How to remove oil stains from pavers

The choice of pavers for an outdoor space like a patio, firepit, water feature or garden is an important design decision due to the dramatic influence pavers can have on the space’s final aesthetic. When so much goes into a decision of paver style, shape and color, it’s also wise to invest in ways to clean the pavers to ensure their intended appearance and performance will last as long as possible.

With the right products to remove stains like oil from your driveway pavers or patio pavers, you can extend the durability and aesthetic of your beautiful outdoor spaces.

When a stain such as oil occurs on one or more of your pavers, the method used to remove it depends on the severity and depth of the stain.

Using a product like PROSOCO’s Cleaner/Degreaser first will remove oil stains from the surface of your pavers and reveal any stains that have penetrated deeper into the pavers. To remove deeper-set stains, a product like Oil & Grease Stain Remover is a better option.


How to remove surface stains from pavers

Removing oil stains from the surface of outdoor pavers is a fairly simple task with Cleaner/Degreaser, a commercial-strength detergent that is specifically designed to remove not only oil and grease films, but also adhesive tape residues, rubber tire marks and scuffs from concrete floors and other hard surfaces.

A bonus of this product is that it’s an effective and environmentally responsible alternative to other industrial degreasers on the market. Cleaner/Degreaser doesn’t contain the harsh acids, caustics and other solvents that are commonly used in many other industrial degreasers. 

Before applying Cleaner/Degreaser, there are a couple steps of preparation you need to take. First, be sure to protect people, vehicles, property and other surfaces adjacent to the pavers that you don’t intend to clean. This will ensure that they’re not subject to product residue, splashes, fumes or wind drift.

You also want to make sure that you’re applying the product during the right weather conditions. Applying Cleaner/Degreaser when temperatures are below freezing, or will be below freezing overnight, can harm the pavers. Ideally, the product is applied when surface temperatures are 50 degrees F or higher. If the pavers have been exposed to freezing temperatures recently, you’ll want to wait to let the pavers thaw.

As far as what equipment you’ll need, Cleaner/Degreaser can be applied with a cleaning brush or mop, a low-pressure sprayer or even an automatic scrubbing machine or pressure-washer. If you’re using a pressure-washer, a pressure between 400 psi and 1000 psi, as well as a flow rate of 6-8 gallons per minute is recommended.

Cleaner/Degreaser is designed to be diluted with water, and the ratios can vary depending on severity of your oil stain. For heavy stains, 1 part Cleaner/Degreaser to 4 parts fresh water is recommended. For milder staining, you can dilute 1 part of Cleaner/Degreaser with as many as 200 parts fresh water. See the Product Data Sheet for more specific recommendations.

Once you’re ready to apply, the steps are simple. Apply the diluted solution liberally to the stained surface. Let the product dwell on the surface for 1-3 minutes, then reapply the solution and scrub it vigorously. Then rinse the surface with water to remove all residues.


How to handle deeper oil stains on pavers

Once you are finished with your application of Cleaner/Degreaser and your pavers are thoroughly dry, any oil stains that have more deeply penetrated into the pavers will become apparent. Those deeper-set stains will require a product like PROSOCO’s Oil & Grease Stain Remover.

This product differs from Cleaner/Degreaser in form – it’s a poultice with a pancake batter-like consistency that you pour directly onto stains. As the poultice dries, it pulls the contaminants out of the paver. Then, once it dries completely, the dried poultice material is swept up and disposed of.

This product is particularly easy to apply because it does not require any special equipment, mixing, troweling, plastic covering or tape. You simply pour the poultice over the stain and then wait for it to dry. It may take between 5-8 hours for the poultice to dry completely. Some even let it sit overnight. If you do this, you may want to put a plastic “tent” or other covering over the poultice to protect it from foot traffic and rain while also giving it space for proper drying.

Most stains will come out with one application, but for severe, deeply embedded stains, further applications may be necessary.

As the poultice dries, you will see it develop cracks. This is normal. A fully developed network of cracks indicates that the poultice is completely dry. Once dry, use a broom or a stiff-bristled brush and dustpan to sweep up the dried material.

Here’s a demonstration of how easy this product is to use:

If you have less than 6 square feet of stained paver surface area, 1 quart should be enough product. The product also comes in a 1-gallon size, which can clean up to 24 square feet.

Cleaner/Degreaser and Oil & Grease Stain Remover are sold through distributors for professional use. Use our distributor locator to find the distributor nearest you, or call us at 1-800-255-4255. We’re here M-F, 8a-5p, CST.