A stubborn stain in your car interior can be unsightly and bothersome, to say the least. We all love a clean and spotless cabin because it makes the drive more enjoyable. But maintenance is a must and at some point, some automotive grease or oil is bound to end up on your interior. So how to remove automotive grease from carpet? Forget taking your car to a service centre for a clean-up, you can do it right at home in a couple of hours. Read on to find out how to have a clean and tidy car interior with some simple tools and products.
Steps to Remove Automotive Grease From Carpet
Before getting into the cleaning process and removing stubborn automotive grease from car interiors, carpets, floor mats and seats, it is important to identify the type of stain. Understanding the nature of the stain can help find the right cleaning approach for effective removal.
Gather The Right Tools
You will need the following tools and equipment for quick and safe stain removal:
- A flat tool or spoon
- Spray Bottle
- Clean cloth
- Paper Towel
- Microfibre cloth
- Vacuum cleaner
- Baking Soda
- Interior Cleaning Solution
- Dry Cleaning Solvent
- Soft Brush
- Hair dryer
- Washing Sponge
You may not need all the materials mentioned above, but it’s handy to keep them ready in case you encounter a stain that just doesn’t come off with soap and water.
Take out all car floor mats and other accessories that may come in the way while cleaning.
Once you have identified the type of stain, vacuum-cleaner the surrounding area to remove any loose dust, dirt and debris. The carpet is made of thousands of microfibres that can easily absorb oil and automotive grease deep into its surface layers. A vacuum cleaner is perfect for removing any visible dirt.
Use a spoon or flat tool to scrape off any excess grease that you can see. This will make stain removal a lot easier. Be careful not to damage the carpet.
Take a clean cloth and rub it into the carpet to remove excess automotive grease on the surface.
Apply some baking soda onto the stain and allow a couple of minutes to soak in. The baking soda which contains sodium bicarbonate soaks up the oil and grease, which can then be cleaned with a cloth. Repeat the process if needed until the stain is completely removed.
Alternate Method Using an Interior Cleaner
Interior cleaners that are used for the dashboard, seats, upholstery and trim contain solvents that can effectively dissolve automotive grease in a matter of minutes. They come in a spray bottle and have a pleasant smell that leaves the carpet refreshed and clean.
Start by rubbing the area with a soft brush and wipe away excess grease with a microfibre cloth. Then spray the interior cleaner on the stain and allow some time for it to soak in.
Follow with a clean cloth to wipe away the stain. You now have a clean carpet.
Some stains caused by automotive grease cannot be removed with soap and water, baking soda or even an interior cleaner. For these stains, you need a steam cleaner. It’s a little device that looks like a vacuum cleaner but instead of sucking in air, it sprays hot stream through the nozzle. The steam can reach deep into the carpet fibres and release the trapped oil. The heat from the steam renders the automotive grease into a liquid which can easily be absorbed by a microfibre cloth. You can even use some paper towels for better absorption of the grease stain.
Dry Cleaning Method
If you can’t get your carpet wet then maybe a dry-cleaning agent. These products come in a spray bottle but do not soak the carpet with a liquid. They quickly dry without leaving any residue. Dry cleaning agents are effective for automotive grease stains and other oily residue left over after maintenance on your car.
Here is a cool guide to washing the exterior of your car at home, once you are done with the interiors.
How Do I Remove Automotive Grease Stains From My Leather Seats?
Leather is a natural material and requires a specialised cleaning agent. There are many affordable leather cleaner kits available online which are suitable for use on all kinds of upholstery, plastic, rubber and vinyl. These kits come with microfibre cloths, brushes and sponges to help you keep your leather seats and interior trim clean and spotless.
Remove any loose dirt and excess grease using a brush and microfibre cloth. You can prevent scratches during the cleaning process by following this step.
Refer to the product instructions regarding the guidelines for the application and cleaning process.
Test a small area of the leather seat with the cleaner to ensure that it doesn’t leave any stains or damage to the leather material. If it looks fine at this point, then you can begin cleaning the stain.
Apply a small amount of the cleaner onto a microfibre cloth and gently wipe the stain using a circular motion. Try not to rub too hard as this may damage the soft leather surface.
Let the cleaning product dwell for about 10 minutes as it soaks into the leather fibres and breaks down the oils and grease in the stain.
For stubborn stains, you may need to apply a little more pressure, but always be gentle.
Wipe off any excess cleaning product and the stain should come off with it.
Follow up with a leather conditioner to keep the seats supple and protected. Leather has a tendency to dry out over time, so it needs a moisturising agent to stay soft.
Once the cleaning process is complete, inspect the area for any streaks or residue. There you have it, you should have clean leather seats now.
Once you are done with the seats, you may want to keep your car covered while parked. Here are some essential tips on how to clean your car cover at home.
Why Are Automotive Grease Stains So Hard to Remove From the Carpet?
The nature of grease, with its semi-solid lubricating oils and additives, makes it suitable for automotive components that need to move smoothly. But when grease comes into contact with interior surfaces, it can leave ugly stains that are very hard to remove. The complex organic and synthetic compounds in automotive grease tend to bind to surfaces as that’s how they work best as a lubricating film. Grease is sticky and cannot be dissolved by soap and water. It requires stronger solvents to assist in easy removal. Carpets are made of a series of fibres that are woven to make a soft and absorbent layer that protects the car floors. Hence oily stains from grease are easily absorbed into the carpet material and are difficult to remove.
If soap and water do not do the trick, then you can use steam cleaning, baking soda or a specialised carpet cleaner to remove grease stains. Carpet cleaners work on all types of stains including food, liquid, oil and grease. They come in a concentrated form that you can dilute with water. For more stubborn grease stains, you can use them in concentrated form with the help of a soft brush and microfibre cloth to help in stain removal. Carpet cleaners penetrate deep into the fibres of the carpet and lift stains from within so that you don’t have to struggle to get them out. A quick wipe with a microfibre cloth after a dwell time of 10 to 15 minutes should leave your carpets, seats and upholstery looking new again.
Here is a list of best carpet cleaning products with price list that you can use to clean your car interiors.
|Wavex Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner
|Dry cleaning agent to remove all types of stains
|Michelin Fabric Cleaner
|For all types of upholstery stains and removes odours
|Wavex PLVR Plastic, Leather, Vinyl, Rubber Cleaning Kit
|Interior cleaning kit with multi-surface cleaner, brush and microfibre cloth
|Wavex All Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser Concentrate
|Degreases heavily soiled areas – suitable to remove automotive grease stains, oil residue and dirt
|3M Bondo Multi-Purpose Cleaner
|Heavy-duty cleaning concentrate removes all types of stains including oil and grease marks on the carpet
|Michelin Pro series Leather Cleaner
|Leather cleaner and conditioner – can be used on carpets to remove oily stains
|Wavex Ultrafine Foam Applicator + Microfiber Cloth
|Foam pad for applying cleaning solution and cloth for wiping excess product and stains
|Wavex Premium Car Dashboard, Leather and Interior Detailing Brush
|Soft brush for interior detailing and lifting dirt
|Wavex Waterless Car Wash with 5 Premium Microfiber Cloths
|Dry cleaning solution that can lift dirt and grime easily without wetting the carpets
|WaveX Empty Container Bottles
|Convenient spray bottles that you can fill with soapy water or cleaning liquid
Greasing a door hinge or seat rail is necessary to keep your vehicle working in good condition. But automotive grease can leave nasty stains on your carpet which are difficult to remove. Maintaining the pristine condition of your beloved car shows your commitment to good aesthetics and can contribute to an enjoyable drive. For common stains on carpet, simple soap and water usually work fine. However automotive grease contains oils that are not soluble in water and require a cleaning agent that has special chemicals to dissolve grease. The use of baking soda is a good idea as it absorbs oily residue and leaves a clean surface. Steam cleaning is another option for tough grease stains that need some heat to be removed. Dry cleaning agents contain powerful solvents that lift dirt in seconds without leaving any wet residue. You can also improve stain removal results with the help of soft brushes, cleaning cloths, applicator sponges and spray bottles.
Hopefully, this blog should have pointed you in the right direction when it comes to how to remove automotive grease from carpet and interiors. By following these easy steps, you are well on your way to a pristine interior and pleasant journey.
For more such informative articles, have a look at the Carorbis Blog. You will find the latest in automotive news, car and bike comparisons, details on the best car and bike accessories and top tips to keep your vehicle running in good condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is automotive grease?
Ans. It is a kind of oil/lubricant that is used in automotive applications to reduce friction, and noise and for smooth operation of moving parts. Automotive grease is applied to door hinges, bonnet clamps, seat rails, dashboard hinges, trunk lids and other parts around the car. The grease contains special lubricating agents and additives that protect against corrosion as well.
Q2. What is the Best Way to Remove Automotive Grease From Carpets?
Ans. Use a degreasing agent that contains solvents that can dissolve oily substances. With the help of a soft brush and microfibre cloth, apply the solution and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then wipe excess product away with a clean cloth. Repeat the process for more stubborn stains.
Q3. How Much Does a Carpet Cleaner Cost?
Ans. Carpet and upholstery cleaners can be bought online on Carorbis for around Rs.500. You can even buy an interior cleaning kit that comes along with all the necessary cleaning accessories such as detailing brushes and microfibre cloths.
Q4. What is the Best Product to Remove Grease From Carpet?
Ans. Use a degreasing product that contains solvents that can dissolve grease. They are the most effective for removing grease stains from the car carpet.
Q5. Will Vinegar Remove Grease From Carpet?
Ans. Vinegar can be used to remove grease stains as its acidic nature can attack oily residue and lift the stain from carpet fibres.
Q6. How to Get Rid of Black Grease Stains on Carpet?
Ans. Start with a steam clean to loosen up the grease. Then use a concentrated carpet and upholstery cleaner to remove black grease stains quite easily. Don’t dilute the solution as you need all the cleaning power of the chemicals.
Q7. How to Get Dried Grease Out of Carpet?
Ans. Dried-up grease must be steam cleaned to remove it from the carpet. The hot steam will dissolve the grease and it can be lifted with a clean cloth.
Q8. How to Remove Grease From Carpet With Baking Soda?
Ans. Baking soda is used to absorb the oily reside of automotive grease. Sprinkle a little bit over the stain and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then you can clean the spot with a damp towel and finally dry the area with a clean cloth.