How to Remove Citronella Oil From Concrete

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Oil of all kinds can discolor and stain concrete surfaces.
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Created from a variety of Cymbopogon species, citronella oil is a common ingredient in bug repellent, perfume and soaps. Citronella oil spilled on surfaces such as concrete will leave an unsightly and difficult-to-remove stain. You remove the citronella oil in the same manner as you would any other oil spill on concrete. Act quickly to keep the citronella oil from permanently staining the concrete.

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Neat Detergent

Step 1

Sprinkle clumping kitty litter over the citronella oil. Let the kitty litter absorb the oil for several hours. Brush the kitty litter off the concrete and into a dustpan with a broom.

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Step 2

Add 3 to 4 drops of neat detergent onto the oil stain. Use a stiff-bristled scrub brush to scrub the detergent into the stain. You can purchase neat detergent -- used in soap flakes, powders and bars -- at craft stores.

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Step 3

Rinse the concrete clean with a water hose. Repeat the process until the oil stain is no longer visible.

Turpentine and Lime

Step 1

Sprinkle clumping kitty litter over the citronella oil. Let the kitty litter absorb the oil for several hours. Brush the kitty litter off the concrete and into a dustpan with a broom.

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Step 2

Combine 2 parts mineral turpentine and 1-part lime while wearing rubber gloves. Mix the contents with a paint stirrer to form a paste.

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Step 3

Spread the paste evenly over the citronella oil with a paint scraper. Cover the entire stain -- while overlapping a few inches -- with the paste.

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Step 4

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the paste and tape down the edges. Leave the paste to dry on the concrete overnight. The paste will pull the citronella oil stain out of the concrete's pores.

Step 5

Remove the plastic once the paste is completely dry and discard. Use a paint scraper to remove the paste from the concrete.

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Step 6

Wash the area of concrete with a scrub brush saturated in a mixture of 1 gallon warm water and 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap. Use a water hose to rinse the concrete clean.

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