how to clean up oil spills on floor
Kristina Davis

Learning how to clean up oil spills on floor is important. Remember, long hours in the kitchen are accompanied by perspiration, exhaustion, and most significantly, the risk of a cooking oil spill.

The natural inclination is to grab an old towel and start scrubbing. Unfortunately, that is not always going to work as desired.

And that is what leaves people with a question about how to clean up cooking oil spills on floor.

Dish soap, degreasers, vinegar, baking soda, cornstarch, and steam cleaners are just some of the options that may make cleanup a breeze if you know how and when to use them.  

How to Clean Up Oil Spills on Floor?

oil spill on floor

Cleaning up oil and grease spills on the floor is a breeze with the help of a kitchen degreaser.

The substance’s chemical nature means it simply changes state, rendering elimination simple.

As a result, it may be used for everything from cooking to fixing cars because it effectively dissolves oil and grease.

However, here is the process you need to follow in order to remove those spills as efficiently as possible. 

Step #1: Back Up

When cooking oil is spilled inadvertently, most people’s initial instinct is to start cleaning it up right away.

The oil has come straight from the stove or has been spilled from a frying pan. It is likely to be extremely hot and should be handled safely.

Therefore, the best idea is to resist the temptation and wait for the oil to cool down. This way, you can handle the oil better without hurting yourself. 

Step #2: Safety

caution wet floor

After making sure nobody was hurt, you should cordon off the area where the spill occurred.

Keep in mind that oil is extremely slippery regardless of temperature. If everyone in the kitchen was not there when the oil spilled, they need to know exactly where it happened.

Make sure everyone wears protective footwear before entering the kitchen again if the glass is part of the spill. 

Step #3: Begin Cleaning

cleaning oil spill

You can start cleaning as soon as the oil is cool to the touch. Luckily, you probably already have most of the ingredients and equipment you need for cleaning.

You can get started by getting some old dish towels and rubbing the oil with them to absorb the stain.

After absorbing as much as possible with a towel, sprinkle a thick layer of cornstarch, baking soda, sand, or salt over the area.

Once the material has absorbed the oil, scoop it up with a dustpan and toss it in the garbage.

This way, you can remove most of the oil pretty easily. Then, combine some grease-cutting soap with hot water and mop up the oil residue.

Tip: It is important to wait until the floor is completely dry before continuing work there. 

Preventing Oil Spills in the First Place

putting oil to the pot

Taking care of any unused oil in the kitchen might help prevent a lot of messy accidents.

Yet, there are a number of strategies that can be employed to stop leaks before they even start.

First, when cooking with oil, ensure your pot or pan is large enough to hold the oil you will need without spilling over the sides. You should also watch out for oil splashes by not filling the pan more than halfway.

Similarly, do not heat the oil too quickly or it may splash and leak. And, never leave the stove unattended while the oil is heating up.

By adhering to these guidelines, you may help keep your kitchen clean and free of oil spills. 

Getting Rid of Cooking Oil and Grease from Concrete

Concrete floors are extremely durable and quite capable of withstanding heavy foot traffic. But, cleaning them can sometimes be a bit tricky, especially if you have oil spills on the concrete floor.

Here is what you can do to handle this situation: 

Step #1: Pre-Treat the Area

removing the dust around the spill

Remove any dust or debris from the area by sweeping it up, and then spray it gently with a hose.

Keep in mind that any absorbent material you use is likely to work better after being precleaned.

Tip: Avoid using a high-powered washer for the initial cleanup, as it can cause oil stains to penetrate further into the concrete. 

Step #2: Soak Up the Spill

Sawdust should be heaped over the oil spill, tamped down, and let sit for half an hour. A commercially available spill absorbent or sweeping compound can also be used in this case. 

Step #3: Sweep

sweeping the oil spill

Get rid of the sawdust by sweeping it up. Always use caution when handling any kind of commercial product. Also, remember that you have to hose down the area for the best results.   

Step #4: Scrub

It is a good idea to sprinkle powdered laundry detergent over the cooking grease spill.

Next up, you have to ensure that the affected area is moistened and scrubbed with a sharp bristled brush. This way, the detergent can emulsify and extract the oil.

Tip: Make sure you do not use wire brushes on concrete since this is not recommended, as rusted metal particles may be left behind. 

Step #5: Sweep and Rinse Again

cleaning again after rinsing

After waiting 24 hours, sweep up the dried detergent and flush the area with water. Check again for any oil that may have seeped to the surface. It is possible that you require multiple cleaning sessions for the task.

What Can You Use to Clean Up Oil Spills on the Floor?

You may have already understood what to do when trying to clean oil spills. But, learning what to use while cleaning will help get better results.

For instance: 

Use Dish Soap

applying dish soap

After the oil has been soaked up, you should scrub the floor to get rid of any lingering stains.

This is when you can use a mop or a sponge to spread a solution made of dish soap and warm water around the floor.

Tip:  Be sure to clean the spill in manageable chunks, moving inward from the edges. 

Try Baking Soda

Baking soda can also be used to clean up an oil spill in the kitchen.

Use a broom or a brush to rub baking soda into the floor after liberally sprinkling it over the spill. The baking soda will absorb the oil and eliminate the smell

Use Vinegar

applying vinegar

If you ever have a cooking oil spill, you can use vinegar as a powerful degreaser.

Put some white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use that to treat the affected region. After a short waiting period, you can mop or sponge up any residual solution. 

Go with Cornstarch

Cornstarch can be used to clean up oil spills in the kitchen.

A good amount of cornstarch can be sprinkled over the spill and then brushed or swept into the floor to absorb the liquid. After the cornstarch has had time to absorb the oil, you can pick it up with a dustpan

Use a Degreaser

applying degreaser

One type of cleaner called a “degreaser” targets oil and grease spills. Most home improvement stores and supermarkets stock degreasers.

Simply get one and degrease the area according to the product’s labeling recommendations. 

Try a Steam Cleaner

Cleaning up a cooking oil spill on the floor with a steam cleaner is another viable option. The oil on the floor will be easier to remove thanks to the high temperature of the steam.

Tip: To make sure you are getting the most out of your steam cleaner, read and follow the manual. 

Getting Rid of Old Oil Stains from Concrete

cleaning the concrete

Using a combination of solvent and absorbent materials is the way to clean old oil stains from concrete.

As soon as you apply this paste to stained concrete, the solvent will begin dissolving the stain, and the absorbent will begin removing it.

Here are a few things to remember when dealing with an old stubborn oil stain:

  • Use a paste made of lacquer thinner and kitty litter.
  • Wear protective gear while cleaning oil.
  • Spread the mixture over the stained area until it is at least a quarter of an inch thick.
  • Wrap in plastic, secure the tape, and apply pressure on those stains.
  • Just give it a day to dry, then spray it down with the hose and clean up the dried paste. 

Dealing with Large Cooking Oil Spills

using machinery for cleaning

It is not easy to remove frying oil from huge sections of concrete.  Still, you can take advantage of products like strong degreasers and microbiological cleansers.

However, hiring professionals to do the work is typically less expensive than trying to do it yourself.

This saves you from renting machinery, purchasing industrial-strength supplies, and gathering safety gear.   


Learning how to clean up oil spills on floor can be tricky but possible. Waiting for the oil to cool down and blocking off the area where the spill happened are also necessary precautions.

Some simple solutions include the use of dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, cornstarch, degreasers, and steam cleaners. You can also use a paste of lacquer thinner and kitty litter to remove old, set-in oil stains from concrete.

But, if nothing works, it is time to let a professional handle those major spills.