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How clean Trans fluid that spilled in a trunk?

Somehow the cap came off a jug of transmission fluid and it spilled in my trunk; not all over but a good portion fell onto the removable spare-tire cover. What's a good way to get it out of the carpet area and the underlying wood-like material that the cover is made of?


  • edited April 2008
    How much spilled? It might be easier to replace it all. The "wood-like" material is probably masonite or something like it. You can buy a half sheet or so at most any building supply, trace the old one onto the new, cut it out and then transfer or recreate any kind of brackets, bumpers, etc. You can also use something sturdier like a piece of luan plywood.

    Then you can also buy auto carpeting. You can buy custom fit for many vehicles, but that is likely more expensive than just buying the right sized swath and cutting to fit.

    This would neither be all that difficult, nor all that expensive. But if you're determined to save what you have, I'd likely try starting by soaking down the area with an automotive degreaser, scrubbing, and then sucking out as much as possible with a shop vac (or vac that can do wet). Then gradually moving down to weaker and weaker detergents ending with some basic carpet cleaner. Any or all of this will likely discolor the existing carpet, and I doubt that you will get it out of the masonite.
  • edited April 2008
    Cool, now I've got an idea of what route to go. I really appreciate the advice!
  • edited April 2008
    It also occurred to me that I might get to a pressure washer - either borrow one or go to a self-serve car wash - use the degreaser and power wash it out - then step your way down to normal detergents. Then just hang the carpet out to dry.
  • edited April 2008
    My first thought would be to try Speedy-Dry. Use it heavily to soak up all the oil. Then wash it as recommended with the replies you've received already.
  • edited April 2008
    Go to a salvage yard and buy a good used carpet and spare tire cover. I've yet to pay more than $10 for a set, and have replaced several. They are a gravy sale for the salvage because they don't get many calls for them.
  • edited April 2008
    I like MG McAnick's suggestion of going to a scrap yard and just taking the cover from a similar vehicle. It's cheap, it's easy, and there's no cutting or anything - you know it's going to fit.
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