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My worktops are treated with Danish oil, and I appear to have got some on the tiled splashbacks and not noticed until it's cured (it's not very obvious except in daylight, I oiled by artifical light).

Is there any way to get it off? I don't want to use a blade until I've got an idea of how to get the residue off where the blade won't attack it.

It's not going sticky, so not a duplicate of How to solve the problem of sticky Danish oil?.

7 Answers 7

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Mineral spirits won't work. You need something stronger like acetone. If you have ceramic tiles they won't be harmed.

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I finally got round to experimenting. The following had no effect at all even combined with elbow grease:

  • white spirit (mineral spirits)
  • petrol (zippo fuel)
  • WD40

These - with rubbing - removed the cured oil. In subjective order of increasing effectiveness:

  • methylated spirits
  • 100% acetone
  • cellulose thinners

It is of course possible that there was a cumulative effect (I only worked on a small test patch). I'm sure soaking would help but that's not useful on a vertical surface above a worktop treated with the same stuff.

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Been looking for a remedy for some time now, bought the regular formulas from the usual DIY Retail Stores and nothing worked.

I remembered my Father worked down the pit (Coal mine) and his go-to remedy to clean baked on coal dust was sugar and washing up liquid.

Tried a similar technique, dipping a damp cloth into sugar and rubbing at the affected area and what do you know it works a treat.

Free home remedy - Damp cloth and sugar!

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  • Hm. I'd have tried baking soda as the abrasive.
    – keshlam
    Dec 1, 2022 at 12:06
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So oil managed to penetrate your porous surface. You've tried all the methods to pull it out c to no avail and now you fear the entire material needs to be replaced. Fear not... there is a way to still get it out when all else fails.

I installed 170 sq ft of interior tile and cleaned it with mineral spirit oil [as mineral spirit will not allow the grout to stick to the tile making it easier to clean]. For some reason or another, whether manufacturer seal error or bad reaction; the oil penetrated the porcelain. I tried all the methods and nothing worked. Needless to say, the job appeared ruined. Until I researched the evaporation point of oil; which ranges from 576-650 degrees. So I went to ace bought a $40 heat gun and set it to 1100 degrees.

Starting from the center of the effected area, as you want to heat from the center to the edges to prevent cracking, raise the heat gun 1/2 above the stain and move in 2" circles until the oil evaporates. Repeat as needed. Hope this method helps.

oil penetratedporcelin heat gun set to scald Viola!! Stain is gone

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  • No penetration, and not porous, just very well adhered (glazed ceramic). Drying oils will smoke and burn rather than evaporate.
    – Chris H
    Dec 7, 2022 at 21:37
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I had the same problem and remembered my late father-in-law who would use wadding polish such as Braso or Silvo for anything like this - or sticky marks. They have the added advantage that the solvents they contain don't drip onto the wood below. So I tried Brasso wadding (NOT the liquid) and, with a bit of rubbing, it definitely made a big difference. I could hardly believe my eyes!

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I would trying using Mineral Spirits with a scrap piece of cloth or a toothbrush/brush to scrub if need be. Mineral Spirits is used to clean brushes and other finishes from other things, so this may be something to try.

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  • For those of us the same size of the Atlantic as me, that's white spirit. I'm sceptical given how little it does to set paint, but there's a spot that's easy to test, even to soak so I'll give it a go.
    – Chris H
    Jan 29, 2016 at 19:59
  • Maybe I am under minding the strength of Danish oil, but is it honestly that difficult to remove? Isn't it just an oil that will penetrate wood and not other harder materials?
    – Markpelly
    Jan 29, 2016 at 21:12
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    The key is it's a drying oil, which means it undergoes a chemical change (oxidation). It's like linseed oil in that respect. In fact I think linseed oil is a major ingredient along with waxes and a solvent to increase penetration (IIRC). A solvent that will dissolve the uncured oil may well not affect the cured oil at all.
    – Chris H
    Jan 29, 2016 at 21:23
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    Having finally tested it, white/mineral spirit had no effect even with a good scrub.
    – Chris H
    Mar 12, 2016 at 11:31
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I spilled some sugar soap solution on my worktop and it removed the danish oil rather too well, so I expect it would do the same on tiles. The difficulty would be in protecting the worktop below.

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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Would you edit your question to make "rather too wee" clearer? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Nov 11, 2019 at 12:18

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