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Q: Grease stain removal on cement ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Grease stain removal on cement
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: andrewv-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 19 May 2003 18:48 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2003 18:48 PDT
Question ID: 206108
Recently (within the last week) I had a cement patio constructed in
the front of my house.  It's a nice looking patio, all white and new
with my new summer grill positioned perfectly.  Of course, the first
day I use my grill, today, I am carrying the cooked hamburgers into
the house and I start dripping grease all over the patio.  Now I have
about a 10 foot trail of grease leading to the door of my house from
the grill.  I have tried power washing the patio with an industrial
power washer, no luck there.  I also tried a strong kitchen grease
remover and got nowhere.  This is has been one frustrating day,
hopefully someone can help me find some kind of solution or something
that will get this grease up of my new cement patio.  If you can find
me something that will actually work you can expect quite a tip, and I
would be forever in debt to you, as this patio cost me quite a bit of
money.  Thank you in advance for any help.
Subject: Re: Grease stain removal on cement
Answered By: lmnop-ga on 19 May 2003 19:25 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, and thanks for a good question. I used to prep concrete for
painting sometimes, and thought I’d have a head start on your problem.

First, concrete’s main problem is that it is porous, and so grease
(and other liquids) absorb deeply. Any solution to fix the problem
will need time to also absorb into the pores.

Second, grease cannot really be “neutralized” out of existence. It has
to be removed. And the standard way to do this is to use a soap, which
has a molecule that attaches to greases on one end and to water on the
other, so that the water grabs the soap, which is attached to the
grease, and washes it away. As you might guess, it is imperfect, but
gets better through time, and through repeated use.

The other method for getting grease out is to dissolve it in solvent,
or “degreaser” which is often a highly alkaline product, and the first
article below mentions one brand that might be worth the effort to
find called Supreme 88. But any degreaser might be equal to that one,
and again, the trick is to work it into the pores.

Note that both of these solutions might be imperfect. You may have
residues, such as powdery charcoal aspects that will lodge rather
permanently into the pores, and they are nearly impervious to chemical
attack. They might, though, wash out physically with some spraying and

There is some (small) danger of causing harm to other materials
nearby, or to yourself, so please use your own good judgement along
those lines. I’m not able to offer more than information based on my
own experience, and what I’ve found on the web, and there are
precautions that you should take into your own hands! You probably
know this well. One site that is very helpful is a US Gov source worth

Now, some advice from web sites that pertain:

In an article on the Fixit site called 
“Fixit: Removing grease stains from concrete” by Karen Youso, Fixit
Editor she says specifically to use a strong powder laundry detergent
mixed with just enough water to form a paste, and to LEAVE IT ON for
many hours.

A Canadian site offers some more serious solvent options here (and
note that they form a paste with these organics, and you need to use
these pastes with gloves and general good care!). Note also the
REPEATED application. They claim that grease doesn’t penetrate the
cement, but I’ve found this just isn’t true. It may depend on the
grease. This is put out by the BC Ready Mixed Concrete Association,
and they ought to know.

Another heavy duty degreaser company, KO Manufacturing, has this
convincing site:

This Michigan State University Extention site on Home Maintenance adds
the one additional idea of using boiling water--another danger to be
careful of, but it increases the activity of the detergents used.

As a final note, you may be lucky to be getting to this right away. I
have cleaned old garage floors and even with extraordinary effort, not
every stain will come out. And I mean some serious degreasers. (I
think I bought mine from a Sherwin Williams store at the time. You
might also try Home Depot or the like, for a standard concrete
cleaner. Check the painting departments for prep chemicals. Red Devil,
Quickcrete, and others make standard products that might work just

Good luck. And please let me know if this was enough of a start for
you...and hopefully not too much. Read instructions carefully. Pay
attention to any warnings about cleaning a concrete surface that is
fully cured (you said it was newly laid).

If you need any clarification let me know. I’ll do my best!
Again, thanks,
andrewv-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $4.87

Subject: Re: Grease stain removal on cement
From: pinkfreud-ga on 19 May 2003 21:20 PDT
We had some tenacious oily stains on our patio. What worked for us was
a product called "Zep Driveway, Concrete & Masonry Cleaner." Repeated
applications, using very hot water, and rinsing with a
pressure-washer, did the trick.
Subject: Re: Grease stain removal on cement
From: knowitall22-ga on 20 May 2003 17:15 PDT
Try a propane torch to burn out the stains.
Subject: Re: Grease stain removal on cement
From: carnegie-ga on 20 May 2003 17:56 PDT
Dear Andrewv,

When I had an deposit of vehicle lubricating oil on a concrete path to
deal with, I tried spreading fine sand on it.  When I swept this away
a few days later, I was amazed to see the deposit had disappeared.  I
do think you need patience with this method.

Just an idea ...


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