top of page

How to get oil stains out of a couch

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

If you've ever spilled oil on your couch, you know how difficult it can be to remove the stain.

But don't worry, with the right cleaning techniques, you can successfully get oil out of a couch without the cost of hiring a professional to come and do it for you (in most cases).

In this article, we will outline some steps to help you remove oil stains from your couch. It's a step by step guide so remember to do each step accordingly.

Steps for removing oil stains from fabric couches

oil stain in couch

Step 1: Blot the Area

The first step in cleaning an oil stain from your couch is to blot the area with a clean towel or paper towel.

Be sure to blot gently and avoid rubbing the stain, as this can make it worse. Continue blotting until you have removed as much of the oil as possible. This will prevent the cleaning solution from becoming oversaturated.

Step 2: Apply a Cleaning Solution

To remove the remaining oil stain, you will need to apply a cleaning solution. There are several household items that you can use to make a cleaning solution, including baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar.

Baking Soda Solution: Sprinkle baking soda over the affected area and let it sit for a few hours. Then, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda. If the stain is still present, mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of warm water and apply the solution to the affected area. Use a clean towel or paper towel to blot the area and repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Dish Soap Solution: Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of warm water. Apply the solution to the affected area and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then, use a clean towel or paper towel to blot the area.

Vinegar Solution: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the affected area and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then, use a clean towel or paper towel to blot the area. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Step 3: Rinse the Area

After using a cleaning solution, it is important to rinse the area thoroughly with water. Use a clean towel or paper towel dipped in water to remove any remaining cleaning solution from the fabric.

Then, use a dry towel to blot the area and remove excess water. This is an important step especially with oil as it could be easily hidden within the cleaning solution.

Step 4: Let It Dry

Allow the area to dry completely before using the couch again. Avoid using a hair dryer or other heat source to speed up the drying process, as this can cause the stain to set in further.

How To Remove Oil Stains From A Leather Couch

oil stain on a leather couch

Body oils, olive oil, and types of oil can be a real pain to remove from your leather couches. Sadly, it requires a completely different method than removing oils from couches and while it is easier, it's also more expensive.

Why? Because cleaning leather requires specialist products. You can't use laundry soaps because this will dry the leather out, leading it to crack. the material itself is tougher too so you can't just use a simple cloth either.

What you need:

  • Leather cleaner

  • Leather brush or something similar (scrubber dubbers work well)

  • Clean microfiber cloth

  • Leather Protection balm

Step 1: Pre-clean the area

If there is any loose dirt or debris, start out by removing this because it will only get in the way when removing the oils.

To do this, you can either vacuum the dirt away or use lukewarm water on it's own and a cleaning cloth. This will prepare the area for oil removal.

Step 2: Spray & Agitate

Now that the dirt is out of the way, you can set about removing that nasty oil stain. Start by generously spraying the area with your leather cleaner and immediately use the leather brush to agitate it into the surface.

This will lift the oil stain from inside the leather and onto the surface. Don't go overkill on scrubbing the leather with your brush, you only need a light to medium pressure to lift the stain.

Step 3: Wipe The Stain Away

Don't give your stain a chance to set in again. Immediately grab your clean cloth and wipe the stain away from the surface of your couch.

If you notice that not all of the stain has been removed, simply repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is no longer visible.

Step 4: Leather protection

An optional but in our opinion highly recommended step is to add a layer of protection to your couch.

Doing so will protect your leather from spillages such as oil stains, making them much easier to clean in the future. This step also protects your leather from cracking and discolouration so if you value your leather couch, protect it!


In conclusion, removing oil stains from a couch requires prompt action, patience, and the right cleaning techniques.

By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can successfully remove the stain and restore your couch to its former condition.

If all else fails, don't hesitate to call a professional cleaner for help. But be aware, they won't come out just for an oil stain without charging for the full service.

1,208 views0 comments


bottom of page