An oil stain on your carpet can be a real pain but there is no need to panic, it can be cleaned up rather than having to fork out for a new one. Whether it’s a DIY mechanic walking oil into the house, a baby oil spill in the nursery or a cooking accident with olive oil, the solution is always the same.
As with most stains, tackling them quickly will always make the job easier. If you do have an old oil stain though, it can be dealt with. It may sound a little counter-intuitive, but the first step to cleaning an old oil stain is to pour a little clean cooking oil on it. This will refresh the stain, making it more like it was when it was new.
The first step to removing an oil stain is to lift as much of the oil out of the carpet first. As with all stains, use an absorbent cloth or paper towel and dab the affected area. Rubbing or scrubbing, particularly before the oil has been broken down, will only spread it around, increasing the size of the stain.
After manually removing as much of the oil as possible, you will need to employ the absorbent properties of baking soda or corn starch. As well as being inexpensive, both are completely inert and will not harm you, your carpet or the environment. Being fine particles, they can be gently worked into the carpet, ensuring they cover all the fibres. You will need to leave the baking soda or corn starch for at least fifteen minutes before thoroughly vacuuming it up and moving onto the final stage.
Now that the vast majority of the oil has been either manually removed or lifted by an absorbent fine powder, it is time to break down the remaining oil. Some people use flammable rubbing alcohol or other solvents, but the preferred method is to add a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to the stain. You will need to work the detergent right into the fibres with a tooth brush, or other stiff bristled brush. The detergent will do its job and break down the remaining oil, just as it does when you wash those greasy dishes. You can then add a little warm water and using an absorbent cloth or sponge, blot the area to lift out most of the remaining water, detergent and oil residue.
You will then need to allow the treated area to dry thoroughly. If it is a rug you can hang it out, or you can use a fan and opened windows weather allowing, for carpets. Once dry, you will be able to thoroughly inspect the carpet. If any traces of the stain remain, you can repeat the detergent and warm water step again until it is fully clean.
So, if you do get a nasty oily stain on your lovely clean carpet, don’t panic, don’t delay and follow these few easy steps to clear it up quickly and efficiently. And if you are not confident in your ability to resolve the problem yourself, then give us a call for professional carpet cleaning – at an affordable rate.