How to Get an Olive Oil Stain Out of Carpet, Granite & Other Surfaces

Oh no! You were in the middle of cooking one of your favorite dishes when you elbowed that full bottle of olive oil off the table. Now it’s puddling on the countertop and the floor and maybe even sopping into the carpet. How do you take care of olive oil spills and messes?

The way you go about cleaning olive will depend on the surface in which it spilled. For instance:

  • If it’s a spill on hardwood or other flooring, use cat litter to soak up the excess oil.
  • If you tipped some olive oil onto your carpeting, try putting cornstarch or baking soda on the stain. This will absorb most of the oil. You can then use a cleaning solution to remove any leftover staining.
  • If you got some olive oil on a pricy granite countertop or cooking surface, sprinkle some baking soda and then make a cleaning paste to remove the mess for good.

If you have an olive oil spill on your hands (maybe quite literally), we know you’ll need more detailed info. That’s why, in this article, we’ll go step by step, explaining how to remove oil olive from the above surfaces. We’ll even share some tips for avoiding future spills.

Let’s get started.

How to Get an Olive Oil Stain Out…

How To Remove Olive Oil From Carpeting

Alright, so by now, you’re pretty confident in handling olive oil spills on hard flooring, but what if you got some on your carpet by accident? You know you can’t use the same cleaning methods, or can you?

Here’s how to quickly tackle olive oil stains before they ruin your beautiful carpeting.

  1. Apply cornstarch or baking soda where the oil spilled. You can’t use cat litter for carpet stains, so make sure you have some baking soda or cornstarch handy.
  2. Wait 15 minutes. As you do this, the product will get to work absorbing as much olive oil as possible from the carpet fibers. You can help by pushing the cornstarch or baking soda deeper into the carpet if you’d like.
  3. Clean up with your vacuum. Plug your vacuum cleaner in and remove the corn starch and the baking soda as well as any leftover residue by sucking them up.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 if you still see a stain. Sometimes, the olive oil stain doesn’t come right out of your carpet the first time around. You can clearly see a stain in a lighter-colored carpet, but if you have a darker rug, you might feel slickness from the olive oil. Either way, do the above steps again and see if the stain has lessened for the most part. It doesn’t have to disappear entirely, so keep that in mind. You just want to remove most of it with the cornstarch or baking soda.
  5. Use dry cleaning solvent. Once you’re ready to proceed, put some dry-cleaning solvent on a cloth. Make sure the cloth is white so you don’t transfer any stains or residue. Gently clean the stain. If you see oils coming up, proceed until you don’t anymore. The stain should have disappeared by now or at least look very faint.
  6. Combine warm water, white distilled vinegar, and liquid dish soap. There’s still more to do. Grab a bowl and add in some warm water (two cups), white distilled vinegar (a tablespoon), and liquid dish soap (a tablespoon of this as well).
  7. Clean the stain with the mixture. Again, go over the stained area of the carpet with your water, vinegar, and dish soap. Now, no traces of the stain should remain.
  8. Wash away the residue with water and dry the carpet. Get rid of any vinegar and dish soap residue that may be left by dabbing at the stain-free spot with a sponge. Then, with a towel, dry the carpet.
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How To Clean Olive Oil From Marble or Linoleum Flooring

For most hard kitchen flooring, the second you see a spill, you do not want to delay. Olive oil is tricky to get rid of, and it can permeate very deep into most surfaces. This goes for wood, marble, and linoleum as well.

Okay, knowing that, what can you do after the figurative dust has settled and you realize you have splatters of olive oil on your nice, expensive flooring? Panicking won’t help, but acting will. Get your supplies ready and start working.

  1. Put baking soda, sawdust, or cat litter on the stain. While most experts recommend cat litter for this less-than-enviable job, if you don’t have a feline friend, you’re not out of luck. Baking soda, a pantry staple, works about as well. So does sawdust, but cat litter will absorb best. Cover the whole stain or as much as you can. You can also sop up the mess with a paper towel or even use your mop. In that case, you can pass over most of the following steps.
  2. Let the litter sit for 30 minutes. Don’t touch the stain at this point. Step out of the room and let the litter do its job.
  3. Remove the litter with a vacuum cleaner. Plug in your vacuum and get rid of all traces of the cat litter, baking soda, or sawdust.
  4. Combine water and dishwashing detergent and use it to clean the spot on the floor. You’re not done yet. Next, you want to take a bowl and fill it with water and dishwashing detergent. If you’re using four cups of water, then add a small amount of detergent, only a teaspoon. Stir well. Then, dab at the spot with a brush or cloth until the mixture becomes sudsy. Rub over the stained flooring.
  5. Clean up the suds. Using minimal water and a separate cloth, wipe away all traces of the suds. You don’t want to use too much water so you don’t end up ruining your flooring.

How To Clean Olive Oil On Hardwood Flooring

Your wooden floors make your kitchen look incredible. Each week, you painstakingly clean and polish the floors so they maintain their luster. Then the worst happens. You or another family member knocks over the olive oil and it spills all over your precious hardwood.

Oh no. While time is of the essence, perhaps you weren’t home when the spill happened. In fact, it takes you a day or two to notice the damage. Now what? Do you need to call your contractor and discuss getting new floors installed in your kitchen?

Not so fast. Try this fix for old oil stains first.

  1. Wax your floor. This will prepare you for the next step.
  2. Apply tri-sodium phosphate or TSP. This product, which you can find at hardware stores or online, can combat oil stains that have affected your floor’s woodgrain.
  3. Alternately, add mineral spirits such as paint thinner, but make sure it’s odorless! For less deep stains, paint thinner can clean your wooden floor right up. Get the odorless stuff so you’re not breathing in unpleasant smells.
  4. Let air move through the room. Avoid fumes by running an oscillating fan or opening your windows.
  5. Use a cloth to get the product in deep. Move in the same direction of the woodgrain as you do so, as this will help you prevent accidentally damaging the wood.
  6. Give the wood time to dry. Air drying works best in this instance.
  7. Polish the floor. Hopefully, you should have gotten the olive oil stain out entirely. If you did, then wax and polish the floor, or at least the affected area.
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What if the above steps didn’t work? There’s no need to panic. You could always use a product known as Fuller’s earth to work that difficult stain out of your wooden flooring.

Here’s how.

  1. Buy Fuller’s earth. Again, browse around at your favorite hardware store or shop for it online.
  2. Apply the Fuller’s earth on the stain. A clay, Fuller’s earth has great absorbency. It can suck up what remains of the olive oil spill.
  3. Wait at least 10 minutes. If you can spare 15, then please do so.
  4. If that doesn’t work, then combine the Fuller’s earth with water. This should create a paste. You’ll have to let it settle over 24 hours for best results.
  5. Use a palette knife or brush to remove the paste. A day later, it’s time to take the paste off with a brush or palette knife. Go slowly and carefully so you don’t leave scrapes or gouges in the wood.
  6. Mop and wax your floors. Once the stain is graciously gone, clean up your floors. First, mop them with detergent. Then, wax or polish.

How To Remove Olive Oil From Your Granite Countertops

You spent a lot of money to get your gorgeous granite countertops and cooking surfaces installed. You like to marvel at them each time you venture into the kitchen…until they’re marred by a giant olive oil stain. Like with the other areas of the kitchen we’ve covered, stress later and clean now so you can save your granite kitchen. 

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on the granite. Like with your carpeting, baking soda will be your best friend. You want to cover the entire stain with the stuff. Avoid using paper towels to just dab up the stain even though that might be your first inclination.
  2. Wait 20 minutes. The baking soda will work its magic, beginning to absorb the spillage from the olive oil. This can take a while, so have some patience.
  3. Clean the baking soda with a damp sponge. In the meantime, dampen a clean sponge. Make sure it’s not sopping with water; it should only be a little wet. Then, once 20 minutes have passed, clear away all the baking soda.
  4. Combine baking soda and water to take care of what’s left. If you still see some sticky olive oil left on your granite countertops, don’t freak out. You have another means of fighting the stain. Now you want to create a paste. You can do this by adding water to your baking soda and mixing the two. Keep this all in a bowl to prevent extra messes.
  5. Put plastic wrap over the paste as it dries. Once you put the paste on, you don’t want to do much else except put plastic wrap on top of it. Otherwise, let the paste dry out on its own. This can take a few hours, but don’t mess with it prematurely.
  6. Grab a plastic scraper and get rid of the paste. The paste won’t come off easily if it’s not dried. Once it’s in that state, a plastic scraper should make quick work of the paste. Don’t dig too deep or hard or else you risk scratching your countertop.
  7. Wet a cloth and clean up the residue. The dried paste can leave a residue your scraper likely won’t get all the way. A somewhat wet cloth can erase this, so give the counter a quick wipe-down.
  8. Use a stone cleaner on the affected area. Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, reach for your favorite stone cleaner and apply that on the granite. Then you’re done.
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Tips for Avoiding Olive Oil Spills

Okay, so the nightmare is over, and your countertop, floors, or carpet are free of olive oil. It’s almost like the whole thing never happened, except you’re still plucking glass off the floor in your kitchen.

How can you prevent something like this from transpiring again? Well, there’s no foolproof way, but here are a few tips you should keep in mind when in the kitchen:

  • Store your olive oil in a pantry or cabinet that’s within arm’s reach or below. If you have to struggle to grasp for the bottle and it’s in a cabinet above your head, then it’s only a matter of time before you spill it.
  • Never leave olive oil on the edge of a counter or table.
  • Keep children out of the kitchen if you have glass bottles or containers out. Otherwise, teach them not to play with these items.
  • When you’re cooking, try to avoid situations in which you’re rushing around in a frenzy. This makes spills of any nature less likely to happen.
  • Watch your elbows! All it takes is one good swipe to send your olive oil bottle toppling to the floor.
  • Always keep track of the cap of the olive oil bottle. This way, no one puts it back in the cabinet without its lid, increasing the chances of a spill.

Related Questions

How do you remove sticky olive oil residue?

On most hard surfaces, some dish soap and hot water should get rid of any leftover residue you might be dealing with. Combine the two liquids and then dip a plastic scrubber into the mix. Do make sure you let the excess water drip off the scrubber as well as possible before you begin cleaning.

When you’re done, use a paper towel or a soft cloth to dry the countertop or flooring. You might want to clean the surface again using your preferred cleaning products afterwards, but that’s up to you.

How do you get dried oil out of a carpet?

Okay, let’s say the kids spilled olive oil on your carpeted floors and you didn’t see it for a good while. You then stepped in it, your foot coming away crusty and a bit sticky. The olive oil has dried into the carpet fibers, so how do you get rid of it?

First, grab a standard kitchen butter knife and use it to rub away the hardened oil spots. Then, cover the spot with baking soda or cornstarch. Wait at least 10 minutes, preferably 15 minutes. Vacuum over the spot as well as the rest of the carpet.

Then, use dry-cleaning solvent, spreading it with a cloth. That should get the oil chunks out, but you don’t have to stop there. Combine liquid dish detergent (one tablespoon) with white vinegar (one tablespoon) and warm water (two cups). The mix should take care of any stubborn residue.

What can you do to eliminate the smell of spilled olive oil?

Whew! You didn’t think of how strong your olive oil would smell, at least not until it was spilled all over your kitchen. Now, the room kind of stinks. How do you lessen the odor?

Turn on your stove-top. Fill one of your smaller saucepans with vinegar (a tablespoon) and water (a cup). Boil the mixture on your simmer setting for several minutes. If you want to infuse your kitchen with a more pleasant scent, try adding cinnamon sticks, lemon peels or halves, vanilla extract, real rosemary, or bay leaves to your saucepan. Repeat as necessary until the smell disappears entirely.