Tips for Getting Fresh Motor Oil Stains out of Your Carpet
If you were changing your oil and stepped in it, you may have discovered that you tracked it in onto your home's carpets. If so, use the following tips to act quickly to get rid of the fresh motor oil stains before they set up in your carpet.
Scrape Away the Excess Motor Oil
The first thing you should do before you try to treat the stain is remove as much of the motor oil as possible. However, do not rub or blot the oil, as its viscosity can easily make it spread to the surrounding carpet fibers if you push on it. Instead, use a butter or putty knife to scrape up the top layers of the oil. Before you start scraping, however, place a piece of thin cardboard on one side of the stain so that you can push the oil onto it without contaminating the adjoining clean carpet.
Apply Baking Soda to the Stain
Once you have scraped up as much of the motor oil as possible, you can begin treating the stain using a two-part process. The first part of this process is applying baking soda to the stain. The baking soda serves two purposes: first, its base properties help neutralize the acids in the oil, helping to keep it from eating away at the carpet fibers. Second, the baking soda absorbs any excess motor oil deep within the fibers that you were unable to remove with the knife. After applying about an eighth of an inch layer of baking soda, let it work for an hour or two. Then, vacuum up the baking soda and motor oil mixture.
Spray the Stain with a Homemade Solution
The second part of treating the motor oil stain involves spraying it with a mixture of vinegar and dish detergent. Both of these ingredients break down the motor oil so that it can be easily rinsed out of the fibers. Mix together a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar and a teaspoon of detergent with a warm cup of water inside a spray bottle. Saturate the oil stain, then leave it on for a couple of hours. Once the time has passed, use a clean white rag dipped in cold water to rinse and pull the cleaner and oil out of the carpet. After the carpet dries, vacuum the area thoroughly.
After using the above tips, you may find that the motor oil stain remains on your carpet, especially if a large amount of the oil came into contact with the fibers. If so, contact a carpet cleaning service to discuss your options for removing the motor oil stains, as well as any other stains that may still be present.