3 Ways To Get Oil Stains Out Of Fabric Furniture

We've all done it at some point in our lives. You're sitting on the couch, watching TV and eating a bag of chips, or enjoying a nice meal. All of a sudden, boom--you've spilled food on your couch. And to make matters worse, you've now created an oil stain on your couch. What are oil stains removable? And if so, how? We've looked into some of the best methods to get oil stains out of upholstery furniture. In this post, we will share these methods with you.

Here are three methods that you can use to get oil stains out of your fabric furniture:

  1. Baking soda & spot remover
  2. Dish soap
  3. Baby powder and dish soap

The best way to remove oil stains from upholstery furniture is to tackle them immediately. The longer the oil stain stays on the furniture, the harder it will be to remove. Continue reading to learn the steps you can take to get rid of common oil stains on your upholstery furniture.

Throw pillows on sofa in living room, 3 Ways To Get Oil Stains Out Of Fabric Furniture

Methods For Removing Oil Stains From Fabric Furniture

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Pillows on sofa in living room

Before applying any cleaners are solvents to your furniture, it's always a good idea to do a spot test first on an inconspicuous area. This will help you to avoid potential discoloration. You'll also want to avoid using abrasive cleaners and substances on your upholstery furniture, as they are likely to cause damage or discoloration to the material. If you are unsure what to use on your furniture, always check the manufacturer's care instructions.

Method 1: Use Baking Soda & Spot Remover

Things you'll need for these methods:

  • Baking soda
  • Corn starch
  • Some paper towels
  • Baby powder
  • Baby wipes
  • Spot remover
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Disposable toothbrush

Steps for removal:

  1. As soon as you notice the stain on your upholstery furniture, take a plastic fork or knife and try to scrape off as much of it as possible. If the oil stain is still wet, use a paper towel that is slightly damp to gently blot the excess grease. Be sure to throw the paper towel in the kitchen trash can and do not sit on the furniture, or you'll risk creating an entirely new stain.
  2. Next, take your baking soda and sprinkle it on the oil stain. It may be easier to do this by using a tablespoon or a measuring spoon. Make sure that the oil stain is completely covered in baking soda. Apply the baking soda to all of the oil stains on your upholstery furniture and allow it to sit on the stains to absorb oil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Grab your vacuum cleaner or upholstery cleaner and use the brush attachment to remove the baking soda from the upholstery furniture. Be sure to go over the spots a few times, as you don't want the baking soda to stay nestled in the furniture's fabric.
  4. Take a dry cleaning solvent or spot remover and apply it to the furniture using a damp cloth.
  5. Gently press the cloth into the oil stain to lift it from the fabric. If the stain is still visible, repeat the previous steps until it is completely removed from the furniture. You may need to do this once or twice.

Click here to see this baking soda on Amazon.

Method 2: Dish Soap

Dish soap does wonders when it comes to breaking up grease particles in oil stains, which shouldn't be a surprise. Here are steps to another method that you can use to get grease stains out of your upholstery. 

  1. Start by cleaning the stain with a microfiber cloth and warm soapy water. When creating your soapy water solution, be sure to only use one to two drops of liquid dish soap, as you don't want to over-saturate the upholstery furniture. Also, make sure to use warm water instead of cold water to help penetrate the grease.
  2. Next, apply a spot stain remover to your microfiber cloth and rub it on the upholstery stain. Gently work the spot cleaner into the grease for about 60 seconds. You can also use a sponge to apply the spot remover as well. Try not to scrub the area too hard, as you don't want to damage the upholstery's fibers.
  3. Then, take a baby wipe and run it over the staying a few times using a circular motion. Most baby wipes contain a small amount of alcohol which can help remove the grease from the upholstery. If the stain is still on the couch after this step, repeat the steps until the stain disappears.
  4. After the stain is gone, take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe down the couch to remove any dish soap remnants.

Click here to see this dish soap on Amazon.

Method 3: Baby Powder & Dish Soap

You can also use the baby powder to help tackle upholstery grease stains. Here's how:

  1. Immediately blot to stain using a paper towel to remove excess grease from the furniture. Toss the paper towel in the trash can, so you don't accidentally set it on the furniture.
  2. Take your baby powder and sprinkle an ample amount directly on top of the stain to absorb the grease.
  3. Let the baby powder sit on the grease stain for about 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, take a soft bristle brush or a microfiber cloth and gently work the powder into the upholstery to further lift the fabric's grease.
  4. Then pour a few drops of liquid soap onto a cleaning cloth and dampen it with warm water.
  5. Next, use the cleaning cloth to go over the stain using circular motions. Remember to start on the edges of the stain and work your way towards the middle to prevent spreading it wider.
  6. Rinse the cloth or sponge off and go over the upholstery to remove any remnants of the dish soap.
  7. Take a clean, dry cloth and go over the furniture to help it dry faster. If the stain is still visible after the upholstery dries, repeat the previous steps as needed.

Click here to see this baby powder on Amazon.

Does steam cleaning upholstery remove stains?

Yes, steam cleaning helps to remove bacteria, eliminate stains, and refresh upholstery items. If you want to remove spills, set-in stains, and oils from food, steam cleaning can do the trick. The chemicals in most solvents are gentle enough to use on upholstery but strong enough to eliminate everyday stains and odors from body oils, pet urine, and cigarette smoke. 

Click here to see this steam cleaner on Amazon.

Are grease stains permanent? 

Grease stains don't have to be permanent. Yes, they can be more challenging to remove if they have been left to sit on a surface for a long time, but it doesn't mean that they can't be minimized. The effectiveness of a grease stain removal method will depend on the fabric of the material, the amount of time the grease has set in, and the types of cleaning solutions used on the material.

It's always best to do a quick spot test before attempting to remove grease on any fabric, as you don't want to cause discoloration. This can be especially true for materials prone to easy discoloration, such as cotton, acrylic, polyblends, silk, and wool. 

What are the easiest upholstery fabrics to clean?

Easiest upholstery fabrics to clean, 3 Ways To Get Oil Stains Out Of Fabric Furniture

There are certain types of fabrics that more frequent cleaning and sanitizing than other fabrics. This is why it's helpful to know which fabrics are easier to maintain and clean and which may require more work. But which upholstery fabrics are the best for high traffic areas? Let's take a look.


Fabric vinyl dark background

Vinyl makes for great upholstery fabric. This is why you may often see it in places like dental offices, casual food eateries, and hotel lobbies. Vinyl is usually very easy to disinfect, clean, and stand the test of time if it is properly maintained. While the idea of vinyl upholstery may sound outdated and old, the truth is that the advancements made with vinyl upholstery have made it very appealing.

These days vinyl upholstery can look like several different fabric types. It's also making a bit of a comeback as interior decorators find different ways to insert vinyl upholstery into stylistic choices. So to say, if you are looking for a way to jazz up your home or business, vinyl upholstery can be a good look and an easy maintenance option.


Leather background close up

What's better than leather? Leather is one of the most commonly used upholstery materials available today. Not only is it classic, but it is luxurious and fairly easy to clean. Even if you get grease stains on your leather upholstery, you can quickly get rid of them with a bit of liquid soap or baking soda.

Leather is more stain-resistant than many upholstery fabrics, as it is often coated with primers to help it last longer. There are several leather cleaners available to help you sanitize your leather upholstery items and keep them germ-free.

Click here to see this leather cleaner on Amazon.


Blue wave microfiber fabric texture

Microfiber is a synthetic material that has made a name one of the best fabric and upholstery materials you can use. Not only does it make long-lasting towels and apparel, but it can also make for great furniture upholstery as well.

The best thing about microfiber is that it requires very little maintenance in comparison to other fabrics. It's also fairly easy to clean and sanitize. Microfiber has a long lifespan and removing grease, and other stains can be just a matter of dabbing a date of dish soap or a reliable spot cleaner on it.


Red velvet background

Velvet is known for its luxurious nature and soft, smooth feel. However, you may be surprised to learn that velvet is fairly easy to clean and maintain. Most contractor-grade velvet has undergone treatment with stain repellent to make it stain-resistant. These repellents also help keep it free of dirt and germs, which you can easily wipe off with a clean cloth.

Not only is velvet considered a trendy upholstery fabric in the interior design world, but it also comes with the benefits of being easy-to-clean. What's not to love about it?

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has helped you discover the best methods to get oil stains out of your upholstery furniture. Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts: 

11 Brown Sofa Living Room Ideas That You Should See!

How To Whiten Yellowed Leather Sofa [7 Steps]

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