Clarification of Answer by
01 Feb 2003 14:39 PST
Greetings again vla1!
I inquired about this matter in the rec.woodworking newsgroup and
received the following information. The posting does not yet appear
in Google Groups and so I can't provide a link to the text, but I have
copied the info below.
Unfortunately, since this happened 2-3 weeks ago some of the hints may
not apply since oil needs to be acted upon quickly:
"[Mineral spirits are] a solvent, and they're likely to make the
oil penetrate deeper.
Work as quickly as possible. Motor oil doesn't soak into wood well, so
a few days makes a big difference in the severity and permanence of
Remove all the oil. Use some combination of newsprint, kitchen paper
towels and fuller's earth cat litter (the grey powdery stuff,
preferably finely ground) to absorb all the oil left on the surface. I
always keep a sack of the right sort of cat litter in the workshop.
Now wet a paper towel with a _little_ white spirit (mineral spirits)
and wipe up what else you can. This is an attempt to remove oil that's
in the surface, but not deeply absorbed by the wood. You do not want
to apply any more solvent to the wood itself than you can possibly
Now take a scraper (a freshly broken piece of glass is good) and
remove the finish on the wood and a thin surface layer of the wood
itself. This is an easy step, and whether it works or not depends more
on the finish beforehand and your luck, than it does on the skill of
the worker. Removing 1/4" thickness ought to remove most stains, but
that's obviously excessive ! How much you actually take off is a
matter for the severity of the stain and the flatness of the surface.
You may wish to repeat the paper towel treatment, but don't get the
timber wet !
Once you've removed all you can, allow it to dry. Then judge it, not
while it's still wet.
Now you've abandoned cleaning and you're into camouflage. Depending on
the colour of the oil and the timber, you might flood the area with
white spirit to try and dilute the edge of the stain, or you might
treat the whole board of the floor with something like tung oil, or a
commercial finishing oil. A stain is obvious. A single darker board or
tile usually looks much less so.
For refinishing a floor, the only stuff I'll use is Rustins floor
coat, an acid-cure formaldehyde. Quick to apply, quick to re-coat,
extemely hard-wearing and stinks disgustingly when working with it (I
wear a full-face respirator)"
I hope this additional information has been of some help. If I
receive more info on this matter I will post it.