Steps to remove grease and oil from car interior

May 20, 2019 | Same topic: Handy maintenance tips
Identifying whether the stain in the car's interior is grease and oil and the step by step process on how to remove it.

Grease and oil in the car’s interior are one of the most annoying and hard to remove stains, especially if was left untouched for a long time already. These types of stains should be removed immediately.

Oil and grease might be slightly different, but there are common techniques that will work in getting rid of it. If you’ve been stressed out on how to clean and remove oil and grease stains in your car’s interior, Philkotse.com is here to assist you. Read on this article to know how to deal with these stubborn stains.

How to remove grease from car upholstery

I. Clean grease and oil stains: Materials to prepare

Before we head on to the cleaning process, first, you have to prepare the following materials:

  • Distilled or tap water
  • Microfiber towel or rag
  • Spoon, knife or paint scraper
  • Shop towel or dry paper towel
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum (optional but preferred)
  • Dish detergent, degreaser, grease remover for cloth seat and carpet
  • Steam (Traditional steam cleaner will do. Brown paper bag and clothing iron can also be used if steam is not available)
  • Over-the-counter degreaser for leather

>>> Read more: 8 useful things for your DIY car wash

II. How to clean grease and oil stains from cloth seats and carpets

Step #1. Understand the stain

When cleaning, whether it's grease or oil in the car's interior that you need to remove, it will ultimately not matter because oil is referred to as any kinds of a compound that are soluble in solvents or non-polar things such as gasoline and liquid, but is insoluble in water.

On the other hand, grease is also an oil but the only difference is that it contains additives, making it semi-solid like that of Jell-O. The additives present in grease are solid and will not be absorbed by the surface of the car’s interior.

Removing dirt in the car seat

Whether it's grease or oil in the car's interior that you need to remove, it will ultimately not matter

Meaning to say, when you scrape off the excess contaminants from the interior’s surface, all that is left there will be an oil stain. And, the process of cleaning oil from the car seats is the same when cleaning oil stains in the carpet as well.

Step #2. Scrape off excess grease and oil

Using a spoon, knife or paint scraper, scrape off grease and oil in the surface. It's not important whether you use plastic or metal as long as you don't puncture the car seat. So, be very cautious in using sharp objects when removing the stains.

Scraping off residue in the car seat

Using a spoon, knife or paint scraper, scrape off grease and oil in the surface

Step #3. Blot the stain

Blotting the stain helps in removing any residual oil or grease that is sitting in the interior’s surface. You can use a shop towel or dry paper towel in doing this procedure.

Blot the stain

Blotting the stain helps in removing any residual oil or grease that is sitting in the interior’s surface

Step #4. Use baking soda and apply it to the stain

Baking soda will be very helpful in soaking up the oil in the surface. Let it sit in for 10 to 15 minutes. Then after it sits in, sweep it up. You can also use a vacuum that comes with a shopvac in removing the baking soda.

If the amount of oil in the surface is too large, consider putting more baking soda on the grease or oil stain then repeat the cycle for a few more times.

Use baking soda to clean car seat

Baking soda will be very helpful in soaking up the oil in the surface

>>> Check out more tips on car interior maintenance:

Step #5. Use dry cleaning solvent to clean the carpet (if there are remaining residual stains)

If you noticed that there are stains left in the surface, repeat the same process, that’s if you see any improvement when doing so. If you use a particular dry cleaner to blot and sponge the stain, read and follow the instructions indicated on the packaging or manufacturer’s bottle.

If you see that this method is no longer making any difference, then proceed to the next method.

Dry cleaning solvent

Dry cleaner for car interior

Step #6. Scrub the stain using a degreaser

Using a detergent is often enough in breaking up grease and oil stains, most especially if the stain is still fresh. If the detergent doesn’t work, there are OTC oil or grease remover you can purchase. Using this degreaser is one of the straightforward and most common ways to get rid of oil and grease stains.

Step #7. Steam the area

If there is still a stain left in the surface after using a degreaser, this time, you might need to utilize steam in coaxing the stains out. Using the steamq will allow the carpet’s fibers to heat up, this will open the fiber’s pores up.

It enables the carpet to release trapped oil, giving you the chance to blot it up. When doing this job, you can utilize a traditional steam cleaner.

If there aren’t any available steam cleaner, placing a brown paper bag on top of the stain will absorb the oils. Then you can apply the steam by placing a clothing iron over the bag. This will make steam and heat to free the oils in the surface.

man ironing the car seat

Place a brown paper bag on top of the stain will absorb the oils

>>> Read more tips: Must-know steps on how to clean different types of car seats

III. How to remove oil and grease from leather

Step #1. Remove any excess oil or grease from the leather’s surface

Blot and scrape the grease or oil off the surface of the leather using the same procedure as the one mentioned above. Make sure you remove as much oil or grease on the surface before you try to clean it out. Just be careful not to damage the leather or cause any scratches and cuts when removing the stains.

Step #2. Combine a decreasing solution

Usually, when mixing a degreasing solution, it means that you will combine warm water with dish detergent. Or, to better protect the leather, you can purchase OTC oil and grease removers specially formulated to leather. This way is the most straightforward and most commonly used in removing oil and grease stain off the leather surface.

Combine cleaning solution

Mixing a degreasing solution to better clean the leather

Step #3. Clean the stained area

Scrub the stained area thoroughly using a microfiber rag or towel and the degreasing solution. When you notice that the leather’s color was transferred onto the towel or rag, immediately stop. Then allow the spot to dry before you continue.

Scrub the car seat

Step #4. Remove the cleaner using a wet towel

When removing the cleaner from the leather, the best thing to use here is distilled water. But if not available, you can also use tap water as well. Make sure there’s no soapy residue or lather left in the leather. This soapy residue can collect dirt.

>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice on car maintenance.

Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez