How To Remove Oil Stains From Sofa In 3 Easy Steps

Those who are frustrated with not knowing how to remove oil stains from sofa can read this three-step guide. For this home solution, you will need baking soda, dish soap, and water. It should be safe for most sofa upholstery types, but we recommend that you find a specially formulated cleaning solution if your sofa uses delicate materials.

Do not worry because we have also included grease removal hacks for other materials such as leather in this article. So without further ado, let’s get started!

How To Remove Oil Stains From SofaHow To Remove Oil Stains From Sofa


How Do You Get An Oil Stain Out Of A Couch?


Step 1. Dab off the excess oil

If the oil spill on the sofa is recent, get a paper towel and absorb as much grease as possible. Never apply heavy pressure as it may cause the upholstery to absorb the oil deeper. Furthermore, avoid making a rubbing motion since it can cause the oil to spread on other parts of the sofa. 

Replace the paper towel once it gets saturated when blotting. Use as many paper towels as needed so the extent of the spill stays manageable. 


Step 2. Break down the residue with baking soda

After removing the excess oil with paper towels, grab some baking soda and sprinkle it over the affected spot. The baking soda is excellent for absorbing oils, and it’s safe for most upholstery materials. Allow it to sit for several hours or overnight before vacuuming the powder off. 


Step 3. Clean with a soap solution

Oil stains that have been on the sofa for a long time might leave more residues and discolorations that dabbing or using baking soda won’t suffice. To eliminate oil stains more effectively, you will need dish soap and warm water. But while dishwashing liquid is mild enough for most upholstery types, it’s best that you still test it first on a small spot of the couch for any fading or staining. 

Mix warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid until it creates suds. Scoop them out with a sponge and blot the oil stains, working from outside towards the center. Do not oversaturate the couch, then rinse the soapy residue afterward with a damp cloth before air drying. 


How Do You Remove Old Oil Stains?

Check the upholstery cleaning code to know if you can use water-based products or solvent-based products. You might even need to consult a professional to remove the oil and grease stains on delicate materials safely. Otherwise, here is a general guideline for removing old oil stains: 

  1. Use a dull knife to lift the dried oil stain from the fabric’s fibers
  2. Be careful when pushing off the stain so you don’t tear the material or make the stain larger
  3. After removing most of the oil stain, sprinkle baking soda over the affected area
  4. Brush the baking soda into the upholstery and leave it for 15 minutes
  5. Vacuum the baking soda off
  6. Clean the oil residue with the proper product
  7. Follow the cleaning solution’s instructions accordingly
  8. You can also blot off the stain with soap and water for code W or with rubbing alcohol for code S sofas
  9. Rinse off the cleaning solution with a damp cloth and dry the couch thoroughly

How Do You Get An Oil Stain Out Of Leather?

Cleaning a leather sofa with baking soda is also effective for oil stain removal. However, you can use distilled water and dish soap to dab the oil off as well. Test a small part of the leather with the soap to check for fading and follow these steps if there are no reactions:

  1. Blot as much oil as you can with a dry microfiber cloth
  2. Dab the stain with a soft cloth and suds from a solution of water and dish soap
  3. Dab the stain again with another damp cloth until it absorbs the oil
  4. Dry the area and repeat as necessary
  5. Apply a leather-formulated conditioner on the sofa to restore its moisture and prevent cracking

How Do You Get An Oil Stain Out Of Fabric?

A solution of dish soap and warm water is effective for removing oil stains in the fabric. However, remember that there are different types of fabric upholstery, so always test any cleaning solution on a small portion of the material. Another effective method is baking soda and vinegar, which are both safe for most fabrics. 

  1. Sprinkle baking soda onto the oil stain to absorb the excess
  2. Let it sit for several minutes and then vacuum the baking soda off
  3. Spray diluted white vinegar onto the fabric to lift off the oil within the fibers
  4. Blot off the stain and wipe with a damp cloth
  5. Allow the sofa to dry
  6. Avoid using tap water because it might have minerals that can cause staining
  7. You can remove water stains from the fabric sofa with vinegar 


Oil and grease residues should not be the most challenging stains to remove on furniture. In this article on how to remove oil stains from sofa, you must blot off the excess oil, absorb it with baking soda, and eliminate the stain with dish soap and water. 

Do note to always test any cleaning solution on the sofa before using it thoroughly. And if your sofa uses other materials such as microfiber, read this guide on how to clean a faux suede sofa


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