How to Clean Hydraulic Fluid Off Concrete (2 Easy Ways)

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If you have ever accidentally spilled hydraulic fluid on your concrete flooring, you know that it can be a very difficult stain to remove. Hydraulic fluid is a type of oil used in industrial and automotive applications. It is typically stored in large containers, which makes it easy for the liquid to spill onto your garage floor or other surfaces.

The first thing you should do when trying to clean up after a spill is to make sure that no more fluid is coming out of the container. If there is still some left in the container, let it sit until all of it has drained out.

Cleaning hydraulic fluid off concrete is not a job for the faint of heart. Hydraulic fluid is typically a mixture of water and oil that is used in industrial applications to transfer pressure from one point to another. When this fluid comes into contact with concrete, it can cause permanent damage to the surface.

Below are simple ways to remove hydraulic oil from concrete

Does Hydraulic Oil Damage Concrete

Hydraulic oil is a viscous, non-polar liquid used in hydraulic systems to reduce friction. It can be mineral oil or synthetic fluid and is typically dyed green or red for identification.

Hydraulic oils are non-corrosive and do not damage concrete, but they do leave stains on the surface of the concrete when they spill. The stains can be washed off with water and a pressure washer.

Is Hydraulic Fluid Corrosive to Concrete?

Although hydraulic oil is non-corrosive, it can still bind to concrete surfaces and cause staining if left exposed for an extended period of time. The binding process occurs when the oil soaks into the pores of the concrete and dries out. The remaining oil creates a layer on top of the surface that cannot be removed by washing alone.

This layer may also contain carbon deposits from combustion engines or other sources of exhaust fumes that have been absorbed into the concrete over time.

These carbon deposits will stain when exposed to fluids such as hydraulic oil because they contain iron particles that react with the iron particles in the concrete’s pores.

Is Hydraulic Fluid Corrosive to Concrete?

Hydraulic fluid contains mineral spirits, which are highly flammable liquids. It can cause the surface to discolor or even crack. This effect is especially noticeable if you have recently poured new concrete and have not yet sealed it with a sealant or paint product.

What You’ll Need

  • Soap
  • Brush
  • Cloth
  • Degreaser

How to Clean Hydraulic Fluid Off Concrete

If you have a leak in your hydraulic system, it can end up on the ground. This can be a problem if your concrete is porous, as it may leave stains and permanent marks. The good news is that hydraulic fluid can be removed pretty easily.

Step 1 – Clean Up Spills Immediately

The first step in cleaning hydraulic fluid from concrete is using absorbent pads or rags to soak up as much of the oil as possible. These pads should be placed on top of any drips or pools of hydraulic fluid on your driveway or other surfaces where you’ve noticed leaks occurring frequently over time.

Allow these absorbent pads enough time to soak up most of the liquid before proceeding with the next steps in removing stains from your concrete.

Soap and Water

Soap and water are good ways to clean hydraulic fluid off the concrete. The soap will emulsify the oil and make it easier to flush away with water.

Step 1 – Mix Soap and Water

A solution of soap and water will be enough to break down the hydrocarbon chains in the hydraulic fluid and allow them to be cleaned away easily. If you do not have any soap at hand, use dishwashing liquid instead.

Step 3 – Scrub With Soap Solution

Using a scrub brush or cloth dipped in the soapy water solution, scrub at the stain until all traces of hydraulic fluid have been removed from the concrete surface. Once this has been done thoroughly, rinse off all residue.

Using a degreaser

Step 1: Scrape off the excess hydraulic fluid with a putty knife or similar tool. Use caution when scraping so you don’t damage the stone or concrete.

Step 2: Apply degreaser to the stain and leave it for 15 minutes or longer if needed. Use caution not to let the degreaser soak too long into the concrete because it will damage the surface.

Step 3: Scrub the stain with a scrub brush or other stiff brush until it begins to disappear. Be sure to wear protective gloves so your hands do not come into contact with any chemicals from the cleaner or degreaser being used on the stain.

Step 4: Rinse off all soap residue and let dry completely before walking to the area where the stain was located.

Summing Up

It is much easier to get the hydraulic fluid off concrete than you might think. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on expensive cleaners.

The key to getting this up is to apply it while fresh and allow it to soak into cracks and issues. If you let it sit, it only gets harder and more difficult to clean up. So act fast.


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