How in the world do I clean this mystery stain?
August 8, 2019 6:49 AM   Subscribe

I have no idea how it happened, but I ended up waking the morning after a road trip to find something splattered across my kitchen ceiling. How do I make it go away? Challenge level: matte paint.

There are two potential culprits that I can think of. The night before its discovery I dropped a full can of hard cider en route to the fridge which cracked and shot out some foam. I also took an empty bottle, filled it with olive oil, and put a pour spout on top, which did spurt a bit due to air pressure. Neither seemed dramatic enough to cause this (so these are largely theories,) and either way it went unnoticed until the next day due it being so late when we'd arrived home (they're not noticeable in the dark.) Note: the wider blotches around the stains are actually new stains left by attempt to clean these off.

One of the issues I'm running into is that the paint in this apartment is matte, so it seems to wear off incredibly quickly. A magic eraser would probably strip it to the quick. Heck, in the bottom photo eagle-eyed readers might be able to spot white points in the blotches where a soft sponge wore the paint off.

Any suggestions? Things I've tried:
* soap and water with a sponge (no good, it actually either spread the stain or left a new one in the form of those big dark blotches)
* white vinegar with a sponge (did nothing, outside of also helping wear the paint off)

For reference, some photos.
posted by OMGTehAwsome to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Oy, that looks like oil to me. You could try some of these things (the heat suggestion sounds interesting to me) but I have the grim suspicion that you're looking at stain-blocking primer and a coat of paint.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:57 AM on August 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

You could try a mild bleach solution. But I suspect it's going to take a magic eraser-type scrubber with very light pressure.
posted by slkinsey at 6:58 AM on August 8, 2019

I agree with restless_nomad - I think the easiest and most attractive thing to do would be to prime and paint.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:58 AM on August 8, 2019

I accidentally shot olive oil to the ceiling putting a nozzle on a pourer. It looked very much like that. I had to spray it with ceiling stain blocking primer. It blended in with the ceiling paint so I never bothered repainting that bit but that would have been my next step. I have an old house with a lot of plaster though & the stain had soaked into the plaster.
posted by wwax at 7:57 AM on August 8, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks, y'all. I had been hoping to avoid repainting as it's a rental and I don't have access to the paint (otherwise I'd happily do it.) I'll see if maybe maintenance can provide some or is willing to touch up the missing paint.
posted by OMGTehAwsome at 9:32 AM on August 8, 2019

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