How to Get Nasty Grease Out of the Carpet

If you’ve spilled grease on your carpet, don’t panic. The stain may look nasty, but all’s not lost… and neither is your carpet. Grease may be one of the most challenging spillages to clean up, but it’s by no means impossible – not if you know a few little tricks of the trade, in any case. Before you pay a small fortune to a professional, try one of these easy clean-up methods, instead – you might be surprised at just how well they work.

How To Get Grease Out Of The Carpet

Regardless of which of the following methods you use, the first step in the process is to try and absorb as much of the grease as possible, while being careful not to accidentally make the grease stain spread even further. Start by using a blunt-edged instrument like a spoon or butter knife to scrape up as much of the grease as possible. Scrape the residue into a paper towel as you go alone, and be careful not to accidentally cut into any of the carpet’s fibers. Once you’ve got rid of as much residue as you’re going to, douse the affected area with baking soda. Leave the baking soda to work its magic for an hour or so, and then vacuum up the residue. Once you’re done, you’re ready to move onto the next stage.

The DIY Grease Stain Remover

Tips Bulletin has an excellent recipe for making your own at-home Grease Stain Remover, involving no more than 4 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon rubbing alcohol, a damp cloth, and a vacuum. Start by mixing the salt and rubbing alcohol into a paste. Rub the paste gently into the stain in the direction of the nap, taking care not to spread the stain in the process. Leave it to dry before using a vacuum to suck up any residue. If the grease stain was particularly gruesome, you might need to repeat the method a few times before it’s completely eliminated.

The Dish Detergent Method

If dish detergent can tackle grease in your pots and pans, it stands a very good chance of doing the same on your carpet. Apply a small amount of detergent directly to the area. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently work the detergent into the carpet fibers. Finish by rinsing the carpet with cool water and then blotting dry with a cloth or towel.

The Cornstarch Method

If you ever needed proof that ordinary household essentials have more uses than we credit them with, take a humble package of cornstarch and apply it to a grease stain – the results will have you looking at your pantry in a whole new way. As Clean Up Home recommends, simply scatter the grease stain liberally with cornstarch and then sponge it using a dry cleaning solvent. Repeat until every last trace of grease has been absorbed.

The Nail Polish Remover Method

If your carpet is made from synthetic rather than natural fibers, the best way of getting rid of grease stains is with nail polish remover. Apply a small amount of fluid to the stain, wait a moment or two, and then blot up the grease with some paper towels.

Just one word of warning before you start: nail polish remover might be great at mopping up grease, but some carpets might not take too kindly to being bathed in it. Before you tackle any large areas, do a trial run. Dab a very small area of the carpet in an inconspicuous part of the room with the remover, and then wait. If after a few hours nothing disastrous has happened to the carpet, you can proceed with the grease removal. If you spot any discoloration or damage to the carpet fibers, you might need to find another method.

The good news is that if the nail polish doesn’t cause any nasty reaction, you can really go to town with scrubbing that grease stain out. While carpets made of wool or other natural fibers need a gentle touch (especially if you’re introducing chemicals into the equation), synthetics are a different proposition altogether and can stand up to just about any amount of elbow grease you care to throw at them. Providing you don’t take a pair of scissors or a razor to them, the carpet fibers will be just as intact at the end of the process as at the beginning – although hopefully minus the lumps of grease.

The Vinegar Method

For this next method, you’ll need white wine vinegar, dishwashing detergent, and glycerin. Make a solution of 8 parts water, 1-part glycerin, and 1-part dishwashing detergent. Add the solution to a spray bottle. Dampen the grease spot with a wet sponge, and then add a few drops of white wine vinegar directly to the grease. Spray a liberal amount of the glycerin solution over the area before covering it with a towel or other absorbent material. Apply some pressure to the covering to soak up the stain. Keep repeating the process until every last trace of grease has gone.

The Carpet Cleaning Machine Method

If you’ve got kids or a clumsy other-half, you might want to think about investing in a carpet cleaning machine. No, they aren’t cheap, but if your carpet is in permanent danger from grease spills, food accidents, and coffee mishaps, it’ll be money well spent.

When To Leave It To The Professionals

As Household Advice wisely notes, DIY methods can be 100% effective, but there are some things that really are best left to the professionals. If you have a priceless Persian rug or an exquisite oriental carpet, don’t even think of splashing any nail polish remover over it (or anything else, for that matter). Sure, you’ll get rid of the grease stain, but you’ll probably get rid of a hefty chunk of the carpet in the process. Don’t tempt fate on this one- just give the experts a call.



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