Skip to Content

How to Remove Oil Stains

Regardless of whether you’re greasing up an engine or frying up food, grease and oil can end up on your clothes. When it does, it’s important to act quickly or you may end up with a dark stain on your clothing. We’ll go over how to remove oil stains from fabric in this helpful guide.

A man in an oil stained shirt checking the oil level of a car engine Description: It’s easy to remove grease stains from clothes when you act fast and use the right stain-removal method.

What causes oil and grease stains?

You likely use grease and oil for a bunch of things around the house. While grease is semi-solid and used for lubrication, oils are liquids that can also be used in cooking. There are plenty of types of grease and oil and some are thicker than others (think olive oil vs. wheel bearing grease). However, because grease is also made using oil, removing stains from these materials is similar. You may just need to repeat the process for more stubborn stains. Remember to act fast though, as oil stains tend to darken the longer they’re left on the fabric.

Oil and grease stain removal: Step by step guide

  1. Blot with a clean tissue or paper towel to get rid of any excess.
  2. Flush the stain under warm running water.
  3. Rub a bit of dish soap into the stain and rinse out. Repeat as needed.
  4. Pre-treat the stain with a soaking solution of Persil® Proclean® Stain Fighter laundry detergent. Let it sit for about ten minutes.
  5. Check your garment’s care tag and wash the garment according to the laundry symbols and instructions.
  6. Make sure the stain has come out before you dry the garment. You may need to repeat the stain treatment.

How to remove oil stains from wool and other delicates

Wool, silk and other delicate fabrics are more prone to fiber breakage if they are not handled gently. Therefore, removing oil stains from clothes made from delicate fabrics requires a slightly different method.

  1. After blotting to remove the excess oil, sprinkle an absorbent substance like cornstarch onto the stain.
  2. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  3. Brush off the cornstarch and wash the garment according to the care instructions.

Make sure that none of the materials you use to treat the garment contains bleach, as this will only weaken the fabric fibers.