How do I remove oil and bitumen stains?

FAQ Category: 

  • Maintaining bricks

Oil stains

Oil does not penetrate readily into clay pavers, but if oil is spilt on the pavers, the spillage should be removed promptly with an absorbent material, such as paper towels. The oil should not be wiped up; otherwise this will spread the contamination on the surface of the paver.

Steam cleaning can be used on clay pavers to remove such staining, but if this is unsuccessful an emulsifying de-greaser should be employed. Brush with plenty of water to safe disposal. An alternative cleaning method is to brush the area with a strong detergent and hot water. This will not affect the colour of the clay paving.

Bitumen stains

Bitumen does not penetrate readily into clay paving. The best method of removal is to leave the bitumen until it has cooled. A paint scraper or a similar mechanical device can then often remove it. If it is particularly resistant, the use of ice to make the bitumen even more brittle may be required, prior to scraping it from the paving.

Any residue should be removed with a scouring powder and finally the whole area rinsed with clean water. Certain proprietary cleaning agents are available to remove bitumen, but these should be tested on an inconspicuous area of paving first.