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How to Remove Stains from a Driveway, Patio, or Concrete Surface

Does your patio, driveway, garage floor, or other concrete or asphalt area have unsightly stains? Whether they're from oil, dirt, rust, dog urine, or anything else, we have the easy solution to get rid of them for good. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read
driveway stains

If you have stains on paving stones or a concrete patio, sometimes the solution is simple. Try pouring hot water from several feet above the stone onto the stain. Repeat several times, and your stain may just disappear. If this doesn’t work, try rubbing some dishwashing liquid into the spot with a toothbrush, then rinsing off. For really tough stains, first douse with vinegar or ammonia and let sit for several hours before rinsing off. But for even tougher stains, we have the hacks you need to remove them. 

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For Driveway Stains Caused by Dogs

Lately, all the dogs in the neighborhood seem to think your driveway is the perfect place to pee. Neutralize the odor that is driving them to mark their territory there by mixing together 7 cups vinegar, 7 cups water, and 1 cup baking soda. Saturate the area with the solution, allow it to dry, then hose it off. The stains will be cleaned off and neighborhood dogs will find a different place to relieve themselves.

Related: How to Treat Common Carpet Stains

For Rusty Concrete

If you have rust stains on your concrete, pour some cola direct from the bottle or can onto the stain and let it sit. By the next time it rains, the stains will be gone. Cola contains some of the same ingredients as store-bought rust removers (scary, but true!).

Get Rid of Grease Stains

If your driveway or garage floor has become an easy place to do some Rorschach testing thanks to the grease, oil, and transmission fluid stains all over the place, take heart—clean concrete is easier than you think. Rub some cat litter into the stain and let it stand for one to two hours before sweeping it up. The super-absorbent litter will soak up the stain.

Related: How to Remove Almost Every Stain

Final Assault Against Stains

If you have a grease or other stain you still can’t remove from concrete or asphalt, it’s time for a different approach. Spray any stained areas with oven cleaner, then let sit for 10 minutes. (Make sure to use in a well-ventilated area, as oven cleaner is some nasty stuff!) Rinse off with a hose, and the stains will disappear.

Keep Weeds Out of Cracks

Now that your paved areas look so great, keep them that way with this easy trick. To remove unwanted grass or weeds from sidewalk and driveway cracks, squirt them with a solution of 1 gallon vinegar, 1 cup salt, and 8 drops liquid detergent. It will make current weeds die and keep new ones from growing.

Get more great tips for making your yard look great on our Gardening and Yard board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.