Whether it's motor oil tracked in on someone's shoes or olive oil from the bruschetta at your last cocktail party, an oil stain on the carpet may seem permanent. Fortunately, you can usually get the stain out completely so the car looks like new again. It will take a bit of effort and time, but the following guide can help you win against the stain.
You will need the following supplies:
Absorbent undyed cotton rags (old t-shirts or socks work well)
A hand dishwashing soap made to cut through grease
A small scrub brush (an old toothbrush works well)
Removing the stain requires that you follow the steps exactly. Trying to take short cuts can make it more difficult to remove the stain later.
Place a folded up t-shirt or rag on top of the oil stain and press down firmly. This allows you to soak up as much of the stain as possible. If the stain is very fresh, you may want to place a brick or other weight on top of the cloth overnight to draw out as much of the stain as possible.
Cover the oil with the cornstarch. Use a relatively thick layer and work it down into the carpet fibers. Cornstarch is highly absorbent, so it will remove even more of the oil. Allow it to set for an hour or two, and then vacuum it up.
Now it's time to combat the main stain. Spread a thin layer of the soap over the stain area. Next, work it into the carpet fibers well, using the stiff brush. Avoid spreading it further out from the stain. Instead, work from the outside of the stain inward with the brush so only the current stain is soaked in the soap.
Pour a small amount of water on the cleaned area. Next, cover the area with a clean rag and press firmly, drawing both water and soap out of the carpet. Repeat the process until no suds remain, and then blot the carpet as dry as possible. If you own or rent a carpet cleaner, you can use this device to extract the excess water out of the carpet fibers.
Check for any remaining stains from the oil once the carpet fibers have dried completely and you have vacuumed over the area. If stains remain, bring in a professional carpet cleaning contractor to remove the remainder.