How to Clean BBQ Grease Off Concrete: 5 Simple Methods

Can you remember how your concrete patio looked with no grease stains? Most of the time the answer is no.

We all have at least one grease stain on our patio or driveway and we can’t stand the sight of it. It’s especially saddening to see stains creeping back in as wet concrete starts drying out after attempted cleaning!

Most of us have tried a plethora of cleaning hacks. You may have gone as far as using creative ingredients like toothpaste and shampoo. Maybe you spent hours scrubbing hoping it will pay off. Maybe you’ve given up and almost decided you’ll just let your stains be.

Please don’t despair. There’s a solution to every problem, and to this one there’s many. We’ve searched high and low for the best methods, and put together this guide for you. Read on to find out what these methods are!

Why Some Grease Removal Methods Don’t Work for Concrete

Concrete is a rough and porous surface. The oil doesn’t sit on the surface, it’s absorbed inside the pores instead. That’s why some grease removal methods simply aren’t effective in removing the stains.

The older the stain is, the harder it is to remove. That’s because it absorbs further into the concrete. It also attracts dirt that makes it more stubborn and shielded against your efforts.

How to Prevent BBQ Grease Stains on Concrete

Prevention is better than cure. Protecting the cement against the stains in the first place will save you so much time and effort. 

The simplest way to do this is using something like furniture dust sheets. Use it to cover your patio with and then remove it along with any spilled oil. It’s a little wasteful, but it will save you the scrubbing trouble later.

A more permanent solution to the problem is to use an epoxy coating or sealant. A sealer coating will act as a barrier that prevents the oil from getting to the cement for at least 2 hours. You should still make sure you clean up any spilled grease immediately before it starts eating into the sealer though!

Lastly, keep your work area clean and tidy. Working with a BBQ food prep table can save your concrete from spills!

Now onto the methods.

Method 1: Removing BBQ Grease from Concrete with Baking Soda

Baking soda is probably the most versatile product in our homes. Removing grease from concrete is one of its many hats. 

For this method you will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Scrub brush
  • Dish soap

Step 1

Apply a generous amount of baking soda over the stain and let it sit for at least half an hour.

Step 2

Wet the scrub brush and apply some dish soap on it.

Step 3

Scrub into the baking soda until the stain fades completely.

Step 4

Rinse off the formed paste and let the area air dry.

Once the surface dries out, check for any left discoloration. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to get rid of the stains. This method is more effective on fresher, less stubborn stains.

Here’s a youtube video for you to get a better understanding of the process:

Method 2: Removing Cooking Grease From Concrete with Trisodium Phosphate

Use trisodium phosphate on stains that have been around for a while. The longer the oil stays on the cement, the more it sets in and the harder it is to get rid of. It collects dirt and debris that make it less accessible to gentler chemicals. This is where trisodium phosphate comes into play.

For this method you will need:

  • One large bucket
  • One cup of trisodium phosphate
  • One gallon of water
  • Sawdust
  • Protective eyewear
  • One pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves

Step1

Safety first. Put on your gloves and your eye protection.

Step 2

In a large bucket, dissolve the trisodium phosphate in the water.

Step 3

Slowly add the sawdust while stirring until you reach a peanut butter consistency.

Step 4

Apply the mixture to the stained area and let it sit overnight.

Step 5

Sweep away the dried out residue the next morning using a broom.

Make sure you take the necessary precautions during the whole process. Don’t get close enough to breathe the chemicals in. If the mixture gets to your skin or into your eyes, flush them out with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.

Method 3: Removing BBQ Grease from Concrete with Vinegar

Vinegar is another ingredient you just need to check your pantry for. It’s more effective on more recent stains. We think it’s worth a try before you opt for more harsher chemicals. 

For this method you will need:

  • Half a cup of washing soda
  • 2 tbsp of white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp of liquid dishwasher detergent
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush

Step 1

Mix all the ingredients together in a bucket.

Step 2 

Dump the solution onto the stained area.

Step 3

Scrub away at it until the stains start fading.

Repeat as many times as necessary to get rid of the stains completely. If 2 or more treatments don’t show progress, try one of the more aggressive methods on this page.

Method 4: Removing Grill Grease from Concrete with Acetone

Since acetone is so good at removing nail polish, it makes sense that it would work on grease stains too. Concrete is quite a rough surface, that’s why acetone will need some help from our old friend, baking soda. The good news is you won’t need to scrub for this one!

For this method you will need:

  • 2 cups of acetone
  • Baking soda
  • Bucket
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tape

Step 1

Start by slowly adding baking soda to the acetone until you reach the consistency of a paste.

Step 2

Spread the paste onto the stained area.

Step 3

Cover with plastic wrap and fix the edges to the concrete using tape. Let it set for 24 hours.

Steep 4

Remove the plastic wrap and let the paste air dry.

Step 5

Once dried out, sweep away the remains using a broom.

Method 5: Removing Grill Grease from Concrete with Coca Cola and Cat Litter

If you have a few cans of coca cola and some cat litter lying around, you could try using them to get rid of your grease stains. Make you ask for your cat’s permission first. This is quite a long process, so bear with us.

Once your cat gives you the green light, all you’re going to need is:

  • Coca Cola
  • Cat litter
  • Stiff brush
  • 1 cup of powdered ammonia-free laundry detergent
  • 1 cup of chlorine bleach
  • 1 gallon of hot water
  • Large bucket
  • One pair of rubber gloves
  • Eye protection

Step 1

Pour a thin layer of cat litter over the stained area and press it into the stains by stepping on it or using a rock.

Step 2

Sweep away the layer of cat litter.

Step 3

Pour a generous amount of coca cola over the grease stains and scrub it into the concrete using a stiff brush.

Step 4

Let sit for 20 mins adding cola when necessary to prevent it from drying.

Step 5

Flush away the soda using a garden hose.

Step 6

In a bucket, mix in together the powdered laundry detergent, chlorine bleach and hot water.

Step 7

Using a stiff brush, keep scrubbing until the stains go away.

Step 8

Now use your hose to rinse it all off.

To Summarize

Having your patio stained with grease takes away from the enjoyment of any time spent back there. We hope that you’ll find our guide for removing grease stains and preventing them helpful.

Spend less time worrying about the cleaning and more time enjoying the grilling!

Important points: 

  • It’s always more effective to prevent the stains, use a plastic sheet or concrete sealer for that.
  • Make sure you’re using the necessary protection, always wear gloves.
  • For more stubborn stains you need harsher chemicals, such as trisodium phosphate.
  • Repeat the process as many times as necessary to get rid of the stains completely.

Do not lose hope fellow grillers, sometimes it takes a lot of scrubbing.