Not too long ago, the essential oil craze took hold in suburban America. This craze offered up a lot of benefits, including the fact that people started to look into natural health options more frequently. Unfortunately, this eco-friendly trend did have some kind of casualty here: furniture and clothing.
It’s no secret that a lot of fragrance oils and essential oils have a tendency of staining things. With clothes, you can just take them to a professional cleaner and have stains come out. With furniture, things aren’t so easy. Having been there and done that, I know that it can be hard to repair furniture damaged by fragrance oils.
When you first see that stain, it can be hard to believe. Most people don’t really think that oil can stain furniture until it happens to them. When it does, they often feel lost. Need help? Here’s what I learned works.
Table of Contents
Grab a bottle of scratch repair solution for wood damage.
The easiest way to get rid of the stains and damages that come from having one of those oil warmers spill on your furniture is to use furniture scratch repair solution—like Old English. When picking your bottle, try to get a shade that closely matches your furniture or is a little lighter.
If the damage is severe, use fine-grade sandpaper to sand down your stained area. Otherwise, just use a soft rag to wipe the solution onto your damaged area. Wait until the coat of scratch repair dries, then put another coat or two on top. Finish it with a top coat, so you can lock in the color.
Refinish your wooden furniture.
Let’s say that you did a major no-no and ended up spilling a ton of fragrant oil on your dining room table. It sank in. Yikes, right? Well, if you’re in this situation, scratch repair alone probably won’t work as well as it should.
In these situations, you might need to sand down the damaged area, strip the lacquer off of your surrounding areas, and then reapply a wood finish over it. Obviously, you will need to get a finish that is close to your wood’s original finish in order to make this work.
This is a fix that should only be done with antiques or if you have extreme damage done by your fragrance oils. Otherwise, you’re just adding more work that needs to be done.
Use rubbing alcohol on upholstery stains.
I’m not going to try to joke around here. Furniture upholstery and oil stains don’t mix. It can get very bad, very quick. However, there is some good news to remember here. Oil stains can usually be taken out by blotting a cotton ball of rubbing alcohol onto the affected area and then wipe the area down with a bar of soap.
If you have dyes involved in your fragrance oil or if your fragrance oil is dark, things get a little dicey. In these situations, you might have a job for a local cleaner. Since the dye is also mixed with oil, or worse, oil-based, you will probably need to get someone who is specialized in stain removal to help you out.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
As someone who regularly uses fragrance oils, I know how bad they can be for furniture. Why? Because I’ve been there! Trying to fix up furniture that’s been affected by perfume oil is annoying as heck at best, and downright disastrous at worst.
If you want to enjoy fragrance oils, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure. Here are some tips on how to prevent oil spills in your home:
- Have your oil burner placed on a glass, stone, or plastic table. The material that gets exposed to the oil matters a lot. Fragrant oil that’s dropped on glass or stone won’t stain. All you have to do is wipe it up with a paper towel.
- Oh, and place your fragrance oil burner on a tray or grippy mat. This seems like a little bit of a redundant thing to do, but hear me out. It’s a good way to prevent staining if you insist on keeping your burners on a wooden table. Should your oils spill, the tray and/or mat will absorb most of the damage instead of your furniture.
- Pour your oils in the kitchen. I have a Lampe Berger that I use on a regular basis. Because I get worried about spillage and staining, I tend to pour the oil used in the fragrance lamp in the kitchen. Like with the oil burner placement, this simple trick keeps spills on the counter rather than the table.
- Pick fragrance oils that are light in color. Yes, we all love the way that Dragon’s Blood smells, but that doesn’t make it a good option for your home’s furniture. If you’re really concerned about staining your surroundings, stick to oils that are light in color and clearly don’t have dyes in them.
- Also, you might want to switch to a fragrance lamp. Oil burners might be popular, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best for your home. If you’re very worried about oil spills, then a better option would be to get a fragrance lamp. They’re spill-proof and are able to diffuse perfume throughout your home.
- Check the condition of your oil burner. Sometimes, the nozzles need to be replaced because it’s the source of the leak. Take the time to change the nozzle for your oil burner if this is the case.
Here’s the final take…
Fragrance oils are one of those materials that shouldn’t be used near wooden furniture, but if you have to, it’s better to prevent spills than it is to have to clean them up.
Thankfully, most fragrant oil spills can be fixed up with the use of some scratch repair solution and a top coat. So, if you can’t live without them, it’s still not a big deal.