How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes

Pizza lovers and bacon buffs know it best: It’s easy to get grease or oil stains on your clothes when you cook or eat. Next time you’re enjoying a slice of ‘za—don’t panic. Oil stains are challenging but not impossible to get out. Here’s how to get grease stains out of clothes quickly and easily:

How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes

First things first: DON’T rub or scrub it. It won’t work. Instead, apply pressure with a napkin in a blotting motion to soak up excess oil. If you’re out to eat and a solid grease particle-like butter or cheese—falls on you, remove it immediately.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to get oil stains out of clothes: 

  • Baking soda or cornstarch
  • Dish soap or solvent-based stain remover
  • VERY hot water (i.e., your washing machine)
  • The stained article of clothes

As soon as you can, head to the laundry room and pre-treat the stain:

  1. Apply a layer of baking soda or cornstarch to the stain. Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Brush it off and inspect the stain. Repeat step 1 if no lifting has occurred.
  3. Apply dish soap or solvent-based stain remover to the grease stain. Rub it in with your fingers.
  4. Toss your garment into the washing machine and run it on the hottest setting the fabric allows. If your clothes piece is super sensitive, feel free to wash it by hand.
  5. Inspect your clothes before you put it in the dryer, as drying will set the stain if it’s still there.
  6. Reapply baking soda and wash a second time if necessary.

How to Get Old Oil Stains Out of Clothes

Can’t get to your laundry room fast enough? Here’s how to get old oil stains out of clothes. Those old, stubborn oil stains sometimes respond best to liquid glycerin. All you’ll need for this is the glycerin, dish soap, and your washing machine.

  1. Apply glycerin to stain and let sit 10 minutes. 
  2. Rub liquid dish soap into the remaining stain with a toothbrush (enough to form suds).
  3. Machine wash on hot.

If the old oil stain on your clothes persists, you could also try using a heavy-duty enzyme stain remover like this one. But be cautious; cleaners like these are very rough on delicate fabrics.

After the Wash: How to Store Your Clothes

Now that you’ve learned how to get oil stains out of clothes, you might be looking to store them! Here’s how to store them the right way:

  • Perfect your pieces. Make sure you wash and dry all of your clothing. That oil shirt stain can become permanent if it sits in storage for too long. Get out every spot before you store with the method we mentioned above.
  • Pick plastic. Put your clothes in plastic vacuum bags to save space. Just make sure the bags are acid-free, or else your clothes might fade and warp over time. 
  • Try to use cedar balls. Cedar balls protect clothes from moths and mildew, naturally. They’re also WAY more effective (and less smelly) than mothballs.
  • Go for climate-control. Temperature and humidity are vital for maintaining the quality of your clothes. Extreme high or low temperatures can damage fabrics. If moisture is present, mold and mildew will grow. You don’t want to deal with that after working so hard to get that oil stain out.

Getting oil stains out of clothes isn’t as hard as it seems. If you follow the steps in this article, you’ll have your clothes in tip-top shape for years to come! You can make sure they stay safe and clean in a storage unit like the ones at SecurCare! Give us a call or stop by with any questions about how to preserve your clothes!

Now that you know how to get grease stains out of garments, tackle these cleaning projects:

This post was originally published on 9/17/2020
It was updated on 12/15/2020

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