Oil stains on clothes can be a real pain, but don't let them ruin your favorite garments. With our simple and effective method, you'll be able to remove even the most stubborn of oil stains from your clothes. No more hiding that oil stain with a sweater, you will be able to wear your clothes with confidence again. Whether it's from cooking, a car repair, or just everyday wear and tear, our step-by-step guide will help you tackle those greasy oil stains and restore your clothes to their former glory.
Various (depending on type)
These stains appear as discoloration of the fabric that is usually yellow or brown in color. They can be greasy or oily to the touch and may have a strong smell of oil. These stains are often caused by spills or splashes of various types of oils such as cooking oil, motor oil, or other lubricants.
Hot (120° to 140°F)
RATIONALE FOR WATER TEMP
Hot water helps to dissolve the oil and make it easier to remove.
The Science Behind Oil Stains
Oil stains clothes because it is a non-polar substance and fibers in most fabrics, such as cotton and polyester, are polar. This means that the oil molecules do not mix well with the fibers in the fabric and instead stick to them, causing a stain. Additionally, oils can also stick to dirt and other particles on the fabric, making the stain more difficult to remove.
What You'll Need To Get Rid Of Oil Stains
Dish soap or laundry detergent
A clean white cloth or paper towels
Baking soda or cornstarch
A vacuum cleaner or brush
A stain-removing laundry pre-treatment product, such as OxiClean or Zout
White vinegar or lemon juice
Step By Step Process To Remove Oil Stains
Blot up as much of the oil as possible with a clean white cloth or paper towels.
Mix a small amount of dish soap or laundry detergent with warm water. Apply the solution to the stain and gently rub it in with a clean white cloth or an old toothbrush.
Cover the stained area with baking soda or cornstarch and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb the remaining oil.
Vacuum or brush away the baking soda or cornstarch.
Apply a stain-removing laundry pre-treatment product, such as OxiClean or Zout, according to the instructions on the package.
Wash the garment in the warmest water recommended on the care label.
You can also add a cup of white vinegar or lemon juice to the rinse cycle of the washing machine to help remove any remaining stains.
Check the garment before drying it, if the stain is still visible, repeat the process or take it to a professional cleaner.
Oil stains on washable fabrics happen because oil is a non-polar substance and fibers in most fabrics are polar, making the oil molecules stick to them. To remove the stains, use dish soap or laundry detergent mixed with warm water, baking soda or cornstarch, a stain-removing laundry pre-treatment product, such as OxiClean or Zout and white vinegar or lemon juice. The process may include multiple steps and you may have to repeat the process or take it to a professional cleaner if the stain persists.
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About The Writer
Marcene Livn has worked in the cleaning industry for more than a decade. Her specialty is stain removal. From everyday spills to tough, set-in stains, Marcene's methods and knowledge are unmatched.