While working on your car on your asphalt carport, you may have spilled some oil on the surface. Because you do not want to leave the oil where it can make the surface slippery and start to deteriorate the asphalt, you may wonder what you can use to clean up the stain. If so, use the following four-step guide for using household products to remove a fresh oil stain on your asphalt carport.
Step 1: Soak up the Oil with Kitty Litter
The first thing you need to do when cleaning up an oil stain is to soak up as much of the excess as possible. You can do this by laying down a layer of kitty litter.
When selecting the type of litter to use, select one that clumps up when it becomes wet. This clumping effect will make it easier to clean up the litter and oil mixture.
Sprinkle about an inch of litter over the oil spill, and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then, use a trowel to gently scrape up the litter and oil. Once the excess is removed, go on to the next step.
Step 2: Pretreat the Stain with Dark Cola
After you have removed the excess oil, the next step is to pretreat the stain in preparation for scrubbing it. This is done by pouring a can of dark cola over the area.
Among other things, the phosphoric acid found in dark colas can be an effective oil cleaner. The acid eats away at the oil, making it easier to remove in the next step.
Once you have poured the cola on the stain, let it sit for a two to three hours. Make sure you do not leave the cola on your asphalt for longer than that, however. Since asphalt contains petroleum, the phosphoric acid could start eating away at the surface if left on for too long.
After leaving the cola on for a few hours, rinse the surface thoroughly. Then, go on to the next step.
Step 3: Scrub the Area with Dish Detergent
Once the oil has been broken down by the cola, this next step involves scrubbing it with dish detergent. By using a grease-cutting formula, you can remove any residual oil left on the surface and inside any tiny cracks in the carport.
In a small bucket, mix together two teaspoons of dish soap with a gallon of hot water. Then, use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the stain with the soapy solution.
Rinse off the area with a fine mist of water from your hose. Then, continue scrubbing any areas where you still see the oil stain. Repeat until the stain is barely visible, then go on to the next step.
Step 4: Power Wash to Rinse
The final step involves power washing the asphalt to thoroughly rinse the surface. The high pressure also helps remove any remaining oil found deep in any small crevices.
If you do not have a power washer, use the nozzle on your garden hose set on the tightest stream. However, if the asphalt is starting to crumble, skip the heavy stream and rinse with a gentle mist to keep from creating holes in the pavement.
While the above guide can help remove fresh oil stains on your carport, stains that have set up for a while may be more difficult to remove. They may have also already started deteriorating the asphalt, making the material crumble and crack. If you have extensive oil damage on your carport, contact an asphalt paving contractor to discuss your options for either patching the damaged areas or repaving the entire surface. For more information, reach out to companies like Lien Transportation Co.