Dirty greasy wall stains from dog in corner of room

How to Remove Oil Stains on Walls from Pets (the Easy Way)

We have a 100 lb mostly black dog named Cooper. He’s a Bernese Mountain Dog/Beagle mix and his favorite place to sleep is in a corner of the bedroom, where he’s protected on 3 sides. Whether it’s from his dirty fur or greasy skin oils, or a combination of both, he leaves heavy oily marks that look really gross and feel intimidating to clean.

Image of Bernese mountain dog/beagle cross sitting on bed
Cooper, the culprit

But it doesn’t have to be hard or involve a lot of elbow grease. Here’s how to remove oil stains from walls from pets the easy way. 

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Top left image of dirty oily walls. Top right image of clean walls. Bottom image of tri-color bernese mountain dog/beagle mix on bed

What you Need

To easily get rid of those greasy wall stains, you’ll need:

The secret that makes this an easy job is the rubbing alcohol. It acts as a solvent which cuts right through grease and grime, but won’t damage painted surfaces if it is diluted. Plus, it evaporates quickly, leaving behind a streak-free finish. 

Don’t try doing this with undiluted rubbing alcohol – it will remove the paint on your wall along with the stain!

4 images - Dawn dish soap & rubbing alcohol; Dawn in bowl; adding rubbing alcohol to bowl; mixture with microfiber cloth in bowl

Here’s some more ways to use rubbing alcohol in your home.

How to clean oily stains on walls

Mix the Cleaning Solution

In a large bucket or bowl, mix together the Dawn dish soap, hot water and rubbing alcohol. The hot water will help to loosen the grease, while the dish soap and alcohol will work their chemical magic to lift the oily stains off the walls.

Saturate the Microfiber Cloth

Put on some cleaning gloves, then dip a clean microfiber cloth into the cleaning solution and wring it out. Make sure the cloth is thoroughly saturated but not dripping wet. 

Microfiber cloths are excellent for cleaning walls as they are gentle yet effective at trapping dirt and grease. Some people like to use Magic Erasers (or melamine sponges), but I’ve learned the hard way that those sponges also remove paint.

Wipe Away the Greasy Stains

Starting from the top of the stain and working your way down, gently wipe the greasy areas with the dampened microfiber cloth. Use circular motions to lift off the oil stains, taking care not to apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the paint.

Rinse and Repeat

As you clean, periodically rinse out the cloth in the cleaning mixture to avoid spreading the grease around. For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times until the walls are completely clean.

Image of clean walls in dog's corner


Once you’ve wiped down the walls, grab a dry microfiber cloth and give them a final wipe to remove any excess moisture. 

Top image is dirty oily walls from dog. Bottom image is clean walls.

That’s it! The easiest way to remove oil stains on walls from pets, from a fellow pet person. It took me about 10 minutes to clean the section in the pictures. And it works for other oily or greasy stains on walls like handprints and kitchen grease.

And the best part? It’s not just limited to walls; it works just as well for cleaning baseboards, door frames and other wood trim too.

How to Keep Your Walls Clean

If you find yourself having to clean your walls to often because your pet just can’t stop rubbing on them, a budget option is to use a sheet of cardboard to cover the area. Another inexpensive option is to use some easy to clean wall protector sheets. Or you could just make washing the areas a regular part of your routine.

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