Skip to content

Clean On Point

Home » How to remove oil stains from clothes

How to remove oil stains from clothes

How to remove oil stains from clothes

All of us have seen it. You accidentally spilled oil on your favourite clothes and now you vehemently start typing “How to remove oil stains from clothes“. Well, we have some good news about cleaning up oil spills. It’s difficult to learn how to wash oil off your clothes, but the idea that oil stains cannot be removed is completely wrong. 

Oil stains are often the most difficult to remove because they are often overlooked or considered easy to fix. The problem with oil stains is that they tend to leave slightly dark areas that are difficult to notice immediately.

These areas will darken with age if not removed quickly. And when the clothes and oil stains dry, the stains will stay forever.

You will find all the things you need to and need not do in case of oil stains in this handy guide.

What happens when you don’t clear out oil stains from clothes?

Very small oil stains are also annoying, so you need to decide if you want to know how to remove oil stains from your clothes. You can wipe it with a napkin, but in the end you will get a patch of cloth that is slightly darker than the rest of the cloth. If you decide to leave the stain as it is hoping that it will go away from washing it. Take my advice, it won’t go away. Rather, it will become darker and difficult to remove later.

So, it’s important to act quickly before the stain sets in, as it’s much easier to remove the stain immediately than the noticeable stain after removing the clothes from the dryer.

Now you may wonder, Why can’t the washing machine remove grease/oil stains from my clothes? Then we wouldn’t have to be so paranoid to spoil our favorite shirt with a little oil stain. 

It is because oil is a hydrophobic liquid and does not mix with water, ordinary washing machines have a hard time washing oil off clothes.

No need to worry, it’s not that difficult to remove oil stain out of clothes.

Here is a step by step guide on how to remove oil stains from clothes,

How to remove fresh oil stains from clothes?

It takes a little science to figure out how to wash the oil off your clothes. Since water does not mix with oil, grease/oils stains cannot be removed with just water. If you want to get rid of those unwanted oil stains, you need to absorb the oil stain.

Until the oil has set in, it is still time for it to be absorbed from the fabric. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to remove oil stains from your clothes.

What you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Dry Cloth
  • Dish Soap/ laundry detergent


  1. Get all the tools/things that are listed above.
  2. Remove as much oil as possible by blotting it with a dry cloth. For small stains, this may be all you need to get rid of oil stains. However, you may be dealing with a more serious stain, so go on reading.
  3. Apply the baking soda on the affected area. Make a thick layer of baking soda on the stain.
  4. Wait 30 minutes to an hour for the baking soda to sit and until it absorbs the oil. After that, scrub the baking soda with a toothbrush. Baking soda is more likely to bunch together because it absorbs oil. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to repeat this step a few times. Check if the baking soda has clumped up, add more baking soda onto the stain if there is still more oil to be soaked up.
  5. Some of the Baking soda will remain on top of the stain as a residue. That’s normal. The next step is to apply a thin layer of dish soap to the stained fabric or cloth. Mix the detergent and baking powder together. You can use your fingers here.
  6. Now, it is time to wash the cloth. Put it into the washing machine, and the oil stain will be gone. [DON’T PUT IT INTO THE DRYER]
  7. If oil stains are still visible after taking them out of the washing machine, do not put them in the dryer. It will set the stain almost permanently. Instead, keep using baking soda to let the oil get absorbed out of the cloth/fabric. You can do this utill you see the results.

When done, the oil stain should be easily removed. Your clothes will look new. Now that you know how to remove oil/ grease stains from your clothes, you never have to fear oil-related accidents again on clothes.

How to remove oil or grease stains that have already set in?

If your dirty oil stain is still not removed after thoroughly going through the above guide, then the oil stain may have set in. The process to remove it is somewhat similar, but you may need a couple of extra materials.

It is a bit tougher issue than before, but it’s not impossible to be solved.

Find the step-by-step guide below,

What you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Dry Cloth
  • Dish Soap/ laundry detergent
  • Scrap of Cardboard
  • WD-40


  1. Get the tools/ingredients listed above
  2. You need to put the cardboard beneath the fabric so as to not affect the other areas of the cloth with oil stains.
  3. WD-40 will help you get an easy removal. Spray WD-40 on the stain and cover the entire affected area properly.
  4. Apply the baking soda on the WD-40. Make it a thick layer so as to work it properly.
  5. Scrub the baking soda with the toothbrush. The baking soda will start working its magic and will start clumping up. Add some more baking soda on the stain and scrub it again until it stops clumping. This means that there is no more oil to be absorbed.
  6. Pour a little amount of dish soap or Liquid detergent onto the baking soda. Make a thin layer covering the entire area using your fingers. Don’t worry about the baking soda or dish soap, it can be easily washed off of the cloth.
  7. Add the cloth in the washing machine. Take a look after the wash cycle if the stain is gone or not. If it’s still there, repeat the process again before putting it into the dryer as it will set the stain again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *