How to Get Oil Out of a Couch

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Picture this. It's Friday night, and you're in your happy place — chilling out on your couch, eating popcorn, and watching shows. Then, you spill a bunch of kernels all over the couch, and the coconut oil from your popcorn instantly stains the fabric. Whether you've been here before or you're pretty sure you'll be here at some point, knowing how to properly clean your couch can save you some serious time and heartache.

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How to Remove an Oil Stain on a Couch

Oil stains are notoriously tough, so it's important to know what you're doing before you start scrubbing away at a spill or stain. First things first. Gently dab off the excess oil with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel; soak up as much grease as possible. Just don't apply too much pressure, as this could cause the stain to deepen and make it near-impossible to remove.

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Next, sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain and be sure to cover the whole area. (Both do a great job of absorbing oil, so it's really just about what you have in your cabinets already.) Let it sit for at least 20 minutes, and then vacuum it up with either an upholstery attachment or a handheld vacuum. Blot the stain with a dry cleaning solvent, using a clean, white cloth or paper towel. Continue until the solvent is fully absorbed.

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Tips for Removing Old Stains

If you're tackling an old stain (or just a particularly stubborn one), gather up a scraping tool (a dull knife works well here), dish soap, warm water, a sponge, and a clean cloth. To start, scrape off any excess oil, taking care not to rub. Then, mix a few drops of dish soap in the water until it forms suds.

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Test a small, hidden area of your couch fabric with your DIY suds solution. (Even though dish soap is mild enough for most types of upholstery, it's still a good idea to do a test run first.) Scoop out the suds (not the water) with a sponge and blot the stain. Rinse any residue with a damp, clean cloth, and then let everything air-dry.

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Finally, don't hesitate to contact a professional upholstery cleaner in your area. Especially if you're dealing with an old oil stain on your couch, it's a good idea to enlist the help of a pro. The longer an oil stain stays on your furniture, the harder it is to remove.

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