Accidents happen and they can happen on your beautiful hardwood floors. Grease or oil can be tracked in on shoes or can land on the surface of your wood floors as the result of a spill from salad oil or cooking oil. It is important to take care of the mess as soon as possible so it does not absorb into the wood flooring. Wood is a porous material that will draw the oil into the fibers and become very difficult to remove. The longer grease or oil is left on a wood floor the  deeper it will set. It is also important to clean  up grease or oil as soon as possible to avoid a slip and fall accident.grease or oil in combination with the slick protective layer that sits on top of a wood floor creates an dangerous situation.

Fortunately, with the right cleaners and methods you can remove the stains from your hardwood flooring before the damage is done and with some work you can remove older oil and grease stains to restore the beauty to your wood floors.

Cleaning Up Spilled Oil or Grease From Wood Floors

Blot up as much of the spill as possible with white paper towels or a rag. Just blot the oil and grease, do not rub the rag or paper towels back and forth because you will smear the mess.

Generously sprinkle white flour or cornstarch over the remaining oil or grease.

Allow it to sit for an hour or so.

Sweep or vacuum up the flour or cornstarch.

Mix a teaspoonful of grease fighting mild dish detergent into warm water.

Dip a clean soft flannel or cotton rag into the soapy water and wring it out so it is just damp.

Wipe the area and dry thoroughly with a dry, soft rag.

Always dry any area of wood flooring because water will leave a white stain and cause the floor boards to swell.

Removing Grease or Motor Oil From Wood Floors

Apply Eucalyptus Essential Oil to a clean, soft rag. Eucalyptus Essential Oil is available at natural pharmacies, health food stores and online.

Begin at the edge of the stain and work towards the middle, rubbing the grease away. Use clean areas of the rag frequently to avoid spreading the grease.

After the black stains are gone, generously sprinkle cornstarch or flour over the previously stained area.

Let the flour or cornstacrh remain on the floor for one to two hours. The flour or cornstarch will absorb the greasy, slippery film left behind by the grease.

Wipe the floor with grease fighting dish detergent.

Wipe the floor with a damp rag and dry immediately.

Removing Cooking Oil or Salad Oil From Hardwood Floors

Dampen a clean soft rag with mineral spirits.

Begin at the outer edge of the stain and rub towards the middle until all of the oil has been removed.

Buff the area with a clean, soft cotton or flannel rag to remove the mineral spirits residue.

Apply a coat of floor wax.

Mineral spirits will strip an existing wax finish offthe hardwood floor surface.


Most oil or grease stains can be cleaned and removed with these methods, but for oil and grease that has been left on the floor for a long time, you may have to sand the area with a fine grade sandpaper or rub it out with extra fine steel wool. Stop sanding or rubbing with the steel wool as soon as the stain is no longer visible and apply a coat of floor wax. If the color does not match, use the same techniques as you would for wood floor scratch repair.