3 Ways to Remove Oil Stains from Clothes

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This article is part of a series on how to remove all sorts of stains from your clothes, in this case, oil. So if you want to remove other types of stains from your clothes check out the following articles:

How to Remove Rust Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Grease Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Deodorant Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Coffee Stains from Clothes
How to Remove Blood Stains from Clothes

Messy oil stains are some of the most difficult types of stains to handle. If you want your clothes to come up like new from washing, it’s important to pretreat the oil stains correctly. Whether you prefer commercial products or quick home remedies, you should be able to get rid of unsightly oil stains from all kinds of clothes.

The biggest issue with this type of stain is how it’s not as easy to notice compared to others. You might discover it when it’s already set in the fabric of the garment. Oil stains don’t usually leave a clearly stained area, but instead, they create a slight discoloration that can be easy to miss. After some time, the stained area can become darker so it’s essential to act fast enough to prevent it from setting permanently.

1. Absorption is Key

For a successful cleaning process of oil stains, it’s important to absorb as much as you can before placing it in the washing machine. In fact, smaller stains can be treated just with the help of paper towels or other absorbent materials. Simply take out the excess oil from the garment and the stain will be significantly loosened.

Bigger and older oil stains may require some additional steps, but even so, try to absorb as much oil as possible to simplify the cleaning task. If it’s a lot of oil and you’re afraid of spreading it in the area, it’s recommended to use a tool like a spoon to get rid of the excess. Do it gently without rubbing the stained area. The last thing you’d want is having more oil seeped into the fabric.

2. Cleaning Oil Stains from Common Fabrics

  • Using Laundry Detergent

Pretreating the stain with some laundry detergent should take care of the hard work when it comes to eliminating the oil from the fabric. Most commercial laundry detergents should work well with this type of stains as they’re specially designed for this purpose. Let the garment soak with detergent in a water solution for approximately an hour and then place the stained area under hot water.

After the pretreatment is finished, it’s time to wash the item as usual. Try to wash the clothes at the highest heat allowed by the fabric as you can boost the cleaning power when it comes to oil stains. Take a look at the care label to ensure you wash the garment correctly.

When you get the clothes out of the machine you will probably take them to the dryer without a second thought. This is where most people can make mistakes. It’s important to check the oil stain while the garment’s still wet. If the stain hasn’t disappeared, you need to repeat the washing process. You need to be absolutely sure that the stain has been eliminated because drying the stain can make your work even more difficult.

  • Dishwashing Soap

When you don’t have access to laundry detergents you can use other cleaning methods. One of them is to rely on dishwashing soap which boasts a similar stain-fighting power to standard laundry detergents. Treating oil stains shouldn’t pose problems, but make sure you don’t use colorful dishwashing soap.

To obtain the best cleaning results, go for hot water as it helps the soap to break down oily stains. With the help of a clean toothbrush, you can rub the soap in the stained area. As long as you’re careful and use only circular motions, the oil stain should be greatly loosened. If you no longer see the stain on the fabric, the last step requires a standard washing at high heat to restore the usual shine to your garment.

3. Removing Oil Stains from Delicate Clothes

When it comes to delicate fabrics you will need to be careful to avoid excessive rubbing at the stains. Delicate clothes can get damaged more easily. To avoid any problems, it’s strongly recommended to use laundry detergents for delicates.

A good tip you could try is covering the stain with talcum powder or corn starch. If the clothing piece is left like that somewhere warm for a couple of hours, the powder can act as a powerful absorbent. Try repeating the process if the oil stain remains.


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