How to Remove Oil Stains from Your Clothes

Sometimes, while cooking a delicacy or while savouring it, a random spill can leave behind oil stains on clothes. While oil stains are stubborn to remove, we will tell you an efficient way to get rid of it completely.


How to remove oil stains from clothes
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Even a small spill of food from your bite can leave behind oil stains on your clothes. Initially the stain might not be noticeable, but it is still important to act quickly, else it may spread around and cause a stubborn spot which will mar the look of your garment. If you are wondering how to remove oil stains on clothes, you have come to the right place. Try these steps and the stain should be gone.

Why Quick Action is Important?

As soon as you find the stain, try to remove as much as you can. If you are in at your workplace or in any other social situation, take a bunch of tissue papers or your handkerchief to blot it. This will lift as much of it as possible, preventing the oil from depositing deep into the fabric. However, if you didn’t notice the stain and now it has spread further, we will tell you how to remove it.


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Method 1: For Coloured Clothes

  1. Step 1: Blot the Stain

    Before you do anything, blot the stain. This will eliminate the residue, which will make further cleaning process easy. You can use tissue papers or an old cotton cloth for this.

  2. Step 2: Check the Wash Care Label

    Before getting to the cleaning part, it is always good to check the wash care label on the garment. This helps in understanding the type of fabric and the right cleaning method. If the wash care label says ‘dry clean only’, without any further thought, we suggest you hand it out to a dry cleaning service. If the wash care label suggests hand-washing or machine-washing, you can wash it at home.

  3. Step 3: Lift the Stain

    When you know you can treat garment at home, you can start with the cleaning process. Start by liberally sprinkling baby powder over the stained part; cover it completely. Baby powder absorbs the stain. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Then brush it away using a tissue paper.

  4. Step 4: Pre-Treat the Stain

    Now, pour 3-4 drops of dishwash gel on the affected area. Gently rub it into the fabric using circular motions of your fingers. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes so that it soaks into the fabric. Then, gently scrub the stained part using an old toothbrush and hold it under the tap water.  

  5. Step 5: Soak the Garment

    Now it is time to soak the garment. This step ensures maximum removal of the oily deposit. Fill half a bucket with tepid water and add laundry detergent to it. Soak it for 20-25 minutes.

  6. Step 6: Wash the Garment

    After soaking, it is time to wash the garment. Use an effective laundry detergent for this. If you prefer to hand wash your clothes, you can use a detergent powder. Have a look at the wash care label on your garment to determine correct temperature to wash it at. Before using any product, check the pack to understand the correct usage instructions.

  7. Step 7: Dry the Garment

    By now, the stain should be completely gone. Dry your garments in partial shade.

Method 2: For White Clothes

Ingredients to keep handy:

a) Tissue papers

b) Salt

c) White vinegar

d) Laundry detergent

e) Baking soda or cornstarch

f) Water

g) Bucket

  1. Step 1: Check the Wash Care Label

    Before you begin to treat the stain, remember to read the wash care label to understand appropriate cleaning instructions. Check to see the correct water temperature, wash method i.e., hand-wash or machine-wash and so on.

  2. Step 2: Blot the Stain

    Dampen the stain with water. Use a couple of tissue papers and blot the stain. This will remove the removable residue.

  3. Step 3: Apply Baking Soda or Cornstarch

    Liberally sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the affected area to form a thick layer. Wait for 30-40 minutes. You will see that the oil will get absorbed into baking soda. If the oil stain is not lifted up completely, repeat the step once again.

  4. Step 4: Apply Dishwashing Liquid

    Now, pour 4-5 drops of dishwashing liquid over baking soda. Using the circular motions of your fingers, gently scrub it on the stain. By now, most of the stain should be gone.

  5. Step 5: Soak the Garment

    Once the affected area is cleaned, soak the clothes in soapy water to ensure maximum cleansing. Take ½ bucket of lukewarm water and add 3-4 tsp. of laundry detergent to it. Soak your garment in it for 20-30 minutes.

  6. Step 6: Wash the Garment

    Wash your garment using your normal wash routine.

  7. Step 7: Dry the Garment

    Now, you can dry it out in the sun. Sun acts as a natural bleaching agent. If your garment is coloured, hang it on the clothesline in partial shade, away from the sun.

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The above methods work well for most of the fabric types including cotton, polyester, chiffon, viscose, rayon and so on. Ensure you select the right cleaning method basis the colour of your garment i.e., dark or white. However, if the stain is on a delicate material like silk, it is best to hand over the garment to professional dry cleaners for safe cleaning.

And there you have it! Enjoy your fresh and stain-free garment. When you find oil stains on your clothes the next time, you know how to make them disappear. You are welcome!

Originally published