oilspill + hardwood floor != crazy delicious
February 18, 2006 7:15 PM   Subscribe

oil spill on hardwood floor: cleanable?

ok, so i was a dumbass and left a bottle of motor oil sitting in the corner of my room for too long and it leaked on my hardwood floor. now there is a stain, which looks like it's seeped in pretty good. is there any hope of getting that out?
posted by Hackworth to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
I doubt it

short of sanding down and refinishing the entire floor.

(I mean, you could sand down the affected part but it will be next to impossible to match the finish on the rest of the floor).
posted by unSane at 7:40 PM on February 18, 2006

Chances are the wood's stained straight through. You could sand and bleach, but there'll still be some level of discoloration.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:46 PM on February 18, 2006

Time to replace the floor. Or toss a rug over it.
posted by puke & cry at 8:00 PM on February 18, 2006

You could put a plant in the corner, I suppose.

But you won't get that stain out short of removing the wood that the oil's gotten into. Really all you've done is found a terribly toxic and smellier version of wood-stain. Sorry. Maybe you could use some more and make it a nicely-shaped stain.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:52 PM on February 18, 2006

On the plus side, it can be remarkably cheap to have a small part of a hardwood floor replaced. Do yourself a favor and at least get a quote on it.
posted by tkolar at 9:34 PM on February 18, 2006

If the oil is in the wood, it's not coming out. Wood is oleophillic. No solvent in the world will clean it.

As the other posters have it, replacement is your best option. It's not hugely expensive if you do the finishing yourself. The only trick is to cut off the lower edge of the last groove board you put down. It's an invisible repair.
posted by bonehead at 12:18 PM on February 19, 2006

Also, bleach does nothing to oil. Don't even bother.
posted by bonehead at 12:18 PM on February 19, 2006

If you're lucky enough to have a hardwood floor made from those pre-stained boards, you can remove the boards, starting from the nearest wall the boards run _along_ until the stained boards are pulled out, then buy a box of new boards of the same color from the floor manufacturer.

The repair will be a slightly nasty amount of work, depending on how crazy the installer got with the nails, (maybe you're very lucky and its a floating floor) but it will be essentially invisible.

Of course, if your floor is older, it was probably stained after installation, or the manufacturer will have discontinued the color, in which case you're SOL as far as this solution goes.
posted by Crosius at 1:25 PM on February 19, 2006

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