Nick said, “Spilled olive oil on the back seat of my car. How do I remove the oil?”
Whenever something spills on upholstery, it is best to act fast to prevent it from seeping deep into the cushions. However, even old oil spills can be cleaned from upholstery if needed. Follow the steps below to remove the stain.
Removing the Oil
You Will Need:
- A cloth
- Paper towels
- Fuller’s earth
- Baking soda
- A vacuum
- Shaving cream
- An old toothbrush
- Dish liquid
Steps to Remove the Oil:
- Blot the spill as many times as needed with a clean cloth or paper towel until no more oil is transferring to the cloth.
- If the spill is old and has dried, spray it with some WD-40. This will help to freshen the spill. Let the WD-40 sit on the spill for a couple minutes, then blot the area to remove the WD-40 and oil.
- Once you have blotted away as much as you can, cover the spot with a generous amount of an absorbent powder, such as Fuller’s earth or baking soda. Leave the powder on the spot for a couple hours. The powder will draw even more oil out of the upholstery.1
- Brush off or vacuum up the powder.
- If there is still a stain, repeat steps 3-4 as many times as needed to remove the oil.
- If the stain is stubborn, put some white foam shaving cream on the spot and use an old toothbrush rub the shaving cream into the area. Use a dry cloth to wipe off the foam, then sponge the area with a damp cloth to rinse.2
- If you don’t have any foam shaving cream, you can use dish liquid instead. Rub a small amount into the stain with a dry cloth, then rub the area with a damp cloth. Once the stain is removed, sponge the area with water to remove any residue from the cleaner, then blot the area dry.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Lighter fluid can be used in place of the WD-40 if needed. Be sure to rinse the area well afterward.
- Foam upholstery cleaner can be used in place of the shaving cream.
- Some dish liquids contain dyes that could stain your upholstery. Always test a cleaning solution on a small, hidden area first to look for any adverse reaction.
- The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett
- Stain Removal by Stephanie Zia