How To Get Stains Out of Concrete

If your garage floor looks like a Jackson Pollock painting from all the stains that have settled in over the years, don’t despair. You can remove unsightly oil stains over a weekend. Here we’ll learn how to get stains out of concrete — all you need are a couple of easy-to-find materials and a little bit of muscle to get it looking like new again.

Concrete is a porous material so it’s best to try and remove a spot as quickly as you can. If the spill is still wet, try and soak up as much of the liquid as possible with paper towels. Don’t rub, as the liquid can settle in and do more harm than good.

For older oil stains, there are different schools of thought on what type of solution to use. Trisodium phosphate, or TSP, seems to work well. After protecting your eyes and donning gloves, get a bucket and mix 1 oz. of TSP with water and an absorbent material like talcum powder, or follow the specific directions on the bottle.


Once the solution has been mixed, do a test on an inconspicuous area because some cleaners can leave a different type of stain. Spread the paste onto the stain. Use a stiff, wire brush to scrub the stain. The mixture will soak into the concrete, capture the oil and bring it to the surface. Next, sprinkle cat litter or diatomaceous earth over the stain to pull more out. Note: you will have to crush the kitty litter into the concrete for it to work as an absorbent. See how here, which compares different stain removal methods.

Scrape the residue away or sweep it up after about 15 minutes. Rinse the area with a hose or bucket of water. Stubborn stains may require additional applications, so you may need to repeat the process more than once.

Have a good way to remove stubborn stains from concrete? Please share it in the comments!