How To Remove Grease From Carpet
Grease stains on carpet is a common and also difficult problem found in both residential and commercial environments. Grease stains can find their way onto carpets pretty much anywhere. For example, tracked on the bottom of shoes in auto repair shops or restaurants, or from cooking grease, such as lard or bacon grease spilled from a pan.
You may notice that the grease stain appears dark in color and is sticky or “gummy” to the touch. If not completely removed, grease on the carpet can cause resoiling due to its sticky residue, which attracts more dirt, dust and allergens that bind to the carpet fiber.
In this article, we will discuss recommended procedures for professional grease removal on carpet.
Things to Consider Before Attempting Removing a Grease Carpet Stain
Before attempting to remove grease from carpet, there are a few things to consider:
- The amount of grease. In some environments, such as busy restaurants or diners, you may be able to literally scrape the grease off the floor with a business card. Multiple applications, longer dwell times, and extra labor will be required.
- The type of grease, and whether it’s synthetic or organic. In general, the same products and techniques can be used to clean most types of grease stains. However, additives or dyes in the grease can cause different types of staining that may be more difficult to remove.
- The type of carpet and the material it’s made of. Synthetic carpets, like ones made from nylon fibers, for example, respond well to most detergents or pre-sprays. Natural fibers, such as wool or cotton, will require specific products and great care to prevent damage to the fiber.
- The size and age of the stained area. The larger the stain is, and the longer the grease sits on the carpet, the more difficult it is to get grease out. Years of neglect and heavy foot traffic will have pushed the greasy residues deep into the carpet pile where removal is more challenging.
Thankfully, the experts at Jon-Don have recommended a variety of specialized products and procedures to tackle your tough grease removal challenge.
How to Remove Grease from Carpet
For effective grease removal, a dry spotter is recommended. Dry solvent spotters include Volatile Dry Solvent (VDS), citrus or gel-type spotters, and non-volatile dry solvents (NVDS) or Paint, Oil, and Grease Removers (POG).A dry solvent spotter is a non-water, hydrocarbon-based compound that dissolves oily soils. These spotters are ideal for removing oil-based spots, such as gum, cooking oil, paint, grease, and tar. These products should not be used for overall carpet cleaning for a large area—only localized spot cleaning.
Note: Extreme caution should be used when applying dry solvent spotters, as they can dissolve adhesives and latex backing on carpet, otherwise known as delamination. Always apply dry solvent spotters in well-ventilated areas, as some products may be flammable.
Method 1 - Small Grease Spot Removal on Carpet
Follow this method when removing small grease spots on carpet. Always follow label directions and never mix products unless specified on the label. Results may vary.
- Using a bone spatula, scrape and remove any excess grease from the carpet surface.
- Apply either Matrix® Orange Power Gel or Matrix® Citrus Force ASD undiluted to a spotting towel and use a tamping brush to blot it against the spot. Use caution and do not over-apply, as this may cause delamination.
- Using an extraction machine, thoroughly rinse the area with clean water.
- If residue remains, apply Matrix® Break Down P.O.G. undiluted to a spotting towel and use a tamping brush to blot it against the spot. Do not apply directly to the carpet, as it may cause delamination.
- Using an extraction machine, rinse the area thoroughly.
Method 2 - Large Area Grease Removal on Carpet
Follow this method when cleaning an area with multiple grease spots or spills, or when cleaning greasy high-traffic lanes and areas where grease has been tracked across a large area of carpet.
- Thoroughly vacuum the area to be cleaned to remove as much dirt and dry debris as possible.
- Apply a grease-cutting pre-spray, such as Matrix® MaxFlex or Matrix® Enzyme-Prespray according to the label instructions. Allow to dwell.
- On particularly tough grease spots, apply Matrix® Citrus Force ASD according to the label instructions and allow it to dwell.
- Using hot water, thoroughly rinse and extract the area with a portable or truck mounted extractor and Matrix® All Fiber Rinse, according to label instructions.
- Set out air movers to speed dry the area.
Tips For Better Results
Grease on carpet is one of the more difficult challenges professional carpet cleaners will encounter on the job, but with the right products and tools, you can confidently handle just about any greasy mess thrown your way. Here are a few tips from our experts to improve results:
- Scraping away excess grease with a bone spatula will improve your spotter’s performance. The more you can initially scrape off the surface, the less grease your spotter will have to dissolve/cut through to get to the carpet fiber.
- The older the grease stain is, the better off you are using specialized products and procedures designed for professional carpet cleaners. A stubborn stain can be difficult to remove using a home remedy and household products, and sometimes DIY solutions can make the problem worse.
- Leftover greasy residues are the number one cause of carpet re-soiling. An area may look great after cleaning, but then darkens and re-soils after a week or two. Making sure to thoroughly rinse the area and dry it with an air mover to improve results.
- Hot water performs better than cold water. Using hot water for rinsing and extracting an area helps to further liquify gunky, greasy soils for more efficient removal.
Looking for more stain removal advice? Check out our technical tip library for help on tackling all sorts of common—and uncommon—spots and stains on carpet. If you need help troubleshooting a tough spot or stain, our experts are just a phone call away. Call 800-556-6366 to speak with a member of our team.