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Olive Oil

No, not Popeye’s. My wife spilled a quart of olive oil on the passenger seat and floor of the car. It will turn rancid and smell awful soon. Should we trade in the car quickly(it’s only an 09), or is there a way to get the oil (and soon to be smell)out?

All ideas welcome.

The olive oil will clean up using normal cleaning techniques. Be thankful it wasn’t milk…

Or you could take it to a detailer.

Oil dry or clay based cat litter should soak it up pretty well. Do not use clumping litter. Chances are by now it has flowed beyond the bottom of the carpet, so in all reality you should loosen up the carpet oil dry or cat litter the floor under the carpet, then clean the floor pan with my favorite, scrubbing bubbles.

Do you know anyone with a carpet cleaner with a hand attachment for upholstery? If so, apply DAWN dishwashing detergent to the spill. This will cut the oil. Then suck up the spill using clean water.


First, thank you all for the quick responses. Let me emphasize a couple of points, its a full QUART of olive oil, it has soaked through the carpet and the padding. This is not just a little clean up. I suspect that nothing short of removing, and possibly replacing, the carpet (and seat) will do, but I would like to avoid this. In any case the car’s new name will be BP.

Thanks again.

Listen to tester- the Dawn is the key, it breaks up oil better than anything else that won’t eat the carpet.

Yep, OP just needs to be patient…very patient. Lots of Dawn, lots of rinsing, lots of time.

I got a quart of motor oil out of the carpet of car using oil dry first and then a strong Dawna and water mixture. If the threshold is removed from the door the carpet can be raised to clean under it. I think that’s what waterboy meant by loosening the carpet.

Another choice is to call one of the outfits in your local yellow pages that do the restoration work after a home fire. They also do cars and they have the right equipment to handle it.

Possibly one of the steam cleaners that inject hot water and steam, then vacuum it all up would work. You can rent one or have a professional carpet cleaner work on the car. (or a disaster recovery firm like someone else suggested) I’d probably do the Dawn and water thing someone else suggested, then use a steam cleaner and repeatedly go over it until there’s no trace left.

Take it to an auto detailer and see what they recommend and how much it costs. Also find out what their warranty is.