How to Remove Cooking Oil Stains From Carpet

Written by daisy cuinn
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Cooking oil stains can be some of the most difficult to remove, but on a carpet with fibres treated to withstand the wear of everyday use, most can be removed fairly easily, especially if they're caught right away. Cooking oil stains on carpet can be immediately treated with items you probably already have on hand. For large stains, you may need to follow the basic procedure for removing cooking oil with a professional carpet cleaning.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cornstarch or talcum powder
  • Dish-washing liquid
  • Bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Glass baking dish
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Ammonia
  • Vinegar

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  1. 1

    Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading and to absorb the excess oil. Do not rub the stain before applying the powder. Leave the powder on the stain for two to three minutes.

  2. 2

    Brush the powder from the outside of the oil stain to the centre. Remove oil-dampened powder with a paper towel. If oil remains, sprinkle more powder on the area and let it sit for five minutes. Brush off as before.

  3. 3

    Dilute 1 tsp of dish-washing liquid in 1 cup of water in a small bowl. Dip a paper towel into the solution and blot the stain, making sure not to rub the area. Continue blotting until the soap has reached the bottom of the carpet without saturating it.

  4. 4

    Rinse the area with clean water using a spray bottle. Press a folded paper towel on the spot to absorb the water as you rinse. Continue blotting with dry paper towels until no moisture appears to remain. If no stain is visible, place another folded paper towel over the spot and weigh it down with a heavy waterproof object such as a glass baking dish. Replace the paper towel every hour until no moisture remains.

  5. 5

    Blot the stain with rubbing alcohol or dry-cleaning solvent if the stain remains, blotting dry with paper towels.

  6. 6

    Clean with ammonia if all else fails. Mix 1 cup of water with 2 tbsp of ammonia and blot the stain with a paper towel. Rinse with clean water. Neutralise the ammonia by applying a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water. Blot with a paper towel until dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Use liquid dish-washing soap designed for hand-washing dishes; do not use a gel detergent or powder for an electric dishwasher.

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