does wd40 stain concrete? The ultimate guide
Does WD40 stain concrete? Yes, WD-40 can stain concrete if it's not cleaned up promptly, as the oil can penetrate the porous surface of the concrete and leave behind a stubborn stain.
However, with my proper cleaning methods and quick action, it's possible to remove WD-40 stains from your concrete.
First, what is wd-40 made of? the ingredients
WD-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant and penetrating oil that is composed of a mixture of various ingredients, including:
- Petroleum-Based Solvent: This is the main ingredient and acts as a carrier for the other ingredients in the formula.
- Mineral Oil: Provides lubrication and protection against rust and corrosion.
- Petroleum-Based Oil: Enhances lubrication and helps displace moisture.
- Lanolin: Acts as a water-repellent and helps protect against moisture and rust.
- Propellant: Helps to propel the product out of the can when sprayed.
- Inert Ingredients: These include various chemicals and additives that help to modify the properties of the product, such as viscosity, surface tension, and other characteristics.
second, why does wd-40 stain concrete?
WD40 contains several chemicals that can cause stains on concrete surfaces.
The primary component of WD-40 is petroleum-based mineral oil, which leaves an oily residue on the surface. The residue attracts dirt, which can cause discoloration and staining.
The petroleum-based ingredients in WD40, the solvent and the oil, can penetrate the concrete surface and leave ugly looking dark areas that are difficult to remove.
BEFORE - WD-40 stained concrete. AFTER - cleaned using the methods below
what can i use to break-down and clean the mineral oil in wd-40?
To break down mineral oil and clean it effectively, you will need a detergent that has strong degreasing properties.
There are several types of detergents that can effectively break down mineral oil, including:
- Dish soap: Many dish soaps have excellent degreasing properties that can help break down mineral oil. Look for dish soaps that are labeled as "grease-cutting" or "degreasing." Example: Dawn Heavy Duty Degreaser
- Laundry detergent: Some laundry detergents are also effective at breaking down mineral oil. Look for detergents that are designed for heavily soiled or greasy laundry, as these will typically have strong degreasing agents. Example: Mechanic Laundry Detergent
- Engine degreasers: These are heavy-duty degreasers designed specifically for breaking down engine oils and other heavy greases. They can be effective at breaking down mineral oil as well, but should be used with caution as they can be harsh and may damage some surfaces. Example: Chemical Guys Orange Degreaser
When using any detergent to clean mineral oil, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use appropriate safety measures, such as wearing gloves and eye protection.
What will break-down and clean the petroleum oil in wd-40?
Here are some products that can be used to break down and clean petroleum-based oil.
- Solvent degreasers: These are specifically designed to break down petroleum-based oils and are often used in industrial settings. They can be highly effective, but they should be used with caution as they can be toxic and may damage certain materials. Examples: Acetone or Xylene
- Citrus-based degreasers: These are more eco-friendly alternatives to solvent degreasers and are made from natural citrus extracts. They are still highly effective at breaking down petroleum-based oils, but are typically safer to use and less likely to damage surfaces. Example: All Clean + Citrus
- All-purpose cleaners: Many all-purpose cleaners have degreasing properties and can be effective at breaking down petroleum-based oils. Look for cleaners that are labeled as "heavy-duty" or "industrial-strength" to ensure that they are strong enough for the job. See some examples below.
- Baking soda and vinegar: For a more natural approach, you can mix baking soda and vinegar to create a paste. Apply the paste to the surface with petroleum-based oil and allow it to sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a brush or cloth. This can be an effective way to break down and clean the oil.
method 1: how to clean and remove a wd-40 stain on concrete
Here is a step-by-step method for cleaning WD-40 stains from concrete using a combination of absorbent materials, degreasers, and pressure washing:
Materials needed: absorbent material (such as kitty litter, sawdust, or baking soda), degreaser, pressure washer, stiff-bristled brush, safety gear (such as gloves and eye protection)
- STEP 1. Absorbent material: If the WD-40 spill is fresh, spread a layer of absorbent material (such as kitty litter, sawdust, or baking soda) over the spill and let it sit for several hours or overnight, then sweep it up and dispose of it properly.
- STEP 2. Degreaser: Apply the mineral oil degreaser to the affected area according to the manufacturer's instructions, and allow it to sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush.
- STEP 3. Solvent Degreaser: Apply the petroleum oil degreaser to the affected area, use small amounts and use caution, wear eye and skin protection on your hands. Lightly scrub the area to dissolve the oil.
- STEP 4. Pressure washing: Use a pressure washer on a high-pressure setting and aim the nozzle at the affected area, working in a back-and-forth motion to blast away the oil and degreaser. Be sure to wear protective gear and follow the manufacturer's instructions for operating the pressure washer.
- STEP 5. Repeat steps 2-3-4: If the stain is still visible, you may have to repeat multiple times to remove all the stain.
- STEP 6. Rinse and dry: Rinse the area thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely.
Note: if the WD-40 has been on the concrete for a long time, it may have penetrated deep into the surface and be more difficult to remove.
Caution: Don't get the tip of the pressure washer to close to the surface of the concrete, a high-pressure concentrated stream of water could damage the surface.
method 2: a more eco-friendly method
Materials needed: absorbent material kitty litter, oil-dri, or baking soda), Dawn heavy duty degreaser, white vinegar, baking soda, pressure washer, stiff-bristled brush, safety gear (such as gloves and eye protection)
- Absorbent material: If you just spilled the WD-40, spread a layer of absorbent material (like Oil-Dri or kitty litter) over the spill and let it sit for a couple hours, then sweep it up and dispose of it properly. If the stain has been there a while, go right to step 2.
- Dawn heavy duty degreaser: Apply Dawn heavy duty degreaser to the affected area at full strength, and allow it to sit for a couple minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. Then wipe away the excess with a damp cloth.
- Vinegar and baking soda: Mix equal parts white vinegar and baking soda to create a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush.
- Pressure washing: Use a pressure washer on a medium to high setting and aim the nozzle at the affected area, don't get the tip too close as you could damage the concrete, work in a back-and-forth motion to clean away the oil, degreaser, and vinegar/baking soda paste. Be sure to wear protective gear and follow the manufacturer's instructions for operating the pressure washer.
- Repeat steps 2-4: It may take you multiple times to completely remove the stain.
- Rinse and dry: Rinse the area thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely.
Note: If you don't want to use highly caustic, flammable solvents to clean the oil stain, this is a good method to try.
Some other methods you can try
There are a few other methods and materials that can be effective for cleaning WD-40 from concrete. Here are a few examples:
- Steam cleaning: A steam cleaner can be effective at breaking down and removing WD-40 from concrete. The high temperature and pressure of the steam can help to loosen and lift the oil from the surface. Be sure to use a steam cleaner that is designed for use on concrete.
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola can be surprisingly effective at breaking down and removing WD-40 from concrete. Simply pour a small amount of Coca-Cola on the affected area, let it sit for several minutes, and then scrub with a stiff-bristled brush before rinsing with water.
- Cat litter and dish soap: Combine cat litter and dish soap to create a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it sit for several hours or overnight, then scrub with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse with water.
- TSP (trisodium phosphate): TSP is a powerful cleaning agent that can be effective at removing WD-40 from concrete. Mix TSP with water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and then apply the solution to the affected area with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse the area thoroughly with water and allow it to dry.
FYI: some of these methods may not work for all types of WD-40 stains, and different methods may work better on smooth or rough types of concrete surfaces.
will vinegar remove wd-40 stains from concrete?
Using vinegar alone may not be enough to completely remove WD-40 stains from concrete, especially if the stain is old or has penetrated deep into the surface.
So, while vinegar has some mild degreasing properties and can be effective for some types of stains, it may not be strong enough to break down the oil in WD-40.
But wait, vinegar can be a useful ingredient in combination with other cleaning materials, such as baking soda, to help remove WD-40 stains from concrete.
When mixed with baking soda to create a paste, vinegar can help to break down the oil in WD-40 and lift it from the surface.
does wd-40 remove oil stains from concrete?
Yes, WD-40 can be effective at removing other types of oil stains from concrete.
The product is designed to displace moisture and can help to break down and lift oil stains from the surface of concrete driveways and garage floors.
But keep in mind, WD-40 may leave behind an oil residue or stain that you have to remove using one of the above methods. So, this method is not really recommended, use at your own risk.
Here's how to use WD-40 to remove oil stains from concrete:
- Spray WD-40 onto the oil stain, making sure to cover the entire affected area. Use enough product to saturate the stain and surrounding area.
- Allow the WD-40 to sit on the stain for several minutes to penetrate the oil.
- Use a stiff-bristled brush or a pressure washer to scrub the stain and lift the oil from the surface. If using a pressure washer, be sure to use a high-pressure setting and work in a back-and-forth motion to remove the oil. Don't get the tip too close to the concrete as you may cause permanent damage to the surface.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with water and repeat the process if necessary.
Note: There are better ways to remove oil from concrete, take a look at How to remove oil from concrete
5 popular "brand name" products used to clean oil from concrete
Listed below are 5 brand name products that are specifically designed for removing oil stains from concrete and have received excellent reviews from customers on Amazon.
- Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser: This product is a heavy-duty degreaser that is designed to break down and remove oil stains from concrete surfaces.
- Oil Eater Original Cleaner/Degreaser: Oil Eater is a multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser that is formulated to remove oil stains from concrete, as well as other surfaces. It has received high ratings for its versatility.
- Terminator-HSD Concrete Cleaner: Terminator is specifically designed for removing oil stains from concrete and has received excellent reviews for its ease of use.
- Krud Kutter Original Concentrated Cleaner/Degreaser: Krud Kutter is a concentrated cleaner and degreaser that is designed to break down and remove oil stains from a variety of surfaces, including concrete. It has received high ratings for its effectiveness and affordability.
- Simple Green Concrete and Driveway Cleaner: This product is a powerful, concentrated cleaner that is designed to remove oil stains, grease, and other contaminants from concrete surfaces. People love it for being safe to use and eco-friendliness.
See Also: How to remove rust stains from concrete
In conclusion, the best advice I can give to someone who is asking if WD-40 can stain their concrete is that while WD-40 can potentially cause staining or discoloration on concrete surfaces, the risk of staining can be minimized by taking prompt action to clean up any spills or drips.
If a stain does occur, there are various methods and products that can be effective at removing it, such as absorbent materials, degreasers, and pressure washing.
And of course, it's important to always follow the instructions on any of the above mentioned products carefully and take appropriate safety measures when using any cleaning product or method.