Removing Oil from Garage and Basement Floors

Removing stubborn oil from your garage or basement floor can try your patience. While many home improvement and auto parts stores offer commercial products, there are a lot of home remedies out there. No matter what you try, there seems to be alchemy involved. You may find yourself pouring chemicals and potions several times over, scrubbing like a crazy person, and finally just accepting the discoloration.

Here are a few suggestions and concoctions, rounded up from home improvement experts:

Oven Cleaner
That's right. Spray it on (in a well ventilated garage or basement) and let it work on the stain for an hour. Scrub with a heavy brush, and wash it off.


Unsweetened Lemonade Kool-Aid
This, from Mrs. Clean: Boil 2 quarts of water, add the drink mix, stir, and brush into the stain. Wash out thoroughly.

Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP)
You can buy TSP at just about every hardware or home improvement store. Add a cup to a gallon of really hot water, pour on the garage floor stain and let it sit a half hour. Scrub with a brush, and wash off. You may want to use goggles, gloves, and throw-away clothing, or look for a brand without phosphates.

Your Least-Favorite Soda Pop
Good for dry stains only. Soak it in overnight, brush, and wash it out with dish-cleaning soap.

Good, Old Household Bleach
If you have a wet stain, dab it up with kitty litter or sawdust. Read the bleach label for diluting levels. Soak the stain for at least 15 minutes at get after it with your brush. Remember: use in well-ventilated basements and garages.