How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes: Effective Tips

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes: Ultimage guide
13 min reading time

Have you ever gotten a set-in oil stain on your favorite piece of clothing and thought that it was ruined? Not so fast! While oil stains can be notoriously hard to remove, there is still hope. With the right techniques and products, you can learn how to get those pesky spots out of your clothes in no time.

In this blog post, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks on how to get oil stains out of clothes from any type of garment with ease. Keep reading to find out how!

Why is it Difficult to Remove Oil Stains?

Oil stains are difficult to remove from clothing due to the nature of oil and its interaction with fabric. Oil is a hydrophobic substance, which means it repels water. When oil comes into contact with fabric, it forms a bond with the fibers, creating a stain that can be challenging to remove.

The reason for this is that the fibers of most fabrics are hydrophilic, meaning they attract water molecules. This property helps laundry detergents to remove water-soluble substances such as dirt and sweat. However, when oil penetrates the fibers of a fabric, it forms a barrier that repels water. This barrier makes it difficult for traditional laundry detergents to penetrate the stain and break it down.

Additionally, oil stains are often deep-set into the fabric because they can soak through multiple layers of cloth. This means that even if you remove the surface layer of the stain, there may still be oil remaining within the fabric. If not removed completely, the remaining oil can oxidize and form a yellow or brown discoloration that can be much harder to remove.

To effectively remove oil stains from clothing, you need to use a cleaning agent that can break down the oil and lift it away from the fabric. Overall, removing oil stains from clothing requires specialized cleaning agents and techniques.

What are the Different Options One Can Use to Remove Oil Stains?

Removing oil stains from clothes may seem like an impossible task, but there are actually a number of solutions that can help get the job done.

1. Rubbing Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol can be used as a natural stain remover for old and fresh oil-based stains on fabrics like cotton, linen, and synthetic materials. Begin by dabbing rubbing alcohol onto the stained area with a clean white cloth or paper towel until it is saturated. Allow the fabric to dry before rinsing it off with warm water.

2. Laundry Detergent & Hot Water: Regular laundry detergent paired with hot water is another effective method for removing light oil stains from clothing, especially if they have been heat-set in the dryer. Start by mixing one teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent into one quart (four cups) of very warm or hot water in a bucket or basin large enough to hold your garment(s). Gently agitate the mixture for several minutes before transferring your garment into it and soaking for up to 30 minutes before washing as normal in cold water setting on your machine’s regular cycle.

3. Baking Soda Mixture: Baking soda is a powerful household cleaner that can effectively break down stubborn grease spots without damaging delicate fabrics like silk or wool! To make this solution simply mix equal parts baking soda and liquid dish soap in lukewarm water until you’ve created sudsy paste consistency – then rub directly onto oily areas and let sit for 15 minutes before laundering normally according to instructions on your garment’s label (be sure not to over saturate!). Finally, rinse off any remaining residue after cleaning

4. Bland Diet Scrubber: A bland diet scrubber is a perfect choice when dealing with greasy messes such as oily residues left behind after cooking meals containing bacon strips, hamburgers, etc. Simply take two tablespoons of plain white flour mixed together nicely inside some paper towel (or similar absorbent material) – then crumble this up until it has formed small crumbles – which then should be gently rubbed against the stained area allowing flour particles to act as gentle abrasive agents breaking away at embedded oils within fibers without causing any damage! Rinse off afterward using cold running tap water alongside mild dishwashing detergent – finally hang-dry outside (or tumble dry low heat setting.)

5. Dry Cleaner Solutions: Last but certainly not least, Professional dry cleaners who specialize specifically in cleaning oils can also provide specialized formulations designed specifically to combat the type/level stain present while protecting original fabric colors! These services could prove invaluable depending upon the severity/complexity situation being faced where potentially complex chemical solvents involved are required to dissolve hardened layers of buildup caused by multiple exposure sources slowly built over time due to repeated contact with certain types of materials.

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes Quickly?

How To Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothes Quickly
Source: cdn.apartmenttherapy.info

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tackle these pesky little spots and get your clothing back in pristine condition!

  • Cover the oil stain with a generous amount of either dish detergent or laundry soap and let sit for 10 minutes. This time gives the cleaning agents enough time to penetrate into the fabric and start breaking down stubborn oils.
  • Rinse off through cold water until all suds disappear and no remaining signs of oil remain in sight on the clothing surface are visible. Don’t use hot water here because it could cause further damage as well as baking in whatever grease was left behind by prior cleaning efforts! If there is still some greasy residue left behind at this point go ahead and repeat Steps 1 & 2 again until all traces of the stain have been removed entirely from the fabric surface.
  • If Steps 1 & 2 aren’t working then move on to the next step where we’ll try out some citrus-based cleaners which ideally should finish off any leftover residues!     
  • Apply lemon juice or an orange peel directly onto the stained area generously before rinsing off like normal with cold water once again. This will give natural enzymes found within citrus fruits enough time necessary penetrate deep down into fibers helping dissolve away even the most stubborn oils!
  • After completing the previous steps, wash according to regular laundering instructions included on the clothing label ensuring that the last trace amounts of the stains have been eradicated entirely!

How to Get Old Oil Stains Out of Clothes?

oil stains being washed thoroughly in a bucket of water filled with detergent

Removing old oil stains from clothes can seem like a daunting task, but with the right products and techniques, you can quickly get your garment looking fresh again! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to safely remove old oil stains from clothing:

  • Pretreat Your Garment – The first step in removing an old oil stain is to pretreat the fabric. To do this, mix a detergent with 1 part water and apply directly onto the area of the stain. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before washing as normal with warm or hot water, whichever is recommended for your fabric type.
  • Spot Clean The Stain – If there are still signs of an oily stain after pretreating and laundering, try spot cleaning it using a laundry detergent that contains enzymes such as OxiClean or Zout (or any other enzyme cleaner). Apply enough detergent onto the stained area so that it’s saturated before lightly scrubbing in circles around the affected region until all markings begin to fade away. Once done, rinse off any remaining residue and allow to air dry completely.
  • Soak In Solvent – If traditional methods aren’t working then you should turn towards solvents such as rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits which are effective at breaking down tough grease deposits. Gently rub solvent into every remnant of visible staining on both sides of your garment while making sure not to spread out its coverage area too much; allowing time for soaking will ensure optimal performance when removing greasy marks from clothing fabrics. After 15-20 minutes have passed, rinse off thoroughly until no more trace remains prior to drying normally (without heat).
  • Use Paint Thinner – For particularly stubborn cases where nothing else seems able to work use paint thinner which has been known to be used successfully when dealing with older pieces of clothing containing deep-set oil marks; just make sure that whatever product you decide upon is specifically designed safe use on fabrics otherwise permanent damage may occur! Dip your cloth into the mixture then rub gently along areas of greasy buildup until the solution has penetrated through the surface layer material gradually wiping away dirtiness beneath. Finally, rinse off the entire piece item whilst inspecting closely to see if any further action is needed.

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes After Washing?

white shirt with oil stains with a cleaning liquid

Here are some tips on how to remove set-in oil stains from clothes that have already been washed:

  • First and foremost, try soaking your stained garment in rubbing alcohol or vinegar for about an hour before laundering it again. This will help loosen the oil molecules and make them easier to take out during the wash cycle. Be sure to check the fabric label before using either of these solutions as they can damage certain delicate fabrics like silk or wool.
  • Once you have pre-soaked your item in rubbing alcohol/vinegar, launder it as usual according to care instructions on the fabric label with an enzyme detergent like Tide or Persil (gently rub those areas where there is staining). Enzyme detergents contain enzymes designed to break down proteins – which is what a lot of hard-to-remove oils are composed of – so they can help dissolve stubborn oily residues left behind by washing alone.
  • While drying your freshly laundered clothing, apply a stain remover specifically designed for removing oils such as Shout Advanced Gel or similar products onto any residual oily marks that remain after washing; these formulations contain active ingredients that will penetrate deep into fabrics for maximum effectiveness at lifting away greasy soils without leaving residue behind on your clothes afterward. Then the machine dries following directions on the product label.
  • If any stubborn staining persists even after all these steps have been taken then consider applying professional spot removal techniques such as gently cleaning with solvents like petroleum naphtha (like K2R Spot Lifter) followed by rinsing with clean water; this type of method should only be used if absolutely necessary though due to the potential damage, it may cause when applied incorrectly such as discoloration or changes in texture and feel to certain materials so always consult with manufacturer’s instructions first before using.

What Not to Do When Removing Oil Stains from Clothes?

While removing oil stains from clothes can be challenging, there are a few things you should avoid doing to prevent further damage to the fabric. Firstly, do not rub the stain as this can cause it to spread and drive the oil deeper into the fabric. Secondly, avoid using hot water to treat the stain as it can set the stain permanently into the fabric. Instead, use warm water and a mild detergent.

Thirdly, do not use bleach as it can cause the oil to oxidize and turn yellow, making the stain even more difficult to remove. Fourthly, never use heat such as an iron or dryer on the stained area as it can set the stain permanently into the fabric. Lastly, avoid using too much cleaner as it can cause residue to build up on the fabric, making it sticky and attracting more dirt and oil. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can safely and effectively remove oil stains from your clothing without causing any further damage.

How to Remove Oil Stains Using Home Remedies?

Oil on clothes can be unsightly and difficult to remove, but there are several home remedies that you can try to get rid of them. Here are some effective methods for removing oil stains from clothes using items that you probably already have at home:

  • White vinegar: Soak the stained area in white vinegar for approximately 30 minutes, then wash the garment in hot water. You can also add a cup of vinegar to your washing machine during the rinse cycle to help remove any remaining oil.
  • Cornstarch or talcum powder: Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder directly onto the oil stain and allow it to sit for several hours. Brush off the powder and wash the garment as usual.
  • Dishwashing detergent: Apply a small amount of dishwashing detergent to the oil stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse the garment in hot water, then wash as usual.
  • Chalk: Rub white chalk over the oil stain to absorb the oil, then wash the garment in hot water.
  • Salt: Pour salt over the oil stain and let it sit for several hours. Brush off the salt and wash the garment in hot water.

These home remedies work by breaking down the oil and lifting it away from the fibers of the fabric. While they can be effective for removing oil stains, keep in mind that they may not work on all fabrics or types of oil. It’s always a good idea to test any remedy on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first before applying it to the stain. If the stain is more stubborn, you may need to use a commercial stain remover or take the garment to a professional cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will baby powder help remove oil stains from clothes?

Yes, baby powder can help absorb oil from the fabric and make the stain easier to remove. Sprinkle baby powder onto the stain and let it sit for several hours before washing the garment.

Can cola remove oil stains from clothes?

Yes, cola can be a surprisingly effective way to remove oil stains from clothing. Pour a small amount of cola directly onto the stained area, let it sit for several minutes, then wash the garment as usual.

Does baking soda damage clothes?

Baking soda is unlikely to damage your colored clothes, so long as they are not made out of a delicate fiber such as wool or silk

Bottom Line

Getting oil stains out of clothes is a real nuisance, and it can be difficult to get the desired results without the right knowledge. We hope that this blog post gave you some useful tips on how to get oil stains out of clothes once and for all! Remember to always spot-test any product or method before using it on your garments to ensure it won’t cause any bleaching or discoloration. And don’t forget to always check the care labels of each item before laundering as well! Good luck getting those pesky oil stains out and keeping your clothing fresh!

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