How to Remove Body Oil Stains on Upholstery

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Take care when removing body oil stains from fabric upholstery.
Take care when removing body oil stains from fabric upholstery. (Image: living room interior image by leafy from Fotolia.com)

Body oil stains are a common problem with furniture. When the oil stains the surface, it leaves a greasy, unclean mark that is difficult to remove. Wood furniture typically allows you to simply rub off the oil residue, but fabric upholstery requires a bit more work. Not only must you remove the oil without damaging the fabric, but you must also consider how much moisture you use when cleaning the area. Using too much moisture causes the underlying upholstery padding to become saturated, which leads to mildew and odor development.

Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Dish detergent
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Lubricant spray
  • Hair dryer

Blot fresh body oil stains with paper towels. Use a clean area of paper towel with each blot, and stop when no more oil is transferred onto the paper towel.

Moisten a cloth with hot water. Wring out the cloth thoroughly.

Pour 1/2 tsp. of dish soap onto the cloth. Rub the soap gently into the oil stain, and repeat until all oil is removed.

Rinse the cloth thoroughly with hot water once more, and again wring out.

Wipe the damp cloth across the stained area to remove any remaining stain or soap residue.

Spray a light mist of a household lubricant spray onto the cloth. Rub gently into any remaining stain. This is typically only needed when the stain has been sitting on the fabric for an extended period.

Wipe the area with a damp cloth and a drop of dish soap to remove the lubricant spray.

Rinse the cloth, wring out, and wipe across the upholstery to remove soap residue.

Dry the upholstery, using a hair dryer on medium heat. Hold the hair dryer 6 inches from the upholstery, and continue until the upholstery is dry to the touch.

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