How to Get Oil Out Of Clothes

If oil spills on your clothing, it's important not to wait too long before cleaning the garment. Once it dries, oil is much more difficult -- if not impossible -- to remove, and it may leave a visible stain behind. Here are two ways to remove oil from clothing.

Method 1: Pre-treatment


You'll need one of the following:

  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent
  • Petroleum-based or detergent-based pre-treatment spray
  • Powdered laundry detergent mixed with enough water to make a thin paste.

Here's what you do:

  1. Rub the liquid detergent or paste into the oily area, or spray the area with the pre-treatment spray.
  2. Wash the garment at the hottest temperature allowed by the clothing manufacture, using enough detergent for a regular load.
  3. Rinse the garment. Check if any oil remains.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until the oil stain is completely gone.
  5. Dry the garment as per the manufacturer directions [source: Remove Oil Stains by Pre-treating].

Method 2: Ironing

You'll need the following items:

  • Baking soda or cornstarch
  • Large rag
  • Iron and ironing board

Here's what you do:

  1. Spread out the rag on the ironing board.
  2. Sprinkle enough baking soda or cornstarch on the rag to cover the oil stain.
  3. Place the garment on top of the rag with the oil stain face down.
  4. Iron the garment on the side facing up (which is the side without the stain) with a hot iron. The rag will absorb the oil.
  5. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 until all the oil is removed. Use a clean rag each time, so any oil that's been removed is not under the garment [source: Remove Oil Stains by Ironing].