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Getting Oil Out of the Carpet: The Ultimate Guide

Accidents are bound to happen, and most of the time, they result in staining your shirt or, worse – your carpet. Cleaning your shirt can be a simple job – toss it in the washing machine, and you are done. But cleaning your carpet requires more, especially if you are dealing with a stubborn oil stain. 

Luckily, there is no need to panic as all problems come with a solution. When wondering how to get oil out of carpet surfaces, you should know there is no single right way. Instead, there are a few different techniques that can do the trick, and we will tell you all about them in the text below.

Cleaning Oil Stains: Can It Be Done?

Though fitting your whole carpet into the washing machine might seem like a good way to take care of an oil stain, this will not be of much help. Not to mention that fitting a wall-to-wall carpet into one is impossible. The good news is there are a couple of methods that can help you get rid of an oil stain. 

Though some claim that the procedure for removing oil from the carpet does not differ based on the type of oil, you should note that some oil spillings are quite more stubborn and require extra work. 

When looking for ways how to get oil stains out of carpet, you will be happy to learn that you most likely already have the needed stain-removing ingredients in your home. One crucial thing to remember is to act quickly – when there’s a spill, immediately take a towel and use it as an absorbent to get rid of any excess oil.

How to Get Oil Out of Carpet? Step-by-Step Guide

When looking to learn how to remove oil stains from carpet, remember that some stains will need more tending to than others. Below we will outlay a few different approaches and techniques that work best for certain types of oil spillings.

Note: The proposed approaches below are not restricted to the oil type mentioned in the heading. They might work for a variety of other oil spills, such as olive oil, baby oil, etc. 

How to Remove Cooking Oil Stains 

Moving from the kitchen to the dining table while trying not to forget anything can easily result in a bit of cooking oil making a splash onto your carpet. Here is how you can clean it:

  1. The first thing you should do when accidentally spilling oil onto your carpet is to try and remove as much as possible by using a paper towel. 
  2. Pat the oil stain until no more oil appears on the towel. 
  3. Next, apply alcohol onto a washcloth but be careful not to soak it. 
  4. Use the cloth to rub the oil stain without wiping as not to spread the stain in the surrounding area. 
  5. Then make a mixture using ¼ tablespoon of dishwashing liquid (make sure it is bleach and lanolin-free) and ¼ of water. 
  6. Apply it onto a sponge and dab on the oil stain until it is no longer visible. 

How to Get Motor Oil Out of Carpet?

Carrying in motor oil from the garage and staining your home carpet can happen to anyone. What matters is that you act quickly, and here’s how:

  1. The first thing you need to do is take a butter knife and start scraping off the excess oil; be careful not to press too hard to avoid any potential fiber damage. 
  2. Sprinkle either baking soda or cornstarch onto the stain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  3. Apply dry-cleaning solvent onto a cloth and apply the cloth onto the stain. To make sure this method of how to get motor oil out of carpet is working, find a clean cloth to blot the stain with. 
  4. If an oil stain is still visible, make a mixture using one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent, and two cups of warm water. 
  5. Apply the solution onto a sponge and use it to get rid of any oil residue. 
  6. Finally, use cold water to rinse the area and leave it to dry. 

How to Get Dried Oil Out of Carpet?

Tending to an oil stain is not always possible at the given moment – getting out the cleaning supplies in the middle of a party, or a gathering is not the best idea. As expected, after some time, the oil dries out, making cleaning it that much more difficult. 

Luckily removing this stain is possible. Below are the steps on how to get dried oil out of carpet:

  1. Find a dull knife and use it to scrape off the dried-out oil stains.
  2. Once finished, use baking soda to cover the entire oil stain. 
  3. Use an old toothbrush or a utility brush to gently rub the baking soda into the grease stain. 
  4. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum the spot to suck out the grease particles from the carpet. 
  5. After doing so, apply a few drops of washing detergent onto the oil stain and brush the target spot. 
  6. Pour in some water during the process and continue brushing gently. 
  7. Blot-dry the area using a sponge or cloth. 
  8. Get rid of any soap remaining by using warm water and a clean cloth. 
  9. Leave it to dry out. 
  10. Repeat the method if the stain is still noticeable. 

Using Dry Cleaning Solvent 

If you are simply more prone to accidents involving oil stains, you might consider investing in a commercial dry cleaning solvent. Here is how you can use one:

  1. Before using it on the target area of your carpet, do a small patch test and apply a small amount of the solvent on the corner of the carpet. 
  2. Once assured that everything is good, apply the solvent on a clean cloth and dab it on the oil stain. 
  3. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to absorb the oil. 
  4. Then dip another cloth in water and use it to blot out the cleaning solvent. 
  5. If the stain remains visible, repeat the method. 

Rubbing Alcohol as a Last Resort 

Rubbing alcohol is easily accessible, and almost everyone keeps some kind of it in the medicine cabinet. Though it might seem like the easiest solution to solve the “how to get oil out of carpet” question, this method should be kept as a last resort because rubbing alcohol is flammable and toxic. 

Ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions before following these guidelines: 

  1. Apply a small amount of alcohol onto a clean cloth and press it gently onto the oil stain. 
  2. Repeat this process until the alcohol absorbs the oil entirely and it is no longer visible on the cloth. 
  3. Next, to eliminate the odor from the rubbing alcohol, immerse a clean cloth in water and dab the target spot.
  4. Do not use any air fresheners on your carpet; instead, open the windows and let it dry out on its own. 

Removing Oil From Your Carpet: The Most Effective Way

Now that you have a few different tricks up your sleeve, you are ready to face any minor oil spill, no matter the type of oil. Unlike other stains, oil ones require you to dedicate more time, and some stains, like dried oil, will need that more than others. But the before-mentioned methods should bring fruitful results in most scenarios. 

If you tried to do everything you could and you are still standing there wondering how to get oil out of carpet, maybe it is better to leave it to the professionals at Certified Clean Care. Our team can help you clean your carpet or fine rug quickly and effectively. 

Contact us today and request an appointment with a professional carpet cleaning service! 


What is the fastest way to get oil out of a carpet?

There is no magical technique that gives the most time-efficient results. The overall aim is to remove the oil stain from the carpet, which might take more time if the stain has dried out. For best results, it is best that you use a method for which you have all the necessary ingredients and tools at hand. 

What absorbs oil from a carpet?

Baking soda is widely known as one of the most powerful natural absorbents. Rubbing alcohol can also be used to absorb oil from the carpet, but this is often mentioned as a last option due to its flammable nature. 

Can old oil stains be removed from a carpet?

Old oil stains can be quite stubborn and difficult to remove, but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible. Note that, unlike other stains, the elimination of an oil one might require the cleaning procedure to be repeated twice or more times.