How to Remove Oil Stains from Wood – 8 Easy Solutions You Can Try Today

Nowadays everyone has wooden furniture as well as wooden floors in their homes or offices. But while using wooden products, you might feel the pain of tough dealing with oil stains which is a common issue.

Undoubtedly, oil stains are an enemy to your wood fittings either on your kitchen floor or at the hardwood table.  We all know that natural wood is porous, so oily things can easily penetrate into the surface which is ultimately left with an unsightly stain. So naturally, the question arises that how to remove oil stains from wood furniture.

How to Remove Oil Stains from Wood?

As the oil sinks completely into the wood it makes it tougher to get the stain off. But don’t worry we have summarized 8 easy solutions for How to Remove Oil Stains from Wood.

1. White Vinegar

You are in a better position when you have some existing material in your hand to perform quick action when you catch the fault.

One such material is vinegar, which is both a kitchen and beauty product. As vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that has the ability to cut through grease and oil. Stunningly, it acts double as a sanitizer without letting any residue.

Now the question is, how to effectively use it? You need to mix an equal volume of hot water and white vinegar in a small bowl and apply this mixture to the wood with the help of a soft cloth. Finally, finish by completely drying with a clean cloth.

White Vinegar for removing oil stains from wood

2. Fuller Earth Method

If you encounter a stubborn oil stain, don’t worry we have a solution for you. And that is Fuller’s earth which is excellent to get rid of unyielding oil stains.

Actually, Fuller’s earth is clay-based material that can absorb oil. To use this method, sprinkle the Fuller’s earth on the stain and leave it for around 15 minutes to let it absorb the oil.

Then, scrub it with a stiff brush, clean the surface with some detergent and finally dry it.

Using Fuller Earth to remove oil stain from wood

3. Oxygenated Bleach Method

Oxygenated bleach is excellent to withdraw the oil stains from either finished or unfinished wood.

This method is even good to remove old and messy stains. In order to make the cleaning solution, mix one scoop of any commercial powdered oxygenated bleach with one cup of warm water and stir it well to make a homogenous mixture.

Hold in there, and don’t forget to wear protective gloves as bleach can be harmful to nails and hand skin. Anyway, put the synthesized mixture on the stains with the help of a clean, soft cloth. Then, gently scrub the soft-bristled brush in the same direction as the grain.

Finally, wipe off the wood with a dry, soft cloth and repeat the process until the stains are completely removed.

4. Dish Detergent

Mild detergent is a great way to quickly remove oily residues from wood furniture.

To implement this method, add an ample amount of dish soap to the bowl of hot water, stir the mixture until it produces suds, and then apply only the suds to the wood directly. Then after scrubbing the suds gently wipe them off with clean soft water.

This method is even useful to remove the permanent stains that are on the wood for years.

5. Ammonia Method

Interestingly, this method is almost free as all the ingredients can be found in your house.

All you need to do is to put on protective gloves first, then combine one part of household ammonia with the four parts of warm water, dip the clean cloth in this solution and try to wring to erring completely before wiping the stains on the wood.

But you might need to repeat this process to get desired results. Keep in mind that ammonia can discolor certain types of wood finishes, so you are recommended to test the solution on the targeted surface to check its reaction.

6. Gum and Oil Method

This method is also useful to remove deep stains from treated or untreated wood products. To implement this method, you must have gum turpentine and boiled linseed oil in your hand.

Then mix the two teaspoons of gum turpentine and four teaspoons of boiled linseed oil per gallon of the hot water. Dip the clean tag in the solution, wring it, and rub the surface which contains the oil stain. Next, buff and dry the wood with a dry, soft cloth.

After the whole process, you can finish the wood with lemon oil or surface wax to get better results.

7. Mineral Spirits

You can use mineral spirits wash like paint thinner to completely dissolve oil stains on both unfinished and finished wood.

Although it seems that they might be harmful to wood, in actuality, they are good deep cleaners. All you need to do is to dip the soft, clean cloth in a small amount of the spirits and rub it into the wood.

But keep in mind that wood shouldn’t become saturated or don’t let the mineral spirits pool on the wood furniture as it can damage the finish. Overall, it’s a good method to remove old oil stains from wood tables.

8. Protective coating

You can also try to add a protective coating to restore the original finish shine.

Apply the dab of paste wax or beeswax to the cloth and rub it on the furniture in a circular motion to evenly distribute the wax on the entire wood surface.

But try to complete the process by dividing it into small sections, it will help you to get a more effective coating. After the whole process, you need to buff the surface with a clean dry cloth again in a small circular motion.

Finally, you will get a protective layer that will surely stop the penetration of spills or oil stains on any wooden surface.


Back to the drawing board, wood can easily catch oil stains, and it’s really difficult to remove them easily. Some methods use harsh chemicals that can spoil the color or even the texture of your wooden furniture or floor.

But we’re here to hold you back, as we have described the most useful and innovative ideas about how to remove oil stains from wood. Give them a go and get rid of all stains!

Kenneth Wafer Woodnami

Kenneth Wafer is an aspiring woodworking expert from Los Angeles. He loves reading and writing about all the best woodworking tools and accessories available in the market.
He is a Finance professional and recently completed his foundation course from CFA Institute, USA.

Leave a Comment