How to Get Oil Out of a Wood Floor

Wood floors are a stylish and relatively low-maintenance option for your home, but if you have a nasty oil spill on the floor, this can seriously damage the wood if not dealt with properly. 

Cleaning it up needs to be done quickly and with the right approach, as certain cleaning methods can be more detrimental to wood than helpful. It is important to know how to get oil out of a wood floor with safe and effective methods. 

Whether it is cooking oil, baby oil, or essential oils, this type of stain is often inevitable. To prepare you for this, in this article we show you the proven methods you can use to clean oil out of your wood floor. 

What this article covers:

How To Clean Cooking Oil Off A Wood Floor

how to remove oil from wooden floor

If you have wood floors in your kitchen, it can be almost impossible to avoid oil spills or splatters from the stove. Cooking oil can leave a nasty stain, especially if it is hot when it makes contact with the wood. 

It is crucial to attend to the spill as soon as it happens, as this will make it quicker and easier to completely remove the stain from the wood floor

Remove Excess Oil

Use a paper towel or a dry and absorbent cloth to remove as much excess oil as you can from the wood floor. 

Dab the area with pressure to remove the oil. Avoid rubbing the floor, as this can spread the stain and make it worse. 

Do this until you cannot soak up any more oil from the floor before you continue. 

Apply Baking Soda

If you are dealing with a stain in the kitchen, you won’t have to go far to get the key product used to absorb oil: baking soda. 

how to clean oil off wood floor

Sprinkle a generous amount of the baking soda onto the stained area, making sure to cover the entire stain with a layer that is at least one inch thick. 

Leave this for 30-45 minutes, as this will clean the grease from the wood floor, especially that which has filtered through the surface of the wood.

After the wait, sweep or vacuum away the baking soda. 

Mix Cleaner and Apply

In a small bowl, combine 2 cups of water with one tablespoon of liquid soap and mix well. 

Dip the edge of a clean cloth into the solution, and wring it out well to remove excess liquid. Then use the cloth to gently blot the stained area. Continue this until the stain is completely clear. 

Rinse Floor

Next, you will need to rinse out any residue soap from the area. Dip a fresh cloth into plain, cold water and gently wipe down the affected area to remove the soap. 

Dry Area

how to clean oil off hardwood floor

Use a dry cloth to wipe out any remaining moisture from the area, and then leave it to dry completely for about an hour. This prevents you from having to remove water from the wood floor

How To Clean Up Baby Oil From A Wood Floor

Baby oil is often a staple in any household for its wide range of purposes, but it can be messy. 

If you drop even the smallest amount of baby oil onto a wood floor, you should act fast to remove it effectively. 

remove oil from wood floor

Remove Excess

The first step in cleaning baby oil from a wood floor is to remove as much excess of the product as you can. 

Use a soft cloth or paper towel to softly dab the area. This will absorb any oil sitting on the surface of the wood, making it easier to clean thoroughly. 

Avoid rubbing the floor during this step. This can push the oil further into the wood, and/or spread the stain to make it even bigger. 

Mix Cleaner

Next, combine 8 parts warm water with 1 part liquid soap in a small bowl. Make sure that the water is not too hot, as this can damage the wood. Transfer this to a spray bottle. 

Spray the mixed solution onto the stained area on the floor. Spray just enough to cover the stain without flooding the floor, as this can cause water damage. 

Mop Floor

Use a flat-top mop to wipe down the sprayed area and clean the wood at the same time. Do not press the floor too hard, as this might shift the wood. 

The Flat Mop Finish Applicator from Truck Mount Forum is ideal for this, as you can cover the end with a Terry cloth which is gentle on the wood, and cleans and polishes the floor well. It is also effective in removing ink from wood floors.

 how to clean olive oil off wood floor

When the floor dries up, spray another layer of cleaner and continue mopping. Continue this cycle until the stain disappears. This might take a bit longer if you are getting dark stains out of your hardwood floors.

You could also use a water extraction vacuum for this step, on a low setting. 

how to clean cooking oil off wood floor

Rinse Area

Next, fill up a spray bottle with plain, cold water. Spray this onto the cleaned area to rinse out any residue and soap on the floor (do not flood the wood) and then use a soft cloth to gently wipe away the liquid and dry the floor. 

Do not leave any dampness on the floor, as you will then need to remove water stains from the hardwood floors.


Oil spills are a common mishap in the home, but on wood floors, this can be damaging if not dealt with quickly and correctly. 

The most important step is to act quickly. The sooner you attend to an oil spill, the easier it will be to remove it thoroughly. If you leave it for too long, the oil will soak deeper into the wood and make it far more difficult to clean, if not impossible. 

If you act fast, a simple baking soda and soap solution will do the trick to clean wood floors that are sticky or oily. If it is an older or more stubborn stain, then you can opt for a quality flat mop to do the cleaning up. 

To prevent these types of stains, put in small measures such as rugs around the stove area in the kitchen, or only open and use baby oil over the sink in the bathroom.

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