From cooking to cleaning to teeth whitening to hair hydrating, coconut oil is a popular natural remedy for myriad home and health-related issues.
But this sweet-smelling, gooey miracle product doesn’t always produce a desired result. If you’ve ever spilled a jar of coconut oil onto your carpet, you know how unpleasant working with this miracle product can be.
While coconut oil is often touted as a natural solution for removing tough stains like grease or chewing gum, it can be a bit difficult to get out itself.
Fortunately, there are a number of great DIY stain removal techniques that can work well for use on coconut oil.
So whether you’re looking to remove a dab of coconut oil that you used to lift another stain or your stain was more accidental, it is possible to conquer coconut oil conquer stains with a bit of effort.
As with most stains, it’s important to act fast when it comes to addressing a coconut oil stain. So, let’s not waste any more time: Here are some great ways you can remove coconut oil from your carpet.
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Remove the Excess
The first step toward addressing coconut oil in your carpet is to act quickly to remove any excess there may be on your carpet. Coconut oil can be completely liquid, but it also may be in solid for, or a mix of both.
I know for me, my jar of coconut oil is solid during the winter months, but a runny, clumpy mess during the warm days of summer.
This consistency will impact how the coconut oil interacts with your carpet. A solid chunk of coconut oil will absorb much more slowly into your carpet, while liquid will be quicker to absorb into the carpet’s fibers.
If there is some solid form of coconut oil remaining on the area of your stain, you may be able to remove some of this oil before it can absorb into your carpet.
Take a spoon, a butter knife, or another blunt object and, starting beneath the coconut oil, slide your spoon or dull knife beneath and lift the solid oil away from your carpet.
Be careful not to use a sliding motion, as this can actually spread the area of your stain, and do not accidentally push any of the coconut oil deeper into your carpet.
If the coconut oil is completely liquid, but has not yet fully absorbed into the carpet, you may be able to remove some using a spoon.
Removing any excess coconut oil prior to treating the stain will help to limit the spread of the stain and reduce the amount that will seep into your carpet. It may not prevent a stain from forming, but it can certainly reduce its severity.
Blot the Stain
After you have removed any excess coconut oil on the carpet, you can absorb some of the liquid that has soaked into your carpet by taking a paper towel or white cloth and gently blotting the stain.
Be careful not to rub or scrub the stain, as this just serves to push the stain deeper into your carpet and may spread the area affected by the stain.
Continue blotting the stain, using a new, clean area of the cloth or paper towel, until moisture no longer appears on your cloth.
As with removing excess coconut oil, this step will unlikely resolve your coconut oil issue in its entirety, but it can go a long way toward preventing a deep, set-in stain and can reduce the amount of coconut oil that soaks into your carpet.
One method you may want to try in addition to blotting to draw up moisture from within your carpet’s fibers is the use of baking soda.
Baking soda is great at treating oil stains and it works well to absorb moisture from within your carpet. It’s also effective at neutralizing odors, although that probably isn’t going to be an issue with a coconut oil stain.
Pour baking soda on top of the entire area of the stain and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes or until the baking soda is dry. Some may leave setting overnight, while others prefer not to leave it on there too long, as this can leave the stain in their carpet for longer.
Once the baking soda is dry, you can use a spoon or knife to scoop up the baking soda from your carpet, taking care not to drop any outside of the area of your stain, and discard it.
You can also use your vacuum cleaner to remove the remainder of the baking soda.
The baking soda will have worked to absorb much of the oil and moisture from within your carpet and reduce the size of the stain.
If you do not have baking soda available at home, you can use salt or cornstarch as substitutes, though they may not be as effective at neutralizing odors.
Once you have performed the above steps to absorb as much moisture as possible and reduce the area of your stain, it’s time to apply a treatment solution to lift the remainder of the stain from your carpet.
There are a number of options for this, but a quick and easy option is the use of non-bleach dish detergent.
Combine one tablespoon of dish detergent – ideally clear, as the dyes in some dish soaps may stain your carpet – with two cups of warm water.
Using a spray bottle or a clean cloth, apply the solution to the spot of the stain.
Gently blot the area with a clean, dry cloth, applying more solution as needed, until the stain is removed.
Be sure to rinse the area thoroughly when complete, as dish detergent could not only leave your carpet looking drab and blotchy, but it may also cause dirt to collect and additional stains to develop.
Dry Cleaning Solvent
The use of a dry cleaning solvent may also be recommended if dish detergent alone does not suffice for absorbing your stain.
You can wet the edge of a soft cloth or towel with a small amount of dry cleaning solvent and then blot it into the area of the stain.
Take care not to press or rub the solvent into your carpet. Allow the solution to set for a few minutes before beginning to blot the stain with a wet cloth.
Always rinse the area thoroughly to ensure all stain treatment product has been removed following application.
A product like Guardsman Professional Strength Dry Cleaning Fluid Stain Remover Solution may work well for use on various oil stains, including coconut oil. You should always check to ensure this product is safe for use on your carpet and test it on a non-visible area of your carpet first before use to ensure it does not cause damage.
A popular stain-fighting solution among DIY-ers is the use of white vinegar to treat a stain. It’s great at lifting and lightening tough stains like grease and oil, making it a good fit for use with coconut oil.
Be sure to use white vinegar – not apple cider vinegar, as this may damage your carpet – and mix with water to avoid bleaching your carpet. White vinegar is an astringent, and if the solution you use on your carpet is too strong, it can have a bleaching, rather than a lightening effect.
Combine one part white vinegar with three parts warm water and apply to your coconut oil stain. Allow to set for 5-15 minutes, giving the vinegar a chance to start breaking up the stain and lifting it from your carpet’s fibers.
Using a dry, soft, light-colored cloth, gently blot the area affected by the coconut oil stain. Continue to apply the vinegar and water solution as needed until the stain is removed.
If you’re looking to pack some more punch to your stain fighting solution, you can add a tablespoon of dish detergent to the vinegar and water solution and re-apply to the area of your coconut oil stain.
Once you have completed use of this solution, it’s important to rinse your carpet thoroughly to ensure all the vinegar has been removed. Although vinegar is a great way to neutralize odors in your carpet, it can leave a strong smell if not thoroughly rinsed.
Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, has a bad reputation when it comes to carpet – and for good reason. Rubbing alcohol can actually damage the latex adhesive that connects your carpet to the floor, but when used correctly, can actually prove rather effective at lifting and lightening stains.
Its astringent qualities help to break up tough stains and may work particularly well on an oil-based stain.
But it’s important to test a small amount of this product on a non-visible part of your carpet first to ensure it does not cause damage. It is not appropriate for use on certain carpet types.
Once you’ve determined the product will not damage your carpet, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab the stain. Then, take a dry, clean cloth and blot the area where you have applied the rubbing alcohol.
Repeat the process until the stain is removed, taking care not to press too hard on the carpet and soak the rubbing alcohol into the carpet.
Quickly rinse the entirety of the rubbing alcohol from the carpet using cold water.
Enzymatic Carpet Cleaner
If you’re still finding it difficult to remove your coconut oil stain, one last option is to use an enzymatic carpet cleaner. These commercial cleaning products work well to break up bio-based stains and are great for use on tough stains, like oil.
They also are generally safe for use around kids and pets, so if you have avoided using a commercial carpet cleaner for this reason, then an enzymatic formula may be a good option for you.
One potential option to consider is Hoover Max Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo. Developed specifically for use on tough pet-related stains, it can work well on most household stains and may be a good idea to keep on hand if you’re open to a commercial cleaning solution option.
Regardless of which stain treatment method you elect to employ, it’s important to thoroughly rinse the solution from your carpet once the stain has been removed.
Use cold water and a clean rag to dab the area of the stain and work the solution out of your carpet.
Then, use a series of dry cloths or towels to press into the moist carpet and dab the area dry.
For very wet carpet, you may want to lay down a few towels and place a few books on top, leaving to set for a few hours as the remainder of the moisture is absorbed.
It’s very important to remove all moisture from your carpet, as wet carpet can grow mold or mildew.
Vacuum your carpet after it dries to restore your carpet’s natural fluff and shine.
Although a coconut oil stain can be a bit of a pain to remove – and what stain isn’t? – it is certainly not a death sentence for your carpet. With a little bit of effort and the use of some creative solutions, you can break down that stubborn coconut oil stain and restore your carpet to its youthful bliss.