How to Remove Oil Stains from Carpeting

Oil stains can be tricky to remove, especially on carpeting, which can't be tossed in the washing machine like many other fabrics. The oil soaks into the carpet and adheres to the fibers. If not treated properly, the oil can become a permanent stain.

You may be surprised to learn that a product in your medicine cabinet may be the solution to your greasy carpet mess.

  1. Use paper towels to blot the oil. Use a lifting motion and blot until no more oil comes off on the paper towel.

  2. Remove the stain by blotting it with small amounts of rubbing alcohol poured onto a small washcloth. The alcohol absorbs the oil and lifts up the stain. You may need several cloths for a large stain. Be sure to blot, not wipe, as wiping can cause the stain to spread.

  3. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (a type without bleach or lanolin) with 1 quart of water in a small container. Sponge it onto the stain. Blot until stain is removed.

  4. Rinse with water, blotting up excess moisture.

  5. Warning

    Test an inconspicuous area of your carpeting before using the rubbing alcohol to be sure the carpet can withstand the alcohol. If the alcohol works its way into the carpet padding, it can break down the latex backing. Do not scrub as it can cause more staining. Take your time and use as little alcohol as possible to avoid spreading the stain.