How to Remove Oil Based Stain from Wood

So you made a mistake and spilled oil on your wood, and now you wish to find out the best way to get rid of oil stains from the wood. Or you spilled oil in your friend’s furniture, and you desperately want to get rid of the mess you got yourself into. Whatever the reason might be, we shall discuss how to remove oil based stain from wood.

Even the best of us can make a mistake. Sometimes we are not as careful enough that we let the oil spill on the beautiful wood furniture. However, no matter how bad the oil stain is, you can remove it from the furniture. Hence, there is no need to allow a little mistake to ruin your wood.

This article will help you learn how to get rid of oil stains from the wood to get your wood furniture back to its brand-new appearance.
Handling oil stains is not a task to accomplish, especially for those who are in a hurry. However, if you act calmly, things will become a lot simpler for you. Below are the methods that will help you get rid of oil stains from your wood.

How do oil stains happen?

Since natural wood is porous, it is all too easy for oil or oily substances to infiltrate the surface and leave an unwanted stain behind. The oil sinks into the wood, which makes it difficult to remove.

Fortunately, there are home remedies and methods that are effective in dealing with oil stains. Most times, oil stains come from cooking oil, greasy foods, oil body motions, and other cosmetic products. These products can cause significant damage to the wood. Also, cleaning products such as furniture polish and commercial wood cleaners can leave oily stains if you don’t handle them immediately.

Removing recent oil stains

If you spilled oil on your wood and it has not dried yet, you are lucky because the oil stain can be eliminated because they are not dried out yet. But, you have to do this as soon as possible because if you don’t, the stain will sink deeper into the wood and worsen the situation.

The following ways will enable you to get rid of the oil from the wood.
The material you may need

  • Paper towel
  • Gloves for skin protection

These products are easy to buy, so the process will be easy, implying you don’t need to waste money on pricy products.


  • Start by drying the stain with a paper towel.
  • Hold the paper towel firmly against the oil on the wood.
  • Continue to hold the paper towel until you have soaked up the oil completely.

Mix Soap

Dishwashing soap contains chemicals called surfactants. The main job of these chemicals is to dissolve dirt and grease, which are the primary source of stain on plates, spoons, and ports. However, they are helpful when you want to eliminate stains from the wood.

Materials you need

  • A bowl
  • Handwashing soap


  • Put water in the bowl.
  • Next, pour some hand dishwashing soap into the bowl.
  • Stir thoroughly or until the mixture produces a good lather.
  • Afterward, you use the mixture to clean stains later.

Cleaning the stain

After the mixture has produced a good lather, the next step is to pour it into the stained part of the wood. Next, use a clean tag to rub the affected area. You can’t complete this process without a clean rag.


  • Pour the mixture into the stained area.
  • Take a rag and rub gently until the stain disappears.
  • Don’t rub too hard to avoid scratching the wood.

Rinse the wood

Now that you have removed all the stains, you have to rinse the area with a clean rag. This step is crucial because it will eliminate any oily stain left behind or any soap suds.

How to remove oil stains from a bare wood

Things will get a little more complex if you spill oil on unfinished wood. There are some oil stains you can’t get rid of from unfinished wood. Next, we shall look at the best ways to eliminate oil stains from unfinished wood.

Use a wax remover

When oil soaks your unfinished wood, it becomes more difficult to remove completely. However, a wax remover gives tremendous results in eliminating oil stains from the unfinished wood.

Materials you need

  • Wax remover
  • Gloves to prevent damage to your hands.
  • Paper towels


Coat the stain with the wax remover.
Please make use of a paper towel and rub it on the stained area.
You may need to become rougher to eliminate the stain.
Continue doing this until all the stain is gone. You may have to repeat the process a few times before you will get the desired result.

The use of mineral spirits

Sometimes, a wax remover may not work, then you can use this method. Mineral spirit is used primarily to eliminate thin paints. If you select mineral spirits to get rid of stubborn oil stains, then you should use them sparingly because they can cause severe damage to the wood.


It would be best if you dampen a clean rag with mineral spirits.
Rub the rag gently against the affected area.
Maintain this until you can’t see any oil stain on the affected area.
You should ensure that mineral spirits don’t stay on the wood longer than necessary to avoid any damage to the wood.

How to remove hand oil from wood

If you want to get rid of hand oil from your wood, the following steps will enable you to accomplish this task. Apply a tiny amount of Turpentine to the corner of white cloth. The use of Turpentine is common in removing oil stains from wood.

Turpentine is a solvent used for cleaning surfaces with oil build-up. This method will work on all types of wood furniture or surfaces with hand oil build-up and dirt. For example, cabinets, doors, and door frames with oil build-up can be free using Turpentine.

But, if you intend to use this method, it is best to avoid abrasives such as hard brushes or baking soda because they can cause serious damage to the wood.

Rub the wood gently with Turpentine in a circular motion. Rub the wood for few minutes till the oil and dirt are eliminated from the wood. You should see the rag begin to change color as it picks up oil and grime with time.

Clean up the area with a damp cloth. Give the wood a final wipe with a clean, damp cloth that will remove any residual turpentine or oily stain left behind from the wooden furniture.

How to handle stubborn oil stains

If you have a stubborn oil stain on your wood, you don’t need to despair. The use of Fuller’s earth is an excellent way to overcome this problem. Fuller’s earth is a material made from clay that absorbs oil perfectly.

You can use Fuller’s earth on wood by sprinkling it over the stained area and allowing it to sit for at least ten minutes, enabling it to absorb oil. Then, scrub it off using a stiff-bristled brush. Afterward, clean the surface with detergent and allow it to dry.

If you can’t get the stain out after sprinkling the Fuller’s earth, you need to mix it with a small quantity of water. Then, spread it on the color, and allow it to sit for at least 24 hours. Afterward, work the paste off with a palette knife or an identical object.

It would help if you were careful not to scratch your wood in the process. Afterward, clean the surface immediately and buff. This step should take care of any oil stain on the wood, no matter how stubborn it is.

How to protect the wood from stains

It is almost impossible to prevent spontaneous oil spills. However, there are a few things you can do to protect the wood in the home. Due to the porous nature of wood, oil spills, dirt can be absorbed rapidly, leading to intolerable stains within a short time.

You can prevent this accidental occurrence with constant cleaning of floors and furniture. You should clean your wooden floor at least once a day and do furniture cleaning once a week to ensure they remain free of oil spills and dirt. Regular wood polish and consistent maintenance are crucial to wood care.

Wooden floors and furniture bring a beautiful talking point to your home, which creates a rustic, warm ambiance. Proper maintenance and handling of spills quickly can prevent oil stains and help improve the appearance of the wood.

Additional tips

  • Removing oil stains is complicated. Also, you have to be careful to avoid causing damage to the wood. Hence, we shall look at some essential tips to enable you to make the stain go away.
  • It is crucial to prevent the wood from getting soaked with water during cleaning, which can cause it to crack or warp.
  • If you are using mineral spirits, ensure that they can lead to severe damage to the finish on your floor.
  • Tung oil is an excellent penetrating oil which implies that the oil can be used on wood to bring back its brightness. If all other means discussed above fail to eliminate the oil stain, you should use the Tung oil to treat the remaining part of the wood to ensure the color is even.

How to remove lotion oil from finished wood

Lotion stains are challenging to eliminate from kinds of surfaces, and wood is no exception. Hence, removing it will take some effort on your part. We shall discuss the most effective methods below. But, we shall look at the materials you will need before sharing our knowledge of the approaches to remove these stains with you.

Material you need

  • Dish soap
  • Hot water
  • Bowl
  • Clean rag
  • Cool water
  • Wax


  • Put in a large quantity of dish soap in hot water in a bowl. Disturb the water until you see a large amount of soap suds.
  • Dip a clean rag in the suds and not the water. Then, use the rag to scrub the suds on the affected area of the wood.
  • Wipe clean with a second rag moistened with warm water.
  • If you don’t get the desired effect, repeat the process as many times as necessary.
  • When the stain ultimately leaves the wood, ensure you dry it properly because water and soap suds can damage the luster of the wood.
  • Finally, use wax to polish the finish.
  • It is best to avoid using abrasives to clean the wood because it can damage the surface or finish of the wood.

Conclusion – How to Remove Oil Based Stain from Wood

Looking back to all that was discussed in this article, you can see that learning how to remove oil stains from wood is not so complicated and won’t take much of your time if you know what needs to be done. Also, it is essential to follow the warnings listed above to avoid causing any serious damage to the wood in your home. We wish you luck as you undertake the task of removing oil stains from the wood in your home.

Important Reads: