• Last updatedLast updated: Aug 08, 2021

How to Remove Oil Stains – 101 Methods That Work (2022)

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How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)

Do you have garments that you no longer wear due to oil stains?

If yes, you should know that it is possible to clean almost any oil and grease stain and you will not need to do a lot to do it. Fried foods are not all that good for your health (but they are the tastiest), but most of the cooking at home requires you to use some oil at some point. And so, your clothes are bound to get some oil stains at some point.

So how do you remove the annoying oil and grease stains from your clothes? Here is short oil stain removal tutorial that will help you out.

What You Need

  • Dull knife or a spoon
  • Tissue, paper towel or cotton swabs
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Commercial stain remover
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Steps to Remove Cooking Oil Stains

  • Step #1: Remove Excess Oil

How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)So you have spilled some oil on your clothes when cooking something. What should you do next? Do you dump the clothes with the rest of the laundry pile?

No, you should take care of the oil stain immediately.

Leaving the stain to set makes it harder to deal with, and it will take more effort and time to remove. The first step when dealing with oil should always be to remove as much of it from the cloth as possible. Use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much grease as possible and do it keenly to avoid spreading the oil. Also, removing the excess fat ensures that it does not spread to other parts of the fabric.

  • Step #2: Apply Detergent

How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)Well, laundry detergent is always necessary when cleaning anything. But, what is the best laundry detergent for washing oil? Most commercial liquid detergents can remove grease from fabric, but some can be harsh on your clothes and ruin them. The best idea is to use something that has a specific formulation for dealing with oil and other stains.

Carbona Stain Devils is an example of fat, oil and grease stain remover. And if you also happen to spill the oil on other things like carpets and rags you should use Spot and Stain Remover from VeryDirtyCarpets.

These commercial stain removers will act on the stained section without bleaching or have any other permanent effects on your fabrics. Just like with laundry detergent, you should apply a small amount of the stain remover on the oil patch or according to the manufacturer directions.

  • Step #3: Allow Detergent/Stain Remover to Set

How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)I know the feeling that you get when dealing with oil and other annoying stains. You just want to get it done as fast as possible. But, for the best stain removal results, you need to give your stain remover or liquid detergent some time to set. Allow for at least 5 minutes but the longer you wait, the simpler the stain will be to remove.

As the liquid soaks into your fabric, it will begin to break down the grease to make it easy to remove. But, do not leave it for too long as it will dry out meaning that you will need to repeat the process.

  • Step #4: Wash in Hot Water

Hot water is the key to removing grease from fabric.

How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)But wait! How hot should the water be?

Well, it depends on the clothing that you are cleaning. And so the best idea is always to check the clothing tags to determine the safe temperature for washing the fabric. Once you ascertain this, you should then proceed to wash your clothes with the hottest water that is safe for the clothing (according to the tag).

Keep in mind the fact that the warmer the water, the easier it is to clean the oil.

But, you would not want to burn your favorite top or shirt trying to remove oil, would you?

  • Step #5: Check to Ensure Stain is Gone

How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)After the hot water wash, you can proceed to wash the fabric as you would do if it did not have a stain. But, after rinsing and before drying you should check the stained area to ensure that the oil stain is gone.

In most instances, it will only take one round of stain remover application and hot water wash to remove oil, but sometimes it might be necessary to repeat the process at least twice. Also, air dry the attire because this will make it easy to determine whether there are hints if the oil stain left. And yes, removing oil stain from your clothes is that easy.

How To Remove Oil Stains From Clothing

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How to Remove Oil Stains From Delicate Clothing

With the 5 easy steps above you can get rid of oil stains on most fabrics. But what do you do when dealing with delicate fabrics like silk and wool? The delicate clothing is in most cases also the expensive one, and so you will not want to ruin it just to get rid of a few small patches of oil.

Luckily, it is still possible to remove oil and grease stains from any fabric type.

For delicate fabrics, you will still need to follow most of the steps above, but the choice of cleaning detergent and water temperature will be different.

  • How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)Step #1: Start by blotting out the excess oil with a clean towel or paper towel and avoid spreading the oil to other sections. Avoid using knife or spoon because they may damage the fabrics on your delicate clothing.
  • Step #2: Next, apply a commercial stain remover that is suitable for use on delicate clothing. You should read the labels because most will indicate the fabrics that they can clean. If you do not have a proper commercial cleaner, you can cover the stain with cornstarch, baby powder or even talcum powder.
  • Step #3: Once you apply your stain remover you should leave the garment in a warm place. But make sure that you do not put it under direct heat. Leave it in the warm place overnight or at least for a few hours. The warm temperature causes the detergent or powder to absorb the oil from your clothing.
  • Step #4: Brush away the powder and wash. After a few hours or after leaving the clothing overnight you should brush away the powder, and in case there is still a hint of the oil stain repeat the process. Lastly, wash the clothing but follow the garment care tag since these delicate materials will require extra care when washing and drying.
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Additional Tips for Removing Oil Stains

How to Remove Oil Stains - 101 Methods That Work (2022)

  • Never dry any cloth with oil stains using a machine dryer because the heat will make the stain set and hence harder to remove.
  • Act fast when dealing with oil stains because the longer you wait, the harder they will be to clean.
  • Always start by blotting the stains gently to remove any excess grease but make sure you never rub the grease stain into the fabric.
  • Do not put the clothing with oil stain with others because it is easy to spread the oil.
  • Check the garment care label before doing anything to see what the attire manufacturer advises.
  • Run hot water on the stained section instead of washing the entire garment in hot water.


Oil stains are annoying, and they can prevent you from wearing your favorite clothes. But now you know how to remove these stains from any fabric. With the right cleaning agents, some hot water and few minutes to spare you can clean almost any oil stain.

All in all, if you find the process tedious and time-consuming, you can always use professional dry cleaning services.

How To Remove Oil Stains From Clothing

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