I spilled teak oil and made a mess! How do I clean it up?
November 10, 2013 3:26 PM   Subscribe

So when I was teak oiling my table I stupidly put the can of teak oil down in my stainless steel sink. Now I have a teak-oil-can-shaped ring of dried teak oil in my sink. And also some on my granite countertop.

I went to the hardware store and asked for help, but the hardware store man could only pull out his phone and ask Siri "how do I clean up dried teak oil from a stainless steel sink?" Siri didn't help, and the advice the hardware store man finally gave was to try turpentine because it said "Nature's Solvent" on the can and that means it probably won't kill me as fast as paint thinner. So I put turpentine on a rag and rubbed my sink with it and it did nothing to the teak oil.

What should I try next? What won't hurt my sink and countertop?

Thank you!
posted by middlethird to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
The problem is that teak polymerizes, so, at this point, it's one big covalently bound molecule and is unlikely to be dissolved by anything that isn't going to attack those bonds which mean it will probably also do a number to your sink and counter. You'll probably have to take them off with some sort of abrasive. A 3M green scrubby pad will probably do the job.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:45 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd try Goo Gone or Goof Off or another citrus oil cleaner.
posted by barnone at 3:54 PM on November 10, 2013

I swear I don't work for them with as much I as I give it as an answer, but try Bar Keepers Friend. That stuff has surprised me with what it can take out on many occasions.
posted by cecic at 4:00 PM on November 10, 2013

I say Barkeepers Friend, too, especially on the sink. The counter is probably somewhat porous so I'm less hopeful about that.
posted by HotToddy at 4:32 PM on November 10, 2013

I would try acetone. Acetone won't hurt the sink. Might not be good for the granite if it's sealed with something. Also might drive the oil deeper into the rock.

Acetone is not toxic with incidental exposure while cleaning.
posted by ryanrs at 4:37 PM on November 10, 2013

Baking soda and a damp sponge + elbow grease for both the sink & the granite.
posted by yoga at 5:13 PM on November 10, 2013

Steel wool for the sink, perhaps? Or some other abrasive like carborundum paper? Careful on the countertop with those, though, they are likely to take down the gloss finish along with the teak oil.
posted by fancyoats at 5:22 PM on November 10, 2013

Barkeepers Friend is pretty damn badass. Use it for the sink. Perhaps try a paste of water and baking soda for the countertop.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:29 PM on November 10, 2013

1+ for steel wool.
posted by donajo at 6:10 PM on November 10, 2013

sustained steam iron through a folded towel then scrape with a razor blade.
posted by hortense at 6:52 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thanks for your help, everybody! The next thing I tried was rubbing alcohol and the scratchy side of a sponge, and it totally worked (with some elbow grease). So I think Team Abrasion wins this time! (Although it wasn't totally fair since Team Bar Keepers Friend didn't get a chance to play...)
posted by middlethird at 10:35 PM on November 10, 2013

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