Clothes were made to hide our body from outside conditions. Whether the heat is too much, or it is extremely cold outside, the right kind of clothes would always protect you. The rains cannot touch you if you have the correct kind of gear on. But then with time, clothes became more of a statement to people. But one thing we all have to do no matter what purpose your clothes serve is to clean them. Because of all that they go through just to save us and our dignity, they do get a lot dirty. It may be dust flying outside, water from the rain, dirt from the playground, chalk from your child’s school or food spilled onto our clothes, they all need to be washed away. And some of them are easier to wash than others. But then, there are some stains that are just so adamant, they would not go away with something as simple as water. And so we use detergent on these. But then again, there are some of them that would not wash away with that either. One such irritating case is of oil stains. They are really stubborn and sometimes force people to even throw away clothes because they just would not go away. But you do not have to do that because of they may be difficult but they are not impossible. We will tell you how to get rid of oil stains out of clothes at home.
So you spilled some food on that favorite shirt of yours last night? Or you stained your dress with grease because you thought against wearing an apron? Or you bumped into someone and they dropped some food on your trousers? And now you have a very evident oil stain right in the middle of your favorite piece of clothing. Favorite or not, an oil stain just ruins the aesthetics of any article of clothing and you just cannot wear it anymore. Not at least without the answer to “how to get oil stains out of clothes” first.
The first thing to do here is to accept that staining is inevitable. It can happen to anyone, kid or adult, male and female, alike. With this in mind, let’s get to work and find out ways to remove oil stains from clothes with this extended list.
How To Get Oil Stains Out Of Clothes
Oil stains are the bane of that every person who washes clothes or has washed clothes ever in their lives. Just the thought of it is enough to keep people up at nights. But that is just because most of us do not have much idea on how to deal with them. They are just stains that are a little extra stubborn, that is it. That does not, in any manner, entails that you rub and scrub the stains as hard as you can, hoping that probably that will seal the deal. But that is not always the case. In fact, that is never the case. With all the friction, you will make matters worse, and if the fabric is even a little delicate, you will probably end up rendering it useless forever. So unless you do not want to leave a peeping tear in your favorite dress, here are some ways to show how to get rid of oil-based stains.
1. Talcum Powder And Baby Powder
One of the most risk-free and effective ways of removing oil stains is to use Talcum powder, baby powder, cornstarch or salt. This substances will just absorb the oil out of the cloth or will be absorbed into the oil. In any case, that makes it easy to wash the stain away because now you practically only have to brush or scrub away the powder you used before. (1)
How to use it?
Start with absorbing all the excess oil on the cloth with the help of a paper napkin. Try to get as much of the grease away as possible. Now, using the baby powder or cornstarch, cover the stain. Also, remember to use more absorbent than you think will be needed. With the help of a spoon, work the powder to make it absorb as much of the grease as it can. Then, with the caution of spilling in mind, remove the powder from the cloth with a spoon or paper napkin. Remember not to spill any of this powder onto other parts of the clothing.
Now use a small amount of detergent and water mix on the stain. Using your thumb, work the detergent into the stain. When you see foam on the stain, use a toothbrush to rub the stain further. Make sure that you repeat the procedure on both the sides of the clothing. Wash the cloth off with your regular laundry detergent, but alone. Allow it to air dry.
If you are struggling with a spot on your favorite pair of denims and want to know how to get oil stains out of jeans, just sprinkle the stain with baby powder and wash with dish soap.
People who work with vehicles and machines a lot know how frequent it is to look down and find a stain on your shirt that you got from the machinery. Also, many times it so happens that you find yourself in such a situation that your car or some other appliance broke down and it fell on your shoulders to repair it. Motor oil and grease stains are very common and unavoidable in such instances. And they look very ugly, killing the aesthetic value of your shirt. Needless to say, these are very stubborn and will take up close to forever to go away completely. But all the continual washing and chemicals of the detergents will fade the color and sheen of the fabric. So here is how to get an oil stain out of a shirt.
How to use it?
Take the shirt and sprinkle baking soda on it so if there is any loose oil or grease, it can be brushed off. After this, soak your shirt in undiluted white vinegar for at least 15 minutes. Rinse the shirt and pour some liquid dish soap on the stain. Scrub this area with a pressure that would not harm the fabric. And then wash like normal. (2) You can also mix water with the vinegar in equal quantity.
3. Dishwashing Detergent
Oil and grease stains on clothes while cooking is the most normal consequences, especially while frying or cooking something with a lot of grease. But with all the heat and constant washing to no avail can dry the stain so much that it gets harder and harder to clean it off. So how to get oil stains out? Well, you have to act before it gets too late to save your clothes from the permanent blotch. And the best solution to this is something you use almost every day to get rid of greasy stains. Yes, the dishwashing detergent can be of great help in removing oil and grease stains. (3)
How to use it?
Cover the stain with dishwashing detergent. You can also make use of shampoo in this case because it is made of body oils. Using a toothbrush, work the detergent or shampoo into the stain. In case it is working, you will see the stain dissolving in the detergent in shampoo. Rinse the stain with water first, and then, if you wish, in vinegar. Though, rinse just the stain. Do not rinse the entire cloth. Alternatively, you can pre-soak the stain in a vinegar and water mix in the ratio of 1:2, followed by the method mentioned above. Wondering how to get oil stains out of polyester? Work some grease-fighting dishwashing soap into the stain and wash like normal without bleach, for it might cause discoloration. Do not use a mechanical dryer. Instead, air dry the fabric.
4. Commercial Dry Cleaning Solvent
It is not necessary that oil stains only appear on the clothes you wear. You can also witness oil stains on other fabrics of your house. And the one thing that gets subjected to the cruelty of human negligence in such matters are the carpets. So maybe you or a guest were eating and accidentally spilled some food over the carpet. And although you ran with the speed of light to get it off of the carpet, it has definitely left a stain on the carpet that will not go away easily now. But do not worry, there is a way you can get rid of the stain on your carpet, irrespective of what fabric it is made of. This works on fur, hemp, jute, synthetic fibers and wool too.
How to use it?
Take a piece of white cloth and soak it in some commercial dry cleaning solvent and put this cloth over the spot. Now stand over this cloth so that the chemical comes in full contact with the stain. This will disassociate the stain from the carpet. If you are thinking of putting the solvent directly onto the carpet, do not do it. Doing that will dissolve material off from the carpet. Remove the cloth and if something has transferred on it, replace it with other cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is dissolved fully. (4) If you are looking for “how to remove oil stains from fabric without harming it?” these are your best bet.
Oil stains work on a certain timeline. Before a certain point they are wet, but with continual washing and heat, they dry up and are then set inside the fabrics of the cloth that makes them so stubborn. So if the stain is still a little wet, we can clean it with almost nothing.
How to remove oil stains using a chalk?
All you need is a regular chalk, and you are done with that stain. Rub a white chalk onto the stain and let it work as an absorbent on the oil. (5) Because of the porous nature, the chalk does it work very efficiently. Brush the chalk off from the cloth and repeat if you feel that it needs a little more work. When satisfied, rinse the cloth in water and wash normally with other clothes.
6. Stain Remover
Commercially available stain removers are also great for help in removing oil stains. The best examples are Shout, Spray ‘n Wash, and Magic Pre-wash. These stain removers are the best option for pre-treatment of the oil stain on the cloth. The aerosol sprays available of these removers are the best bet against grease based stains. These removers are also available in liquid and stick forms with varying degrees of usefulness, but they are all effective against oil stains. (6)
How to use it?
Spray the oil stain remover on the stain, a little liberally and then scrub it using a toothbrush. Meanwhile, the spray sets in, boil some water in a large pan. Put the cloth in a tub or basin with the stain facing up and pour the boiling water from some height. This is done so because the warm water breaks the bonds of the stain with the fabric and the force with which the water hits the cloth will further aid in the process. If there are multiple stains, repeat the process for them all. And if the stain persists, turn the cloth over and attack it from the other side. After this, wash the cloth, alone, using a simple laundry detergent. Dry the cloth in the air as mechanical dryer’s heat will make the stain to linger further.
WD-40 is a penetrating oil and a water displacing spray and can essentially useful in getting rid of oil-based stains very easily. It may so happen that you may have left a crayon over your shirt, or maybe an innocent child forgot that clothes were not the ideal canvas for their drawings. But then in such cases, you cannot really put the blame on a person. Instead of finding someone to blame, you can make use of that time to find solutions to such problems. And WD-40 can be of help a lot here.
How to use it?
Place the stain on some paper napkins and spray the WD-40 on it. Leave the spray to work its way into the stain for a few minutes and then repeat on the other side. Now, use a liquid dishwashing detergent and work it into the stain with your finger, brush or a spoon. Keep replacing the napkins when they are absorbing the stain. When done, wash it in hot water with some detergent and bleach for 12 minutes, followed by rinsing in hot water. (7)
8. Lighter Fluid
Lighter fluid is an absolutely good solvent and can be used to treat many stains, including oil stains. What makes it even better is that it evaporates quickly. Solvents work in a manner that they transfer the stain from one surface to another. You only need to put a second layer beneath the stain and see it working, and in the case of a lighter fluid, evaporate. (8)
How to remove oil stains from clothing using lighter fluid?
Simply spray it on the clothing. Before you begin, though, perform a little test on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to check if the lighter fluid will leave a stain. If not, then proceed with spraying the stain. Let the fluid set in for about 20 minutes. Now, thoroughly soak the cloth in a bowl of warm water so as to wash away the lighter fluid. Using a laundry detergent that is recommended on the cloth label, wash it alone. Dry the clothing in the air, instead of a dryer because the heat from the machine may cause lingering of the stain.
The world’s oldest brand, coca cola’s coke drink is an international favorite. People from all continents, regions, religions, age, and gender just love the taste and refreshing feel of the aerated drink. But the formula or recipe of the famed soda drink is not only limited to pleasing the taste buds and refreshing the body. People across the globe have found scores of alternate uses of coke. From cleaning the toilet to removing rust from old tools, coke can be used as a remedy for a lot of human troubles. It can also be used to kill snails and slugs in the scenario of an infestation. Many consumers have used coke to remove blood stains too. And, you guessed it right, coke can also be used to get rid of oil stains. You can easily treat grease stains from your clothing with a small amount of coke. (9)
How to remove oil stains using coke?
Just pour coke over the stain and leave for an hour or two so the stain gets properly soaked in it. Using warm water, wash the cloth with laundry detergent. This will take away the grease stain and not leave any trace of coke either.
10. Baking Soda
Baking soda forms a major part of our daily life activities. It is not useful when it comes to cooking and baking, you can make use of baking soda for so many different purposes. Baking soda can be used for cleaning, deodorizing, baking, maintaining pH, and even for extinguishing fires. You can clean oil and grease spots easily with the use of baking soda, and in more than one way. Baking soda is a mild alkali, which means it can cause a rather insoluble grease to dissolve in water and allow easy cleaning. Baking soda is advised for grease removal in many materials. (10) Also, you can use baking soda as an absorbent for sticky oil stains.
How to use it?
Clear away all the excess oil beforehand. Pour some of the powder on the stain, making a thick layer of it over the stain. After letting it sit for about an hour, scrub it away using a toothbrush. You will notice that the baking soda has turned into simple chunks by now. This is because it has absorbed the oil from the stain. After you have scrubbed away most of it, pour dishwashing soap over the stain and work it in with your fingers in such a way that you still have a thin layer of the soap over the fabric. If it has been soaked in, just add more. Wash the clothing as per the conditions stated on the tag, because every fabric is different. Also, add about half or a full cup of white vinegar in the wash. Do not put the cloth into the dryer till you have made sure the stain has gone. If you use the dryer with the stain still on the fabric, then you make it permanently set in.
11. White Vinegar And Cornstarch
Some of the most cared for and prized possessions of the truly fashionable are suede clothes. Those fuzzy little strands of fabric have an amazing sheen that just attracts everyone, of that there is no doubt. But, what most people do not know is that suede is a type of leather with a napped finish. And that is why you have to be a little extra careful with it because the finish is almost impossible to regain. Those who have ruined their suede jackets might relate with this. So, what if, you accidentally dropped something greasy on it?
How to remove oil stains from suede?
The first thing to do is to abstain from using dry cleaning solvents on the stains. They usually disturb the finish and leave the area discolored in their wake. Instead, you should use white vinegar. It is useful in removing grease stains from suede. (11, 12) If the stain happened when you were out, lightly dab the area with a paper napkin to soak up as much oil as soon as possible. Cover the stain with cornstarch in generous amounts. If you allow the powder to sit for about 10 minutes, it will pull the oil out of the suede. Gently brush the powder off. If the stain persists, repeat the process. Moisten a simple cloth, with the vinegar and brush the surface with it. Use a light touch so that the suede does not get soaked with vinegar. After the stain is gone, allow the suede to dry and brush the surface with a suede brush to reinstate the nap of the fabric.
Also Read: How to Get Nail Polish Out of Clothes
Some General Tips to Remove Oil Stains from Clothes
Washing clothes are not one of the most fun tasks in a person’s day to day life. Nobody wants to come across dirty, sweaty and stinking clothes at the end of every week. Day, in some cases. But then there is no other choice apart from taking charge and clearing the load. Most of detest the task and that is why we end up making goofy mistakes. But at the end of the day, we cannot really afford these mistakes at the cost of our beloved articles of clothing. And in the case of oil stains, there is a set of general guidelines that we should definitely follow so we do not have to face the situation where we have to endure the thought of throwing away or repurposing our beautiful clothes.
- Act Quickly- Do not waste precious time. Just like stains of blood and turmeric, the longer you delay washing the spot, you will find it increasingly difficult to get rid of them. Delaying for even a couple of hours can be a big difference and a couple of days can be disastrous.
- Removing Excess Grease- Gently dab a tissue, paper towel or a cotton swab on the stain so it absorbs all the excess oil from the stain. Remember not to rub it on the stain, only soak it. Also, for best results, do it on both sides of the fabrics.
- Air Drying- Just simply avoid machine drying a cloth with an oil stain, or one which has been treated for removing it. Let them dry on their own in the air. This is because machine drying releases heat which may make the stain to linger and set in deeper into the fabric. Steer clear of the mechanical dryer till the stain has gone completely.
- Using Dishwashing Detergent- Dishwashing detergents are made for tackling stubborn stuff like oil and grease specifically. You should not be afraid of experimenting with it as cutting grease is their foremost function. But do not use it on the entire cloth. Rather you should limit its use to the stained area only. Also, do not use detergents that were made for going easy on your hands would not work as expected. Buy and use the ones that promise to work the grease.
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