The ongoing question of how to remove oil stains. The simple answer is all oil stains are not completely removable, though sometimes they can be and/or lightened to make less noticeable. The surface they’re on and how long the oil has had time to penetrate into the surface are major contributing factors in the question: is complete removal achievable? The first step is to get up as much oil as possible as soon as the spill occurs and why you find cat litter or similar products in most places where oil spills frequently occur. There’s also products like Pour-n-Resore which is put on the stain as a liquid which helps it penatrate into the surface and slowly drys helping lift the oil out. Another process is alcohol based detergents. Alcohol does not mix with oil nor water. The reason they do not mix is the molecules cling together. When this is combined with a detergent it aids in lifting the oil so it can be washed away. Most degreasers are sodium hydroxide based and the main ingredient in most oven cleaners which you may have heard of someone using before. Sodium Hydroxide is no joke and can cause severe chemical burns so use proper protection when handling products containing it. The process in which Sodium Hydroxide (lye) works is known as Saponification. This is how soap and alcohol are made, the process is similar when used as a degreaser changing the form of the grease allowing it to be washed away. Hot water definitely helps just like when you wash your dishes or pots and pans at home. There’s also a few stones that can aid in removing oil stains from concrete. Oil can also sometimes be burnt away. In this process one has to be careful as to not cause the concrete to crack from over heating and/or cooling too quickly. Finally when the stain is removed to the best it can be, a little dry concrete mix can aid in hiding some of the shadowing that may remain on bare concrete finishes. I hope this information has been helpful. If you need further assistance please give us a call.
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