Grease is also a very broad term, commonly defined as “a thick oily substance, especially as used as a lubricant”. Another definition identifies grease as “oil or fat that is used or produced in cooking”. In most cases, grease has a more solid consistency while oil is more fluid. Nevertheless, oil and grease are very close to the same thing – in many instances, a little change in temperature can turn grease into oil or vice versa.
Now, an earlier post in this series covered oil stains in carpets, so why cover grease separately? Well, that post focused on motor oil. This time we’re focusing on grease used or produced in the act of cooking. Honestly, you’re more likely to see stains reach your carpet from cooking greases or oils than motor oil. Another main difference is that most greases consist of a base oil and a thickening agent, allowing the grease to stay in place longer. Additives like these often allow the grease molecules to form strong bonds with synthetic carpet fibers made of polyester or nylon, adding complication to removal.
The Removal Process
- Always start by removing the excess residue of any spill. Scrape up as much as you can with a dull knife or flat, thin object. Do not press too hard, trying to get underneath the excess – that only results in pushing residue further into your carpet.
- Sprinkle on an absorbing agent like cornstarch, baking soda or talcum powder and work it into the stain with a soft-bristled brush – but again, be gentle. Don’t scrub the stain, as this could work it deeper into your pile. Allow it to sit for about fifteen minutes, then lightly vacuum the area.
- Mix a tablespoon of household ammonia, a tablespoon of hand dishwashing detergent (devoid of any bleach or lanolin, of course), and two cups of hot water. Earlier we mentioned that temperature affects the consistency of grease or oil. Hot water allows the detergent to breakup any bonds forming between the stain and your carpet. But be sensible – you don’t want the water so hot that it’s unsafe to work with.
- Using a clean sponge, white towel or colorless paper towels, dab the stain with the mixture, then blot the stain with a dry part of the towel or a dry set of paper towels. Blot from the outside inward to avoid spreading the stain. Inspect each dry towel you used for transference of color or residue. If you don’t see any more transference, you’ve probably got as much up as you can, using this method.
- Using a spray bottle, rinse the area with water and then blot it with a clean towel or rag. Don’t be surprised if you see more transference – you are rinsing the area, after all. Cover the area with a stack of white paper towels and weigh it down with a heavy object, allowing the towel to absorb whatever is left. Leave it there for a few hours. When it’s sufficiently dry, use a vacuum for a final touch.
- If the stain persists, try dabbing the area with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for an hour. Light will cause the peroxide to change back to water, so no rinsing is necessary.
Of course, the size, duration and source of grease or oil stains make each one its own little puzzle to solve. Thankfully, Preferred Carpet Care in Redding is excellent at solving those puzzles. With decades of skill, experience, training along with an arsenal of carpet cleaning tools and methods, we remove even the most stubborn stains, so your carpet and your home provide a clean and healthy living area. Feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment online.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On February 20, 2020