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How to Get Oil out of Car Seat

How to Get Oil out of Car Seat

How to Get Oil out of Car Seat

If you want to know how to get oil out of car seat, we have some DIY car interior detailing hacks to help. And there’s no need to use harsh chemicals. We recommend green cleaning products and methods, or home remedies, to ensure you don’t damage your upholstery.

To learn more about our eco-friendly car care, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide:

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How to Remove Oil Stain From Car Seat

Even if careful, oil can transfer from your hands to the car upholstery. For example, fast food, make-up and body lotions, or engine grease are some common causes of oil stains on car seats.

The trick is to act fast to make stain removal easier. So, grab your car interior detailing tools and products, then follow these simple steps:

What You’ll Need

Scrape off Excess Grease

Remove as much oil and grease as possible if you’re dealing with a large spill. Use a plastic scraper to scrape off the worst of it gently. Be mindful that some types of car upholstery need specialist care. For instance, see how to get stains out of leather seats.

Blot the Oil Stain

Next, take paper towels or cloth and gently dab the stain to soak up excess oil. Cloth seats are absorbent, so they quickly soak up greasy spills. But you can still undo the damage with our tips on how to remove stains from car seats.

Add Baking Soda

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the stain and leave it for about 15 minutes or longer. Baking soda’s fine, powdery texture is highly absorbent – perfect if you want to know how to get grease out of car seat.

Also, baking soda helps neutralize greasy smells. For more tips like this, see how to get bad smell out of car.

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Brush Stain

Gently brush the stain with your car interior detailing brush or an old, clean toothbrush. This action can help to lift the oil from the fabric fibers. As we’re on the subject of stains, you may also find our following posts helpful:

Vacuum Car Seats

After that, vacuum the area to remove the baking powder. If you still see traces of the stain, repeat the process, adding more baking soda. For stubborn stains, try a cleaning solution – see next step.

How to Remove Oil From Car Seat With Soap

You can use all-purpose car interior detailing products to break down the oil stain. Alternatively, mix some dish soap with water.

Ideally, go for an eco-friendly product. Ammonia-based cleaners are too harsh for some car upholstery. Ammonia is an alkaline substance that can damage car seats, especially leather or vinyl.

Next, dab the cleaning solution onto the stain with a sponge. Then, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to give it enough time to activate.

Afterward, gently work the solution into the stain using a soft, bristled brush.

Rinse the Stain

Rinse the stain with water. If you still need to know how to get oil stain out of car seat, try some rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), mixed with liquid dish soap.

Test on a hidden area of the car seat first to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration. Once you’ve done a successful spot test, dip a clean cloth into the alcohol solution and dab it onto the stain.

Work from the outside the stain toward the center to prevent the grease from spreading. Then, rinse with water to remove any traces of alcohol.

Vacuum Seats

Vacuum your seats again to finish the job. This step will remove any trace of baking soda or dirt particles. Also, it helps speed up the drying process. Additionally, it helps restore the texture and appearance of fabric seats.

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Dry the Area

Finally, dry the area with a hair dryer to prevent water spots from forming on the upholstery. If this is a problem, see our tips on how to get water stains out of car upholstery.

Use the hair dryer on a cool setting and keep moving it around the seat to ensure it dries evenly.

Also, open all the car windows. This will allow warm air to circulate inside your vehicle to help speed up the drying process. And if you have a problem with musty odors, such as mold and dampness, check out our tips on how to get mildew smell out of car.

Use Steam Cleaner (Optional)

Alternatively, you can steam clean car seats if you have the equipment. Steam cuts through grease fast and effectively thanks to its high temperature. However, it is gentle on fabric and leather upholstery. And this method also safely sanitizes seats and surfaces to leave your vehicle germ-free.

Another benefit of using a steam cleaner is you can direct the steam straight onto the grease or oil, targeting only the affected area. This method eliminates the risk of saturating your seats with water.

If you don’t have a steam cleaner, or you’d prefer to leave the job to the experts, contact a car interior detailing service.


Knowing how to get oil out of car seat will refresh your car interior. If you use an upholstery cleaner, treat the affected area quickly – if possible, act the same day for the best results.

To sum up, the key takeaway is to be patient and persistent, as it may take a few goes to remove the stain altogether. Also, you must allow time for a spot test. For older, stubborn oil stains, your seats may need professional detailing attention. And that’s where we can help!

We can clean and sanitize your seats to guarantee a superior clean. Download our Eco Car Wash Benefit Guide:

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