Guide to Cleaning Up Oil Spills on Concrete

Aside from daily maintenance, there are times when unexpected spills happen. Left untreated, they can leave behind discoloration and stain your otherwise beautiful floor. In the case of our warehouse, we had hydraulic fluid leak onto our floor as we were unloading a large piece of equipment. Luckily, we were quick to remediate the situation and document (with pictures) the entire process.

We were unloading a power trowel off a pallet when we noticed a bit of fluid was leaking. Upon further investigation, it was identified as hydraulic fluid and was dripping onto the floor. Our team was extremely responsive in both identifying and stopping the leak.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill

We removed as much of the fluid as possible using clean dry cloths. It’s important to remember that polished concrete is not a coating and will absorb the oil, which is why it’s important to get it up as soon as possible. This is also why a dry cloth is the best method to remove as much fluid as you can. The use of mops, auto scrubbers, etc. at this point will only help the fluid penetrate deeper into the concrete.

Once we removed as much fluid from the methods listed above, it was time to use a product specific to oil and stain removal. We chose to use Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover, as this was available in our warehouse and does the job well.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation
Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

The instructions call for the glue like substance to be poured onto the stain and left untouched to dry, which in our case was overnight. The product pulls the contaminants out of the substrate, capturing them in its highly absorbent blend of batter-thick surfactants, solvents and powders.  I attempted to take pictures throughout our workday to track this process.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

Once dry, we simply swept up the powdered remains and auto scrubbed the floor as a part of our daily maintenance routine. In all, I believe the biggest contributor to the successful removal of oil and grease stains is to address them as soon as possible. The stain definitely faded in color, but will probably require another treatment or further remediation down the road. Had the concrete not been polished, we would have expected the stain to dissipate completely. Coming from a background in concrete coatings and coating removal, I’ve been curious to compare and contrast differences in polished concrete and coatings. This was a great case study!

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill - after using Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover
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