Whether you encounter an oil stain on your garage floor, on your favorite shirt or on the carpet, it can put a damper on your day if you don’t know how to remove it. Luckily, oil stain removal is something you can do on your own by following a few specific steps.

With COIT’s step-by-step guide to oil stain removal, a few unexpected oil stains won’t stand a chance.

Pitcher pouring cooking oil into bowl


Depending on the type of oil stain you’re trying to remove, you’ll be working with oil that’s made of different ingredients. Cooking oil, for example, is most likely a blend of oils from different sources. It’s either plant, animal or synthetic fat that can be used to bake, fry, and cook in other ways. Edible oil doesn’t need heat to be used in food items like bread dips and salad dressings.


The following oils are commonly used in cooking, and can often leave unexpected stains on surrounding areas:

  • Canola oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Palm oil 

When cooking with oil, it’s important to remember that bubbling oil – oil that has reached its boiling point – is dangerous. Burning oil often splatters and can then come into contact with skin or other surfaces, causing injury or stains. Be sure you’re aware of how quickly the oil is gathering heat to avoid this whenever possible.


If you don’t cook regularly, but you own a car, you can easily track motor oil stains into your home. Typically motor oil can leak onto concrete surfaces in garages and then latch onto the bottoms of your shoes. If this happens, it’s helpful to know how to remove oil stains from concrete to prevent this from happening. 



How to Remove Oil Stains from Carpet

COIT’s Guide to Removing Oil Stains from Carpet

From the wear and tear of daily life, your carpets certainly take a beating. From dirt to food to dust, it’s difficult to keep a large amount of carpet clean.

Since you won’t be able to throw your entire carpeting into the washing machine, it’s a good idea to have some do-it-yourself techniques in your back pocket. When it comes to removing oil stains from carpet, COIT offers these do-it-yourself methods that can keep your carpet looking its best.

Remember to always do a spot removal test on a portion of carpet or upholstery that is normally not visible.

Oil Stain Removal

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Carpet – Method # 1

  1. When trying to remove cooking oil stains, using a paper towel, blot the oil stain. Blot until no more oil appears on the paper towel.
  2. Using a washcloth, apply small amounts of rubbing alcohol directly onto the oil stain. Make sure you’re blotting, not wiping, as this can spread the stain out onto other areas of the carpet.
  3. Mix one quart of water with one-fourth teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Make sure the dishwashing liquid is a brand that doesn’t contain lanolin or bleach.
  4. Apply this water and dishwashing liquid mixture with a sponge directly onto the stain. Blot the affected area of the carpet until the oil stain is no longer visible.

If this method doesn’t work and you’re still wondering how to get oil stains out of carpet, give method number 2 a try, as outlined below, or Save Up to 50% off Residential cleaning services - Find discounts in your area Now!

How to Remove Motor Oil Stains from Carpet - Method # 2

Another type of oil stain that your carpets can fall victim to consists of motor oil. It’s easy to track motor oil back from the garage and right onto your carpet. When this happens, you’ll want to know how to remove oil stains from carpet rather quickly.

  1. Scrape off excess oil with a butter knife. Don’t press too hard, as you don’t want to damage any of the carpet fibers.
  2. Sprinkle a bit of baking soda directly onto the motor oil stain. You can also use corn starch if baking soda isn’t available.
  3. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Vacuum the carpet.
  5. Apply a few drops of dry-cleaning solvent on a clean cloth, and then apply the cloth directly to the motor oil stain. This is a good way to tell if it’s working when you’re wondering how to remove oil stains from carpet.
  6. Blot the stain with a clean cloth. If the oil stain is still visible, mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of white vinegar and one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent.
  7. Apply this solution onto a sponge, and work the solution into any remaining oil stain residue.
  8. Rinse the area with cold water and let dry. The motor oil stain should no longer be visible.

Whether it’s cooking oil stains or motor oil stains, COIT offers do-it-yourself methods that won’t take too long.

So the next time you’re wondering how to get oil stains out of carpet, be sure to try these methods before calling professional carpet cleaning servicesDon't forget to check out our coupons!

Remember to always do a spot removal test on a portion of carpet or upholstery that is normally not visible. These are suggested treatments only and COIT can't be held accountable for any damage sustained by the use of the treatments in this spot removal guide. 

Ricardo Cleaning Carpet

Home remedies not working?

If you’re still battling stubborn stains after trying these home remedies, professional cleaning may be a good option to explore. Check out COIT’s Cleaning Services to learn more about the help we can offer.

Contact COIT for stain removal help