How to Get Oil off of Asphalt


How to Get Oil off of Asphalt

Oil spills on asphalt can be a common occurrence, whether it’s from a leaking car or during a DIY project. However, removing oil stains from asphalt can be a daunting task. Here are some effective methods to help you get rid of oil stains and restore the appearance of your asphalt surface.

1. Absorb the Oil: Start by covering the oil stain with cat litter, sawdust, or baking soda. These absorbent materials will help soak up the oil and prevent it from spreading further.

2. Scrub with Dish Detergent: After the oil has been absorbed, scrub the stained area with a mixture of dish detergent and warm water. Use a stiff brush to work the solution into the stain.

3. Apply a Degreaser: If the stain persists, use a commercial degreaser specifically designed for asphalt. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure to rinse the area thoroughly after application.

4. Use a Pressure Washer: For stubborn oil stains, a pressure washer can be highly effective. Adjust the pressure according to the severity of the stain and be careful not to damage the asphalt surface.

5. Try a Poultice: If all else fails, consider using a poultice made from absorbent materials such as sawdust or kitty litter mixed with a solvent like acetone or paint thinner. Apply the poultice to the stain, let it sit for a few hours, and then rinse it off.

6. Prevent Future Stains: To avoid oil stains in the future, consider sealing your asphalt surface. A good quality sealant will create a protective barrier and make it easier to remove any spills or stains.

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7. Professional Help: If you are unable to remove the oil stain or if it covers a large area, consider seeking professional help. They have specialized equipment and knowledge to tackle tough stains and restore your asphalt effectively.


1. Can I use bleach to remove oil stains from asphalt?
No, bleach can damage the asphalt surface and may not effectively remove the oil stains.

2. Will gasoline help in removing oil stains?
Using gasoline to remove oil stains is not recommended, as it can dissolve the asphalt binder and worsen the stain.

3. Can I use a pressure washer on all types of asphalt surfaces?
No, be cautious when using a pressure washer on older or damaged asphalt surfaces, as it may cause further deterioration.

4. How often should I seal my asphalt surface?
It is generally recommended to seal your asphalt surface every 2-3 years to maintain its appearance and protect it from stains.

5. Can I use sandpaper to scrub the oil stain?
Using sandpaper may scratch the asphalt surface. It is better to use a stiff brush or scrubbing pad.

6. Is it necessary to use a degreaser if the oil stain is small?
A degreaser may not be necessary for minor stains. Start with dish detergent and warm water, and if needed, move on to a degreaser.

7. Can I use sawdust alone to absorb the oil?
While sawdust can absorb some oil, combining it with other absorbent materials like cat litter or baking soda will yield better results.