how to remove old oil stains from clothes

How To Remove Old Oil Stains From Clothes? 9 Ways

Nothing is more annoying than having grease and oil stains on your clothes. It also occurs so naively. A large bite of a juicy hamburger or standing without an apron over a splattering pan can quickly result in a mess. Making a costly laundry error is therefore the last thing you want to do when dealing with an oil stain.

Fortunately, you’re in the right place if you need to learn how to remove old oil stains from clothing. The best liquid cleaners for removing old oil stains are dish soap, WD-40, vinegar, and laundry detergent. Today, using only a few items you most likely already have at home, we’ll show you how to remove tough oil stains. Please read this article carefully.

What Makes Oil Stains Challenging To Remove?

There is no denying that oil and grease cause some of the most difficult stains to remove from clothing. Even though you should try as soon as possible, they can be challenging to completely clean out. The stain, the fabric’s composition, and color, as well as your cleaning technique, all affect how well you can remove it.

Even though the stains may not initially appear to be significant, they eventually darken the fabric as they develop, so it’s crucial to work to get rid of them as soon as you can. The oil and grease will be more fully absorbed the longer you wait. The stain will be much more difficult to get rid of once it has dried, and it might even permanently damage your clothing.

How To Get Rid Of Old Oil Stains From Clothes?

The right products must be used to remove old oil stains successfully. Utilizing liquid cleaners is the most effective way to remove old oil stains from clothing. These cleaners can more effectively remove stains that have been present for a while by penetrating deeper into the fabric.

how to remove old oil stains from cloth

The stain and how long it has been there will affect each product’s actual effectiveness. You can check out more information we have on How To Get Motor Oil Out Of Clothes? (8 Easy Ways)

Dish Soap

Dish soap works wonders at getting rid of oily stains, especially those brought on by food items. It occasionally works to eliminate oil stains that have been present for a while. It is made with surfactants and other chemicals that are intended to lift away oil and grease from dishes, but it also works the same way on clothes.

Applying dish soap directly to the stain is the best way to use it. Use just enough dish soap to completely cover the stain without making it difficult to rinse it all out. After applying the dish soap, rub the fabric back and forth to help the soap penetrate the fibers.

Depending on the size and duration of the stain, allow the dish soap to sit on it for an hour or two. After that, wash the clothes in the washer with warm water or the warmest temperature that the fabric will tolerate.

Stain Remover

You can always try a commercial stain Remover for really difficult oil stains or if you want a stronger product right away. To remove more difficult stains, these products frequently contain stronger chemicals.

Find one made especially for removing oily stains for the best results. Nevertheless, the application of every stain remover will vary. Apply the stain remover as directed on the packaging. The stain remover may need to sit on the stain rather than being rubbed into it, depending on the instructions.

After applying the stain remover:

  1. Give it the allotted amount of time to sit on the stain.
  2. Warm water is used to wash the clothes in the washing machine.
  3. Once you’ve eliminated as much of the stain as you can, repeat the procedure.


Given that it is a little oily itself, WD-40 might be a surprising cleaner that can be used to remove oil stains. But this is the reason it works. WD-40 contains solvents and lubricants that help to break down and lift the oily stain away from the fabric, particularly stains that are old


Simply apply enough WD-40 to the stain to completely cover it. Before turning the garment inside out and applying the stain from the back, spray the stain on the front of the garment. Allow the WD-40 to remain on the stain for about five minutes. If you let it sit for any longer, there’s a chance the WD-40 will also leave behind a stain.

Because WD-40 itself is oily, you’ll need to use dish soap or a stain remover that is specifically designed to remove stains. Whichever one you choose to use, follow the directions above. After that, wash the clothing in the warmest water that it can tolerate.

Laundry Detergent

To get rid of stubborn oil stains, you can also use laundry detergent in a similar way to how you would dish soap. Because laundry detergent is diluted in the washing machine, it is more effective to apply it directly to the stain rather than letting it work its magic there.

Just add a little laundry detergent to a bowl as an alternative. It is best to use degreasing laundry detergent, which is made to dissolve oily stains. Use a used toothbrush to apply a small amount to the stain. Use the toothbrush to gently scrub the detergent into the stain, or rub the fabric together to help the detergent reach the stain’s fibers.

For the stain to disappear, let the detergent sit on it for a couple of hours. After that, wash the clothing in the warmest water possible. If required, repeat the procedure once you’ve washed.

Fast Orange

Fast Orange laundry detergent is typically made to remove motor oil stains, which are among the most difficult to get rid of. However, it can be applied to any other kind of oil-based stain. As a result, it makes for a fantastic all-purpose cleaner to keep on hand, especially if you frequently get oil stains on your clothes.

The stain can be treated in the same manner with Fast Orange Laundry Detergent as you would with the laundry detergent mentioned above. By rubbing the fabric together or applying pressure with a soft-bristled brush, work the detergent into the stain. Give the detergent a few hours to work its magic on the stain. Wash the clothing again with more Fast Orange laundry detergent and warm water.

Be aware that Fast Orange also manufactures hand soap. Before using the laundry detergent, you can use this hand soap to remove oily stains from the fabric in a manner similar to how you would use dish soap. Additionally, it can be used as a pre-treatment to get rid of stains from previous oil spills on clothing.

White Chalk

White chalk can be effective for old cooking oil stains or other oil-based food stains, though it might not be effective for all old oil stains. Even though they are older stains, they are usually easier to get rid of. However, the stain will be easier to remove the more recent it is.

You only need a white chalk stick. Because colored chalk leaves behind additional stains, you should use white instead. Till the stain is completely covered in powdery chalk residue, rub the white chalk all over it.

In order to absorb some of the oil, let the chalk sit on the stain for a while. Wash the clothing afterward in warm water with laundry detergent. The best option is a degreasing detergent. Some of the oil stains might be removed by the chalk, but you might need to use another product later to get rid of more of the stain after washing.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another powdery substance that works well to get rid of persistent oil stains. Additionally, some of the oil that the stain has left behind is absorbed by baking soda. But once more, how well it works will depend on the stain’s type and how long it has been there.

To make a paste, combine water and baking soda. About ½ cup of baking soda is required. A paste will form as you combine in a few drops of water. Apply the paste to the oily stain with a toothbrush. Afterward, leave the baking soda on the stain for about an hour.

After an hour:

  1. Baking soda clumps should be removed by rubbing.
  2. If required, repeat the whole procedure.
  3. If it appears that the stain has been eliminated, wash the clothing with warm water.
  4. If not, proceed to the following technique before washing the clothes.


You can spray the stain with water and vinegar after treating it with baking soda. Any remaining oil stain that the baking soda wasn’t able to absorb can be removed using this technique.

In a spray bottle, combine white vinegar and water in equal parts. If you use one cup of white vinegar, you would also add one cup of water, for instance. The stain should then be sprayed with vinegar and water solution until it is completely covered on both the front and back.

Depending on the size and type of the stain, let the vinegar and water sit on it for up to an hour. Due to its high acidity, vinegar can more effectively break down oil than water alone. You can either repeat the procedure after an hour has passed or wash the clothing in warm water.


Bleach is always an option as a last resort if all other methods have failed and the oil stains are on white clothing. Because chlorine bleach can remove stains and remove color from colored clothing, you should only use it on white clothing. Additionally, before using bleach, you should confirm that it is safe to use by looking at the clothing’s care tag.

If bleach is safe to use, make sure to carefully read and adhere to the instructions on the packaging. Inappropriate use of the hazardous chemical bleach can result in serious health problems for you. Ensure that the water is properly diluted before using it. The clothing should then be washed in warm water after being bleached.

Remember that oxygen bleach can be used in place of chlorine bleach if the oil stain is on colored clothing. If nothing else works, oxygen bleach may be able to remove an old oil stain without fading the color of the clothing. Nevertheless, you should still pay close attention to the directions. After using it, wash the clothing in warm water to get the stain out.

How Do You Get Rid Of Oil Stains That Have Set In After Washing?

What if you followed all of the above instructions and the oil stain persists? There’s still hope, according to Buurstra.

  1. Spray the affected area with a water displacement lubricant like WD-40® to reactivate the stain. Give it 15 to 30 minutes to sit.
  2. Reapply liquid dish soap and give it another go.
  3. Because water displacement lubricants can be flammable and leftover residue may be present, avoid washing the item in the washing machine. Instead, give it a quick hand wash in the sink with some mild laundry detergent and the warmest water possible for the fabric. Squeeze excess water from the drain.
  4. Once the smell of grease has completely disappeared, create a fresh mixture of detergent and warm water. Rinse in clean water.
  5. Anything that has ever been touched by any type of grease or oil, as mentioned above, should only be line dried.

How Do You Remove Oil Stains From Clothing After Drying?

Among the most difficult stains to remove are old oil stains. Unfortunately, if they have been through the dryer more than once, the stains get even more difficult to get out. However, the heat from the dryer can also cause the stains to set permanently, so there is no guarantee that the old oil stain will disappear.

Pre-treatments must be used on the stains. However, the kind of stain and how long it has been there will determine whether they disappear. To remove the oil stain, you might need to use a number of pre-treatment techniques.

If you use a stronger commercial product, you’ll have a better chance of getting rid of oil stains that have been repeatedly dried. Stick to commercial stain removers made especially for oily stains and degreasing laundry detergent. Stronger than common household products, these products are specially formulated to remove oil stains.

If all else fails, you can always try using bleach made for the kind of clothing you are wearing. If bleach doesn’t remove the stain, it probably won’t come out again.

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