How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothes

So you’ve spilled some oil down your shirt, and although it might not stand out like a splash of red wine or a dot of ketchup, it can be one of the most difficult stains to remove.

Instead of a brightly colored stain, oil leaves a greasy patch behind that’s slightly darker than the surrounding fabric. When it comes to greasy stains, the danger is that the longer you leave that oil spot unattended, the darker it will become over time, and if left too long, it can also set permanently. Whether you’re frying in the kitchen or get splashed on the sidewalk, oil stains can strike at anytime, and you’re left with the same problem - how to get oil out of clothes.

A person removing excess stain from a denim jacket with a cotton swab
Step 1

Act quickly

When you want to get that oil out of your clothes, it’s important to make sure you don’t allow the stain to dry or set into the fabric. You need to act fast and remove oil stains as soon as they happen.

Step 1

Act quickly

When you want to get that oil out of your clothes, it’s important to make sure you don’t allow the stain to dry or set into the fabric. You need to act fast and remove oil stains as soon as they happen.

A person removing excess stain from a denim jacket with a paper towel
Step 2

Remove excess

Blot the stain to remove excess grease. Grab a tissue or a paper towel and press the stain gently on both sides to soak up the excess oil.

Step 2

Remove excess

Blot the stain to remove excess grease. Grab a tissue or a paper towel and press the stain gently on both sides to soak up the excess oil.

Fabric care label
Step 3

Check the label

Make sure you check the fabric care label before washing your clothes. What temperature can the garment be washed on? Is it hand wash only? The label on your clothes should tell you how to wash your clothes safely

Step 3

Check the label

Make sure you check the fabric care label before washing your clothes. What temperature can the garment be washed on? Is it hand wash only? The label on your clothes should tell you how to wash your clothes safely

A person pouring Tide liquid detergent onto the stain
Step 4

Pre-treat

To remove grease or cooking oil stains, you can pre-treat the stain with a spot of dish soap, like Dawn. This will help loosen the stain before the wash, making it easier to remove oil from clothes.

Step 4

Pre-treat

To remove grease or cooking oil stains, you can pre-treat the stain with a spot of dish soap, like Dawn. This will help loosen the stain before the wash, making it easier to remove oil from clothes.

A person pouring Tide liquid detergent into a bowl of water
Step 5

Soak

To remove other oil stains, such as motor oil stains, oil-based paints or other tough oil stains, prepare a soaking solution with Tide to pre-treat the garment before washing.

Step 5

Soak

To remove other oil stains, such as motor oil stains, oil-based paints or other tough oil stains, prepare a soaking solution with Tide to pre-treat the garment before washing.

A person pouring Tide liquid detergent into the detergent dispenser
Step 6

Wash

Wash the garment in an enzyme-based liquid detergent, such as Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid which has been specially designed to lift off even the toughest stains, like oils, from clothing.

Step 6

Wash

Wash the garment in an enzyme-based liquid detergent, such as Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid which has been specially designed to lift off even the toughest stains, like oils, from clothing.

A person placing a denim jacket into the drum of a washing machine
Step 7

Dry

Make sure the oil stain has completely gone before placing the item in the dryer. The heat of your tumble dryer can set the stain in to the fibers of the fabric.

Step 7

Dry

Make sure the oil stain has completely gone before placing the item in the dryer. The heat of your tumble dryer can set the stain in to the fibers of the fabric.

Common Oil Stains

You can get that oil spot from pretty much anywhere around the house, or even when you’re out and about. In the kitchen, cooking oil and grease are the main guilty parties, but you can also find that patchy oil stain from motor oil, oily road water and even oil paint. Not only does it look bad, but it can also be tricky to remove as well. But luckily, with a few tips from Tide, you can find out how to remove cooking oil stains, grease stains and also oily road water stains, among other grease and oil spots from your clothes with the above steps.

If you can act fast, oil stain removal is easy, especially when you get a little help from Tide.

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