Helpful Tips & Advice on Covenant Compliance

Living in a covenant-controlled community offers many benefits to homeowners.  However, it also places greater responsibilities on homeowners to ensure they regularly maintain their lots.  To help homeowners in their efforts to maintain their lots in compliance with the covenants, we have developed this section of our website to provide homeowners with practical, effective solutions to covenant compliance.

As we continue to observe solutions developed by homeowners to comply with the lot maintenance requirements of their covenants, we will expand this section of our website to share those solutions with you.

Share Your Tips & Advice With Us!

If you have any tips or suggestions regarding compliance with any aspect of covenants, please contact us! We would like to share your experiences with other homeowners.


Although we test and present the results of several different products, we do not endorse any products or receive any compensation or other financial benefits from the manufacturers or retailers of these products.

In addition, we do not make any promises or guarantees that the advice provided below will effectively address a particular maintenance issue or identified covenant violation on a homeowner's lot.  Homeowners are responsible for using their own best judgment in identifying solutions regarding proper and adequate maintenance of their lots that comply with the covenants, conditions and restrictions of their neighborhood.
  • Removing Oil Stains
  • Repairing Rockbeds
  • Weeds in Grass
  • Turf Maintenance
  • Vinyl Fence Maint.
Removing Oil Stains
  Time and Cost Requirement
Average time to complete
or less
  Approximate cost of materials

$12 TO $21
Task difficulty


Considerations before getting started

The following four factors contribute to the time and cost required to clean an oil stain in a driveway:

  1. Size of the stain: Larger oil stains will take more time and cost more to clean than smaller oil stains (yes, we are stating the obvious!)

  2. Age of the stain: The longer an oil stain remains on a driveway, the deeper the oil will soak into the concrete. Thus, older oil stains will require more potent cleaning solutions and more rounds of scrubbing than fresh or "wet" oil stains.

  3. Type of chemical stain: Cars can leak many types of fluid--oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid. While this article focuses on cleaning oil stains, different chemicals may work better on cleaning non-oil based stains.

  4. Weather: Warm concrete will generally react better to cleaning solutions than cold concrete. In addition, windy weather may cause cleaning solutions to evaporate quicker, allowing you less time to soak up the treated oil out of the concrete.

Also worth consideration is whether your car is continuing to leak oil. If your car is leaking oil and you have no plans to fix the leak anytime soon, you may want to consider setting an oil pan underneath your car. Many HOAs do not allow oil pans to be left in the driveway (when no cars are parked in the driveway), you may want to consider parking your car in the garage (at least until the leak is fixed). Otherwise, you may find yourself frequently moving the oil pan on and off the driveway as you leave and return home in your car.

Materials needed to complete the project

Generally, you will need the following items to clean an oil stain:

  1. Oil stain cleaning solution (discussed in more detail below) [cost = $4 to $10]
  2. Paper towels [cost = $2 to $3 per roll]
  3. Scrubbing brush [cost = $1 to $3]
  4. Rubber gloves (depending on the cleaning chemical used) [cost = $3 to $5]

Step-by-Step Instructions

Cleaning oil stains is a three-step process:

     Step 1: Apply the cleaning solution to the oil stain

     Step 2: Scrub the stain to ensure the cleaning solution is penetrating into the oil and top layer of concrete

     Step 3: Soak-up the oil and cleaning solution mix with paper towels. [See Note A below]

Depending on the age and size of the oil stain, you may need to repeat the above steps several times. In our tests, those cleaning solutions that worked still required three or four rounds of "apply-scrub-soakup".

Note A: It is important to soak up (as opposed to spraying off with water) the oil and cleaning solution for three reasons. First, by spraying down the oil stain, you risk spreading the oil around your driveway and causing additional stains (albeit lighter stains) on the driveway, sidewalk and street gutter. Second, spraying down oil and chemical solutions into the street gutter is usually prohibited by law. Third, spraying down oil and chemical solutions into the yard (as opposed to the street gutter) will likely damage or kill plants and grass growing near the driveway.

Tip 1: It is usually difficult to see how well the oil stain cleaned up until after the driveway is dry. Wet driveways usually exaggerate the appearance of the oil stain.

Tip 2: On cold days, you may want to consider warming up the oil stained area by pouring hot water over the area (before you start the "apply-scrub-soakup" process).

Product Results

Below is a list of various products we tested on oil-stained driveways. Some worked well and some did not. We will let you be the judge! We hope this will help you in determining which product to purchase as you prepare to clean the oil stains in your driveway.
  Product Before After Notes
 1. Purple Power Driveway & Concrete Cleaner

(32oz spray bottle purchased from
Autozone for $5.41)
    Test date: August 2013

Number of applications:
3 rounds of "apply, scrub and soak-up"
 2. Cascade dishwasher gel

(75oz bottle purchased from
Wal-Mart for $6.48)
    Test date: August 2013

Number of applications:
4 rounds of "apply, scrub and soak-up"
3. Drive Up Super Cleaner

(128oz bottle purchased from
Autozone for $12.99)
    Test date: August 2013

Number of applications:
4 rounds of "apply, scrub and soak-up"
4. Super Clean

(32oz spray bottle purchased
from Advance Auto Parts
for $3.00)
5. Simple Clean

(32oz spray bottle purchased
from Wal-Mart for $3.97)
    Test date: September 2013

Number of applications:
4 rounds of "apply, scrub and soak-up"

Note: Oil stain is from synthetic oil
6. Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent
(with Oxi Clean Stain Fighters)

(61.25oz bottle purchased from
King Soopers for $5.27)
7. Behr Concrete & Masonry Cleaner

(32 oz bottle purchased at Home Depot for $7.98)
8. ACT Concrete Cleaner

(1lb container costs $20 purchased through company's website or on
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