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How to Get Rid of Oil and Grease on Your Car Door

grease on interior handle of car

Cleaning your car on a regular basis helps keep dirt and debris from building up on both its exterior and interior surfaces. This is easily accomplished most of the time, but oil and grease can be harder to clean and are more difficult to remove than other substances. Grease and oil can also stain surfaces and reduce the value of your vehicle.

With the right cleaning procedure, you can remove oil and grease from surfaces within your vehicle, including car doors.

Part 1 of 4: Clean the area

Materials Needed

Remove any dust or debris from the surface before you attempt to remove the oil or grease. This makes the task of cleaning up the grease or oil easier.

car duster being used to clean dust off of car door

Step 1: Dust the area. Using a car duster, go over the area you need to clean. Take care not to get any of the oil or grease on the duster, as this can damage the duster's surface.

Step 2: Vacuum the area. You can also vacuum the area to remove any dust or debris.

  • Note: Try not to suck any of the oil or grease into the vacuum unless it is a shop vac, which is designed for such use.

Part 2 of 4: Remove grease and oil from leather

Materials Needed

After cleaning dust and debris from the area, it is time to remove the oil or grease.

  • Note: If you plan on using a chemical cleaner, ensure that you wear gloves to protect your skin.

  • Note: Test the cleaner on a out-of-sight area first and see if there are no adverse reactions before using it on the entire surface. By testing it first, you can avoid damaging the surface, especially for leather, painted surfaces and fabrics.

Step 1: Clean leather with the solution. Dip the sponge in a solution of automotive cleaner mixed with water. Dab at the oil or grease stain using the saturated sponge.

  • Note: When cleaning leather surfaces, make sure to only use cleaners specially formulated for use with leather.

Make sure that the sponge you use is clean and free of any abrasive materials that might scratch the door's interior surface.

Step 2: Remove excess leather cleaner. Saturate a microfiber towel, squeeze it out, and use it to remove any excess cleaner once the oil or grease is gone.

For tough-to-remove stains, scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush to help loosen the stains.

  • Tip: When cleaning leather, use a cleaner that contains added protection to preserve and maintain the surface.

Part 3 of 4: Remove grease and oil from leather

Materials Needed

person cleaning inside of car

Step 1: Clean cloth or vinyl upholstery. To clean cloth or vinyl, use an upholstery cleaner.

Spray the upholstery cleaner onto a clean microfiber towel. Use the microfiber towel to gently scrub the grease or oil spot.

Step 2: Clean stubborn stains. Another option, for stubborn stains, is to spray the cleaner directly onto the stain and let it sit for five to 15 minutes. You can also use a soft-bristled brush to try and loosen the stain.

To rinse the cleaner off once you have removed the oil or grease, saturate a clean microfiber cloth in water and wipe away any leftover cleaner on the door's interior surface.

Step 3: Use homemade cleaning solutions. When cleaning grease and oil from your door, you have a few cleaning solutions to choose from.

cleaning solutions chart

  • Tip: You can also place the cleaning solution of your choice into a spray bottle for easier use.

Part 4 of 4: Dry the area

When you have finished cleaning the oil or grease from the your car door's interior surface, dry it thoroughly. If not dried properly, water spots can form, or, in the case of leather, the material can break down or become damaged.

Materials Needed

  • Blow dryer
  • Microfiber towels

Option 1: Use a microfiber towel. Once clean, wipe up any remaining moisture using a clean microfiber towel.

The ridges of the microfiber material pulls moisture away from the surface, making it easier to dry.

Option 2: Use a blow dryer. Dry the interior using a blow dryer. If there is a lot of moisture, or the material retains moisture, you can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process.

Turn the blow dryer on low heat and move it back and forth over the surface until dry. You can also follow up with a microfiber towel to remove any remaining moisture.

While grease and oil might initially seem impossible to remove from your vehicle's interior, with a little knowledge and perseverance, you will have it removed in no time.

Another option is to pay someone to professionally detail your vehicle. If you are unsure about what to do or need advice on how to proceed when removing grease or oil stains from a vehicle's interior surfaces, including the doors, you can ask a Mechanic for advice.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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