There are so many ways you can get those unsightly oil stains on your painted walls – mayonnaise, cooking oil, oils from your fingers, hair, grease pencil, etc.
Have you ever wanted to know how to remove oil stains from wall paint?
Like with any other oil stain, the more quickly and effectively you tackle the stain, the better your chances are to remove it.
In many cases with oil stains, you may end up having to touch-up the stained area or even re-paint your wall, but there are a few things you can try first – using only everyday household products!
Items You’ll Need
In this section, we’ll list and discuss the items you’ll need to remove oil stains from wall paint.
We’ll provide any alternatives as options for each item, when applicable.
Hot water, warm water, or cold water are used to wash away soap or moisten pastes or make various treatments.
Clean Cloth, Rag, Sponge, Nylon Scrubber, Towel, Paper Towel, Soft Scrubber Brush
A clean cloth, rag, sponge, nylon scrubber, or soft scrubber brush is used to apply the various soaps, solutions, or pastes to the stained area.
I have found that these microfiber cleaning cloths work best.
Do not use wire brush bristles because they’ll damage the paint.
A clean cloth, rag, towel, paper towel, or absorbent cloth is used to dry the stained area, apply heat to the stained area, and other various stain removal tasks.
Spray Bottle, Bucket
A spray bottle is used to apply various solutions to the stained area.
Liquid Dish Soap
A liquid dish soap, such as Dawn, which has grease-cutting capabilities, removes oil stains from wall paint.
White vinegar is used to remove oil stains as it’s an acetic acid makes a great cleaner.
This brand that I found on Amazon gets great reviews.
Baking soda or one of its alternatives, cornstarch, or flour, is used to absorb oil from the stain as they are all very absorbent powders.
If you’ve run out of baking soda, click here to order more.
Classic Clothes Iron
A classic clothes iron is used to apply heat to the oil stain, emulsifying the oil, drawing it out.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original, which I found on Amazon, or a similar product, is used to wipe an oil stain off the wall paint.
WD-40 is used to draw oil out of stubborn oil stains on wall paint.
Cleaner/Degreaser Specifically Made For Wall Paint
A cleaner/degreaser specifically made for wall paint, such as Super Clean Degreaser, which I found on Amazon.
There are many others out there – just look at your wall paint manufacturer’s recommendations before selecting the appropriate cleaner/degreaser.
Touch-Up Paint/Wall Re-Paint/Stain-Blocking Primer
If you need to touch-up your walls, you’ll need a touch-up paint that matches your original wall color and paint type, and a stain-blocking primer, such as Kilz Stainblocking Primer, which I found on Amazon.
There are many others out there. Just search for a stain-blocking primer for your type of paint.
If you’re going to re-paint your wall, you can choose any good paint and a stain-blocking primer.
Step By Step Instructions For How To Remove Oil Stains From Wall Paint
#1 Liquid Dish Soap
Mix ¼ teaspoon of dish soap in 1 cup of warm water, for smaller stains.
Use a nylon scrubber or a rag to rub the dish soap into the stain and rinse it with clean water.
Clean and repeatedly rinse, as needed, until the stain has been eliminated.
Use a dry cloth or towel and blot until dry.
#2 Baking Soda (Optional, If Necessary)
Make a paste of 3 tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of warm water and lightly scrub the paste into the stain using a nylon scrubber until the stain is gone.
Wipe the paste off the wall with a damp clean rag.
Either cornstarch or flour makes suitable substitutes for baking soda in this paste, if necessary.
#3 White Vinegar (Optional, If Necessary)
Mix 1/3 cup of white household vinegar with 2/3 cup of hot water and use a spray bottle to apply it to the stained area.
Allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean rag.
Work in small areas and repeat as many times as necessary to remove the oil stains from the wall paint.
If you’re working with a larger area, use several clean rags to mop up all the oil.
Alternatively, if you need something a bit stronger, try pouring some white vinegar directly onto a sponge in place of the diluted vinegar solution above.
#4 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (Optional, If Necessary)
Oil from your fingers gets all over your painted walls, but the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original, or a similar product, easily wipes those stains away.
Dampen the eraser and rub the oil stains gently, being careful not to take off any paint with your rubbing.
#5 Classic Clothes Iron (Optional, If Necessary)
Make a small stack of folded paper towels or get an absorbent cloth and preheat your classic clothes iron on its lowest heat setting for a few minutes.
Place either the paper towels or the cloth flat over the oil stain on the wall, holding it with one hand, and rub the stain back and forth only on the paper towels or cloth, with the other hand.
Repeat several times until the oil has a chance to emulsify and get absorbed by the paper towels or cloth.
Use fresh paper towels or a clean cloth as many times as necessary to get the stain lifted.
Once the stain is gone, using a clean rag or sponge, wash the stained area with warm soapy water.
Rinse the soap away using a damp cloth and dry the area by blotting it with a towel.
Be careful not to burn your hand or the painted wall by touching either with the hot iron’s plate.
#6 WD-40 (Optional, If Necessary)
Spray a small amount of WD-40 on the oil stain.
Using a rag, wipe away the WD-40 dripping from the stain, but let it sit on the oil for at least 5-10 minutes before wiping it all off.
#7 Cleaner/Degreaser Specifically Made For Wall Paint (Optional, If Necessary)
If your oil stain is extremely persistent, you may need a cleaner/degreaser specifically made for wall paint; finding one was mentioned in the items list.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate cleaner/degreaser for your wall paint, follow the package’s instructions to remove the oil stain.
#8 Touch-Up Paint/Wall Re-Paint (Optional, If Necessary)
As a last resort, you may need to cover the oil stain instead of removing it.
This means you need to touch-up your wall paint on the stained area or even re-paint your entire wall.
If you need to touch-up your paint on the stained area, you’ll need a touch-up paint that matches your original wall color and paint type, and a stain-blocking primer, like the one in the items list.
If you’re going to re-paint your wall, you can choose any good paint and a stain-blocking primer, like the one in the items list.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate touch-up paint/wall re-paint and stain-blocking primer for your wall, follow the instructions on the packages to cover the oil stain.
If all the above steps still leave you with an oil stain on your painted wall, you may want to hire a professional cleaner to remove the stain or a professional painter to cover the stain.
Commonly Asked Questions
Is there a way to remove stains from walls without removing paint too?
-Yes, there are a few ways; however, they may not remove all stains, and if cheap paint was used on the wall, it might come off no matter what you do.
One way is to try the liquid dish soap method (Step #1 above), using a soft cloth or sponge.
If you need to try something more drastic, you’ll want to test it somewhere on the wall that isn’t noticeable, to make sure it won’t take your paint off with the stain.
Are there good cleaner/degreaser products specifically for wall paint?
-Yes, there are several, all of which can be easily found in places like grocery stores, Walmart, Target, and Amazon, etc.
Just make sure to look at your wall paint manufacturer’s recommendations before selecting the appropriate cleaner/degreaser.
Here are one or two I’ve seen getting great results, and I found them on Amazon with good ratings and reviews:
- Chomp Painted Wall Cleaner Spray: Healthier Home 5-Minute Clean Walls 4-in-1 Multipurpose Cleaner – Painted Wall – 4.5/5 Stars on Amazon.
Effective on virtually any washable surface and safe for all paint finishes.
- Krud Kutter No-Rinse PrePaint Cleaner – TSP Substitute – 4.5/5 Stars on Amazon.
Safe for use on all paints; removes tough stains like grease and oil.
Have you appreciated learning how to remove oil stains from wall paint?
It doesn’t take a lot of effort, product, or money to do it yourself – it’s mostly knowing what to use and what to do!
All of that is better than spending a lot on cleaners, painters, and contractors and then being inconvenienced by their schedule instead of making your own.