How to Remove Oil From Patio Pavers

With the wide variety of paver options on the market, you can see why many homeowners are choosing to have this decorative yet functional feature added to their home. But accidents do happen, whether they are spills from the grill or drips from a motor.

Having to remove the occasional pool or puddle of oil becomes a necessity, and knowing how to do it yourself can save you both money and time.

  1. Pour plain, unscented clay cat litter or oil dry/absorbent product on the oil spill to soak up as much of the oil as possible. Diatomaceous earth and talc may also be used. Leave the product on the oily area for up to 24 hours. Depending on the spill and depth of penetration, you may need to apply more than once.

  2. Sweep up the litter or oil-dry product along with any loose debris from the area. Clean any surface dirt out of the seams where the pavers meet, but try not to remove the joint sand that was installed when the pavers were laid. Discard the oil-soaked material properly.

  3. Wet the pavers and apply a generous amount of mild, environmentally safe liquid dish detergent to the oiled area. Scrub lightly with a soft scrub brush or broom. Allow to sit for an hour or so, then rinse well with a water hose. Repeat as necessary. (This is best done at night or during those times of the day when the pavers are cool and not getting full sun.)

  4. Apply a chemical-based cleaner specifically designated for use on pavers if the oil was not removed with just the detergent. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. Improper use of chemical cleaners may damage or discolor the pavers. Refer to the product label to ensure the product is appropriate for removing that type of oil. Test in an inconspicuous area before cleaning the entire oil stain.

  5. Tip

    Apply a sealant to the pavers to prevent future staining. If the oil has created a permanent stain, replace the pavers.


    Do not use a high-pressure washer without first consulting the paver manufacturer.

    Do use thinner or other volatile chemicals on pavers.

    Wear a mask when using dusty products like talc and diatomaceous earth.

    Do not use metal scrub brushes on pavers.