping compound. Brush one of these substances into the stain and leave covered for at least 20 minutes. This method helps soak up any excess spilt oil onto your block paving.

Step 3

Next, clean the stained area with a regular hose or bucket of cold water. This will wash away any dirt or debris in the way and will better allow for cleaning agents to get into the oil. At this stage, you mustn’t use a jet washer as the oil could be pushed deeper into your block paving making things even harder for yourself. 

Step 4

You must wear protective eyewear and gloves throughout this process as the next step is to pour detergent on the affected area. With most oil stains, all you need is a simple household product such as a washing-up liquid, baking soda, vinegar, or liquid detergent enough to lift tricky oil stains. After the detergent has been applied to the stained surface, allow it to sit for around 30 mins.

Step 5

Rinse the affected area with warm water and scrub using a steel wire brush. Brush vigorously to create a lather that covers the stained bricks/slabs. Finally, you can wash away the detergent and any oil residue using a hose or bucket of water. Allow the area to dry and inspect.

Sealing your driveway will protect the surface from becoming stained not just oil but other spillages too. The sealer creates a barrier, which restricts the oil-based stains from penetrating the more porous surface of the concrete, keeping the natural look longer.

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