Picture this – your worst nightmare has come true. You’ve returned from a weekend away with the girls and left your other half in charge at home. He’s had his friends over for the weekend and they’ve been drinking beer and tinkering with the motorbike. To your horror you walk into your living room to find a splodge of oil in the middle of the brand new luxury beige wool carpet that you’ve just had fitted. But can you you remove an oil stain from your carpet or is it completely ruined? Fortunately it’s not as difficult to resolve as you’d think. And the other positive here is that he’s left it for you to fix! If he’d tried to do it himself he could well have made it worse!
So, here is how to remove an oil stain from your carpet.
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BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Make sure that you’ve got everything that you need to hand
Your challenge here is making things better and not making them worse! You need to avoid spreading the oil stain further whilst ensuring that you get it all up and remove it from the carpet. If you end up spreading it out over an even larger area it’ll be even harder to get up. And if you don’t get it all up, even if looks like it’s gone away, with time dirt and grime will accumulate and stick to any residual oil and leave an ugly dark mark. If you don’t have all the things that you need available and at hand then section off the oil stain to stop anybody treading on it, order what you need from your favourite store and then begin when your ready. This is what you’ll need:
- Absorbent kitchen towels
- A white cloth
- A pack of baking soda OR corn flower
- A bottle of “ForceField Dry Cleaning Fluid For Fine Fabrics” (available here)
- Liquid dish soap
- A bottle of white vinegar
These are all super-cheap products so don’t cut corners and invest in all the things that you’ll need to do the job properly.
Step 1: If there’s a puddle then soak it up
Changes are that the oil will have soaked into the carpet by now. But if there is still excess oil that’s not been drawn into the carpet then the first thing that you need to do is to soak up as much of it as you can. For this task white kitchen towels will do the job nicely. Your task here is to soak up the oil from the surface of the carpet without spreading it. So don’t scrub! Dab the oil gently and get as much as it up as you can. Don’t saturate the kitchen towel with oil. If you’re absorbing a large puddle then complete a few dabs, throw the paper towel away and start again with a fresh one.
Step 2: Apply baking soda to the residual oil
Sprinkle a generous portion of baking soda over the oil stain – you can never apply too much so ensure that the stain is fully covered by a thick layer. The powder that you apply soaks up the remaining oil and draws it away from your carpet. Leave it in place for a good 15 to 30 minutes to allow it soak up as much of the oil from your carpet as possible. You can use corn starch instead if you don’t have baking soda in your home. It works just as well.
Step 3: Hoover up the baking soda
So by now, a large proportion of the oil has been sucked out of your carpet and now harmlessly sits in the baking soda that you applied in step 3. All you need to do now is hoover up the baking soda and it will take the oil with it. So, pull out your vacuum clear and give it a good hoover to make sure that you get it all up. If you have a carpet hoover with beating and rotating brushes then it’s best to use one of your plastic nozzle attachments to complete your hoovering instead – you don’t want to risk getting your brushes greasy and spreading the oil further around your home. If you can still see residual liquid oil then it’s quite possible that you didn’t apply enough in step 3 which is no problem, just repeat the process by applying more powder, leaving it to work, and then hoovering it up again. At this point the stain should be looking a lot better. When you’ve finished hoovering be sure to give the hoover attachments that you used a rinse with soapy water to avoid spreading any oil that they’ve been in contact with.
The next step is the most important of all. It’s now time to apply the “magic” liquid that’s the key to this whole process.
Step 4: Apply “ForceField Dry Cleaning Fluid For Fine Fabrics”
This is the most important step of all. So far you’ve removed the excess oil. Now you’re actually removing the remainder. It’s the key to getting all the oil and and restoring your carpet back to its former condition. Force Field Dry Cleaning Field is SUPER powerful at dissolving the oil that’s left in the carpet. This stuff is MAGIC when it comes to removing oil stains. If you don’t have a bottle to hand you could just try regular dry cleaning fluid, but it’s unlikely to be quite as effective as ForceField’s product.
Before you start you just need to check that it doesn’t damage your carpet. It shouldn’t! But you should complete a quick test to be sure. Make sure that you’re wearing protective gloves. Also make sure that area is well ventilated by opening a window. Apply a couple of drops to a section of carpet that’s hidden by furniture and then dry it after a minute with some tissue paper. Check for signs of discolouration or damage to the carpet fibres. Assuming there’s not then you are good to go.
Apply a few drops of Force Field Dry Cleaning Fluid for Fine Fabrics to a white cloth. Again make sure that you’re wearing gloves. And then apply the white cloth firmly to the oil stain. This will dissolve the residual oil.
Step 5: Wash with detergent with a twist
In a plastic jug make up a mix of water, liquid dish soap and white wine vinegar. The correct proportions are 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Give it a stir to make sure it’s mixed up into a clear solution. Soak a white cloth with the mixture and apply the cloth gently to the oil stain. Leave it work for 10 minutes and then generously poor cold, fresh water onto the stain. Now soak that up with kitchen towel and leave it to dry for 24 hours. Once the carpet is completely dry take a look and ensure that you’re happy with the end result. If you can still see any evidence of residual oil in the carpet then repeat steps 4 and 5 until the stain has been completely removed.
UPDATE: Check out this video
Shortly after finalising the content of this article we found a YouTube video which follows almost exactly the same process as we describe above. Take a below below – it perfectly illustrates the key steps that we have described above. And the presenter starts of by intentionally soiling the carpet with oil before starting the cleaning process you can see just how effective the above steps actually are in restoring the condition of your carpet.
An oil stain on brand new carpet can sometimes feel like the end of the world. Fortunately, it’s not as bad as you think. Following the above simple and inexpensive process is all you need to do to restore your carpet back to its former glory. It by doing it yourself you are saving yourself a small fortune by avoiding having to call out an expert to do the clean-up for you. Prevention is better than cure through so perhaps it’s also time to introduce some new house rules – oil stays in the garage and is not to be brought into the house!