Bob Vila Radio: Drive Away Stains on Your Driveway

Get rid of the grime—and improve your home's curb appeal—with the following tips for eliminating oil and solvent stains from your asphalt or concrete driveway.

Nobody buys a house for its driveway. But there’s no denying it—an attractive driveway adds curb appeal. If yours has been blemished by stains from oil or solvents, don’t worry. You can fix that.

Driveway Stains



Listen to BOB VILA ON DRIVEWAY STAINS or read below:

Soak up the spill as soon as you can, using kitty litter or sawdust.

The next step depends on whether your driveway material. If it’s asphalt, spray biodegradable oven cleaner on the stained area, wait about a half hour, then rinse the cleaner away with a hose.

If your driveway is concrete, on the other hand, you’ll need to draw out the stain-causing liquid with a powder that absorbs moisture. For small stains, you can use cornstarch.

For larger spills, try diatomaceous earth, which forms a thick, cleansing paste when mixed with liquid trisodium phosphate. Spread a layer of the paste over the stain and rub it in with a stiff-bristled nylon brush. Then add another thin layer, letting the paste dry completely, before scraping it away with a putty knife. Finally, rinse the driveway with a hose or power washer. Note that if it’s an old stain, you may need to repeat the above process… multiple times!

Hey, it ain’t always easy being beautiful.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!