How To Clean Cooking Oil Off Floor [Tile, Vinyl and Concrete]

Let’s face it, cleaning cooking oil off the floor is no easy task. And it isn’t always feasible to call the professionals.

But leaving the oil for too long can be detrimental to the surface, let alone the chances of stubborn stain formation. So, what’s the best way to prevent it from happening?

In the following sections, we will tell you how to clean a cooking oil spill the DIY way. Read on!

how to clean oil stains off floor

Is a Cooking Oil Spill Easy To Wash Off Floor?

Cooking oil spills are commonplace in both residential and commercial kitchens. However, the good news is that they can be cleaned without much effort, provided you jump into action quickly. No, rubbing the floor vigorously won’t do you any good!

Start by spreading a few paper towels, old dish towels, or old rags on the spill and let it stay there for a few minutes. Then, use a dabbing motion to soak up the oil. Remember that wiping the floor will only aggravate the problem by spreading the oil further.

You’d also want to carefully pick up any broken glass bottle pieces and wrap them in a paper bag before disposing of them in the trash can. Once done, sprinkle a good amount of baking soda or corn starch on the kitchen floor to absorb any excess oil spilled, which will also help loosen up the resultant stain.

Leave the soda or corn starch for about 10 minutes and dust it away (we prefer vacuuming the floor for precise cleaning). If you still see or feel any remaining oil residue, then add some dish soap to warm water and use this soapy water to wipe the surface with a clean towel. This should do the trick!

It may so happen that the oil spill finds its way to the carpet. In that case, sprinkle the corn starch or baking soda and leave it for about half an hour to help absorb the oil; then dry vacuum as usual.

Things You Need To Take Cooking Oil Off Floor

Depending on the type of oil and the intensity of the resultant stain (if any), you will need different materials to remove oil spills, which include:

  • Paper towels or dish towels
  • Baking soap, corn starch, or any absorbent material
  • Warm soapy water
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Stain cleaner (DIY or store-bought)
  • A clean towel

How To Clean Vegetable Oil Off Floor Step-By-Step

Step 1

Use paper towels or kitchen towels to soak up the spilled cooking oil on the kitchen floor. You may need to repeat this step multiple times until the towels are no longer drenched in oil. Blot the last round of towels gently to remove as much spillage as possible. Don’t use the soapy solution straight away, as it can leave a bigger mess of a nasty residue on the floor.

If the oil was too hot or boiling before the spill, then make sure you give it enough time to cool down. However, it’s important to remove any glass bits from the floor, as they may splatter on coming in contact with the hot oil and cause subsequent damage or injuries. But remember to wear a pair of garden gloves so that you don’t cut your fingers.

Step 2

Once the affected area is dry, sprinkle any absorbent material on it and wait for some time before removing it. You can use anything available in your home or kitchen, like sawdust, kitty litter, or baking soda for this part of the cleaning process.

If you see that the powder has formed clumps, it’s a sign that the oil has been absorbed. You can then scoop out the clumps and dump them in a buck or container containing warm to hot water. This will help the clumps dissolve and release the absorbed oil.

You can then dispose of the liquid and solid powder clumps separately and use a wet/dry vacuum to eliminate any excess absorbent material.

Step 3

The resultant grease can be successfully removed by wiping with a paper towel or mopping the floor with a soapy solution. But you may have to do this more than once if the grease is stubborn.

Alternatively, you can use store-bought degreasers made from effective ingredients that break down stubborn grease. However, ensure that you choose one that’s compatible with your floor type. Otherwise, you may end up damaging the surface.

How To Clean Olive Oil Off Floor Step By Step

Olive oil has a tendency to leave stubborn stains, especially if the spill isn’t cleaned properly. But don’t worry as you can do so easily with the following method:

Step 1

Cover the spill with as many paper towels as possible to help soak up the oil before it can penetrate the floor any deeper. Try to scoop out the larger portion of the residue and use a blotting motion for the rest.

Step 2

Prepare an adequately large bucket or tub with 1 gallon of hot water, 2 tablespoons of dish soap, and 1 cup of white vinegar. While the soap and vinegar combine to effectively eliminate the oil, diluting them with hot water makes the solution potentially safe for application.

Step 3

Now, take some clean paper towels, dip them in this solution, and gently wipe the affected area. We’d suggest wearing a pair of rubber gloves, especially if the water is too hot and if you don’t want to get dish soap all over your palms.

You can even use a mop for the purpose, but don’t wipe the floor too aggressively as it may spread the oil, making cleanup difficult. Replace the paper towels or squeeze the mop a few times and continue until all the grease is removed from the surface.

If the spill has spread to the nooks and corners of the kitchen floor, blot the drenched towel on the grease a few times to help break up the oil particles and prevent it from settling in.

Step 4

Lastly, wipe the area again with a slightly damp paper and follow it up with a clean, dry one.

Other Household Cleaning Items You Can Use To Clean Oil Stains

Any delay in cleaning the oil can allow the grease to grab a firmer hold on the floor, leaving it with ugly, stubborn stains. The same is true if you haven’t cleaned the oil well.

We understand that an oil spill comes unannounced, meaning you may not always have the best tools and products to clean the floor. However, you can perform the job effectively using a few ingredients found in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet, which include:

1. Soap And Water

One of the easiest ways to eliminate oil stains from your floor is to spray a solution of warm water and dishwashing soap. Let the solution stay on the stain for some time before wiping it with clean water.

Some people prefer pouring the solution to cover more area in one go. If you opt for this method, ensure that you remove everything from the vicinity (like carpet, rugs, and furniture). Place them back only when the floor is completely dry to avoid any unnecessary moisture-related damage.

2. Baking Soda Or Corn Starch

Not only can baking soda or corn starch help get rid of the grease, but they can also reduce the intensity of the stain by breaking up the oil particles. Leave the powder for longer (30 minutes to an hour) to help it work most effectively. Then, vacuum the area and clean it with plain water for best results.

3. Degreaser

An industrial-strength degreaser can be your best bet against old stains that aren’t usually affected by other household items mentioned above. Simply spray it all over the stain and scrub it with a nylon brush. You may also be required to allow the solution some time for the best results, so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Undiluted Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the fastest cleaning agents when it comes to removing spilled cooking oil stains from the floor. Although you may pour it directly on the stained area, we’d suggest pouring it in a spray bottle first and misting the stain. This will ensure precise application, but you may want to cover the furniture and upholstery in the vicinity first.

Let the vinegar do its magic for 10 to 15 minutes, and grab a clean cloth or towel to wipe the floor dry.

5. Salt

Salt can successfully replicate an exfoliating agent for removing that annoying oil stain. Sprinkle some table salt on the floor and use a soft-bristle brush or cloth to gently exfoliate the surface. Focus on scrubbing the affected area only; otherwise, you may end up spreading the oil if there’s too much leftover grease.

6. Fuller’s Earth

Fuller’s earth has excellent oil-absorbing properties that can save your floor from getting stained. However, the success rate of this absorbent material requires a fast-paced approach.

Quickly get rid of the excess grease using paper towels and sprinkle fuller’s earth on the stain. Leave it for a few minutes to see clumps forming. Now, take a butter knife and carefully scrape off the oil residue without scratching the floor. Collect the clumps carefully and dump them in the garbage bag.

This is an effective way to prevent the oil and any consequent stain from settling into the cracks and crevices on the floor.

7. Olive Oil

As surprising as it may sound, you can use olive oil to remove tough oil stains. Pour some of this “cleaning oil” into a clean, dry paper towel and rub it all over the stain in circular motions. This will help remove the stain, and you can eliminate the grease from the olive oil by using baking soda or vinegar.

Household Cleaning Items To Remove Oil Stains And Grease From Different Types Of Flooring

Now that you have an idea about the different types of household items that can be used to clean an oil spill and any residual stain, let us tell you how to tackle the problem on different types of surfaces. After all, not every method may be suitable for every surface, and employing the wrong technique can cause severe damage to your kitchen floor.

1. Tile Floor

A. With Baking Soda And Acetone

Given the porosity of tile flooring, it’s extremely important to suck up the oil and grease from the pores. You may try doing so with the baking soda technique mentioned above, but here are a few more alternatives in case it doesn’t work.

First, get pure acetone and pour a couple of drops on a remote corner. Let it dry completely and see if the tile changes color. If not, then it’s safe to use.

Next, use some baking soda or kitty litter and mix it with the acetone to create a thick paste similar to the consistency of toothpaste. Smear this mix all over the oil spill and wait for some time before scrapping it off with a plastic knife or scraper. Let the floor dry completely and sweep away or vacuum any leftover powder residue.

An easier way will be to dip some paper towels in acetone and place them on the oil spill. But if they dry out too fast, you may need to repeat the process to ensure that the stain and grease are gone. This also holds true for the acetone paste technique.

In both cases, you can cover the “treatment” with plastic wraps for 24 hours and uncover them to let the surface dry. Finally, wash it with soap and water.

B. With Baking Soda And Mineral Spirit

Start by sprinkling a thick layer of baking soda on the oil spill and drenching a few paper towels with mineral spirit. Again, you’d want to put on gloves to protect your skin from the spirit.

Then, lay them on the baking powder and create a tight seal with plastic wraps. You can even tape the plastic to the tile to help the ingredients work best. Uncover the wrap after a few hours and mop or vacuum the spot as needed.

C. Brake Cleaner

Much like acetone, you will need to test the brake cleaner to ensure that it doesn’t damage your tile floor in any way. Spray a few spritzes on a corner and clean it with a damp soapy cloth after a minute. If there are no discolorations, you can proceed with this technique.

Cover the entire spill with the brake cleaner spray and add a thick layer of baking soda on top. While the former will help pull out the oil from the pores, the latter will absorb it to eliminate the greasiness.

Dust off the powder after a couple of hours and wash the surface with soapy water to remove the powder from the crevices. As the last step, pat the floor dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

2. Concrete Floor

A. Absorbent Material

Perhaps, the best way to get off fresh oil spills from the surface is using an absorbent material. Spread a thick layer all over the required area and let it stay for 24 hours. You can also employ multiple rounds of the powder until it no longer forms any clumps. Finish off by dusting or washing the floor.

B. Trisodium Phosphate

Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a commercial floor cleaner that’s easily available in your nearby home improvement store. Take a clean plastic container and dilute one part of TSP with 6 parts of water. We’d also recommend wearing gloves and a face mask to reduce exposure to the chemical.

Apply the paste in a thick layer (about 1/2-inch) to the cooking oil spill, cover it with plastic wraps, and allow it to dry for about a day. Uncover the wrap and scrub the surface with plain water.

C. With Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda, is often used in residential and commercial settings for cleaning drains and ovens. You can use it the same way as TSP, by making a semi-thick paste containing 5 percent caustic soda and plain water.

D. Other Methods

Both the acetone and mineral spirits (paint thinner) methods work for concrete floors as well. Besides, there are dedicated commercial oil cleaners, which are very effective in removing tough grease and oil spots. While some of them come in liquid form, others are powders and need to be mixed with water to create the cleaning solution.

However, both types of cleaners are somewhat expensive, so plan your floor maintenance budget accordingly.

3. Vinyl Flooring

One of the best things about vinyl flooring is that it’s exceptionally resistant to regular wear and tear, as well as different types of stains. So, if you’ve accidentally spilled any cooking oil on your vinyl floor, it’d be easy to clean with just a few simple steps and materials at hand.

A. Dishwash Soap And Vinegar Or Baking Soda

Mix equal parts of any good dishwashing soap and vinegar, and soak a clean piece of cloth or paper towels into it. Wipe the required area, rinse thoroughly with water, and use a dry paper cloth or towel to absorb the excess moisture.

Make sure you don’t use too much vinegar, as its acidic content can leave the floor discolored. And cover the treated surface with plastic to prevent surface runoffs.

You can also replace the vinegar with baking soda. Start by sprinkling the baking soda powder on the floor and pouring some dishwashing soap to the point it doesn’t form any foam. Now, spread a few paper towels on top, which will soak up this mix and the oil spill. Allow the floor to dry completely, and mop the area if there’s any residue.

B. Ammonia

Ammonia, albeit a stronger alternative than the ones mentioned before, can be another cleaning agent for removing oil, grease, and stains from vinyl floors.

Prepare a solution with ammonia and vinegar taken in equal parts, dip a few paper towels in it, and spread them on the spill. Cover them with another layer of dry towels and leave them for 10-15 minutes. Remove them and keep the residue for 30 minutes before rinsing the floor.


On that note, it’s time for us to wrap up for today. Hopefully, we were able to prepare you to tackle that unfortunate and frustrating cooking oil spill. You’d also want to keep a few of the items mentioned handy, if you don’t have them already.

As a parting piece of advice, we’d always suggest availing the services of a professional floor cleaning service to keep the floor in pristine condition. This will help reduce the intensity of old spots, and you can use an appropriate DIY method to get rid of them completely.

See you next time, take care!

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