How to Remove Oil Stains From Clothes With Easy Home Remedies

Updated April 21, 2022
Oil stain on white cloth

Not everyone knows how to remove oil stains from clothes. You might think it requires commercial cleaners or a trip to the trash bin. However, oil stains are pretty easy to clean with a bit of baking soda, chalk, and dish soap, even on your dry-clean-only items. Learn a few simple home remedies for how to remove grease stains from clothes.

Natural Products to Remove Oil Stains From Clothes

Removing grease stains from clothes might seem like a never-ending chore. However, if you were at a family picnic and dropped some Italian dressing on your favorite shirt, there is no need to panic. Your awesome 20-year-old band T-shirt is not destined for the garbage. Just grab a few home remedies for grease stains from your pantry.

  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • White chalk

  • Dawn or other citrus-based dish soap

  • Toothbrush

  • White cloth

  • Salt

  • Scraper

  • Piece of cardboard

  • Spray bottle

  • Paper towel or napkin

Many times, you're leaving these cleaners on the clothing for a few minutes or more. Therefore, putting a piece of cardboard between the stain and the back of your shirt is helpful.

How to Remove Oil Stains With Dish Soap

Close-up of dishwashing liquid

One of the first methods you use for grease stains is dish soap. With grease, Dawn should be your go-to. If you've ever thrown a greasy pan into your Dawn dishwater, you know it cuts through grease like a master.

  1. Place a piece of cardboard under the clothing behind the stain.

  2. Use a scraper, such as the dull end of a butter knife, to remove as much of the excess oil as possible.

  3. Blot the stain with a bit of paper towel or a napkin.

  4. Add a drop or two of Dawn to the greasy area.

  5. Let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

  6. Use your fingers or a toothbrush to work it into the stain.

  7. Dampen a clean white cloth and blot up the stain.

  8. Allow to air dry and check for any remaining oil residue.

  9. Repeat as needed until the stain is completely gone.

Baking Soda to Remove Oil Stain

baking soda and vinegar on table

If the Dawn isn't working, try baking soda. Baking soda is great for scrubbing stubborn stains and soaking up excess oils.

  1. Sprinkle the entire stain with baking soda.

  2. Use a toothbrush to scrub the stain.

  3. Let the baking soda sit for as long as you can. Overnight is best.

  4. Scrub the baking soda again with the toothbrush.

  5. Shake off baking soda residue.

  6. If any stain remains, either add more baking soda or mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

  7. Spray the stain with the vinegar mixture.

  8. Use a toothbrush to work it in.

  9. Blot with the cloth.

  10. Repeat as necessary until all the stain is gone.

How To Remove Grease Stains With Chalk

Broken chalk

When you can't take off your clothes right away or have a very small stain, you might want to try chalk as a quick home remedy. Chalk is pretty easy to work with and soaks up oil stains quite nicely. Just remember to use white chalk. For this home remedy grease removal method, you'll:

  1. Rub the chalk all over the stain.

  2. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes or more until the chalk absorbs all the stain.

  3. If it doesn't work after the first round, repeat.

  4. Launder the garment as usual.

Removing Grease Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothing

If the laundry label on your clothing says dry clean only, then it is best to get it to the dry cleaners as soon as possible. However, if the stain is small, you can try to remove it yourself. Remember, when it comes to dry clean only goods, proceed with caution. If in doubt, just send it to the cleaner and clearly point out the stain.

  1. Remove the oil by scraping it off the garment.

  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain and work it in with the toothbrush.

  3. Allow it to sit for 5 to 25 minutes for maximum oil absorbency.

  4. Brush off the baking soda.

  5. If the stain persists, wet a cloth and add a drop of Dawn to it.

  6. Work it into the stain.

  7. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

  8. Dab it with water only.

  9. Allow it to dry.

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Jeans

Denim jeans are a different beast from cotton, but it is a bit easier to remove oil stains from this material. Try these methods when it comes to jean material.

  1. Blot the stain with a paper towel.
  2. Apply salt to the stain and let it sit for at least 10 to 20 minutes. This is pivotal if you are out on the town and get to the stain right away.
  3. Apply dish soap and work the stain.
  4. Rinse and repeat as needed.
  5. Wash as normal and hang to dry.

Tips for Cleaning Oil Stains With Home Remedies

When salvaging your favorite clothing from an oil spill, the most important tip is to act fast. The longer you allow the stain to set in, the harder it is to remove it in the long run. So, if you have something available, such as chalk or baking soda, to soak that stain up, you're better positioned to remove it. A few other tips include:

  • Blot as much of the stain with a napkin or other absorbant material before adding cleaner.
  • Don't rub the stain. It will spread.
  • Liquefy the stain with a bit of heat before getting rid of it. You can use an iron or hot water to liquefy a solid stain.
  • After washing the laundry, allow it to air dry to ensure the stain is completely gone. The dryer is going to bake that stain in.

Are Oil Stains Permanent?

They don't have to be. If you act fast and use something to blot the stain quickly, you'll have more success getting it out at home. However, if the stain has dried into the clothing, you will be less successful when it comes time to remove it.

How to Remove Grease Stains From Clothes With Home Remedies

Whether you drop mayonnaise or Italian on your shirt, now you know how to remove it. Remember to act fast, and you'll save your favorite garments with ease. Give these new skills a whirl in your laundry room routine.

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How to Remove Oil Stains From Clothes With Easy Home Remedies