How to remove grease stains from concrete

Concrete is a durable and versatile material that is commonly used for driveways, patios, sidewalks, and other outdoor surfaces. However, over time, these concrete surfaces can become stained and discoloured, especially from exposure to grease and oil. Grease stains on concrete can be unsightly and difficult to remove, but with the right techniques and products, you can effectively clean and restore your concrete surfaces.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process for removing grease stains from concrete, as well as provide tips and tricks to help you achieve the best results. Whether you’re dealing with a fresh grease spill or a long-standing stain, this article will equip you with the knowledge and tools to tackle the problem head-on.

remove grease stains from concrete

Grease Stains on Concrete

Grease stains on concrete can be a common occurrence, especially in areas where vehicles are parked or where outdoor cooking takes place. These stains can be challenging to remove because the grease and oil can penetrate deep into the porous concrete surface, bonding with the materials and becoming embedded.

Grease and oil stains can come from a variety of sources, including:

  1. Motor oil and other automotive fluids
  2. Cooking oil and fats from outdoor grilling or food preparation
  3. Drippings from vehicles, such as leaks or spills
  4. Industrial or commercial operations that involve the use of lubricants or greases

The longer a grease stain is left untreated, the more difficult it can be to remove. The oil or grease can continue to soak into the concrete, making it harder to lift out the stain over time.

Preparing the Concrete Surface

Before attempting to remove a grease stain, it’s important to properly prepare the concrete surface. This will ensure that the cleaning process is effective and helps prevent the stain from spreading or becoming more challenging to remove.

  1. Sweep or Vacuum the Area: Begin by sweeping or vacuuming the concrete surface to remove any loose debris, dirt, or dust that may be present. This will help create a clean and clear work area.
  2. Identify the Extent of the Stain: Carefully inspect the concrete surface to determine the size and extent of the grease stain. This will help you plan the appropriate cleaning strategy and ensure that you have the necessary cleaning products and tools on hand.
  3. Protect Surrounding Areas: If the grease stain is near landscaping, plants, or other delicate surfaces, it’s important to protect these areas from any cleaning solutions or runoff. You can use plastic sheeting, tarps, or other barriers to contain the cleaning process.

Effective Grease Stain Removal Methods

Once you have properly prepared the concrete surface, you can begin the process of removing the grease stain. There are several effective methods you can try, depending on the severity of the stain and the materials you have available.

1. Dish Soap and Water

a. Mix a solution of warm water and a few drops of a strong dish soap, such as Dawn or Joy.
b. Use a stiff-bristle scrub brush to work the soapy solution into the grease stain, scrubbing vigorously.
c. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining soap and grease.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

a. Create a paste by mixing baking soda and white vinegar.
b. Apply the paste directly to the grease stain, using a scrub brush to work it into the concrete.
c. Allow the paste to sit for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with clean water.
d. Repeat the process if the stain persists.

3. Concrete Degreaser

a. Purchase a commercial concrete degreaser or degreasing agent specifically formulated for use on concrete surfaces, such as Zep Concrete & Masonry Degreaser or Krud Kutter Concrete & Driveway Cleaner.
b. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and dwell time.
c. Scrub the area with a stiff-bristle brush, then rinse thoroughly with water.

4. Kitty Litter or Sawdust

a. Pour a generous amount of kitty litter or sawdust over the grease stain.
b. Allow the absorbent material to sit for several hours, or even overnight, to draw out the grease.
c. Sweep or vacuum up the absorbent material, then assess the stain.
d. Repeat the process if necessary.

5. Pressure Washing

a. Use a high-pressure washer with a dedicated concrete cleaning solution or degreaser, such as Karcher Concrete Cleaner.
b. Spray the affected area, allowing the pressure and cleaning solution to break down and lift the grease stain.
c. Be sure to use a fan-tipped nozzle to avoid damaging the concrete surface.

6. Concrete Grinder or Sander

a. As a last resort, you can use a concrete grinder or orbital sander to mechanically remove a stubborn grease stain.
b. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper or grinding disc and gradually work your way to a finer grit to smooth the surface.
c. Be sure to wear appropriate safety gear, such as goggles and a dust mask, during this process.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of each method may vary depending on the age and severity of the grease stain. You may need to experiment with a combination of these techniques to achieve the best results.

Preventing Future Grease Stains on Concrete

Once you’ve successfully removed a grease stain from your concrete surface, it’s essential to take steps to prevent future stains from occurring. Here are some tips to help maintain a clean and stain-free concrete surface:

1. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

a. Sweep or vacuum the concrete surface regularly to remove any debris or loose particles.
b. Periodically clean the concrete with a mild detergent or degreasing solution, such as Bona Concrete Floor Cleaner, to prevent the buildup of grime and oil.
c. Consider sealing the concrete surface with a clear concrete sealer, like KILZ Interior/Exterior Concrete & Garage Floor Paint, to create a barrier against future stains.

2. Spill Prevention and Cleanup

a. Promptly clean up any grease or oil spills as soon as they occur.
b. Keep a supply of absorbent materials, such as kitty litter or sawdust, on hand to quickly address any spills.
c. Encourage proper disposal of automotive fluids and cooking oils to prevent accidental spills or drips.

3. Designated Parking and Cooking Areas

a. If possible, designate specific areas for vehicle parking or outdoor cooking to minimize the risk of grease stains.
b. Consider using specialized mats or liners, like Armor All Garage Floor Mat, in these high-traffic areas to catch any drips or spills.

4. Periodic Resurfacing or Replacement

a. Over time, even with regular cleaning and maintenance, concrete surfaces may become heavily stained or damaged.
b. Consider resurfacing or replacing the concrete in particularly problematic areas to start with a fresh, clean surface, using a product like QUIKRETE Concrete Resurfacer.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can help extend the life of your concrete surfaces and maintain a clean, well-maintained appearance.


Removing grease stains from concrete can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and products, you can effectively restore the appearance of your concrete surfaces. Whether you choose to use dish soap, baking soda, commercial degreasers, or more advanced methods, the key is to act quickly and be persistent in your cleaning efforts.

Remember to always prioritize safety, protect surrounding areas, and consider long-term maintenance strategies to prevent future grease stains from occurring. With a little elbow grease and the guidance provided in this article, you can reclaim the clean, vibrant concrete surfaces you desire.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.