A gravy spill or a sauce drip can easily ruin your favourite outfit. An important tip for care and maintenance of your clothing is to always treat stains as soon as you spot them. While immediately washing the garment may not always be possible, you must spot-treat a stain to prevent it from setting into the fabric permanently. If you spill something on your clothing, blot it immediately using paper towels. Try to remove as much of the spill, as soon as you can.
Follow the steps given below to prevent oil spills from leaving behind permanent marks on your garment.
Ingredients to Keep Handy:
a) Baby powder or cornstarch
b) Soft-bristled brush
c) Laundry detergent
d) Old toothbrush
e) Warm water
f) Chalk or chalk powder
Method 1: Use Baby Powder and Detergent
Step 1: Treat with Baby Powder
Cover the stained area of the garment with baby powder or cornstarch. It will absorb the oily residue and lift the stain from the fabric. Wait for 10 minutes before gently brushing the area with a soft-bristled brush.
Step 2: Treat with Detergent
Dampen the stained area of your garment and sprinkle laundry detergent on it. You can try Surf Excel Easy Wash. Let the detergent rest on the stain for 10 minutes. Ensure that the detergent seeps into the fabric. Then, scrub the detergent gently with an old toothbrush and wash it off with warm water. Repeat the process if the stained patch is still visible.
Step 3: Wash and Air-Dry
Once the stain has disappeared, toss your garment in the washing machine and wash as you normally would. Do not put clothes with oil stains in the dryer as the heat will set the stain firmly into the fabric. It’s best to air-dry your clothes after you have washed them.
Method 2: Using Chalk
Step 1: Rub Chalk on the Stain
Take a chalk or some chalk powder and rub it on the stained part. Allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. It will absorb the oil from the fabric.
Step 2: Brush Away
Use a nylon brush to scrub away the chalk powder. Chalk powder will help lift the oil stains. A nylon brush it not abrasive, and at the same time helps clear stains.
Step 3: Wash as Usual
Now, wash your garment as you normally do. Remember to check the wash care label on your garment to understand the right washing method.
What is that one non-negotiable thing that you expect out of your laundry process?
Knowing how to treat basic stains can help you make your clothes last longer. After all, good quality clothes don’t come cheap. Stay stylish and trendy without hurting your wallet.
Frequently asked questions on oil stains
How soon should I clean oil stains?
The sooner you clean the oil stain, the easier it will be to remove. If you're at home, follow any of the instructions given above and clean the stain immediately after it has spilt on your clothes. Otherwise, clean it as soon as you get home.
Is it possible to remove old oil stains?
The longer an oil stain remains on the fabric, the harder it will be to remove. The stains will darken over time and remain permanently on your clothes if not cleaned. It’s best to clean an oil stain as soon as you spot it.
How to remove oil stains from thick fabrics like jeans?
While the above instructions may work for your regular clothes, jeans are made of a different fabric altogether. If your favourite pair of jeans are subject to oil stains, you must blot the spots with a paper towel, sprinkle some baking soda on them, and after some time, brush the areas with a liquid detergent using a toothbrush. Don’t forget to wash your jeans afterward.
What makes an oil stain worse?
Do not rub the oil stain; instead, blot it with a paper towel. Rubbing the stain will only make it spread to other parts of the fabric and also damage its material.