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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.

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Unread 07-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #31
The Grill Sergeant
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Had a friend that worked for Jiffy Lube and the car they had just changed oil in leaked on the guys driveway. Unfortunately, it happened to be the VP of a large concrete company... Long story short, he was consummately impressed with the stain removal, he called to ask what the guy used... It was an grease & oil cleaner from Walmart mixed with gas. Poured it on, lit it, scrubbed it with a stiff bristled brush & hosed it down... End of story.
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Unread 07-01-2011, 08:46 PM   #32
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As a guy who spent close to thirty years in the tile and stone business, including selling stone restoration products, I can tell you from experience that removing stains from stone is an exercise in patience. Concrete stain removal methods are very similar. Chance are, it will take multiple attempts to remove the stain completely, but it usually can be done.

Those who mentioned kitty litter and absorbents are on the right track. Using a poultice is a matter of redissolving the stain with (depending on the stain) a detergent or solvent, and then pulling it back out with the absorbent media. Cat litter, baking soda, powdered hobby clay, and talcum powder are the most commonly used media. Cat litter does work better if it is crushed up, you really want something close to a powder.

You can start with a detergent and some water, scrub it in to the stain, and leave it just surface damp; don't leave any standing water. Sprinkle a generous layer of absorbent over the water, enough so you can't see the moisture on the concrete. Then tape a sheet of plastic over the whole thing, at least 3 inches outside of the edge of the stain. Neatness counts when spreading the media, the tape won't stick to any stray powder. When the plastic is all taped down securely, leave it.

Come back in a day or two and if the powder looks dry, or feels crusty if you poke it with a finger under the plastic sheeting, you can peel back the plastic and sweep up the powder. If it still feels soft and punky, leave it until it dries.

Now look at your stain. If it looks lighter, the poultice is working. You can go at it again with the same treatment. If it looks no different, try again, this time with a stronger concentration of cleaner or move on to a solvent. Use fresh absorbent every time. I've seen pieces of stone poulticed 6 times and more to get a stain out.

Xylene (xylol) is a good solvent to try, it's good at dissolving a wide range of oils and greases. Mineral spirits is also a good choice. These solvents don't flash off (vaporize) nearly as fast as something like naphtha or lacquer thinner, and they usually won't eat the plastic.

Remember, poulticing a small area in something like a slab is akin to creating a stain by removing a stain. The poulticed area will often be considerably cleaner than the surrounding area.

Good luck

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Unread 07-01-2011, 08:59 PM   #33
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I tried Dawn and a scrub brush. Didn't work. I was told powered Tide might do it. Shake it on and leave it for a few days. As long as its not raining.
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Unread 07-01-2011, 09:30 PM   #34
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used to work at quiktrip (gas stations mostly in larger southern cities) and we would clean up gas/oil spills like this

-cover with "oil dry" which was a small grained gravel substance, works about like kitty litter
-take piece of cardboard (or just use your shoe), put it on top of the spill, step on it, and grind it really good into the concrete
-sweep into dustpan
-apply de-greasing solvent/detergent, regular old dish soap would do a pretty good job if you're on a budget i'd imagine
-power wash the concrete. if you don't have a power washer you probably know someone that would lend you one. otherwise, they're farkin awesome so you might as well go and get yourself a decent one. we have the greenworks 1700psi electric pressure washer from lowe's and it's very nice

repeat as needed. the sun and weather will also break down the oils so eventually the stain will fade naturally if you don't think it's worth all the effort
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Unread 07-02-2011, 06:25 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by chad View Post
I've used "clumping" style kitty litter on an oil spill on the driveway. I had to leave it there for a couple of days but it picked up the oil and left the spot where the oil was "whiter" than the surrounding cement.
Yep. Kitty litter or commercial floordry are the way to go.
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Unread 07-02-2011, 07:40 AM   #36
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I got a bag of the expensive floor dry made of diatomaceous earth. Holy crap, it pulled out so many stains the floor in that area is cleaner than the rest now!

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concrete, grease, Grill, Patio, stain

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