How To Remove Diesel From Concrete?

Make sure the place is well ventilated. Open windows and use an industrial fan if you’re working in a garage or workshop. If you do not take the required precautions, the fumes from diesel fuel might be dangerous.

How do you get diesel out of concrete?

  • Although I am unfamiliar with #2 heating oil/diesel, I feel that removing this product/odor from a basement will be a long-term process.
  • Cleaning gasoline from concrete is difficult, but it can typically be done with cat litter (as indicated) and then laundry soap powder combined with a little water and allowed overnight to “pull” out the gasoline. Even so, it’s possible that it’ll take more than one attempt.
  • I’m not sure if this would be safe in a basement, but here’s a link to something similar that would work for diesel:
  • “In a clean empty gallon milk jug, combine hot water, ammonia, washing soda, and vinegar. After shaking the jug, clean the area where the fuel was spilled with it. This will disinfect the area and remove any odors.”

How do I remove diesel stains from my driveway?

A scrub brush or long-handled push broom, a hose, and liquid dish soap are required to remove oil stains from a driveway. Using a squirt bottle, squirt the dish soap straight over the diesel stain, then add a few drops of water to help the soap spread. Scrub the oil stain with soap and water. This forms an emulsion, which lifts the oil from the asphalt. Using water from a hose, rinse the soap away. Repeat the cleaning process if grease streaks appear in the water. Warm water will aid in the removal of stubborn stains.

Does diesel evaporate from concrete?

In our section of the Southwest, concrete contractors utilize diesel fuel to cure the concrete. Is this a viable method of concrete curing in the desert? In the summer, it appears to evaporate in a matter of hours, yet it appears to be effective throughout the Cooper months, or is this just an illusion? Other than water or a cover, what would you recommend as the best cure in this area?

A: It seems unlikely that diesel fuel, which evaporates in a few hours, would be adequate in the heat. When tested in accordance with ASTM C 156, “Water Retention by Concrete Curing Materials,” the concrete must lose no more than 0.055 grams of water per square centimeter of surface in a period of 72 hours, according to ASTM Standard Specification C 309, “Liquid Membrane Forming Compounds for Curing Concrete.” This test is carried out on a specimen covered with a standard amount of liquid membrane curing agent in a curing chamber at 100°F.

If diesel fuel evaporates in a matter of hours, it can’t possibly hold moisture for the time period specified by ASTM C 309. Although diesel fuel appears to function better at low temperatures than at high temperatures, there does not appear to be a clear technique to assess its performance in these conditions.

Concrete cures more slowly at low temperatures and hence requires more time to benefit from the curing medium, canceling out at least some of the benefit of slower diesel fuel evaporation at low temperatures.

If diesel fuel were a good and acceptable curing agent, it’s conceivable that someone would market it under a brand name.

If water or a cover, such as polyethylene or waterproof curing paper, are not available, the optimum curing option is usually a curing compound that meets ASTM C 309. If there is any doubt about its efficiency at extreme temperatures such as those seen in the desert during the summer, the curing component could be applied thicker.

Does diesel weaken concrete?

Q: Will concrete floors degrade if they are exposed to petroleum-based lubricating lubricants and transmission fluids?

A.: It’s been stated that pure mineral oils like gasoline, fuel oils, lubricating oils, and petroleum distillates don’t harm mature concrete (Refs. 1 and 2). However, according to a 1950 book (Ref. 3), adding fatty oils to lubricating oils improves their performance (animal and vegetable oils). These oils have the ability to breakdown into fatty acids, which dissolve concrete. We don’t know if modern lubricating oils contain fatty oils, but they certainly have additives that help refined-petroleum base stocks work better. We don’t have any data on the concrete impacts of such compounds.

Because of oxidation, it’s also known that used lubricating oils have increased levels of acidity. The references listed, however, do not discuss the consequences of used vs. virgin oils. It’s probable that used oils will destroy mature concrete due to their increased acidity. However, if that’s the case, expect to see a lot of deteriorated, oil-stained garage floors. Have any of our readers seen concrete deterioration in industrial floors that have been subjected to oil spills on a regular basis?


  • The Chemistry of Cement and Concrete, 3rd ed., Chemical Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1971, p. 660. F.M. Lea, The Chemistry of Cement and Concrete, 3rd ed., Chemical Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1971, p. 660.
  • Sandor Popovics, “Chemical Resistance of Portland Cement Mortar and Concrete,” Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, N.J., 1986, p. 336 in Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook.
  • Influences on Concrete, A. Kleinlogel, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, 1950, pp. 91-93.

Readers Respond

A reader wrote in to ask if exposure to petroleum products causes concrete floors to decay in the March 1997 Problem Clinic (pp. 314-315). I have some experience that might be able to help with a partial solution. I was hired as a concrete construction engineer to look into serious concrete deterioration of reinforced-concrete foundations, piers, and beams beneath a paper machine at a factory in British Columbia. The concrete was poured in the late 1920s and may have contained saltwater aggregates. Lubricating lubricants from machinery flowed over particular portions of the concrete over the years, causing deterioration that had advanced several inches into the concrete. The concrete was of good quality and exhibited no symptoms of deterioration away from the oil exposure, with core strengths of around 3000 psi.

As a result, we know that lubricating oils were the primary cause of concrete damage in this situation. It is hypothesized that lubricating lubricants from the past (and possibly the present) had sufficient sulfur, which changed to acid in the alkaline concrete over time. The concrete floor had significantly degraded in sections where diesel oil had been pouring continually for almost 20 years at another business I inspected, where diesel injectors were being remanufactured. The oil’s chemical onslaught caused the degeneration.

How do I get diesel off my patio?

Diesel is an oily fuel. I’d try throwing some cheap clay kitty litter on the problem area. Perhaps you could tread on it and “grind” it into the stain. Place a heavy layer of litter on the floor and leave it for a day or two. Some of the oil should be absorbed by it. Sweep it up and replace the litter. It should be able to absorb more oil in the future. Oil absorbent named “Zip Zorb” is sold in auto parts stores, and it appears to be a fancy, specialized name for cat litter!

The location would then be scrubbed with a hard scrub brush and a strong solution of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and boiling hot water, followed by a rinse with more boiling hot water. TSP is available at hardware stores. It’s either powdered or granular. I’ve even used a layer of plain old cornstarch to absorb oil stains, but I think cat litter would be more cost-effective and practical for this use. Best of luck!

Does vinegar remove oil stains from concrete?

An oil spill on cement can soak into the surface, resulting in a discolored region that attracts dirt. Whether it’s motor oil or grease from a recent barbecue, it needs to be cleaned up and removed as soon as possible. While there are commercial products for cleaning off oil on cement, you can also use natural degreasers like vinegar.

How long does it take diesel fuel to evaporate?

The most common type of diesel fuel is a light, refined petroleum product. Small diesel spills normally evaporate and dissipate in a day or less. Even in cold water, this is especially true for normal spills from a fishing vessel (500-5,000 liters).

Does diesel fuel evaporate at room temperature?

Diesel fuel is manufactured from a hydrocarbon mixture that is produced as a byproduct of crude oil distillation. It has a higher density than gas. Diesel has a greater boiling point than water, which means it has a very low evaporation point. In comparison, regular gas can evaporate at ambient temperature.

Diesel fuel is combustible, which means it needs compression and heat to function. Regular unleaded gas, on the other hand, is classified as a flammable liquid, which necessitates the use of a spark. A lit match, for example, will extinguish diesel fuel, whereas a lit match will ignite gasoline fumes before it even reaches the liquid.

Another distinction between diesel fuel and ordinary gas is the sulfur content of regular gas. C14H30 is the chemical formula for diesel. While the additional atoms make a significant impact during burning, they also result in increased greenhouse gas emissions.