Removing Oil Stains From Your Garage Floor

No one wants stains on their floor so here's an easy how-to

It happens to us all; an oil pan gets spilled, some chain lube hits the floor or your motorcycle marks its spot just to let you know who’s boss. Work on motorcycles for any length of time and chances are good that your garage floor will eventually look like a giant gearhead Rorschach test. At least once a year I roll everything out of my shop and give the floor a good pressure washing. But that’s a lot of work if you just want to remove a small stain.

Removing oil stains from your garage floor
The arsenal of tools you need to get the oil stains out of your garage floor.Photography by Mark Zimmerman

Here’s the easy way to remove oil spots without a lot of effort. If the spot is deeply embedded, or especially heavy, give it a good soaking with some sort of solvent—Simple Green works well, as does brake wash, carburetor cleaner or commercial concrete wash. When I was a kid, the guy I worked for used gasoline, but that’s about as dangerous an idea as I can think of, and I certainly don’t condone it. While the area is still wet, cover it with Speedi-Dri‚ or your choice of kitty litter. Allow the absorbent to work, the longer the better. Next, take a short length of 2x4 and, placing it wide side down, use it to “scrub” the material into the stain, just like you’d scrub a floor. Scrub until the Speedi-Dri has been reduced to powder. When you’re done, sweep it all up and admire your now-stainless floor.