How to Get Motor Oil Out of a Couch

Motor oil and other grease stains are difficult to remove because they have a tendency to set quickly, and once they set, they have a tendency to attract dirt. It's slightly more difficult to remove motor oil from a couch, as you can't just treat the stain and then toss the couch into the washing machine. Even so, with motor oil, you still have a fighting chance to restoring your couch to its original beauty, as long as you act quickly.


  1. Scrape the excess motor oil off with a spoon. Blot with a paper towel

  2. Shake baking soda, cornstarch, talcum or baby powder directly on the stain. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes.

  3. Vacuum the powder off the surface area of the stain.


  1. Apply dishwasher fluid directly on the stain. Allow it to sit for thee to four minutes. Rinse with scalding water, and rub with a clean cloth. If the stain remains, go to the next step.

  2. Dab the stained area with rubbing alcohol, and give it a couple minutes to break down the grease. Blot with a clean towel. If the stain remains, go to the next step.

  3. Purchase mechanics hand cleaner, and rub it onto the stain with a toothbrush. Allow it to soak into the stain for a few minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Dry it gently with a towel.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."