How To Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothing

get oil stains out of clothing denim jeans girl in blazer and striped shirt

Pizza? Yes. Donuts? Yes. Carbonara? Yes.

I’ve spilt all of these things on my clothing. You know, once I even forgot to shake the Ice Magic sauce bottle before using it and guess what sprayed on my shirt? Oil. Oil and calories I could have devoured. So, because this is a regular thing for me, I needed to learn how to get oil stains out of clothing and now I’m going to share that wisdom with you!

First up, not all oil stains should be treated the same. We know this because I didn’t know this the first time I tried to treat one. Say goodbye to a lovely sheer shirt that blessed my skin tone like no other shirt I’ve ever thrown away. When it comes to treating oil, it’s the fabric type that you should be concerned about.

Anything that is cotton, a tracksuit type fabric or a sporting fabric can be treated quite easily. A little dab of dishwashing liquid, mixed with a few drops of water, on the stain is plenty. Rub it in with your finger until it emulsifies. Once it’s done that, wash it how you normally would and let it dry. The reason an oil stain can be treated even after it has been washed so many times in a regular washing method, is because oil is always a wet stain. The fibres stay oily and unless a certain type of cleaner is used, it will remain.

For fabrics that can water mark, I would suggest a dry cleaner, because often fabrics that watermark are expensive and have these instructions anyway.

For other fabrics, you can treat them using the above method, but instead of putting it in the washing machine, hand wash the garment.

how to get oil stains out of clothing

What about oil based foundations?

I hear you, knowing how to get oil stains out of clothing and how to get oil based foundations out of clothing are two different things. With a foundation, you’re not only looking at oil, often when foundation is on your clothing; ie; around the collar and neckline area, there’s often other stuff in there too. Setting powder, concealer, blushes and bronzers etc. The colours from that will be evident in your clothing also, so you’re not simply treating a one-off oil stain here. You’re going to need a few things from the kitchen cupboard:

  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • Napisan
  • Warm Water
  • White Spirits
  • Towel or Cloth

Don’t try this on silk, satin, wool or cashmere. Plah-ease!

Now, when you’re ready, run the stained area under some warm water, be sure to keep it warm, not hot. Then use the dishwashing liquid as you did to wash the other oil stain above. Dampen your cloth with whatever white spirits you have laying about and pat this over the stained area to remove the colour.

Last, but not least, mix about a teaspoon of Napisan and water together and create a paste. Spread this over the stain and let it sit for about half an hour. Wash the garment as you normally would after this and let it dry on the clothes line with all of your other chic garments.

This last recipe was one I’ve tweaked a few times, but was inspired by the Spotless A-Z Stain Removal Guide. Play around the with the quantities, based on how big your stain is and what fabric you’re using, but generally, start small and work your way up. As always, if you’re unsure, take the garment to a dry cleaner or test your stain removal super powers on some old shirts before tackling that much loved garment.

Now that you’ve got those down, go frolic in a field of stilettos with oil free garments! See you next week!

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