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Oil spill cleanup...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by sparks, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. Perhaps this is a silly question, and not even exclusively a bike one, but I'll ask it all the same... Whats the best way to get oil stains off a concrete driveway??

    The reason I ask is I topped up my 2-stroke oil resevoir to ~2/3 full yesterday, which is higher than normal for me - I usually only top it to half full, after every ride to get myself into the habit of checking it regularly (still a new rider). Anyway, I came out about 15 min later to gaze lovingly at her just-washed curves (the bike, not the g/f) and found a nice pool of Motul 600 leaking out onto the driveway. Bugger... :oops:

    After taking the rear fairing off I discovered something interesting. The oil resevoir has a seperate plug for the oil level indicator, and it turns out not only is it very loose, but it is a coupla inches lower than the top of the tank, so if it is filled much over half full, the plug floats out and the oil leaks everywhere. Double bugger. Easy fixed with a bit of electric tape around the ill-fitting plug, before putting it back in, but now I have a dirty great big oil stain in the middle of my driveway. A rental too. (Groan) :(

    Mates have suggested just about everything under the sun to get it out, one even advocated coke. I can't even work out if that suggestion was serious! As I'm prone to tinkering, even when things aint broke I'm sure this won't be the last spill, so does anyone have any 100% gold remedies?
  2. really strong dish washing detergent and a scrubbing brush and hose


    driveway cleaner (bunnings)
  3. could always buy a 4 stroke and never have the problem again :)
  4. Go to the Warehouse and pick up some biodegradeable degreaser. I think it's called Koalla Brand or something (comes in a green bottle). Pour it on, give it a bit of a scrub and hose it off. Too easy. :D

    Coke might work. It's a good cleaning agent for all sorts of things.
  5. I know that this advice is a bit late, but I keep a bag of gypsum in the workshop. I think it cost me $5 for 20kg at a local nursery. When you spill oil, chuck a handful of gypsum on the spill straight away - it will soak it up and sems to stop it from staining the concrete. I'm told that cement dust will do th same.
  6. Kitty litter or salt works really well to soak up the oil in a fresh spill.

    To clear off the stain, all of the above posts are good ideas. If you really get stuck, try hydrochloric acid (also from Bunnings). You can either pour it on undiluted (watch for fumes) and hose it off, or you can dilute it in a bucket with water and do the same.

    This is some pretty agressive stuff though, and its liable to leave the concrete looking cleaner and whiter than the surrounding area, which defeats the purpose. So, do it a little at a time just to be safe. Good luck.
  7. I take it you didn't see mythbusters a few weeks ago ?
    as a degreaser its crap

    :LOL: :p :LOL:

    Go to supercheap and get a 2.50 can of degreaser, spray on leave for 5 mins/hose off.
    so cheap and so easy too

  8. No I missed that one. Damn!. Doesn't mean it wasn't given as a serious suggestion as it does clean a lot of other things, it just means it wasn't a very good suggestion, hence I recommended degreaser. I even successfully used it to free a seized piston once. :)
  9. Cheers, guys... Am just headed down to bunnings now to pick up some degreaser. If that fails, I might try a bit of acid... Hydrochloric that is, not the funky kind! :)

    Might pick up some gypsum and/or kitty litter as well for next time... As for salt, isn't that supposed to be for wine stains on carpet?

    On the coke thing - it *is* great for some things... We use it in emerency if people have food and other things stuck in their throat, but the person is still able to swallow. ie, chunks of meat, bean sprouts, etc. If you get them to drink plenty of coke, it seems to partially dissolve the obstruction & then bubbles seem to attach to the food & float it free, and wash it away. Doesn't work with water, or any other soft drinks... Go figure. A lot less traumatic than a local anaesthetic spray and a nice big pair of metal tongs down your throat.

    Hope you enjoyed that random piece of irrelevant information that you'll never use, and doesn't enrich your life in any way at all.

  10. Be very careful of using strong Hydrochloric acid. In fact don't.

    It attacks the lime in the concrete and will remove the smooth surface. It will also cause small stones (sand) to come loose. Same thing with Caustic Soda.

    There is a product on the market but I can't remember the name. It is really a weak solution of acid.

    Hydrochloric acid is useually used as an etch prior to painting on concrete, but be careful.

    Stong degreaser and brush safest way. If it is still there try a bit of cement and water and rub it in. Leave to dry and wipe of excess. Might have to do it a few times.
  11. Spirits of Salts?

  12. don't bother with salt...just use the opposite colour wine, so if you've spilt a nice red ... OMG :shock: ... then pour a little white and vice versa. Works even if the wine has dried into the fabric/carpet

  13. Nooo, it's another name for hydro.

    I remember the ads had garages as example, around the hoists etc. I just can't remember the name. It wasn't clr or anything like that.

    *****scratching head, getting splinters****
  14. you can also get that degreser at the warehouse. Thats what i always use to clean little stains and things from the drive. works a treat[/quote]
  15. I'll try again...it wasn't something-or-other Magnet, was it? Spill Magnet? Stain Magnet? Liquid Magnet? I remember the ads.
  16. Cement dust is the weapon of choice at road race meetings to absorb oil dropped on the circuit during race meetings. Every Flag Marshall's post is equipped with a bucket of it and a couple of brooms.

    It won't CLEAN it off but it stops it from being slippery.
  17. No it aint.

    Mythbusters debunk that myth on SBS last week.

    Cement dust is being phased out by most tracks due to the concerns about the possible health problems associated with inhaling the resulting dust cloud.

    There are all sort of products out there that clean up the excess amounts but don't get rid of it as completely as you want to. I suggest a degreaser product of some form &/or hire a high pressure "Karcher" style washer.

    Winton & Calder use a product called GreaseSweep imported from the USA and is used widely in NASCAR & Drag Racing over there. It is nicknamed "Rice Hull Ash" as it's basically the rice husks that were originally discarded but are now burnt resulting in a very absorbant ash.

    Phillip Island & Sandown use an extremely fine mulch product which is almost useless as far as I'm concerned compared with Rice Hull Ash but it's cheaper to buy than the imported product.

    I think Broadford still uses cement dust.