How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes Effectively

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes Effectively

Imagine a lazy Sunday afternoon, and you decide to make the perfect supper for your family. The smell of a buttery roast or the richness of delicious curries will surely entice everyone, but what about the marks it leaves behind on your favourite outfit? 

Getting oil or grease stains on clothes is nothing new, especially if you are a cooking connoisseur. In spite of safety measures and careful handling, a splash or two of oil is unavoidable. Whenever it happens, panicking is normal, and you might even think about throwing away your shirt. However, if you already know how to get oil stains out of clothes, you need not panic. You can easily remove oil stains from clothes (or grease marks) by following the right steps.

In this elaborate guide of ours, we will help you become a pro at removing stubborn stains from your clothes.

Why is it Difficult to Remove Oil Stains from Clothes?

Irrespective of the type of oil you use, you must be aware that the stains are not easy to get rid of. However, you can minimise the damage and maybe even prevent it if you attempt to treat them quickly. Everything ultimately depends on the stain’s intensity, fabric colour, and material.

At first sight, the stains may look light, but as they start setting, you will see a darker version. That’s because the cloth absorbs oil and grease, leading to a lasting impression. 

Basic Products Required to Remove Grease from Clothes

  • Detergent – Good quality 
  • Paper Towel – A handful
  • Hot Water – A bottle or bucket
  • Baking Soda – Depending on the stain
  • Toothbrush – Old or worn

Before getting started on DIY methods, make sure that you have access to these materials, as they can make your stain removal process easier and more efficient. So continue reading to know how to get grease out of clothes.

Steps on How to Remove Oil Stains from Clothes 

Cleaning is an important part of getting rid of the mess. But pre-treatment is what gets the ball rolling. These are the steps to cover when you are learning how to get grease out of clothes.

Pre-treatment Steps to Remove Oil Stains from Clothes

Wondering how to remove oil stains from clothes? Let’s start with the essential pre-treatment steps you should always follow: 

  • Blot, Blot, Blot!

The first step to remove grease from clothes (or oil stains) is to blot any excess residue on the fabric. Use a paper towel for this (just like you do it for the excess oil on your fried snacks).This process will ensure that the oil or grease doesn’t spread and affect the remainder of your cloth.

P.S. Make sure to use an absorbent material for effective results.

  • Cover with Absorbent Powder

Sprinkle an effective absorbent powder on your oil or grease stain. When you want to remove oil stains from clothes, your saviour powders are baking soda, cornstarch, or baby talcum powder. Leave it for approximately 15 to 20 minutes so that the powder can absorb all the oil from the fabric.Afterwards, brush off the remainder of the absorbent powder with a toothbrush.

P.S. Only cover the stain and don’t sprinkle the powder on the entire clothing.

  • Scrape Off the Leftovers

This is an optional step in the pre-treatment method. It is useful when you want to remove grease from clothes (we are talking about the thick stains here).

Take a dull spoon or knife and lift off the solid oil or grease residue from your clothes. This will help ensure that the treated stain is ready to be cleaned.

P.S. Be careful when choosing this option. Do not scrape hard, as it might damage the fabric. 

Why is Pre-treatment Important?

Is going through all this trouble necessary to remove grease from clothes? This is the question that runs in everyone’s minds.

Well, yes! Pre-treatment is as important as cleaning the fabric. Don’t believe us? Here are a few reasons to make you trust the pretreatment process: 

  • Doing this will not only remove oil stains from clothes but also get rid of any odour.
  • It will result in a brighter and fresher fabric.
  • It will help get your stains out the first time rather than making it a strenuous task.
  • It will prevent any wear or tear during the cleaning process.
  • It will always keep the clothes soft and clean.

Now that you know how to pre-treat the fabric, it is time to finally remove grease from clothes once and for all!

How to Remove Old Oil Stains from Clothes?

In case the grease or oil stains have dried out, don’t panic! There is still hope to save your clothes.

  • Use a small quantity of laundry detergent on the spilled area.
  • Rub it gently against itself for maximum effectiveness.
  • Keep your clothes soaked in the detergent for a few hours to let the magic happen.
  • Wash the fabric effectively and make sure to follow the care label.

In case this doesn’t work out, apply hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to the stain. You can also prepare a mixture beforehand and keep the garment soaked for a few hours. However, make sure that you keep checking coloured garments and not keep them soaked in any solution for long, as it might fade your clothes. 

Different Methods on How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes

We have learnt that different stains require different treatments. But, along with different stains, you also need to consider different fabric types, as they do not all follow the same cleaning path. 

So, how to get oil out of linen and what’s the action plan? Let’s get a detailed understanding.

How to get oil stains out of linen?

Delicate fabric like linen has a high absorbency. That is why it needs a proper treatment plan. If your linen sheets or linen tablecloths have succumbed to the stains, remember to treat them with care by following these tips:

  • If your grease stains or oil are fresh, follow the pre-treatment plan as detailed above.
  • Apply a bit of mild detergent or dishwashing liquid onto the stain and rub it. Let the powder/liquid sit for some time and wash with warm water.
  • Air dry the garments to prevent shrinkage of linen.

Make sure that you don’t use bleach or similar harsh chemicals on the Linen fabric, as it can lead to permanent damage to the soft linen fibres. 

Read More: Can You Bleach Linen? Tips How To Bleach Linen  Perfectly

How to get grease out of linen?

Removing stubborn grease stains can be a tough task, especially on a gentle fabric such as linen. In this situation, you can follow one of these techniques: 

  • Rubbing Alcohol: Use a small drop of rubbing alcohol on the stain and let it rest for a few minutes. Rinse the area with normal water and send the garment for laundry.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Blend two cups of water with one cup of hydrogen peroxide. Apply this solution to the stain and let it sit for some time. Rinse the cloth with lukewarm water for an effective result.
  • Professional Dry Cleaning: No solution seems to be working anymore for you? It might be the right time to send your clothes to the dry cleaner. The specialised equipment and expertise will get out those tough stains while keeping your precious clothing intact. 

P.S. While you use these at-home cleaning methods, make sure that you perform a patch test before trying any new solution on your linen wear. The gentle nature of the fabric might not withstand some products, and you may end up doing more harm than good.

How to get grease out of Cotton?

Cotton, similar to linen, is an absorbent fabric with natural fibres. It requires the same pre-treatment plan.

  • Once you have treated the cloth, apply a little liquid detergent onto the stain and let it rest. The next step will depend on the type of cotton clothing you have. 
  • For white cotton clothes: Wash the fabric in hot water to maintain its quality and colour.
  • For coloured cotton clothes: Wash the fabric in cold water to prevent it from fading or bleeding.
  • For embellished cotton clothes: Spot clean with a mild detergent. Avoid machine washing as it can damage the adornments.

P.S. Cotton is available in a wide variety. Make sure to check the thread count, the type, and the weave before trying out your cleaning tricks. 

How to get grease out of Synthetic?

Synthetic fabrics are less absorbent, making it easier for you to even remove old oil stains from clothes.

  • Follow the pre-treatment plan as discussed.
  • Rinse the fabric in warm water and repeat the process, if required. Do this until the stain has completely vanished.
  • If you are cleaning a delicate synthetic fabric like nylon, make sure that you don’t rub the fabric rigorously. It can damage the cloth.

If you consider the fabric type and execute the treatment plan accordingly, your trouble to remove oil stains from clothes will vanish. It is all about remembering the steps and acting promptly. The sooner you do it, the easier this stain-removal process will be!

By now, you must have a fair idea of how to remove oil stains from clothes. In times of distress, a few tips can go a long way. 

Read More: Sheets Turning Yellow? Know How To Keep White Sheets White

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes Effectively – Additional Tips

From understanding the techniques to using the right products, make your oil stain removal process a simple task with these effective tips:

  • Effective Pre-treatment Cleaner: Use the right product cleaner to achieve success. If the oil or grease stains are tough, you can use a pre-treatment product specifically designed for deep cleaning. Otherwise, baby powder or cornflour might just do the trick.
  • Follow the Instructions: Make sure you take a look at the care label before doing anything to your clothes. It will help you use the right products, follow the right procedure, and not ruin the fabric’s colour or quality.
  • Treat Quickly: A stain only deepens with time. Don’t let it sit for hours before acting upon it. In case the stains attack you when you are out, use soap and water for basic initiation.
  • Use a Soft Toothbrush: Rigorous cleaning can worsen the situation. Even if the stain is stubborn, a soft-bristled toothbrush will target it effectively. This will target the grease or oil stain without causing any trouble to your fabric.
  • Don’t Leave the Stink Behind: The odour of grease and oil is too strong. If you are dealing with a smelly shirt, use a pre-treatment solution. It will eliminate the odour and leave your fabric smelling fresh.

Following expert tips and tricks can help you deep clean in case of oil or grease stains. Whenever you want to remove oil stains from clothes, they will be your guiding light.


  1. How to get oil stains out of clothes?

To effectively remove oil stains from clothes, follow a proper pre-treatment plan. This will include blotting excess oil and using pre-treatment fabric. Then, wash the fabric in the washing machine. Air dry it afterwards for effective results.

  1. Will vinegar remove grease from clothes?

Vinegar is an effective product to remove grease stains from your clothes. Make sure to use a 50/50 blend of water and vinegar to form the solution. Use a dry towel and scrub your stain with it. You can also use a soft toothbrush to lift the stains.

  1. Will dry cleaning remove oil stains?

Dry cleaning can remove greasy residues. It can remove the stains effectively. Expert treatment products are used while dry cleaning cloth so that the residue is removed and the cloth remains unaffected.

  1. What removes oil stains from fabric?

You can use treatment products like baking soda, vinegar, laundry detergent, cornstarch, or baby powder to remove oil and grease stains from fabric.

  1. Can baking soda get rid of oil or grease stains?

Baking soda is one of the most effective treatment products for oil and grease stains. You can sprinkle a little bit of soda on the cloth and blot it with a paper towel. This will dislodge the excess stain and prepare the cloth for final treatment.

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