Oil Spill - in the trunk!

A recent trip to the auto parts store left me with about a quart of new oil soaked into my trunk’s carpet, and I can’t seem to get it out.

The carpet has a paddded backing that seems to hold the oil like a sponge. When I touch it my fingers are oily, and anything I put in the trunk gets oil on it’s bottom. On hot days the whole car reeks of oil. I’ve tried soaking it up with rags, washing it with simple green, and grinding kitty litter into it, but it’s still there.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get it out, or should I just replace the whole carpet?

You’ll need to be able to remove it completely from the trunk, then I’d try taking it to a self-serve car wash, pouring a bottle of Dawn dish soap evenly over it, working it in, then rinse until the soap (and, hopefully, the oil) is gone.

p.s. - or just save yourself a lot of messy work and replace it.

You can get replacement trunk mats for virtually any car. A wrecking yard will probably sell you one for very little; it’s not the kind of thing that wears out! That will save you a lot of elbow grease trying to get the oil out. The oil smell will likely be nearly impossible to get out unless you replace the carpet.

Yeah, that stuff won’t come out. I used to own a K1500 Blazer, and spilled a little bit (a pint or less) of 80W-90 gear oil onto the carpet in the back cargo area. I’d fold up old cardboard boxes and set them over the spot to keep things from getting oily when placed there. At least a couple years later, new boxes would get oily within minutes.

I’d guess the best permanent fix is new carpeting.

“Can’t get it (the oil) out”.

Nope, you won’t and it won’t matter how many times you wash it.

Remove the carpet and liner, and have lots of rags or sponges to mop up the water you’ll be dumping in the trunk.

Buy a can/bottle of oil/grease remover and thoroughly coat the trunk floor, let it soak for awhile and then rinse with clean warm water and wipe dry.

You’ll need a bucket or pan catch-all you can pour the oil/water mix into resealable bottles to take to an environmentally safe disposal location (a garage), not the sewers or the bush.

OR you may want to try a dry compound used to soak up spills on concrete floors instead. Perhaps ask around your local hardware stores for info or do an internet search.

However you do it, install a new carpet. (or a scrapyard used one if it’s clean and doesn’t stink!) Don’t forget to dispose of the oil soaked carpet in an environmentally safe way.

Hopefully there won’t be an oil odor left behind as covering it up will not eliminate the odor.

Good luck and post back and let us know how this turns out (however you do it).