Removing Cooking Oil Stains From a Wooden Floor?

June 1, 2007

Some oil leaked from a bag I put on the floor, about a month ago. The oil has leaked into the wood, leaving a dark stain. I've looked up various remedies online but have not found a clear solution, and I don't want to go messing around with the floor until I know what I'm doing. The stain is about 10 inches by 20, made with some kind of edible oil, probably olive, the stain has been there for a month without treatment, and the floor is in pretty bad condition to begin with.


It was lightly varnished a long time ago with some kind of clear finish, but the varnish is very thin now over most of the floor. I would very very much appreciate some well informed advice on this.


June 5, 20070 found this helpful

Oh Lucy,

What a pickle you're in...

I suggest trying the stuff a garage uses to eat oil up... Try it with a thickish layer and a board layed over it for abit of pressure...

Next i would ask a few floor refinishers... They may say to sand it 1st then do something...

Home Depot or Lowes may have ideas for you...

Flour is used to absorb oil in the kitchen, maybe that will work...

Shampoo takes hair and skin oil out of collars, i wonder if it may help your floor...

I'm so sorry this happened to your floor... I wish you luck in getting it out...



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June 12, 20070 found this helpful

Just heard on HGTV... A homeowner used cornstarch on a huge oil spot in the wood floor from vegetable oil...

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October 11, 20080 found this helpful

I have used white vinegar and water to mop my hardwood floor. I would try that and perhaps mix a bit of baking soda with the vinegar. Its all natural and both are excellent cleansers - which shouldn't hurt your floor.

I've used that on my car interior, carpets, etc. It won't change the color of your hardwood or hurt the wood.

If that doesn't work after letting it dry completely throughout the wood...I would lightly sand the wood with a fine sandpaper and revarnish just that area (even with a spray).

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By brandy. (Guest Post)
December 28, 20080 found this helpful

To Lucy and everyone; I tried vinegar to remove cooking oil from my hardwood floor. After soaking the stain twice I saw no change.

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March 19, 20090 found this helpful

Of course vinegar won't touch oil. Why do you think that oil and vinegar salad dressings have to be shaken just before serving?

I suggest mineral spirits or kerosene, and paper towels. (NOT naphtha or gasoline -- its fumes are flammable. If there is any doubt, the solvent used should not be capable of being lighted with a match after a little has been poured into a dish -- try this test OUTDOORS for obvious reasons.) After removing the surface oil, place paper towels dampened with the mineral spirits on the floor, cover with aluminum foil, and weight down with books for an hour or so.


The oil will dissolve and migrate from the wood into the paper towels. Repeat a few times if needed.

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October 5, 20150 found this helpful

I have the same problem in an old house I am renovating. Plan to refinish floors next summer. Currently I am covering the oily areas with plain baby powder. The baby powder turns brown as it soaks up the oil. When baby powder is saturated scrape up and apply clean baby powder. I plan to keep this up as long as the baby powder keeps soaking up oil. I will use the above mentioned method with mineral spirits and paper towels before i sand the floors but for now the baby powder is slowly cleaning up the oil!

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January 18, 20170 found this helpful

In a yogart cup I put 1/4 to 3/8" of Dawn dish soap, add very small amount of hot water, stir, apply to stains with a "Q" tip and let stand 24 hrs. Then scrub with dish sponge (green side) and hot water.


Then wipe with clear warm water. This is on a bare yellow pine floor. The cooking oil was on the floor overnight. I tried vinegar,bleach with no luck.

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January 23, 20172 found this helpful

i ve used a table spoon of dawn dish soap and some warm water the soap will break down the oil and also the warm water will help. This wont mess up your floors at all.

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June 28, 20180 found this helpful

Try a little Dawn dish soap on a rag, and scrub the area good then mop.

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