How to remove oil from clothes (2023)

When oil gets on a favorite piece of clothing that can't be replaced, you may be desperate for a cleaning solution. Aside from cooking oils, which can splatter as you prepare or enjoy a good meal, you may be dealing with oils from things like cosmetics, skin care, essential oils,grind, or other household items.

If you need to know how to remove oil from clothing, the good news is that there are a few simple solutions to removing the stain. Some of the fixes contain ingredients like stain removers, laundry detergent, dish soap, baking soda and vinegar or even chalk.

Stain remover can penetrate deep into the fibers of clothing, while dish soap cuts through grease the same way dishes do. Baking soda will absorb the oil and pull it away from the fabric, which is a great method for heavy garments that can't be machine washed or need to be dry cleaned, like a wool blazer. Believe it or not, chalk works in a similar way to baking soda, but it's best for treating lighter stains and splatters.

Here are some easy steps to do itremove oilfrom your clothes in two ways: the detergent method and the baking soda and vinegar method.

(Video) How to remove oil stains from clothes | Easy & Effective method


A word of caution before you begin: never put an oil-stained garment in the dryer. The high heat can bind the oil to the fabric, making the stain much more difficult to remove.

METHOD 1: Remove oil from clothing with an enzyme-based detergent

TOOLS AND MATERIALSAvailable at Amazon
towels, paper towels or napkins
Enzyme based liquid detergent
Bleach (optional for white garments only)

STEP 1: Act quickly and blot the stain with a paper towel or cloth immediately after the spill.

Oil stains will darken over time and after the fabric dries, stains can become permanent in clothing. Once a stain is spotted, immediately use a dry cloth or paper towel to blot as much oil off the fabric as possible.

It may be tempting, but do not rinse oil-stained clothing with water. Because oil and water don't mix, water can form a layer around the oil and prevent it from separating from the fabric.

STEP 2: Gently press the stain from both sides to absorb excess oil.

This step is important as it makes treating the stain much easier. Using a dry and clean cloth, paper towel, or napkin, gently press or blot the stain onto a garment, inside and out. Blot to get rid of as much excess oil as possible until there is no residual liquid. Use the cloth carefully so it doesn't accidentally spread the oil onto the clean areas of the fabric and cause a bigger mess.

STEP 3: Check the fabric care label to determine the wash temperature.

Before washing the soiled clothes, it is important to know the hottest temperature at which it is safe to wash. True, the warmer the water, the easier it will be for the oil to fully drain from the garment, but water that's too hot for a fabric can damage or shrink a delicate material.

Washing temperature information can usually be found on the garment label. There may be common symbols for a cold wash between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, a warm wash up to a maximum temperature of 105 degrees, or a hot wash at no more than 120 degrees.

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STEP 4: Pre-treat the stain with dish soap.

Use a simple one for this stepdetergentthat specifically removes fat. Sometimes the gentler formulas that are great for hands contain moisturizers, essential oils, or other ingredients that might actually reduce their effectiveness at removing oil.

Put a few drops of dish soap on the stain and leave it on for a few seconds. Next, use a cloth, soft-bristled toothbrush, or your fingers to gently rub the soap in gently. It's important not to push too hard. There is a fine line between getting enough penetration into the fabric without pressing the stain deeper. Let the soap soak into the stain for about five minutes.

STEP 5: Wash with enzyme-based liquid detergent to remove the most stubborn stains.

With aEnzyme based liquid detergentDesigned to remove stubborn stains like oil, wash clothes according to fabric label directions. As mentioned in step 3, this can likely be in hot water, but check the label first as hot water can damage some fabrics. If the item is white and made of bleach-safe material, bleach could also be added.

If the oil is not completely gone after the cycle is complete, try repeating steps 3 through 5 one more time before drying the item.

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METHOD 2: Remove oil from clothing with baking soda and vinegar

TOOLS AND MATERIALSAvailable at Amazon
Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
white wine vinegar
Distilled water
spray bottle

STEP 1: Remove excess oil with a cloth or paper towel.

Once a stain is noticed, it's important to remove as much excess oil as possible. To do this, blot the stain with a dry paper towel or cloth. The goal is to get the clothes as dry as possible. Do not rinse at this point as water could coat the oil and prevent the oil from leaving the fabric.

For minor stains, this single step may even be enough to clean the fabric.

STEP 2: Spray the stain with baking soda and leave for 24 hours.

If there is still an oil stain, apply a generous amountBackpulveron both sides of the affected area until a few millimeters thick layer covers the spot. Cornstarch can be substituted for baking soda as it works just as well to absorb oil from the fabric. Make sure the garment sits with the layer of baking soda for a full 24 hours. This gives the baking soda enough time to absorb the oil.

STEP 3: Brush away the baking soda.

After the 24 hours are up, the baking soda may appear clumped. It's normal and a good sign for the baking soda to clump together, as it means absorption is taking place. Remove the baking soda with a toothbrush or vacuum attachment to brush the baking soda off clothing.

If the stain is particularly stubborn and oil is still visible on the fabric, repeat this step until the remaining oil is absorbed.

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(Video) How To Easily Remove Oil From Fabrics/Clothing

STEP 4: Make a solution of water and vinegar, spray the affected area and leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Vinegaris an ally and a time saver when it comes to removing oil from clothes thanks to its acetic acid that cuts through grease. Vinegar also helps to deodorize and remove the odor that may be lingering from the oil. When working on stains with vinegar, dilute the vinegar by mixing it with water to protect clothing from fading or fading.

Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then spray both sides of the stained part of the garment and leave for 30 to 60 minutes.

STEP 5: Scrub the stain with soap and a brush.

After the garment has been soaked in the vinegar and water mixture, it's time to inspect the stain. When the water and vinegar solution has absorbed the stain sufficiently, use an old toothbrush and dish soap to scrub the stain out. Try to apply gentle pressure while cleaning more delicate fabrics to protect them from possible damage. When the stain appears to be gone, gently blot the material with a dry cloth.

STEP 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the stain dissolves.

If the stain is still visible after blotting and rinsing, repeat steps 4 and 5. If a stain seems particularly difficult to remove, try applying more baking soda or more vinegar and water solution to the problem area. Use your best judgment to decide which adjustment to make. Because there are so many types of oil stains and fabrics, removing oil stains from clothing can be a process of trial and error.

(Video) How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes #stainremoval

These proven cleaning methods can help get that pesky oil stain right out of your favorite clothes so you can enjoy them for years to come. Whether they've been soiled from cooking, using aromatic oil, or applying grease to a door hinge, these steps can be the first line of defense to removing an unwanted mark. Best of all, these are simple cleaning methods and the key ingredients of detergent, baking soda, and vinegar may already be there.

It's important to follow cleaning methods carefully, as using water or the high heat of a dryer can actually make it much more difficult to remove the oil stain from clothing.


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