Nathalie said, “hello, i have finished wooden floor and while i was covering my chairs with tungoil i dropped some on my finished wood floor and now I cant get it out. would you have advice to how I can remove this since now there are patches on my wooden floor and it makes it look dirty. thank you!”
Although we think of wood as being hard, and some types are even referred to as hardwoods, it is actually very porous and can absorb oils or other liquids that touch it. A little oil is good to help polish the surface of wood, but a large spill will soak in and leave a stain. However, there are ways to pull the oil back out of the wood. Follow the steps below until your floor or other wood surface is restored.
You Will Need:
- Baking soda or sawdust
- Thick brown paper
- An iron
- Dish liquid
- A bowl
- A scrub brush
- Mineral spirits
Steps to Remove the Oil:
- Begin by pouring a pile of absorbent powder, such as baking soda or sawdust, over the stain until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Leave the powder on the stain for several hours or overnight.
- Sweep or vacuum up the powder.
- If any stain remains, repeat the steps above as many times as needed to fully remove the stain.
- If the steps above no longer seem to be removing the oil, lay a piece of thick brown paper over the stain, such as kraft paper or a brown paper bag.
- Put the iron on the lowest setting, then rub the warm iron slowly over the paper bag. Some oils can solidify in cool temperatures, and doing this will liquefy them and allow the paper to soak them up. If the paper becomes saturated, replace it with a fresh piece.
- When the paper has seemed to absorb all that it can, repeat steps 1-3.
- If any stain remains and the above steps do not seem to be removing it, mix a small amount of dish liquid with water in a bowl and swish your hand in the water to create suds.
- Scoop the suds off the surface of the water with a scrub brush and scrub the stain. Be gentle so as not to scratch the wood, but be firm enough to work the suds into the wood grain
- Wipe the area with a dry cloth as needed to remove the soap and oil residue.
- Once the stain is removed, wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue, then pat the area dry with a towel.
- If the stain is stubborn, you can try wiping it with mineral spirits to loosen the oil, then repeating steps 1-3 to extract the oil.
- For a more drastic solution, you can mix some mineral spirits with an absorbent powder like baking soda or sawdust to make a thick paste that is about the consistency of toothpaste. Spread the paste over the stain and leave it for an hour or more, then wipe it up.
- It is important that wood not get soaked with water while cleaning, which could cause it to crack or warp.
- If using mineral spirits, keep in mind that they could damage or remove the finish on your floor.
- Tung oil is what’s known as a penetrating oil, which means that it can be used on wood to restore its luster. If you have tried all of the tips above and still cannot remove it, consider treating the rest of the area with it as well to even out the color.
- 1001 Do-It-Yourself Hints & Tips by Reader’s Digest
- The Guide to Easy Hard Wood Floor Care & Maintenance by Grant Aslett
I have a stain from commercial play slime on a finished wooden desk. Will the steps above work on that without damaging the finish?
Thank you, Karen
The dry powder method will not harm the finish, the suds method could hard the finish if too much pressure is used scrubbing, and the mineral spirits method could harm the finish. You can test the mineral spirits on a small hidden area of the desk to determine if it is safe for your specific finish. However, refinishing wood is not as difficult as it sounds: you just tape off the small area with masking tape and wipe on new finish. Good luck!