How to remove hair & body oil marks from upholstery

Written by mary ylisela Google
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How to remove hair & body oil marks from upholstery
Hair and body oils can leave discoloured stains on upholstery. (on the couch image by max blain from

The existence of hair and body oil is normal and helps the skin and scalp remain soft, preventing it from drying and cracking. When excessive amounts of hair and body oil come in contact with upholstered furniture, the oils can leave a greasy stain that, if left unattended, becomes a discoloured dirt magnet. While commercial products are available to remove hair and body oil stains from upholstery, you can save yourself money and the chemical exposure by using home remedies instead.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • 1 tsp mild hand dish washing liquid
  • Bowl
  • Sponge
  • Clean cloths

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  1. 1

    Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over the hair and body oil stains; cover the oil stains completely. Allow the baking soda to sit on the oil stains overnight to absorb the oil and accompanying odour.

  2. 2

    Vacuum the baking soda from the upholstery. Mix 1 tsp hand dish washing liquid with 2/3 cup cold water in a bowl. Stir the solution together with your fingers to create soap suds.

  3. 3

    Dip a clean sponge in the soapy solution and squeeze out the excess liquid. Dab at the remaining hair and body oil stains on the upholstery. Rinse the sponge off frequently, apply more soap solution and continue to blot until the oil stain is lifted.

    How to remove hair & body oil marks from upholstery
    Use a sponge for gentle, effective cleaning. (sponge image by Leonid Nyshko from
  4. 4

    Dampen a clean cloth with plain water. Blot the site of the oil stain on the upholstery to rinse off the soap solution.

  5. 5

    Press clean, dry cloths into the upholstery to wick up as much moisture as possible, then allow the upholstery to air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Substitute talcum powder or cornstarch to absorb the hair and body oils. Baking soda has the extra benefit of also removing odours.

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