How To Remove Motor Oil Stains From Carpet With Synthetic Fibers

Posted on: 8 August 2016

If you find motor oil on your carpet, don't panic or throw out the carpet. Motor-oil stains occur after you work on a vehicle or accidentally step in oil. A motor-oil stain in carpet can be removed, but you have to act quickly, or the stain will set in the fibers. Here are some tips to remove motor-oil stains from a carpet with synthetic fibers.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need the following:

  • hand-held vacuum
  • plastic spoons
  • white paper towels
  • sponge
  • white cotton cloths
  • bowl
  • small old container
  • cornstarch or baking soda
  • white vinegar
  • dry cleaning solvent
  • liquid dish detergent
  • utility brush or old toothbrush

If the oil has pooled, scoop as much of the oil as you can with the plastic spoons. Discard the spoons in an old container so oil won't spill. Fold a white paper towel in half twice and blot remaining residue. Don't scrub, or you will spread the stain.

If the oil has dried, vacuum residue with a hand-held vacuum. A regular vacuum may spread the stain.

Sprinkle Baking Soda or Cornstarch

Pour a heaping amount of baking soda or cornstarch over the stain. Cornstarch and baking soda are gentle on carpets, and they absorb the stain.

Use a toothbrush to spread the baking soda or cornstarch on small stain areas. If the stain area is large, spread the baking soda or cornstarch with a utility brush. Let the substance set several minutes, then vacuum.

Finish with Cleaning Solvent and Dish Detergent

Apply the dry cleaning solvent with a paper towel on a hidden area to test your carpet's reaction. Wait several minutes, and blot the solvent with a damp cloth. Check for stains after the area dries.

Dampen a cotton cloth with dry cleaning solvent, and blot the stain from the outside to the center. Repeat as needed using a clean cloth.

Make a mixture of a tablespoon of white vinegar, several squirts of liquid dish detergent, and two cups of warm water in a bowl. Dip a sponge in the mixture, and dab the stain until it starts to disappear, repeating as needed. Moisten a clean cotton cloth in cool water, and push it down on the stain to rinse the vinegar and soap solution. Let the area dry.

Your carpet should look as good as new. To avoid future motor-oil stains, sprinkle cat litter on oil spilled on the vehicle work-area floor or garage to prevent getting oil on your shoes. If you don't trust your skill, still can't remove the stain, or have carpet with a natural fiber like wool, contact a carpet cleaning service.