How to Get Oil Out of a Carpet: 5 Easy Steps

how to get oil out of carpet

Whoops! Oil on the carpet? It’s any proud homeowner’s worst nightmare, but it can be easily cleaned up if you act fast. Oil and grease in carpets can be stubborn and unsightly, but a few common household substances can lift it straight out without damaging your carpet. This means no hefty, unforeseen bill for a professional carpet cleaning company to come and rescue the situation.

Before you start, however, make sure you check your own carpet care guide. This is just a precaution to make sure that your type of carpet fibre doesn’t have its own unique carpet care recommendations, as different fibres react in different ways.

Step-by-Step Guide:

All checked? Follow these five simple steps on how to get oil out of carpet and return your floor to its previous spotless state:

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper kitchen towels
  • Cornflour / Bicarbonate of Soda / Polenta
  • Washing up liquid
  • Soft cloth
  • Vacuum
  • Glycerine (for dried-on stains)

How to get Oil Out of Carpet: The Method

Step 1:

If your oil stain is fresh, start by soaking up any excess oil and grease with a dry paper towel. Make sure you do this by gently dabbing, rather than scrubbing. Scrubbing can damage your carpet fibres, spread the stain and also leave behind fragments of paper towel in the carpet.

Step 2:

Cover the stain completely with a generous helping of cornflour, bicarbonate of soda or polenta and leave for at least one hour. These substances are all highly effective adsorbents, especially for oils, so they will help draw the oil out of the carpet.

Step 3:

Vacuum up the powder after one or two hours. If the carpet still looks oily and wet then you can repeat Step 2 as many times as it takes until all the oil has been absorbed.

Step 4:

Add a little blob of washing up liquid to the stained area and begin very gently massaging it into the carpet fibres using a soft, dry cloth. Depending on your type of carpet fibre you could also use an old toothbrush to work the soap deeper into the pile, but use caution – you don’t want to cause more damage. This step will create suds as you work the soap into the carpet, so you will need to blot this up with a wet cloth as you go.

Step 5:

Give the area a final vacuum to perk up the carpet fibres and you should be left with an oil-free carpet that looks just as good as new.

Dried-on Oil Stain?

All is not yet lost. If you can get your hands on a little glycerine (you will find this in the baking aisle in most supermarkets) you can add this to the stain to re-awaken it. Then you simply follow all the regular steps above, but you can skip step 4.

And it’s as easy as that. So next time you need to know how to get oil out of a carpet or carpet runner, seek out this simple step-by-step guide and banish those stubborn greasy marks without needing to call in the emergency carpet cleaning company.  

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