Olive Oil vs. Unfinished Red oak floor
October 8, 2006 8:15 PM   Subscribe

I spilled olive oil on our new red oak hardwood floor, the day before the contractors are coming to sand, stain and finish it (a small bottle fell off the shelf and the top popped off) . How screwed are we?

Mrs. Scoo and I managed to clean it up within two minutes of the spill with soap and water. About 5 minutes elapsed for the entire epiode. There is some visible staining hours later. Will the sanding take care of this? How deep in to the wood could the oil have penetrated?
posted by Scoo to Home & Garden (11 answers total)

Good luck with your floor, hopefully it won't be noticeable once it is sanded.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:27 PM on October 8, 2006

Isn't that part of the charm of wood floors---i.e. the indivudal characteristics they acquire?
posted by oxford blue at 8:44 PM on October 8, 2006

If they're going to use an oil-based finish, you won't even see it.

If they're going to use a urethane finish, it might blister but probably won't.

Talk to your contractors.
posted by flabdablet at 8:47 PM on October 8, 2006

It's new, but unfinished? Like raw wood? Chances are the sanding will remove some of the blemish, and the staining and sealing will hide the rest. If there is any wood grain variation happening nearby, that may help any remainder blend in. Point it out to them and perhaps they can work some magic with the staining to help it blend even more.

Good luck. I'm sure the contractors will know what to do.
posted by scarabic at 9:14 PM on October 8, 2006

Here's a dumb idea if all else fails: Have them pull up and flip the boards over. (This applies more to the other question, olive oil shouldn't be such a big deal for them)
posted by IronLizard at 11:07 PM on October 8, 2006

Dump a big pile of baby powder on it and wait as long as you can. Repeat. It won't do any harm, and might soak up some more oil out of the wood. (I've also heard baking soda, but never tried it. I think it would work, as it probably derpends on the surface area and the absorption of the material.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:10 AM on October 9, 2006

Response by poster: Well the contractors showed up, saw the stain and didn't seem too concerned. Sanding will lighten the oil stain, if not completely removing it, and the staining/sealing will darken the overall appearance of the floor, hopefully equalizing the appearance. Thanks again, hive mind!
posted by Scoo at 7:49 AM on October 9, 2006

ironlizard: wood flooring is tounge and groove, so it's not that easy.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:55 AM on October 9, 2006

How about doing the entire floor with olive oil?
posted by leafwoman at 10:00 AM on October 9, 2006

I'm with leafwoman. Although I do believe that olive oil is a lot more expensive per gallon than stain/finish.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:16 AM on October 9, 2006

I am with leafwoman on this.

You can also apply the same principle to spilling coffee/wine/bleach on clothing. Soak the clothing in the SAME cup of coffee/wine/bleach/whatever, launder it, viola - no more stain, and new tan clothing.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 11:43 AM on October 9, 2006

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