How to Remove Oil Stains From Tarmac

Engine oil can damage a tarmac asphalt driveway over time, so it's important to protect the surface under a leaky engine with a drip pan or thick cardboard.

Don't let engine oil eat away at your tarmac driveway.Don't let engine oil eat away at your tarmac driveway.
If drips of oil have already stained the tarmac, treat it as soon as possible to prevent permanent staining and surface degradation. If you don't have a commercial oil removal product, there are some home remedies that may help.

Lay a dry cloth or paper towel over the oil spot to remove any oil sitting on top of the surface. Do not rub, just allow the oil to be absorbed, replacing the cloth or paper towel as necessary.

Sprinkle a heavy layer of clay cat litter, which will absorb oil from the tarmac. Allow it to absorb for several hours. If clay cat litter isn't available, use another absorbent material such as talc powder.

Sweep the cat litter into a dustpan and discard. If the oil stain still remains, squirt it with dish soap.

Scrub the stain with dish soap using a scrub brush. Do not scrub outside of the stained area, and do not add water while scrubbing.

Rinse well with water after the surface has been well-scrubbed. If the oil stain remains, allow the spot to dry, then scrub with dish soap again. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Cloths or paper towels
  • Clay cat litter
  • Talc powder (optional)
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brush

Tip

  • Avoid adding water until after the stain has been scrubbed with soap.

About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," Celebrations.com and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.