Oil stains negatively affect the appearance of an asphalt surface. Worse still, when allowed to remain long enough, that oil will lead to the premature breakdown of your asphalt. For both of those reasons, it is important you attend to oil stains as soon as possible. This article will teach you four different strategies for removing unwanted oil stains.
Soap And Water
Tackle oil stains that are still fresh with a mixture of water and liquid soap (be generous with the soap!). The idea here is that the soapy liquid will act to emulsify the oil. This prevents it from congealing into a solid mass as it soaks into the asphalt. Oil in that state is much harder to remove. Once you've applied your soapy water, hose down the asphalt thoroughly. You should be able to wash away a good deal of the emulsified oil in this manner.
Another great way to tackle fresh oil stains is with a bag of kitty litter. Here you should begin by gently mopping up as much oil as possible using paper towels or wadded up newspaper. Then cover the oil completely with litter, spend a few minutes walking around on top of it, and then leave it to sit overnight. The idea is that the super-dry kitty litter will draw out and absorb a large amount of the oil.
WD-40--or for that matter any other type of penetrating lubricant--can do wonders to help lift away oil stains that are partially or even completely dry. Simply spray a generous amount of the lubricant onto the stain. As it soaks in, it will bring loosen up the oil--in effect, bring it "back to life." Be aware that you may need to scrub the WD-40 into the asphalt to loosen up tougher stains. Then clear away the resulting wet spot using either of the methods discussed above.
While all of the above methods are effective at lifting away a majority of the oil, you may still find that your asphalt is marred by a residual stain. If so, head to the fridge for a can of cola. Then pour the entire can on top of the stain, let it sit there for a few hours, and hose down the asphalt thoroughly. The idea here is that the combination of acidity and effervescence will help to penetrate deeper into the asphalt, loosening up the oil. If necessary, repeat the process with a second can.