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Stains: Removing Oil or Grease from your Carpet or Upholstery

Date posted: 29 November 2016

If you've dripped or trodden some engine oil or other grease onto your carpet, try our cleaning tips to shift the stain. 

We suggest starting out with simple household ingredients first to remove the worst of the oil – followed by an off-the-shelf, shop-bought solution to help restore your carpet to its former glory:

  1. Scrape off any excess grease from the surface of the carpet. Avoid pushing grease deeper into the carpet fibres, or spreading the stain further.
  2. Sprinkle on a layer of baking soda, bicarbonate of soda, cornstarch, or any other absorbent powder. Leave it for about 15 minutes.
  3. Vacuum up the powder, and this should take with it some of the grease it has absorbed.
  4. Use a clean, white cloth to sponge the stain using a dry-cleaning solvent. Make sure you test this out first on an inconspicuous area of carpet before using it on the stained area. Some cleaning solvents can damage natural fibre carpets, or cause colour fading.
  5. Blot until all of the solvent has been absorbed.

Stubborn oil stains

If the stain is still visible, try this:

  1. Mix together one tablespoon of liquid washing up detergent, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. 
  2. Sponge the stain using a small amount of this solution. 
  3. Blot up using a clean cloth or kitchen towel until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Sponge with a little bit of cold water to remove the cleaning solution.
  5. Blot the area dry.

The same steps can be followed to remove oil stains from upholstery.

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