how to clean oil off floors

How To Clean Oil Off Floors – All Types Of Flooring

Oil stains on any type of floor can be extremely unsightly. What’s more, some homeowners don’t know how to clean oil off floors because those stains are difficult to remove. If you’re using incorrect products and tools, it can also make the situation even worse.

On the other hand, there are different types of oils that require specific cleaning methods to get rid of the stain. It will also depend on the type of floor you have. Cleaning oil off of tiles might be relatively easy, but when you’re trying to remove oil from carpet fibers you may find yourself with a challenge.

That’s why I’ve put this guide together for homeowners like you who need guidance on how to remove different types of oil stains from various types of flooring. If you want to rid your floors of those unsightly stains then keep reading.

Types Of Oil Stains On The Floor You May Experience

When we clean our houses, we can easily remove dust and dirt, but oil seems to be the most difficult substance to clean. Before you can tackle these stains, it’s important to know what type of oil you’re dealing with, so you can use the right products to remove them. Take a look at the different oils below.

Food Oils

Food oils refer to cooling oil, margarine, or mayonnaise. Spills from these types of oils usually happen in the kitchen while you’re cooking. The stains from food oil spills may be easier to clean than other types of oil, but it will depend on the type of floor you have.

There are ways to clean cooking oil stains on tile floor types easily. You simply need the correct product such as a concentrated soap. On the other hand, removing food oil stains from laminate floors and carpets can be much more of a challenge.

Baby Oil

Baby oil is a topical product that you put on your skin to eliminate dryness. But sometimes you can spill this type of oil on your carpets or your bathroom floor. Since most baby oils are colorless and it’s a concentrated type of oil, it may be easy to remove with a bit of liquid dish soap.

But don’t try to remove baby oil stains from your carpet with bleach, because this can remove the color from the carpet and damage its fibers. For tiled floors, simply use a mild soap that contains lemon, or you can use pure lemon juice to remove the stain because it’s a natural bleach.

Car Oil

You may not find car oil on your carpets unless it’s on your shoes and you tread it into your house. This type of oil is typically found on concrete floors inside your garage or on your driveway. The oil is dark and has a thick consistency that’s difficult to remove.

You may need specialized products to remove car oil stains from floors. Take a look at this next section below to find out how to remove different oil stains from various types of flooring.

Back To Top

How To Clean Oil Off Floors – A Guide For All Types Of Floors

There are different answers for how to clean up oil spills on the floor, but what happens when the stain is on carpet or a natural stone tile? To learn how to remove oil stains from various floor types, keep reading this section below.

Cleaning Oil Off Carpet

Carpets add elegance to your home as well as insulation during winter. On the other hand, carpets can be difficult to maintain. An oil stain on a carpet, especially a light-colored one, is a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

The best way to remove oil from your carpet is with a mild dishwashing liquid. Ensure the product you’re using doesn’t contain lanolin or bleach.

Steps to tackle the stain:

  1. Mix ¼ tablespoon of dish liquid in a cup of warm water.
  2. Apply the solution to the oil stain and gently scrub it with a toothbrush
  3. Blot the area with a clean towel
  4. Rinse the area with water
  5. Blot again with a towel

If the oil is still there, you may need to use a carpet shampoo with an industrial cleaner. If it’s a food oil stain, it may be easier to wash out of your carpet fibers, but baby oil may be more difficult to remove with dish liquid so use lemon juice instead.

Cleaning Oil Off Tiles

Tile is probably the easiest flooring to clean, and oils don’t usually stain this type of floor. But if the oil is left for a long period of time on the surface, it can stick to the tile like glue. Additionally, you can’t use just any type of cleaning product on certain tiles such as marble, because they are sensitive to acidic solutions.

If you have porcelain tile, though, you can use any type of cleaning detergent provided that it is not abrasive and won’t scratch your floors.

Steps to tackle the stain:

  1. Make a solution of acetone and baking soda
  2. The mixture should have a batter-like consistency
  3. Spread the solution over the oil stain
  4. Leave the paste on the oil stain for 24 hours
  5. Rinse the area with warm water
  6. Use a towel to absorb the water

This solution works for all tile types including natural stone tiles.

Cleaning Oil Off Wood Flooring

Similar to cleaning carpets, you have to be careful when removing stains from wooden floors. Wood absorbs all types of liquids so oil might penetrate deep into the surface. Some oils are used to polish wooden floors, but when you spill an oily product on the floor it can leave a big, unsightly stain behind.

The best way to clean oil from the wood is to absorb the oil from the surface by using an absorbent powder.

Steps to tackle the stain:

  1. Pour a layer of baking soda that’s ¼ inches thick on the affected area
  2. Leave the powder on the oil stain overnight to absorb it
  3. Then vacuum up the powder
  4. Next, mix a drop of dish liquid in a bowl of water
  5. Dip a soft scrub brush into the solution and scrub the stain
  6. Use a dry cloth to dry the area

Don’t use a hard-bristled brush on the oil stain, because you don’t want to scratch your floors. If the oil stain is too severe, then you may have to sand it out. Or you can apply a darker wood stain to your floors to mask any stains that you’re unable to remove.

This method will only work on natural wooden floors. If you have laminate flooring, you may have to replace your floors.

Cleaning Oil Off Cement

Cement flooring is where you’ll find car oil stains. These oil stains are more difficult to remove compared to cooking oil or baby oil. You may want to take precautions when working on cars in your garage or driveway, to prevent oil from spilling onto your floor. Place a sheet under your car whenever you’re doing maintenance on your vehicle.

However, some oil stains are unavoidable. Some cars that wear over time will leak oil onto the garage floor or driveway. The oil stains can impact the aesthetics of your home and can be a safety hazard because they can make the floor slippery. Oil stains can also lower the value of your property.

The first aspect to remember when cleaning oil off cement floors is not to scrub the area right away, because it can spread the oil. Instead, absorb most of the oil using a powder before you scrub the area clean.

How to tackle the oil stain:

  1. Sprinkle a layer of talcum powder over the affected area
  2. Leave the powder overnight to absorb most of the oil
  3. Sweep up the powder and use a paper towel to remove more oil
  4. Now that you’ve removed most of the oil, apply laundry detergent to the area
  5. Use a hard-bristled brush to scrub the area clean
  6. Rinse the area with warm water

Back To Top

Top Cleaning Brands Recommended For Cleaning Oil Off Floors

Terminator For Concrete Floors 

Terminator is a brand that makes eco-friendly powdered stain removal products for concrete floors. The powder is a powerful solution that breaks down the oil particles so that the stains are easier to wash away.

Terminator For Concrete Floors 

The advantage of this product is that you can use it as a dry substance to absorb oil or you can mix it with water to wash away dirt. This product can be used on other surface types such as asphalt, driveways, and street pavements. It can also remove other types of substances such as solvents and hydraulic fluids.

StoneTech For Natural Stone Tiles 

Natural stone tiles such as marble, granite, and slate add a stunning touch to your home, but they’re difficult to take care of because you can’t use just any product on them. Fortunately, StoneTech is a brilliant stain remover that is specifically formulated for natural stone tiles.

StoneTech For Natural Stone Tiles 

The product is a deep cleaner that pulls out stubborn oil stains without discoloring your floors. You’ll appreciate that the product doesn’t leave any residue behind. StoneTech is a paste formula that you spread over the affected area to draw out the oil stain. It’s also safe to use on grout, masonry, porcelain, slate, and sandstone.

Emergency Stain Rescue For Carpets 

Emergency Stain Rescue makes sprays that you can use to spot clean your carpets, upholstery, and even your clothes. It’s a commercial-grade formula that’s safe to use around pets and children. The spray can be used on all types of stains including oil, ketchup, and baby formula.

Emergency Stain Rescue For Carpets

Simply spray the solution on the affected area, blot, and then rinse it. The spray can also be used to remove oil stains from clothes. It doesn’t have an odor so it won’t leave a chemical smell in your home. The bottles of spray come in various sizes so you can keep one in your car, bag, and cleaning cabinet. For larger oil stains, you may want to get a bigger bottle.

Method Squirt + Mop Wooden Floor Cleaner 

Similar to natural stone floors, wooden floors can be just as difficult to maintain. Since wood absorbs oils and other types of moisture, it can be difficult to remove oil stains from the surface. However, with Method Squirt + Mop you can clean food oil stains off your wooden floors effortlessly.

Method Squirt + Mop Wooden Floor Cleaner 

This product is safe to use on all types of wood finishes including engineered wooden floors. Simply apply the solution to the area and use a cloth to wipe the oil up.

Back To Top

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Natural Products You Can Use To Clean Oil Off Floors?

There are plenty of natural products that you can use to clean oil stains off floors. However, it will depend on the type of flooring you have. For wooden floors, you can use a solution of white vinegar and water to remove oil stains.

You can use any type of product to clean porcelain tiles but not with natural stone tiles. Don’t use vinegar on stone tiles, because it can strip away the natural sealant on the surface of your floors. Instead, use baking soda and water to clean stone tiles.

For carpets, you can also use baking soda or lemon juice to clean oil stains. Lemon juice breaks down the oil particles so that it’s easier to clean. The lemon juice may simply lift the grease from the fibers to remove the oil stain.

Does Baking Soda Remove Oil Stains From Wooden Floors?

Using baking soda is an excellent way to absorb oil from wooden floors. It’s recommended that you pour a thick layer of baking soda over the stain and then leave it to sit overnight. You can also make a baking soda paste using a few drops of water and then rub the solution into the oil stain.

When the oil stain is gone, you can wipe away the baking soda and any water left behind and apply polish over your floors.

To prevent oil stains from setting in in the first place, you should coat your wooden floors with a protective sealant. Over time, when the sealant starts to wear, you may have to sand the floors and reapply the sealant to the surface.

Can Coke Clean Oil Stains Off Pavements?

Coca-cola is an excellent product to use to remove oil stains off of concrete pavement. Simply pour a can of the soda over the affected area and leave it to work its magic overnight. The soda has a high acidity content that eats through the grease to remove it.

Since soda is in liquid form, it also penetrates deep within the crevices of the concrete floor to lift stubborn oil that has seeped into tiny stones or cracks. Afterward, you can scrub the area using a hard-bristled brush and then hose the pavement down with water.

What Should You Avoid Using When Removing Oil From Carpets?

You should avoid using any products that contain bleach to clean oil stains from your carpet. The bleach will destroy the color of your carpet, and if you have natural woolen carpet, it may destroy the fibers.

Additionally, you should avoid any carpet cleaner that’s high in acidity because it can destroy the integrity of your carpets. Instead, use products that are specially formulated to clean carpets, or use a natural product such as cornstarch or baking soda to remove oil and other types of stains from your carpet.

What Is The Easiest Type Of Floor To Remove Oil Stains From?

The easiest floor to clean stains off of is a tiled floor. There are no fibers to contend with and the material doesn’t absorb oil as wooden floors do. You may have problems cleaning in between the tiles, though, because grout can go black with dirt, grime, and oil spills.

There are grout cleaners on the market that you can use to brighten up those spaces between your tiles. To remove oil stains from tiles, you can use a commercial tile cleaner or a solution of dishwashing liquid and water. If you have porcelain tiles, you can use acetone or vinegar to remove oil stains.

Back To Top

Final Thoughts

Oil stains can create an unsightly mess, especially on wall-to-wall carpet. That’s why it’s important to buy carpets that are easy to clean and don’t require specialized products to remove stains.

On the other hand, if you want a floor that’s easier to clean, you should consider tiling your home with either porcelain or natural stone tiles. With tiled floors, you can simply use a paper towel to wipe up oil spills.

Wooden floors look stunning and add value to your home. However, cleaning oil stains can be difficult on wooden surfaces. If you were wondering how to clean oil from the floor, then refer to our guide above.

If you have any comments or firsthand experience with cleaning oil off of floors, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.

About Maricel Dee

Maricel Dee is a writer & blogger on all things home improvement. When she's not writing on her favorite home improvement topics, you can find her immersed in her own home projects.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top