Let’s be honest here - everyone loves sunflower oil, both when cooking and when dressing a salad. But whenever you knock over a bottle of it and it spills on your carpet, sunshine and rainbows get thrown right out the window. So what do you do after you’re done cursing your bad luck? Simple, really, you get a grip and start dealing with it.
How do you get grease stains out of the carpet?
First, remember the main rule of stain removal, which is a short response time. The longer you let any kind of spillage remain, the lower the chances of successfully getting it out of the fibres. Therefore, it is imperative to react to any staining as soon as you notice it, or ideally as soon as it happens.
Second, you need to slightly alter your strategy based on which kind of oil or grease spilled on your carpet. Of course, it remains more or less the same, which is to blot with a clean cloth. Take care not to rub, as the grease will just get in deeper and become almost impossible to get out, even for experienced professionals. And be gentle when blotting, as pressing on it with all your might will achieve the same result rubbing would.
Third of all, when blotting oil stains, as any other stain, use a clean colour fast cloth, preferably white in colour. Always test if your cloth is colour fast, as you don’t want new stains from the cleaning attempt. You ought to be made aware (if you weren’t already) that stains from colour bleeding (usually caused by cloths or certain types of clothing) are very hard to remove.
The most common types of grease stains are:
- Cooking oil
- Engine oil
- Olive oil
- Door hinge oil (lithium grease / silicon spray)
- Essential oil
Now then, you need a small armoury of cleaning tools to deal with oil in particular. This applies to all types of oil or grease, and you’ll note the absence of something you usually need for every other type of stain. Without further ado, here’s what you need to remove oil stains from carpets:
- Soft brush
- White colour fast cloths or paper towels
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish soap
- Ammonia (only on white or very bright carpet)
- Dry cleaning solvents
For the more astute of you, it’s obvious, but let me spell it out anyway – yes, water is missing! You see, when self-cleaning, odds are it’s still wet. And when it’s still not dry, oil (any one of the above) simply spreads around more when introduced to water. Things are different when it’s dry, since any stain needs to be revitalized with moisture before you can try and remove it.
Check also: How to Remove Food and Drinks Stains
How do you get fresh grease stains out of the carpet?
Dry cleaning solvents are the most suitable tool to deal with fresh oil spillages, as most of them are absorbent. This naturally makes them great at dealing with fluids which have poor interaction with water. Respectively, dry cleaning solvents do a bang-up job of dealing with any and all types of oil.
However, be careful when using these, as most of them are toxic, or can give you nasty burns – or possibly both! Latex or rubber gloves are a must when using these, and be sure to rinse them thoroughly after use. And please do take care to leave windows open, as some of these products have fumes, which may be toxic in high volume.
But what if you just looked up the cost of some dry cleaning solvents, and saw that it’s a bit out of your monthly budget? That’s fine, because you have a dry cleaning powder at home, and it’s very cheap to obtain if you don’t! Baking soda is what I mean, and it works wonders when you react on time. Granted, it’s not a solvent (a fluid), but hey, as long as it works, right?
Anyway, here’s how to remove oil stains from carpet with baking soda:
Grab the soda and sprinkle over the stain until an even layer forms. It doesn’t have to be too thick, but it shouldn’t be very thin either. Then, let it sit there until it’s done its work, which is to soak up as much as it can. After some time has passed, ideally at least 30 to 60 minutes, grab your trusty hoover and get the soda off your carpet. This should take a huge chunk of the oil with it, if not all of it (assuming you did this as soon as it happened).
What's the best way to get dried oil out of a carpet?
If the stain has been left to dry, not all is lost yet. Grab the rubbing alcohol and begin rubbing (duh) the stain with it. After letting it sit for a few minutes, begin blotting it out gently with the aforementioned white colour fast cloth or paper towels. What the rubbing alcohol is great at is breaking down the oil particles, and pulling them off of your carpet. Remember to rinse with a sponge and lukewarm water once done, so you don’t have any rubbing alcohol left, as the smell of it is a bit invasive.
An alternative to rubbing alcohol can be diluted ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide, which are best applied via brush and gloves. But – and it’s a big one – your carpet must be either pure white, or very bright. Both of these products which are commonly used as home remedies have a strong bleaching effect. So if your carpet is black, brown, or any shade of grey, just keep ammonia and H²O² away.
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How do I get rid of essential oil from the carpet floor?
Much the same as any other oil type, grab your absorbent baking soda, apply it and let it sit. Next, dilute dish soap with warm water at a ratio of half a table spoon to one pint. Apply via sponge, then blot out and rinse with clean water. Remember to always blot the water out too, so you don’t get nasty watermarks on your pretty carpet flooring.
How to deal with less oil stains on a yearly basis?
You know, the best way to remove a stain is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. So let me walk you through some quick tips on how to lessen the odds of encountering oil or grease marks of any kind:
- Take your shoes off at home
Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Well, for some people, wearing shoes at home is a lifestyle – mud marks be damned! While we can’t judge anyone, we do admit that it’s more likely to track oil to the living room carpet if you don’t take your shoes off at the door. While we’re at it, here’s another freebie: put mats on either side of your entrance doors.
- Wash your pets weekly
Now I know what cat owners are thinking after reading this. “The ER doesn’t have enough blood banks and stitches to patch me up after I give Pooky a shower!” Well, that doesn’t mean your pet should come in with dirty paws either, or godknowswhat in their fur. So invest in body armour if you need to, but give Fido a regular bath and it’ll lessen the amount of oil stains, mud marks, and even hairs on your floor.
- Place rugs on top of hallway carpets
Sounds silly, but it actually isn’t, since the rug will accumulate the dirt you track on top of the hallway otherwise. If you scoffed at my “take shoes off at home” tip, you’ll love how much longer your carpet takes to get dirty from your shoes, since it’ll go on the rug instead. And let’s face it, cleaning rugs is easier than cleaning carpets.
If you’ve ever used professional carpet cleaning services, you have probably been advertised a form of Scotchgard or Stain Protection. And if not, just know that it’s an after-care service specialists offer to make your carpet fibres endure more punishment from various spillages, which includes oil. A scotchgarded carpet can resist stains, which are also removed easier compared to a non-protected carpet. So just like your reasonable teacher and your goofy uncle once told you, use protection.
And that puts a stop to this blog article, unless my editor has any say in the matter. In either case, we’ll be looking forward to seeing you next time!
Read also: Easy Guidelines for Carpet Cleaning