Grease spilled on wood floor

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Greasy food spilled on wood floor. Wood is finished, but very worn. Maybe that's why I can't get rid of the grease. Have tried two consumer wood cleaners that I had on hand -- Bruce and Ace. Result: Zip.
Am reluctant to get into big-time expensive refinishing, as it is not a large patch, but ugly and annoying.
Also worried about bleach: (a) would it remove the grease, and (b) would it create big refinishing problems.
Anybody know of a product that might get the grease out?
TIA
Amiga
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On 2/15/2009 7:34 PM snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com spake thus:

Any oil-based solvent will work. I'd start with naphtha, which is pretty harmless (at least compared with worse stuff like gasoline, lacquer thinner, etc.). Cheapest way to get it is to buy some charcoal lighter. Squirt it on, let it soak, wipe off with rags or paper towels. Keep a window open or otherwise ventilate the room. Should get the grease right out.
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On Sun, 15 Feb 2009 20:36:21 -0800, David Nebenzahl

I have some lacquer thinner. Why is that "worse stuff"?
While we're on the subject: Have always wondered what's the difference between lacquer thinner and plain old paint thinner.
I found this exchange on the Web:
--------------------
"On numerous occasions I've seen where "mineral spirits" is used to thin treasure gold waxes(gold and silver colors). I've used lacquer thinner to thin these wax colors, and wonder if it makes a difference. Paint thinner...lacquer thinner....mineral spirits... kinda confusing on what they are and when to use which one with what....EH?
"I would not recommend lacquer thinner. Lacquer quickly dissolves the pigment, while paint thinner or "mineral spirits" just takes a little longer. Make no mistake...paint thinner will destroy your paint job, but it usually takes a lot, and a while. Lacquer will destroy it almost immediately. Of course, there are exceptions to most rules, and I am continuously amazed at how some folks on this forum are able to make the impossible...possible. We learn something new every day!"
-------------------------
Is this relevant to my problem? Is the speed of action the basic difference, or?
Sounds like lacquer thinner might not only lift out the grease, but the floor finish as well.
Would your other suggestions, starting with naphtha, be less drastic?
Awaiting Your Wisdom <g>
Amiga
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Lacquer thinner is likely to dissolve finish, which you do not want. I have used mineral spirits to clean finished wood with no harm to finish. M.s. cleans grease and wax nicely...have used it to clean gummy old grease from cabinets prior to painting. Also used to wash off stripper when refinishing furniture. Flammable but not as potent as some.
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on 2/16/2009 5:01 AM (ET) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote the following:

Lacquer thinner only comes in metal cans with metal caps. Mineral Spirits can come in plastic bottles. Draw your own conclusions.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Most solvents will dissolve the finish at least some. You've already had good advice on most of them. I would use either naptha or denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol is just close-to-pure ethyl alcohol with some methyl (usually) alcohol added to make it undrinkable. The alcohol will only lift shellac, and I'm sure that's _not_ on your floor.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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On Sun, 15 Feb 2009 19:34:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

a) TRY alt.woodworking.
b) I'm pretty sure it will fade, but not entirely except for a long long time, so if you think it's good, use David's technique so there will be less left there and less to fade.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Have never had your particular problem, but have used mineral spirits on wood for all sorts of conditions. It is safe to use on good, finished furniture to remove gummy, old furniture wax (it is also an ingredient in real furniture wax). It is a solvent. Mineral spirits would be my first try - just wet a clean cloth and wet the grease spot well. Let it soak for a minute or two and then blot up with a dry paper towel or cloth. Repeat if needed. It is kind of oily, but will dry. You probably should let it dry for a day before moving on to other solvents. If it doesn't seem to take out the grease, the next step would be denatured alcohol (flammable - be careful) which should also dissolve the grease but can soften finish or some stain.
Cat litter can be used to soak up oil, and have used it on concrete but never on wood; might leave gray residue.
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On Feb 15, 9:34pm, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

if it stained the wood you have no finish to protect it, I bet its dark and absorbed in wood maybe deeper than a cleaner will clean. paint thinner , laquer thinner, gasolene, maybe. Is a gas stove with lit pilot nearby, remember fumes ignite not liqued.
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wrote:

if it stained the wood you have no finish to protect it, I bet its dark and absorbed in wood maybe deeper than a cleaner will clean. paint thinner , laquer thinner, gasolene, maybe. Is a gas stove with lit pilot nearby, remember fumes ignite not liqued.
I never understood why people put hardwood floors in the kitchen/dining areas...I know it looks pretty in the magazines but the problems in real life make it seem pretty stupid...IMHO....
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You need 5-7 coats of poly for any life, refinishers usualy do the minimum.I have pergo but it shows dirt and I drop a pan and its chipped. But right wood in a kitchen is a risk, did you ever see carpet in a kitchen I have!
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wrote:

This is a bedroom. I was watching TV while eating off my dinner tray, and it spilled.
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If it's in a your bedroom just put a nice throw rug over it and be done with it...The way you made it sound it was in an area where all would see....ie kitchen/dining area.....I hate when folks ask questions without giving all the info....
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wrote:

I hate when folks break their mental legs jumping to conclusions.
"The way you made it sound..." Oh? !
I'm not responsible for what goes on inside your head!
So you want "...all the info..."? About where in this room is the stain. Is it visible to all? Who comes into my bedroom? What are my standards for cleanliness/aesthetics?
Though I much appreciate the suggestions offered by your good self and all the other NG members, kindly let ME decide whether I want to "put a nice throw rug over it..." or operate according to your standards!
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No matter WHAT you do you are gonna have a spot that will be noticable without re-finishing it to some degree and with a VERY WORN wood floor even trying to re-finish the spot , it will stick out like a sore thumb , as the rest of the floor is, as YOU said , VERY WORN anyway...You wanted a SIMPLE solution and there is NONE..Your VERY WORN floor had NO finish to protect it and it is STAINED DEEP and short of using HARSH chemicals or sanding it ain't going anywhere..If you put down a throw rug it will not only hide your spot but hide your VERY WORN floor as well while you save up to get the whole floor re-finished which is what's needed by the way YOU made it sound...Plus the NEXT time you slop greasy food on the rug you can clean it with spot remover..You asked for advice...You got it..Don't like it , fine , do what ever the hell you want but don't get all snotty about it...ESPECIALLY when asked for more info...
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benick wrote:

The OP asked for advice about removing a grease stain, not about bringing his home decor up to your standards. Some of us are very comfy with "very worn" finish on wood floors. And who is snotty? I hate when folks make stupid assumptions and then get mad because they didn't understand a simple question.
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Then you should be all comfy with stains on unprotected wood floors....I didn't realise that the worn look was a decor statement...I would define it as lack of maintaince...Wood needs to be protected or it gets stained and has nothing to do with bringing it up to my home decor standards..He got a LIST of stuff that will remove grease though I HIGHLY doubt it will remove it entirely or make it look any better , as it has STAINED the wood , thus the rug suggestion as it is in the bedroom where he likes to eat greasy food..I hate when folks ass u me somebody is mad for pointing out the obvious....I am not mad...I understand the question perfectly..I also understand when somebody is lazy and think it is some sort of fashion statement..I also understand when somebody is being snotty after asking for advice..As for making stupid assumtions..Pot , kettle , black..............
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wrote:

Yes, lack of maintenance. Certain paths in the house are worn from much use over many years. Can't afford to do more than keep them waxed in the worn areas.
..Wood needs to be protected or it gets stained and

where he likes to eat greasy food.
???? Another less than genteel comment.
How do you know what I like to eat, and where? You have only one datum. Drawing a general conclusion from such a tiny data bank reveals much about your reasoning powers.
Your personality is really emerging.
.I hate when folks ass u me somebody is mad for pointing out the

???? Lazy? Fashion statement?
This is becoming really hilarious. Wonder what your home life is like!
.I also understand when somebody is being snotty after asking for

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n Tue, 17 Feb 2009 13:13:34 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

Thanks, amigo. I wasn't even going to answer him, to end the agony, but you did a great job!
Now I have to sort out the different opinions from kind posters about the efficacy/danger of various solvents.
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On Feb 15, 9:34pm, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

Chlorinated organic compounds are the most powerful of grease attacking solvents. Unfortunately, most of the hairiest ones are now off the market, i.e., trichloroethylene, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, many of the Freons. However, methylene chloride is a major constituent of some paint strippers, and should go after a grease spill very effectively. Obviously the finish will be removed as well, but since refinishing the damage is needed anyway, this should be the best way to prepare the area. Follow the directions on the product label and use the suggested safety precautions. Methylene chloride will not affect the wood at all and should effectively get all the grease in an application or two depending on severity. Alkaline compounds will react with the fatty acids in grease (that's how soap is made) but since they are usually an aqueous mixture the wood will be damaged. Of course that leaves out common bleach, Detergent based wood cleaners, as you found out, are not very effective. There are a wide array of organic solvents in paint departments and stores that will go after some of the grease in varying degrees. They may be suitable for preliminary cleanup before aggressive prefinishing treatment is begun. HTH
Joe
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