The only stain on your home’s curb appeal is the big one in the middle of your driveway. Learn how to make it go away.

Every car leaks something, like oil or antifreeze. And tires either bring in extra oil or run over colorful items in the street or right in your driveway. Try these tips for finally dealing with the stains that make one of the largest areas of your home or yard look old and dirty. You’ll need to let most of the products sit on the stain for at least two hours to work.

  • If you’ve got a fresh puddle of oil, sprinkle a generous amount of kitty litter on the puddle. Let it soak in for about two hours. Don’t hose off the litter, because the entire mess washes into the storm drain and can pollute the ocean or other water supplies. Use a rag to agitate the stain and then sweep the litter and oil into a bag and take it out with the trash.
  • Use Murphy’s Oil Soap, the same product you use to clean hardwood floors, to finish up what’s left of a stain after cleaning with kitty litter. Pour about a one-eighth inch puddle of Murphy’s on top of the stain that’s left and let it sit a few hours before scrubbing and hosing or wiping off.
  • Pepsi, Coke and other dark sodas can dissolve just about anything. Pour some directly onto the stain and scrub vigorously with a natural or synthetic bristle brush. Take a couple of sips as you go if you’re parched, but remember, the sodas can dissolve anything… . Then rinse the entire stain off with water.
  • Try Dawn dishwashing soap, but be sure to use the dark blue Dawn. No other color will do! Agitate the stain with a paper towel or piece of newspaper, then blot up the excess before rinsing. This prevents most of the oil from running into the storm drain.
  • WD40 is great for oil stains and just about anything else. Spray it directly on the oil stain and let it sit for about a minute, then wipe up the excess with a rag.
  • Simple Green is an organic cleaner that has great enzymatic reactions too, but needs about six to eight hours to work. As with any of the cleaners, reapply if it dries out while working.
  • You can always rent a power washer at a big box store for about $60 to $75 a day. Hook the wand up to your hose and shoot powerful streams of water, using different tips for more abrasive cleanings. Just be careful with the power washers. You can take stain or paint off of houses and decks if you miss your mark.
  • Use synthetic or natural brushes for most jobs, as long as they’re rigid. But if the cleaner has acid, be sure to use natural bristles, because the acid can break down synthetic ones.

If home cleaners don’t work, you can find heavy-duty de-greasers at auto parts stores, like Meguiar’s from Pep Boys. But you’ll probably need safety glasses, gloves and maybe a respirator when using these cleaners because of toxic off-gassing.