Will Driveway Sealer Cover Oil Stains? 

 June 21, 2022

By  Dale Keese

Sealing is an essential step for protecting driveways from damage caused by water, ultraviolet rays, and oil stains. However, if it already has existing oil stains, can sealer cover it up?

Driveway sealer cannot bond with oil stains, so it will not cover it up. Driveways should be properly cleaned and be free of any vehicle fluid before sealer is applied.

Read on below to get a better understanding of why driveway sealer won’t cover oil stains.

Can Driveway Sealer Cover Oil Stains?

It simply isn’t possible to seal over existing oil stains on your driveway. Sealant has to bond with the asphalt surface, but in areas that have been stained by oil, it will not be able to do so.

Even if you try to apply sealant to cover oil stains, the chemicals in the oil will prevent the sealant from bonding. As a result, the sealant will dry out on the surface and blow away.

How Should Oil Stains From Driveways Be Removed Before Sealing?

Giving your driveway a good cleanse from oil stains is necessary for effective sealing. There are many inexpensive and simple techniques you can choose from to get rid of oil stains.

Cat Litter, Baby Powder, or Cornstarch

Household products such as cat litter, baby powder, or cornstarch are highly absorbent. These are tried-and-tested for removing oil stains from driveways.

What You’ll Need

While cat litter is commonly used for removing oil stains, baby powder and cornstarch are just as effective as substitutes. Simply go with one option and follow the same process.

-   Cat litter

Choose an inexpensive cat litter brand that is unscented. Pricier cat litter brands may have perfume which can end up in clumps once they are exposed to moisture. These cat litter products from Amazon are highly recommended:

-   Baby Powder

Go with an inexpensive baby powder; this can work well for fairly new oil stains that are a few weeks old. In case you don’t have one at home, these brands from Amazon will work well:

-   Liquid Detergent

Household liquid detergent is effective in washing off stubborn oil stains. Here are some affordable detergents from Amazon:


Getting rid of oil stains on your driveway is easy with cat litter with these steps.

  1. Pour a generous amount of cat litter, baby powder, or liquid detergent to cover the oil stains. Allow it to sit for half an hour. If the oil stain is on a large area or is several weeks old, allow it to sit overnight.
  2. Sweep the litter or baby powder, or use an old rag to wipe off the liquid detergent then dispose of it.
  3. Scrub the driveway surface clean thoroughly with the bristle brush dipped in liquid detergent.
  4. Rinse with water once done.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Once this is done, the sealer can properly do its job at protecting driveway surfaces.


Driveways with oil stains should never be covered with sealer. With these helpful guidelines on removing oil stains, you now know how to prep your driveway and keep it free of oil before sealing.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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