How did that oil get on your clothes? Maybe it was from the salad dressing at dinner, or maybe you had a chap stick in your pocket when you threw your pants in the laundry. Oil stains are among the most common problems when cleaning clothes, but there are many easy methods for oil removal.
First Method – Stain All the Way Through
Blot excess oil with a paper towel. Cover the stain completely with baby powder, corn starch, or salt. Scrape off as much of the mixture as you can. Place a small glob of dishwashing detergent on the spot and work gently in with a circular motion. Make sure to get both sides of the stain (inside and outside the garment). Wash normally, but allow to air dry. If any of the oil is lingering, it’s best to repeat the process before putting clothing in a dryer and setting the stain.
Second Method – Stain Only Partially Through
If the stain is somewhat superficial, and hasn’t soaked all the way through your clothes, put a piece of cardboard under the stain before you begin to work and this will prevent it from spreading. Spray the stain with WD-40 and gently rub it in with a cloth. Place a generous amount of baking soda over the spot and allow it to soak up as much as possible. Scrub the baking soda into the stain (a toothbrush can be helpful) until it clumps up. Add dishwashing detergent on top of this mixture and begin scrubbing again, working the soap into the stain with a cloth. Remove the cardboard and wash as usual.
If your oil stain is more like a small spot or cluster of small spots, you may not want to go through a major cleaning ritual. In this case, use a spot remover like Shout, scrub into the stain, and pour boiling water over it.
Your clothes will be back to looking fresh and clean again. Check out this interactive stain removal guide for more tips on how to get rid of stains!