How To Get Motor Oil Out Of Trunk Carpet? [Explained]

Have you ever experienced the unfortunate event of spilling motor oil in the trunk of your car? It can be quite a hassle to deal with, as the oil tends to seep into the carpet …

How To Get Motor Oil Out Of Trunk Carpet?

Have you ever experienced the unfortunate event of spilling motor oil in the trunk of your car? It can be quite a hassle to deal with, as the oil tends to seep into the carpet fibers, leaving behind stubborn stains and an unpleasant odor.

But fear not! In this article, we will explore effective methods and products to help you tackle this oily predicament and get your trunk carpet looking clean and fresh again.

Can Motor Oil Stains Be Removed From Trunk Carpet?

The short answer is yes, motor oil stains can be successfully removed from trunk carpet.

However, it requires prompt action and the right techniques to achieve desirable results. The longer the oil sits on the carpet, the more it gets absorbed, making the removal process more challenging.

So, it’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible.

What Is the Best Product to Get Motor Oil Out of Carpet?

When it comes to removing motor oil stains from trunk carpet, there are various products available in the market.

One highly recommended product is an oil remover specifically designed to tackle tough grease and oil stains. These products are formulated to break down the oil and lift it from the carpet fibers, making it easier to clean.

To effectively use an oil remover, follow these steps:

  1. Blot the Stain: Start by blotting the excess oil with a clean cloth or paper towel. Be careful not to rub the stain, as it may cause the oil to spread and penetrate deeper into the carpet.
  2. Apply the Oil Remover: Read the instructions on the oil remover carefully and apply it to the stained area. Make sure to cover the entire stain thoroughly.
  3. Let It Sit: Allow the oil remover to penetrate the carpet fibers and break down the oil. This may take a few minutes or as instructed by the product.
  4. Blot and Rinse: After the recommended time, blot the treated area with a clean cloth or sponge. Repeat this process until the stain starts to fade. Finally, rinse the carpet with water to remove any residue.

Remember, always test the oil remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the carpet before applying it to the entire stain to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.

Assessing the Situation

Inspecting the Extent of the Spill

So, you just discovered a dreadful motor oil spill in your trunk, huh? Don’t panic, my friend.

The first step is to carefully assess the situation before diving into cleanup mode. Grab a flashlight and let’s get to work.

Start by examining the spill to determine its extent. It’s important to identify how far the oil has spread throughout your trunk carpet.

Look for visible patches, stains, or pools of oil on the surface. Take note of any areas that seem heavily saturated or have absorbed more oil than others.

Determining Oil Seepage

Now that you’ve assessed the surface damage, it’s time to dig a little deeper (not literally; let’s keep it non-destructive). We need to find out if any of that stubborn motor oil has seeped into the underlying layers or padding of your trunk carpet.

Gently press down on various areas of the carpet with clean fingers or a paper towel. Keep an eye out for any dampness or oily residue that comes through from beneath.

If you notice signs of seepage, it means we have some extra work cut out for us.

To be thorough in your assessment, consider lifting up sections of the carpet where possible (if it’s not glued down) to examine underneath.

Check for any discoloration or signs of oil penetrating deeper into your trunk’s infrastructure.

Remember, assessing the situation is crucial here as it helps us understand how extensive our cleanup needs to be and which methods will work best in ridding your precious trunk carpet of this unfortunate oily mess.

How Do You Clean Up Spilled Oil in a Car Trunk?

Cleaning up spilled oil in a car trunk requires a methodical approach to prevent further spreading and ensure effective removal.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you clean up the mess:

  1. Contain the Spill: As soon as you notice the oil spill, act quickly to contain it. Place absorbent materials such as cat litter, baking soda, or sawdust over the spilled oil. These materials will help absorb the excess oil and prevent it from spreading further.
  2. Scoop and Dispose: Use a plastic scoop or shovel to gather the oil-absorbent material and the oil itself. Carefully transfer it into a plastic bag or container designated for hazardous waste disposal. Be cautious not to spill or drip the oil onto other surfaces.
  3. Blot and Treat the Stain: After removing the majority of the oil, take a clean cloth or paper towel and blot the stained area to absorb any remaining oil. Once the excess oil is blotted, you can follow the steps mentioned earlier to treat the stain with an oil remover.
  4. Clean the Trunk Carpet: Once the stain has been treated, it’s time to clean the entire trunk carpet to ensure a uniform appearance. Use a mild carpet cleaner suitable for your car’s carpet type and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Thoroughly rinse the carpet to remove any cleaning residue and let it air dry.

Does White Vinegar Remove Motor Oil?

Yes, white vinegar can be an effective natural remedy to remove motor oil stains. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps break down and dissolve oil. To use white vinegar for oil stain removal, follow these steps:

  1. Blot the Excess Oil: Start by blotting the oil stain with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any excess oil on the surface.
  2. Create a Vinegar Solution: In a spray bottle, mix equal parts white vinegar and water to create a vinegar solution.
  3. Apply the Solution: Spray the vinegar solution onto the oil stain, ensuring it is thoroughly saturated. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to allow the vinegar to penetrate the stain.
  4. Blot and Rinse: Blot the treated area with a clean cloth or sponge, absorbing the vinegar and oil residue. Repeat this process until the stain begins to fade. Finally, rinse the carpet with water and let it air dry.

How To Get Motor Oil Out Of Trunk Carpet

How to get oil out of trunk carpet

Remember, vinegar has a strong odor that may linger temporarily. If the smell bothers you, ventilate the trunk area or use an odor-neutralizing spray after the cleaning process.

How to Get Oil Out of Trunk Carpet Reddit and Forums Advice

Reddit, a popular online platform for discussion and advice, the same as forums, often provides useful insights from real-life experiences.

Here are some suggestions from Reddit users on how to get oil out of trunk carpet:

Use Dawn dish soap to clean the grease and oil stains.
Try using “soluble” oil and wash the carpet thoroughly.
Use spill kit stuff or kitty litter to soak up the oil, then vacuum.
Soak the carpet in a 1:1 mixture of hot water and blue Dawn dish soap, scrub with a brush, and rinse with high-pressure water.
Spray Oil Eater Brand spray, agitate with an upholstery brush, then use a carpet extractor machine.
Use dish soap, which is a powerful degreaser.
Sprinkle flour on the oil stain, leave it for 30 minutes, then vacuum.
Use non-flammable brake cleaner or chlorinated solvent with a shop vac or carpet extractor.
Dawn dish soap works well to remove grease and oil stains.
Soak the carpet in rubbing alcohol, vacuum, and repeat until the oil is removed.
Use carb cleaner and a hot water extractor, or rent a rug doctor and clean multiple times.
Try using Oxi-clean to remove the oil stain.
Use purple power and let it sit in kitty litter, vacuum it up afterward.
Wipe up or use a wet vac to remove the oil, clean the carpet with carpet cleaner/stain remover, and wash the metal/paint with soapy rags.
Pour cat litter or sawdust on the oil, vacuum it up, and use Dawn dish soap to clean the remaining stains.
Remove the carpet, use gasoline or Varsol to clean the oil, and then use dish soap or upholstery cleaner to remove the smell.
Use a rough bristle brush and GoJo cleaner to scrub the oil stain, let it sit, power wash, and repeat as needed.
Scrub the carpet with a rough bristle brush and GoJo cleaner, let it sit, power wash, and repeat until most of the oil is removed.

Products mentioned in the recommendations:

Dawn dish soap

GOJO hand cleaner as oil remover

  1. Dish Soap and Water: Mix dish soap with water to create a soapy solution. Apply the solution to the oil stain, scrub gently with a brush, and rinse thoroughly.
  2. WD-40: Some users recommend using WD-40, a popular lubricant and solvent. Spray WD-40 on the oil stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then blot and rinse.
  3. Cornstarch: Apply cornstarch to the oil stain, let it sit overnight to absorb the oil, and vacuum it the next day.
  4. Rubbing Alcohol: Dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently blot the oil stain. Continue blotting until the stain disappears, and then rinse with water.

It’s important to note that while these methods may work for some individuals, results may vary depending on the severity of the stain and the carpet material.

Always test any cleaning solution or technique on a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid potential damage.

Useful Information: Tips to Prevent Oil Stains in Trunk Carpets

To prevent future oil stains in your trunk carpet, here are some helpful tips:

  • Place a protective barrier, such as a plastic liner or rubber mat, in the trunk to catch any potential spills or leaks.
  • Regularly inspect containers and bottles carrying oil or other liquids before placing them in the trunk.
  • If transporting liquids prone to spills, consider securing them in leak-proof containers or using spill-proof caps.
  • Promptly address any spills or leaks by following the cleaning methods discussed in this article.

Remember, prevention is always better than the hassle of removing tough stains later on.


Removing motor oil stains from trunk carpet is possible with the right techniques and products. Whether you opt for specialized oil removers, white vinegar, or household remedies, always prioritize prompt action and test any cleaning solution on a small area first.

By following the steps outlined in this article and considering preventive measures, you can keep your trunk carpet clean, fresh, and free from oil stains.

About the Author

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Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.

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