Motor oil is one stain that can be removed as long as you get to work on it as soon as it has been spilled on the carpet. A few supplies that you may already have around the house are needed to clean engine oil, so get to work as soon as you see the spill happen. These cleaning tips will also work for other petroleum-based products such as Vaseline.

Things Needed to Clean Engine Stains:

  • Absorbent white paper towels (colored towels shouldn’t be used)
  • Cleaning solution:
    • Synthetic Fibers: Rubbing (Isoprophyl) alcohol
    • Oriental Rugs: 5-6 drops of mild grease-cutting liquid dish soap mixed with 1 quart of water.
    • Wool Fiber: Aerosol brake parts cleaner, then dry cleaning fluid.
  • Clean, white cloth.
  • Weight (heavy books, dish, etc.)

*Various types of carpet will require treatment with different types of cleaning solution. At all times, check with the manufacturer’s recommendations before deciding on a clean engine stain solution.


  1. In case oil is puddled, use the plastic spoon to scoop up excess oil and dispose of spoon promptly. If the oil has dried, it may be necessary to use a small hand-vac to pick up residue. Avoid using a full-sized vacuum because you might inadvertently spread the stain.
  2. Using a sheet or two of paper towel folded into a square. Blot at the oil stain using a lifting motion working from the outside in. NEVER rub the stain or you may make it more serious.
  3. Make use of paper towels to blot the oil. Apply a lifting motion and blot until no more oil comes off on the paper towel.
  4. Apply a modest amount of cleaning solution to washcloth.
  5. Test out a small area of the carpet to make sure it can endure the cleaning solution without staining or fading.
  6. Blot the stain using the washcloth. Just as before, do not rub as this may spread the stain.

To Continue..

  1. Do again the washcloth blotting (rewetting with cleaning solution if required) until the stain is gone.
  2. In the event that stain remains, apply a small amount of cleaning solution directly and let stand no longer than 5 minutes. Blot using dry, white paper towel as in step # 2 until the moisture is absorbed and the stain is gone.
  3. Cover stain using clean cloth or stack of paper towels and put heavy weight on top (heavy books, etc.)
  4. Leave set for many hours to absorb any remaining liquid.
  5. Take away weights and cloths and let area air dry.
  6. As soon as spot has dried completely, vacuum thoroughly to restore carpet texture and pick up any remaining cleaning solution residue.
  7. If stain still remains after all the above measures, seek the help of a professional carpet cleaner.


  • In case you have an oriental rug or if your carpet is wool or silk, it is strongly advised that you have the stain removed professionally. These types of rugs/carpeting are sensitive and may not be color fast. You should definitely call a carpet specialist that is familiar with the type of rug/carpet you have. When in uncertainty as to the type of material your carpet or Oriental rug is made of, check the tag, or consult the retailer/installer for your carpet.
  • When you clean engine stains, don’t over saturate the area because this may cause the stain to spread. The cleaning washcloth has to be damp, not soaking wet.
  • Refrain from walking on any damp areas of carpet. Ensure that any spots you cleaned are dry before you walk on them (wet carpet fibers attract more dirt than dry, and you may end up getting a bigger stain than you bargained for.
  • For you to extend the life of your carpet and avoid excessive staining, you should vacuum your carpets at least once a week, and deep clean them no less than twice a year.
  • It is strongly suggested that you choose a reputable professional carpet cleaner to deep clean your carpets, but if you choose to deep clean your carpets yourself using rented cleaning machines make sure you don’t over saturate the carpet (it might result in the carpet backing or seams to separate) and make sure you have adequate ventilation, using fans to help disperse the odors from the cleaning solution.

Regardless if you have a professional deep clean your carpets or you decide on doing it yourself, always allow the carpets to dry completely before walking on them (12 hours is advised).

Carpet Cleaning Auckland 09-489 5599