Remove Oil Stains From Wood

Wood with some round oil stains on it.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-130
What You'll Need
Blotting paper
Clean cloths
Warm water
Mild detergent
Soft brush
Mineral spirits
Dry cleaning fluid
Fullers earth
Small bowl
Putty knife
Wood polish
Rubber gloves

It isn’t difficult to remove oil stains from wood items. Perhaps you have a wooden floor, furniture, countertop, or other wood fixtures in your home. Accidental oil spills on wood create oil stains. If left unattended, these ruin the otherwise fine appearance of your wooden items. It is best to treat oil stains on wood as soon as they occur to prevent the oil from sinking deep into the wood. This causes a dark stain that is harder to remove. Below is a simple guide on how to clean oil stains from wood.

Step 1 – Soak up the Oil

Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from possible irritation by the stain removing agents. Press a blotting paper or old newspaper firmly onto the oil stain. This will soak up any available oil on the wood. Repeat until you’re certain you’ve cleared most of the oil.

Step 2 – Apply Mineral Spirits

Dampen one corner of a clean cloth with some mineral spirits. Rub firmly in a circular motion over the stained wood. If the stain is light, the mineral spirits should clear the stain away.

Step 3 – Clean With Detergent

Place some warm water in a basin. Add some mild detergent. Create soap suds. Place some of the solution into the stained area. Scrub gently with a soft brush. Rinse with plain water then dry with a cloth.

Step 4 – Inspect the Wood

Allow the wood to dry completely. While it is still wet you won’t be able to determine if the stain has cleared. If the stain is still evident, you’ll need to apply further treatment.

Step 5 – Apply Dry Cleaning Fluid and Fuller’s Earth

You can purchase Fuller’s Earth online or from an auto parts store. Mix some Fuller’s Earth with dry cleaning liquid in a small bowl to make a thick paste. Scoop a small amount of the paste with a clean cloth. Spread a thin layer of the paste over the entire stained area. Allow about ten minutes for the paste to dry.

Step 6 – Scrape

Use a putty knife to clear the dried paste. Scrape it away gently but firmly. Your wood should now be stain free.

Step 7 – Clean

Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean the area as before. Be sure to rinse well to remove all traces of soap. Dry the area well with a soft cloth.

Step 8 – Polish

It is a good idea to shine the wood after the various treatments applied. This will help to restore the luster of the wood. Polish also helps to protect the wood. Apply a good wood polish with a soft cloth onto the wood. Apply sparingly as too much polish will not be absorbed by the wood. It will also leave the wood surface slippery. Polish in a circular motion until all the polish is absorbed by the wood.

Oil stains on wood happen. But, now that you are equipped the proper know-how you can save the wood!