How To Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothes

By Laura Parker
March 14, 2019

Coffee stain on a clean and folded shirt picture id184624876

Don’t Let A Little Mishap Ruin Your Shirt

We’ve all been there. You accidentally spill oil on your nice clothes and are now frantically typing “how to get oil stain out of shirt.” Well, we have some good news about cleaning said oil spills. Though it’s tough to learn how to get oil out of clothes, the idea that oil stains are permanent is completely false.


Learning how to get rid of oil stains is important. If you can act calmly in an emergency, it is not hard to get oil stains out. Even if you have let the oil stain set, there are still ways to get it removed with some effort. So we have compiled the things to do (and things to absolutely not do) in this handy guide for your oil stain emergencies.

As long as you stay calm and do not make the oil stain even worse, your shirt can be salvaged. Read on to learn exactly how to remove oil stains from clothes!


The Danger Of Leaving An Oil Stain Unattended

Even the smallest of oil stains are pesky, so you need to be determined if you want to learn how to get oil stains out of clothes. You can try to wipe it off with a napkin, but you will be left with a patch of fabric that is a bit darker than the rest of the clothing. The longer you leave the stain, the darker the stain gets, and it is tough to remove once it sets into your clothes.

Thus, it is important to act fast before the stain sets in, as it is much easier to remove an immediate stain than one that you notice after you take the clothing out of the dryer.
Why doesn’t our washing machine just remove oil stains on our clothes? Then we wouldn’t have to be so paranoid about ruining our favorite dress shirt with a small oil stain. Well, since oil is a hydrophobic liquid and does not mix with water, our typical washing machine has a tough time washing out oil in clothing.

But do not worry, it is not hard to learn how to get oil stains out, so your favorite shirts will not be ruined by a pesky oil spill.


How To Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothes

Figuring out how to get oil out of clothes takes a bit of science. Because water cannot mix with oil, oil stains cannot be dealt with water-based solutions. Instead, to remove unfortunate oil stains, we must use the power of absorption.


Before the oil has set, it is still ready and able to be absorbed out of the fabric. Here is a step-by-step process teaching you how to get oil stains out of clothes.


1) Acquire the necessary tools you will need to save your oil-stained clothing. You will need these four items to properly take care of your clothes: a cloth or napkin, baking soda, an old toothbrush, and dish soap.

2) Start by blotting the stain with a cloth or napkin to remove as much excess oil as possible. For small stains, this could be all you need to get rid of the oil stain. But chances are that you are dealing with a bigger emergency than that, so read on.

3) Liberally apply baking soda to the affected area, until you have a thick layer of baking soda covering the stain. If you do not have baking soda, cornstarch will work just as well.

4) Wait for about half an hour to an hour to let the baking soda sit and absorb the oil. When ready, scrub the baking soda with an old toothbrush. The baking soda will likely clump up as it absorbs the oil – this is a good thing!
If the stain is a particularly tough one, you may need to repeat this step a couple times. When the baking soda is all clumped up, reapply more baking soda until there is no more oil to soak up.

5) There should still be some baking soda residue left over on top of the stain. This is normal. The next step is to add a thin layer of dish soap on the affected fabric. Use your fingers to work the dish soap together with the baking soda.

6) Now, your clothes are ready for the washing machine. Make sure that the garment you are washing can be washed using the machine, but other than that, the oil stain should be taken care of.

7) If the oil stain is still noticeable after taking it out of the washing machine, do not put it in the dryer as this sets the stain semi-permanently. Instead, continue to use baking soda to absorb the oil out of the clothing fabric. Do this as many times as needed.


When you are done, the oil stain should have easily been taken care of. Your clothes should look good as new. Now that you know how to remove oil stains from clothes, you will never have to fear an oil-related accident again.


How To Get Rid Of Oil Stains That Have Set In

If your oil stains have not set, then you’ve successfully learned how to remove oil stains from clothes. But if your pesky oil stain is still there after rigorously going through the steps detailed, then chances are you’ve let the stain set in.


While this makes for a significantly tougher problem, it is still possible to remove the stain. Just follow these step-by-step instructions.


1) Get the necessary materials, including baking soda, dish soap, and an old toothbrush. Additionally, find some old cardboard and WD-40.

2) First, put the cardboard behind the stain as a buffer between different layers of the clothes. You do not want the stain transferring onto a different part of your garment.

3) Spray the stain with WD-40 or put the liquid in a cup and apply with a Q-tip. The WD-40 helps to break down the oil stain for an easier removal.

4) Apply baking soda liberally over the WD-40 and scrub with a toothbrush to work it into the clothing fabric. The baking soda will likely clump up as it absorbs the oil. Continue this baking soda treatment with new baking soda until you find no more clumping – that means that there is no more oil to absorb. Don’t worry about the baking soda itself, as it will easily wash off in the washing machine.

5) Pour a small amount of dish soap onto the baking soda and swirl it around with your fingers. Add more soap if it completely soaks into the fabric.

6) Your clothes are ready to be tossed into the washing machine. After washing, make sure that the stain is indeed removed before using the dryer, because that will set the stain again. If the stain is still visible, try the process again.


Now You Know How To Get Rid Of Oil Stains!

Congrats! You’ve learned how to remove oil stains from clothes. You can turn the emergency panic of accidentally staining your clothes with oil into a calm and procedural response. Your clothes are not permanently damaged by oil stains. Just act proactively and they are easy to take care of.

The next time you get an oil stain, you won’t have to worry. Thanks for reading up on how to get oil out of clothes!

Book Services Through Handy