How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes
Nothing ruins the singular joy of a pizza topped with delicious toppings like having a bite slip down to your shirt or pants. Greasy, oily stains are the worst! Not only is oil attracted to synthetic fibers like polyester, but oil stains turn darker and get more noticeable over time. So the last thing you want to do when faced with an oil stain is make a serious laundry mistake. Luckily, if you need to know how to get oil stains out of clothes, you're in the right place. We went to the laundry experts at Maytag to find out how to remove oil stains, even old oil stains, from your clothes.
How to Get New Oil Stains Out of Clothes
According to Rebeccah Buurstra, Maytag Brand Manager, the trick to getting oil out of clothes is acting as soon as possible. Here's what she says to do:
- Before you start, check your clothing's care label for any specific requirements. Some textiles, like silk or cashmere, may require special care.
- Scrape off the excess grease with a butter knife, then blot gently with a clean, white paper towel or cloth to remove as much grease as possible. Note: Buurstra says plain paper towels are best. Using paper towels with printed patterns can cause a transfer of color onto your clothing.
- Gently rub liquid dish soap into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes. Be sure to fully rinse away the residue.
- Machine wash with a concentrated laundry soap like Swash in the warmest water recommended on your clothing's care tag.
- Line dry. Buurstra says you should never machine dry garments with grease or oil stains since the remaining particles could start a fire in your dryer if they get too hot. She also says that if any of the stain remains, the heat from the dryer will set it into the fabric.
- Repeat if necessary.
How to Get Old Oil Stains Out of Clothes
Oil stains are easier to get out of clothes if you address them as soon as possible but sometimes, that isn't possible. "Don't worry–there are methods to remove old grease stains from clothes, even after they dry," Buurstra says. Here's what she suggests:
- Scrape and blot liquid dish soap into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Soak in warm or hot water for at least 30 minutes. Dissolve some store-bought stain remover or laundry detergent into the water.
- Place in the washing machine with laundry detergent in the warmest water recommended on your care tag.
- Line dry. As mentioned above, never put an item with oil stains in your dryer.
How to Remove Set-In Oil Stains You've Already Washed
So what if you did all of the above and you're still looking at an oil stain? Buurstra says there's still hope!
- Spray the affected area with a water displacement lubricant like WD-40® to reactivate the stain. Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
- Try treating it again with liquid dish soap.
- Do not place the garment in the washing machine since water displacement lubricants can be flammable and residue may remain. Instead, hand wash it in the sink in the warmest water recommended for your fabric and a small amount of laundry detergent. Drain and squeeze out excess water.
- Mix a new solution of detergent and warm water and repeat treatment until no odor of grease remains. Rinse in clean water.
- Line dry only. Never machine dry anything that has ever had any type of grease or oil as mentioned above.