Does Vinegar Remove Oil Stains from Concrete? – How to Remove Oil Stains from Concrete with Vinegar

Last Updated on April 15, 2022 by Bright Calister

Concrete is durable, low-maintenance, and cheap. For this reason, most homeowners see it as the best option for their basement, floors, driveways. However, concrete is not above stains. Does Vinegar remove oil stains from concrete? The simple answer is a yes.

Therefore, you need to clean it sometime. It doesn’t matter if it is a spring cleaning or tough satin you want to get rid of. There are many ways to clean a concrete surface.

General maintenance for concrete floors and patio

It is best to clean concrete floors at least once a year to ensure the surface remains in the best shape. Similarly, the patio needs the same cleaning arrangement. However, you can schedule cleaning your patio every three months.
Before cleaning the floor, get rid of any item from the floor. For the patio, please remove every potted plant, piece-of-furniture, and all decorative materials. It would be best to carry out a spot test.

You have to test the cleaner in a small area to check if your steps won’t create more damage to the concrete. Consequently, if you want to clean the concrete floor in your basement, you have to do it in sections.

Stater by moving everything in the basement to one side and cleaning the free area. Then, switch the items to the cleaned side to see the new section. You should continue to switch until you are through. Afterward, check if there are cracks or chips and carry out essential repairs before starting the cleaning process.

Materials you will need

The following materials will help you clean concrete floors

  • Broom, vacuum
  • Stiff nylon brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Laundry detergent
  • Pressure washer
  • Safety goggles
  • White vinegar


Eliminate dirt and debris

Please start by sweeping or vacuuming dirt off the surface of the concrete. However, there is an exception to this process: a mold or mildew issue in your basement. Then, you should consider other options or take a more aggressive approach, such as using a spray bottle to remove them.

Also, when cleaning a patio or driveway, remove any weeds that appear in the cracks.

Locate treat stains

Liquid laundry detergent and water is an easy way to locate and treat stains. First, target the spot by pouring the soap directly on the stain. Next, scrub it with a nylon brush after that. Lastly, rinse with water and give it time to dry.
For this process, it is better to avoid wire-bristle brushes as metal can scratch the surface of the concrete.

Repeat if
If the stains don’t go away, increase the cleaning solution with household items such as white vinegar, baking soda, and water, and attack the stains again. Then rinse properly with at least a bucket of water or garden hose.

However, if the stain remains, go for a pressure washer. In addition, you can purchase attachments that will convert a garden hose to a power washer or rent the machine. But, you need to be careful with the settings, so you don’t damage the concrete.

Also, remember to use the safety giggles and protect windows, plants, and other things that can be affected during the process.

Oil stains and vinegar
Oil spills on concrete can penetrate the surface, which leaves a discolored part that brings more dirt. The oil stain can be automotive or grease from the last barbecue party you hosted. It doesn’t matter the kind of stain you have, and it should be cleaned up quickly.

There are many cleaning products available for removing oil stains from concrete, and you can use inexpensive home remedies. One of the best home remedies against oil stains is vinegar. It is a natural degreaser.

Vinegar is an all-purpose cleaner and works well on concrete. However, you should stick to white vinegar. The reason is another type of vinegar will leave the floor vulnerable to more stains and cracks after cleaning.
Vinegar strips the protective seal coating, making the floors susceptible to water damage and pitting. So you should use it sparingly.

Steps to remove oils stains with vinegar

  • Pour sawdust over the oil stain on the concrete. Then, use sufficient sawdust to make a mound on the oil. It is best to leave the sawdust for 24 hours to absorb the oil from the surface.
  • Sweep up the sawdust with a broom and dustpan.
  • The next step is to sprinkle half teaspoon washing soda, add two tablespoons of white vinegar, a quarter teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and two cups of water all in a bucket. Then, stir the mixture well using a spoon.
  • Scoop the vinegar solution on the remaining oil stain on the concrete floor. Then, slightly dip a scrub brush in water, scrub the cleaning solution into the oil-stained floor with it. Afterward, rinse the cement with water. It is best to repeat the process as many times as necessary.
  • Cleanse and rinse the floor until the stain has lifted. Give the floor time to dry.
  • How to remove rust stains from concrete floors
  • White vinegar and a bit of scrubbing with a brush is an effective, environmentally friendly way to eliminate rust stains from concrete. Start by pouring the white vinegar directly onto the stain, giving the liquid time to penetrate the area for 25 minutes.
  • Then, scrub with a bristle brush. The area should then be thoroughly rinsed with clean water. Allow it to dry, and if the stains remain, repeat the process.

However, if dealing with a stubborn stain, use an industrial rust remover to eliminate stains from concrete floors.

How to remove water stains, mold, and mildew

Cleaning concrete floors in a basement with mold or mildew problems is different from cleaning a patio with the same process. First, you shouldn’t sweep the area – it will spread the spores around the basement, which creates a bigger problem.

The best step is to open the window and allow fresh air to circulate while cleaning. Then, spray the problem area with a solution of mold-killing detergent and water or with a combination of bleach and water. Next, scrub the area with a brush, and rinse with a wet mop.

As soon as the area is dry, check to determine if you need to repeat the process.

How to remove stubborn concrete stains

Before you call a professional to clean the concrete in a final attempt to remove stains, there are some options to explore.

  • Muriatic acid

Muriatic acid shouldn’t be used carelessly because it can cause severe burns to the body. Also, it can damage your skin, eyes, and lungs. Hence, you should read all the manufacturer’s instructions.

It is essential to wear heavy-duty protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and long pants alongside acid-resistant gloves, safety goggles, and respirators to avoid inhalation.

  • Trisodium phosphate ( TSP)

Here is another example of a cleaning agent. The chemical can cut through oil, grease, and mildew stains and remove paint from concrete. Unfortunately, TSP is caustic and is prohibited in some states.
Therefore, check your local regulations before buying it.

How to remove heavy concrete calcium deposits

Calcium deposits form when surplus moisture within the cement rises to the surface. The white, powdery deposit is common on basement walls, floors, and other cement surfaces. Although these deposits are not harmful, excess amounts of them can bring mold and insect problems.

When calcium deposits become hard, it is difficult to remove them without using an acidic solution. Higher acids are needed for harder calcium deposits. The following procedures will help you remove the deposits:

Wear the appropriate clothes to ensure safety. So wear protective clothing, eye goggles, acid-resistant gloves, and a mask with an acid-grade filter.

Have a portable fan nearby and open any window to give sufficient air circulation. Then, fill a clean spray bottle with acetic acid.

Spray a generous amount of acetic acid on the calcium deposits. Then, allow the acid to soak into the cement for the recommended amount of time, based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Scrub the cement with a stiff bristle brush to dissolve the deposits. Next, apply the acetic acid and scrub the cement until all the mineral deposits disappear.

Sprinkle generously amount baking soda over the clean cement to neutralize the acid. When the neutralization process completes, fill a plastic pail with water.

Then, use the water to clean the affected area immediately to restore the appearance of the concrete and curtail further problems. Next, rinse the concrete thoroughly with water and a thick sponge. Then, allow the surface to dry.

Conclusion- Does Vinegar Remove Oil Stains from Concrete

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent. It is effective in removing stains from concrete floors. You can use it to clean old and new stains. However, it should be used sparingly to make the concrete vulnerable to water and oil stains.

You can explore different methods to remove stains with vinegar. All the processes have been explained in this article. We wish you luck in your future endeavors.

Important Reads:

How to Paint Concrete Walls in Basement

Top 4 Most durable Wood Floor Paint(Review & Buyer’s Guide 2022)

Top 4 Best Polyurethane Remover (Review & Buyers’ Guide 2021)

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