removing oil stain from clothing

How To Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothes

Working with oil and grease can often be a tricky task due to the risk of spills taking place. If you are a car mechanic or someone who is bound to have their clothing painted full of oil stains, then opting for the oldest clothing you have as work attire is always a good idea. If however, you find yourself in situations where oil spills make their way onto your most valued items of clothing, equipping yourself with the knowledge on how to get rid of them will save you a few extra trips to the mall.

The most important point to note for the removal of oil stains is to act as quickly as possible.

As much as the colour and texture play a big role in making oil and grease stains difficult to remove, it is also the texture. When these products reach room temperature, they become solid or semi-solid, thereby increasing the difficulty of cleaning them. Luckily there are several ways to get rid of them, and a number of common products that can be used to do this.

Before we dive into the different techniques and products that can be used to remove oil stains, take note of these useful tips to be applied for all removal methods:

  • Place a piece of cardboard beneath the stained area you’re working on. This will help with stability and ensure you don’t spread any oil to other areas of your clothing.
  • For all scrubbing and brushing that needs to be done, make sure not to press too hard as you wouldn’t want to damage your clothing while trying to clean it.

1. How To Use Chalk To Remove Oil Stains

This technique is definitely not for the car mechanics out there as chalk is better suited to getting rid of smaller oil stains. Use the following 4 steps to remove oil and grease from your clothing with just a small piece of chalk:

Start by using a tissue or paper towel to remove any top layer of excess oil.
‘Colour in’ the entire stained area with chalk. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the chalk to completely absorb the oil.
Finally, wash the stained item of clothing as you usually would, on its own, as soon as possible after completing the above steps.
Allow your item of clothing to air-dry.

2. How To Use Baby Powder To Remove Oil Stains

If you don’t have any chalk in your household, use baby powder to remove the stain instead. Together with a dishwashing liquid, use the following 4 steps to rid your clothing of oil and grease:

  1. Using a paper towel or tissue, blot away as much excess oil as possible.
  2. Cover the stain with enough baby powder to completely cover it. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the powder to soak up the oil.
  3. Using a spoon or any other utensil safe enough for the clothing, scoop the baby powder onto a piece of cardboard or paper towel to remove it.
  4. Use your finger to create a foamy mixture of dishwashing liquid and water on the stained area. Once a mixture has formed, use a toothbrush to brush the mixture into the stain in circular motions.
  5. Wash the stained item of clothing as you usually would, on its own, as soon as possible after completing the above steps.
  6. Allow it to air-dry.

Tip on point 4: Use this brushing method on both sides of your item of clothing where the stain is.

Head to our article for a more in-depth look at removing oil stains using baby powder.

3. How To Use Baking Soda To Remove Oil Stains

Baking soda works very much the same way as chalk does in that it extracts the oil out of the stained area by pulling the oil onto itself. This wonder product is a great addition to your home, not only for baking purposes but also because it’s the main protagonist for cleaning spills and stains from so many other products. Use the following 6 steps to remove oil and grease from your clothing with baking soda:

  1. Repeat the same 1st step from above by removing excess oil first with a paper towel or tissue.
  2. Cover the stained area with baking soda and let it sit for 24 hours.
  3. Once that time has elapsed, remove the baking soda using a vacuum or brush.
  4. Create a mixture of vinegar and water to spray on the stained area.
  5. Use soap or dishwashing liquid mixed with water and scrub the stained area with a brush.
  6. Rinse your item of clothing and let it air-dry.

Head to our article for a more in-depth look at using baking soda to remove oil stains.

4. How To Remove More Stubborn Oil Stains

If you aren’t able to remove the stain immediately after spilling the oil or grease, there is a step-by-step process you can use to do a ‘deeper clean’ and still get the desired result. Use the following 4 steps to remove those tougher, more stubborn stains from your clothes:

  1. Using a dry cloth, tissue, or paper towel, blot the stain to remove as much excess oil as possible.
  2. Pour a few drops of dishwashing liquid onto the stain and work it in with your fingers or an old toothbrush. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse the item of clothing with warm water before giving it a proper wash with hot water and your usual laundry detergent.
  4. Allow the clothing to air-dry.
  5. Other Products Used For Removing Oil Stains

If you don’t have any of the above products on hand, there are other options you can use to restore your clothing. The following 2 highly-absorbent products will help you on your mission:

  1. Salt
  2. Cornstarch

Use the same steps listed above for baby powder when using these 2 products to remove stains.

Use these techniques to safely and effectively get rid of any pesky oil or grease stains that make their way onto your clothing, and share them with others who may find it useful. You never know whose favourite top might need saving.