How to get Oil Stains out of Clothes

Imagine working in the kitchen and accidentally getting oil on your outfit, or enjoying a bowl of creamy pasta and spilling some on your dress. And just like that, you have a nightmarish big oil stain on your clothes. Oil stains are absolutely the worst! They give our clothes a dirty look, they tend to turn darker over time and sometimes they are very hard to get rid of.

Although not impossible, oil stains can be a little tricky to remove from our clothes, especially if they are aged stains. However, do not worry, because I have gathered opinions from laundry experts and homemakers and come up with some easy and effective methods for removing oil and grease stains from your clothes.

How to get Oil Stains out of Clothes

So, buckle up and go through the rest of my article to learn more.

How to Remove Fresh Oil Stains from Clothes

I am going to start off by discussing how you can easily remove oil and grease stains from clothes that are still recent. If you have just got some oil stains and it hasn’t been that long since then there is a high chance that you can effectively remove those stains by following the methods I have talked about below.

  1. The first thing you need to make sure is that your clothing does not require any special treatment. Some fabrics are extra delicate and they need to be taken care of with specific processes or by an expert. So, if the outfit you have got the oil spill on is made up of fabrics such as silk or cashmere, then it is essential that you read and understand what the product label on your outfit says.
  2. Secondly, you need to sweep off the excess grease and oil by using the edge of a blunt knife. Then use paper towels or a cloth to absorb the remaining oil. Remember to blot on the stain steadily and gently.

    In addition, let me warn you against using paper towels with any kind of prints on them because that might leak some color onto the fabric of your clothing.
  3. Now take a dish soap that is liquid and carefully soak the stain in it. After rubbing the liquid dish soap on the stained surface, let the stain soak in it for a good ten minutes.
  4. Rinse the dish soap and make sure to properly get rid of the entire soap residue.
  5. Now you can throw your dress in the washing machine for a wash. For the wash, it is better that you use laundry soap that has a high concentration. The temperature for the wash should be really warm, so ensure that you have set the temperature at the highest that is suggested in your garment’s care label.
  6. For drying your outfit, I would strongly recommend that you should hang it on a clothesline outside and let it dry naturally in the air. This is because; drying your garments in the machine will cause any remaining stain to set further into the fabric. Also, as a safety measurement, it is best not to dry your clothing in the machine, since the heat from the machine may cause any remaining oil or grease stain to start a spark, or eventually a fire.
  7. In any case, if you find that there are still some traces of the stain remaining on your clothing, then you can repeat all these steps as many times as needed.

How to Remove Aged Oil Stains from Clothes

Unfortunately, stains from oil or grease are only easy to remove if they have been tended to immediately after a spill. However, we know that this is not always possible, since you cannot just start washing your clothes anywhere. That would definitely be odd.

The good news, there are some trusted guidelines to easily remove oil stains or grease stains which have become old or have dried up.

Here are the steps which you can follow:

  • Just like the first two steps for removing freshly spilled oil stains, you need to first, scrape off the excess oils or grease using the edge of a blunt knife and soak the stain using liquid dishwashing soap. Let the stain soak in that for a solid ten minutes.
  • Afterward, fill a bucket with hot water and add your laundry detergent to the water. I would suggest that you use a commercial stain remover as an alternative to the laundry detergent, to get the best results. Now, dip your clothing entirely into this solution and let it soak in there for a minimum of thirty minutes.
  • After about thirty minutes, take out your clothing and pop it into the washing machine for a thorough wash. Again, set the temperature to the highest point suggested in your garment’s care label.
  • To dry your clothing, hang it outside on a clothesline for natural drying in the air, because it is never a good idea to dry clothes with possible remaining oil stains or grease stains in the machine.

Ingredients that Effectively Remove Oil Stains

Here are some ingredients that magically remove stains from oil or grease. These tips have been approved by laundry experts and I am sure they will work wonderfully for you too.

Using Baking Soda to Treat Stains

Baking sodas are well known for their ability to treat stubborn stains. They work by pulling out the particles from the stain and attracting them to themselves. That I why, when it comes to treating oil stains, baking soda should definitely be your first choice.

Here is how you can use it effectively:

  1. Firstly, dab on the oil stain using a paper towel or a clean cloth. Use more than one paper towel if the size of the stain requires it. This will soak up excess oil.
  2. Coat the stain with a layer of baking soda and let the stain soak in that for at least twenty-four hours.
  3. After an entire day, sweep away the baking soda.
  4. Make a solution of water mixed with white vinegar. Fill up a spray bottle with this solution and spray a generous amount on the stained surface.
  5. Now, take a clean toothbrush with hard and clean bristles and dab the toothbrush on a bar of soap or a liquid laundry detergent. Use this brush to scrub gently but firmly on the stained area. Keep scrubbing until you make a lather.
  6. Check to see if there are still some traces of the stain left. If so, then you should repeat this entire method as many times as needed.

Using Chalk to Remove Oil Stains

  1. Just like the method with baking soda, you need to dab on the oil stain using a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove the excess oil from the stain.
  2. Coat the entire stain using a layer of chalk and allow the stain to rest in it for at least ten to fifteen minutes. It is important that the chalk has absorbed all of the oil.
  3. Wash the stain using liquid soap or liquid laundry detergent.
  4. Check to see if the stain has been removed successfully. If not, then you can repeat the entire process two to three times.

Using Cardboard and Dish Soap for Effective Oil Removal from Clothes

This technique is especially useful for removing those oil stains which have been set in your clothes and have dried up. If by any chance you did not get a chance to treat your stain right after the accident, then the stain has probably set in the fabric.

But do not worry because here are the steps that can help you remove those kinds of nasty stains and keep your clothes looking clean and fresh again.

  1. The first step to follow is to keep your fabric dry. Yes, you need to make sure that the stained area has not been in contact with water and is well and dry before, at least until after you have treated the stain properly.

    This is because it is much easier to treat oil or grease stains when the fabric is dry. Since water does not mix with oil, if you dampen the fabric, the water will block the oil from all sides. So when you are actually treating the stain, the oil will not have any space to move around or away from the fabric.
  2. Next, put a piece of cardboard between the layers of your garment. This way, when you are working on the stain, the oil will not leak into any other parts of the clothing.

    You can opt for anything that is cardboard, for instance, a delivery box or carton box.
  3. Afterward, take a clean towel. You can use a clean paper towel, napkins, tissue paper or cloth instead as well. Use the towel to gently and carefully dab on the stain. Continue to press on the stain to soak up all the excess oil from the stain.
  4. Now take a clean toothbrush with soft bristles or another clean towel and take a generous amount of liquid dish soap on it.

    You see, dish soap is great for loosening and lifting oil because they were designed that way to clean our greasy dishes.

    Apply this liquid dish soap on the stain and gently rub it using a toothbrush or a towel.

    Allow the stain to soak in the dish soap for five to ten minutes. You can let the stain soak for a little longer if you feel that it’s necessary.
  5. After the stain has properly soaked in the stain, rinse the dish soap away using running, warm water. It is necessary that you use warm water to rinse away the dish soap because that will lift the oil from the fabric.
  6. Lastly, you can wash your clothing in a regular wash. However, remember to use hot water to wash this clothing so that the stain is effectively removed.
  7. After you have washed your garment, hang it outside on a clothesline or drying rack and wait for it dry in the air naturally. If there are still some traces of the stain left in your fabric, then drying the garment in your machine can cause the stain to further set in your fabric and cause it to be permanent.

    I suggest that you wait until your clothing is completely dry to check if the stain has been completely removed. This is because oil and grease stains are tricky to spot in wet garments.

    If you find that the stain has only been partially removed from your clothing, then you need to repeat the steps of applying liquid dish soap on the stain, rinsing with warm water and washing it using hot water.

Q and A Regarding Oil Stain Removal from Clothes

Is it possible to get rid of oil stains even after washing and drying your garment?

This can be a little bit more difficult, because if you have already dried the garment, then chances are that the stain has been further set into the fabric.

However, it is not something that is impossible.

You need to do everything you would do if you were treating the stain for the first time, but just with an additional step. This time for pre-treating the stain, use a cleaning agent that has an enzyme base.

Can WD-40 get rid of oil stains?

WD-40 can actually remove oil stains, even from fabrics. However, the downside of using WD-40 on your clothes is that, applying it will leave its own residue on your clothes. Moreover, WD-40 is not so much of an eco-friendly option and since we should consider the environment as well, I suggest that you go for soap with an oil base instead.

Closing Thoughts

There you go! Everything that you need to know about successful oil and grease stain removal from clothes. So the next time you accidentally spill something greasy on your outfit, you know exactly what to do. I hope my article on how to remove oil and grease stains from clothes has helped you.

Best of luck!

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