Oil stains can look annoying, but they can be easily removed. Even dried oil stains can be removed with minimal effort. This wikiHow teaches you how to remove oil stains from a variety of fabrics, including wool.
Method 1 of 4: Removing Cooking Oil Stains from Regular Cloths
Step 1. Collect the necessary items
Oil stains sometimes get on clothes, whether you're frying something or enjoying lettuce. Fortunately, these stains can be removed easily. Here are the items you will need:
- Paper towels
- Baking soda
- Unused toothbrush
- Dishwasher soap
Step 2. Blot a paper towel to absorb any excess oil on the fabric
Try using plain white paper towels. If you don't, there's a good chance that you may run off the dye on the towels and soil the fabric.
Step 3. Coat the stain with baking soda
Cover the stain with a thick layer of baking soda. If you don't have baking soda on hand, try using cornstarch instead.
Step 4. Let the baking soda sit on the stain for 30-60 minutes, then scrub with an unused toothbrush
When you scrub, you can see the baking soda start to clump together. This is because the baking soda has absorbed the oil on the fabric. The baking soda clumps may also absorb the color of the oil.
- The baking soda will still stick to the fabric, but you shouldn't worry. This is normal and the remaining baking soda can still be rinsed off.
- You may need to repeat cleaning with baking soda for more stubborn stains. Just add more baking soda, wait 30-60 minutes, then scrub back.
Step 5. Pour the dish soap over the baking soda
Carefully spread the dish soap over the baking soda layer with your fingers. You just need to apply a thin layer of dish soap to the stain. If the soap gets absorbed into the fabric, simply add it back.
Step 6. Wash the clothes in the washing machine
Follow the washing instructions according to the care label on the garment. Hot water can help remove grease stains, but not all clothes can be washed in hot water.
Try adding 120 – 240 ml of white vinegar in a wash cycle. White vinegar helps increase the effectiveness of laundry detergent
Step 7. Make sure the stain is completely removed before you dry the clothes in the dryer
If the stain remains while the clothes are drying in the machine, the stain will stick to the fabric even more. Try removing the stain again. If this is not possible, dry the clothes in the sun, then use a professional dry cleaning service to clean the clothes again.
Method 2 of 4: Removing Cooking Oil Stains from Sweaters and Wool Clothes
Step 1. Gather the required equipment
Hot water can effectively remove stains from fabrics, but using it can damage the fabric of the sweater. Therefore, you need to be more careful when you want to remove oil stains from a sweater. Here is a list of the equipment you will need:
- Corn starch
- Dishwasher soap
- Cold water
- Sink or soaking tub
- A sheet of paper with dimensions larger than a sweater
- Pencil or pen
- Big towel
Step 2. Cover the stain with cornstarch and brush after 30 minutes
Repeat this step two or three times. Sometimes, you just need to coat the stain with cornstarch to lift it. If the stain persists, continue to the next steps.
Step 3. Place the sweater on the paper and trace the shape using a pencil or pen
You will later need to soak the sweater in water so the clothes will shrink and lose their shape. After that, you need to stretch it back to the original shape. Trace the shape of the sweater you created will serve as a “template” for the stretch step.
Step 4. Fill the sink with cold water
For a large, bulky sweater, try using a soaking tub or large bucket. The entire sweater should be submerged so make sure you add water to a high enough depth.
Step 5. Add a few drops of dish soap to the water
The water shaker uses your hands several times to mix the water with the soap. Don't beat it too hard to make foam. The added dish soap can break down stubborn stains and lift them off the fabric.
Step 6. Put the sweater in the water and shake it carefully
Do not squeeze or twist the sweater to avoid damaging its shape and fibers.
Step 7. Soak the sweater for two to three minutes before removing it
Again, do not wring or twist the sweater. Just let the water drip off the clothes.
Step 8. Drain the dirty water and refill the sink with clean water so you can rinse the sweater
Discard the dirty water and keep soaking the sweater in clean water until all the soap is gone and the rinse water is clear. You may need to follow this step 10-12 times.
Step 9. Dry the sweater by rolling it in a large towel
Once the rinse water is clear and the soap has been removed, remove the sweater from the sink and allow the remaining water to drip from under the clothes. Place and spread the sweater over a large towel. After that, roll up one side of the towel and sweater to the other, just like when you make kebabs or caramelized bananas. Towels can absorb residual water. Once it's dry enough, unroll it again and remove the sweater.
Step 10. Place the sweater back on the paper and stretch it following the pattern until it returns to its original shape
Carefully pull the sleeves, seam folds, and sides of the sweater until they match the pattern you made earlier.
Step 11. Understand how to clean other woolen fabrics
If you have oil-stained woolen skirts, suits, or pants, try using a 1:1:6 mixture of dish soap, white vinegar, and water. Apply the mixture to the stain, then gently pat with an unused toothbrush. Wait a few minutes, then blot with a clean towel to remove the stain and mixture. Remove the remaining mixture by pressing the stained area with a damp towel. Finally, dry the cloth by blotting it with another dry towel.
- You need to continue cleaning following the washing instructions on the care label. This means you may need to take the sweater to a dry cleaning service or wash it in the washing machine.
- Do not leave the mixture on the wool for too long to prevent the color from fading or changing.
Method 3 of 4: Removing Dried Stains
Step 1. Gather the required equipment
Sometimes, you don't notice an oil stain until after you've washed and dried your clothes. Unfortunately, the heat from the dryer makes the stain stick to the fabric even more. Luckily, you can still get rid of them. Here is a list of the equipment you will need:
- Cardboard (recommended)
- Lubricants WD-40
- Baking soda
- Dishwasher soap
- Unused toothbrush
- Small bowl and cotton swab (for small stains)
- Washing machine
Step 2. Tuck the cardboard into the inside of the garment, behind the stain
Cut the cardboard several times larger than the stain in case the oil stain spreads. The cardboard helps prevent the stain from being reabsorbed into the fabric.
Step 3. Spray the stain with WD-40 lubricant
If there are small stains on the clothes, spray the WD-40 lubricant into a small bowl, and apply the lubricant to the stain with an ear plug. Lubricants help break down the oil so you can remove it more easily.
Step 4. Use an unused toothbrush to rub the baking soda into the stain
Pour a small amount of baking soda over the stain and grease layer. Cover the stain with a fairly thick layer of baking soda. When scrubbing, the baking soda will start to clump together. This happens because the baking soda absorbs the oil from the clothes.
Step 5. Repeat cleaning until there are no clumps of baking soda
Remove the old clumps of baking soda and sprinkle in the new baking soda. Keep scrubbing, cleaning, and adding baking soda until there are no more clumps of baking soda absorbing the oil.
It is possible that the clothes will be covered in white powder. Don't worry as this is normal. Baking soda can still be rinsed off with water
Step 6. Pour the dish soap over the baking soda layer
Carefully shake the soap so that it absorbs into the fabric. Make sure there is still a small layer of soap on the cloth. If all the soap is absorbed into the fabric, add a little more.
Step 7. Machine wash clothes, according to the care label
Do not rinse clothes immediately because the soap will lift in the washing cycle.
Step 8. Make sure the stain is removed before you dry the clothes in the dryer
If the stain is still visible, dry the clothes in the sun, then repeat the cleaning method. You can also use a dry cleaning service to clean clothes. Once the stain is gone, the clothes are safe to dry in the dryer. Keep in mind that the heat from the machine can cause the stain to stick to and into the fibers of the fabric.
Method 4 of 4: Trying Other Cleaning Mixes
Step 1. Be careful with easily damaged fabrics
Some types of fabrics such as silk and chiffon are not resistant to strong rubbing and high temperatures. Instead, cover the stain with baby powder, cornstarch, or body powder. Place the garment in a warm, dry place for a few hours (or overnight if necessary), then discard the talcum powder or cornstarch. Repeat this step until the powder no longer clumps and the stain is removed.
Step 2. Understand how to deal with stains on fabrics that can only be cleaned using the dry-cleaning method
As the name implies, this kind of cloth should not be wet. This means that you cannot use dish soap and water to remove the stain. Instead, sprinkle baby powder, cornstarch, or body powder on the stain. Let stand a few moments, then discard the powder. This step is usually enough to remove the stain. If the stain persists, take the garment to a dry-cleaning service.
Step 3. Remove the stain using cornstarch and dish soap
Sprinkle cornstarch over the stain and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Pour in some dish soap and rub it over the stain. However, don't rinse off the dish soap or cornstarch right away. Put the clothes in the washing machine and wash as usual, according to the care label on the clothes.
You can also use cornstarch or cornstarch, without dish soap. Flour can absorb the oil that sticks to the clothes
Step 4. Use a hair spray product to dissolve the stain
Just spray the product on the stain. Wash and dry clothes according to the care instructions shown on the clothing label. Hair spray products contain alcohol which can release and dissolve oil.
Step 5. Try using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap
Soak the stain in the hydrogen peroxide solution, then sprinkle plenty of baking soda over it. Pour the dish soap over the baking soda layer, and sprinkle a little more baking soda. Scrub the stain with a toothbrush, and let it sit for 30-60 seconds. Don't rinse clothes right away. Instead, wash clothes as usual in the washing machine. Make sure you follow the washing instructions on the clothing label.
Hydrogen peroxide usually doesn't stain dark clothes, although it's possible that the solution may leave residue. If in doubt, it's a good idea to test the wear first on parts of the garment that are not clearly visible, such as seams or wrists
Step 6. Use aloe vera gel, dish soap, or shampoo as a prewash stain remover
Absorb any excess oil using a clean cloth or paper towel. After that, pour aloe vera gel, dish soap, or shampoo on the stain. Use an old toothbrush or manicure brush to scrub the stain. Leave it for a few minutes. However, don't rinse off the aloe vera gel, dish soap, or shampoo right away. Put the clothes in the washing machine and wash according to the cleaning instructions shown on the clothes label.
Step 7. Try using a commercial prewash stain remover product from a convenience store
Start by absorbing the excess oil first, then coat the stain with a stain remover product. Wait 30 minutes, then wash the clothes according to the washing instructions on the label.
- Always blot oil stains first by dabbing on a paper towel. Do not rub the stain with a paper towel to prevent the stain from sinking deeper into the fabric.
- Clean your clothes immediately. The sooner you remove the stain, the easier it will be to clean.
- Try covering the stained area with cardboard. By lining it, the oil stain will not move or stick to the back of the fabric.
- Wipe the stain from the outside in when scrubbing it. Always scrub the stain in a centerward motion, not center-outward. With this motion, the stain will not spread to the rest of the fabric.
- Not all fabrics are hot water resistant, and not all fabrics are washable. Always read the washing label attached to the inside of the fabric/clothing.
- Dishwashing soap can fade color on recently dyed fabrics. This product can also fade color on new fabrics. Check the strength or color resistance of the fabric first before using dish soap.
- The heat from the dryer can make the stain stick harder. Always make sure the stain is gone before you put the clothes in the dryer. Otherwise, the heat from the machine will make the stain stick to the clothes even more.