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How to remove oil stains from my wooden table

Wood is a porous material that absorbs stains easily. When an oily substance comes in contact with your wooden table, the grease stains the surface before it soaks into the wood. To effectively remove an oil stain from your wood table, you must remove the grease from below the surface as well. Oil left in the wood causes discolouration and, depending on the source of the stain, can leave an unpleasant odour, too.

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  1. Soak up excess oil on your wooden table with paper towels. As the towels absorb the oil, throw them away and replace them with a clean one. Continue to wick up as much oil as you can with the paper towels.

  2. Pour baby powder over the oil spot on the table. Leave the baby powder in place to absorb the oil residue from the wood. After 30 minutes, wipe the powder off the surface of the table.

  3. Lay a clean cloth over the site of the oil stain on your table. Heat an iron to the low heat setting and then rub it back and forth over the cloth. This helps draw out some of the oil stain that the wood absorbed.

  4. Mix equal parts of fuller's earth and dry cleaning solvent, both of which are available at hardware or DIY shops, to create a thick paste. Spread the paste over any remaining stubborn oil stain on your wood table. Allow the paste to dry completely. As it dries, the oil will be drawn out of the wood and into the paste.

  5. Remove the dried paste from your table with a spatula. Dampen a clean cloth with water and wipe up paste residue. Dry your table with another clean cloth.

  6. Tip

    Use baking soda or cornstarch in place of baby powder to absorb oil from your wooden table.

    Clean a surface oil stain with diluted washing-up liquid.

    Blot a grease stain with a cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. The alcohol helps break down and remove the oil.

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Baby powder
  • Clean cloths
  • Iron
  • Bowl
  • Fuller's earth
  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Spoon
  • Spatula

About the Author

Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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