More ways to remove set in oil stains–solutions submitted by our readers.
One of the most popular posts on this blog is How to Remove Set in Oil Stains. Many people found that this crazy method WORKS! That method has helped save many a shirt, blouse, and khaki pants.
Aren’t the crazy methods the best methods, anyway? :)
Sadly, I have heard that it has not worked for a small number of people.
There are so many kinds of oils out there: olive, vegetable, butter, petroleum jelly, lip balms, argan (Moroccan), coconut, and the list goes on. Each oil has varying levels of thickness.
When you factor in all the different kinds of fabrics out there, it makes sense that one sole solution might not work for every situation.
I’m sure there’s a super complicated algorithm that can calculate all the different permutations of oil stains and fabric, but for simplicity (and for us mathematically-challenged) let’s just say that it’s a lot.
Many readers have shared ways that THEY remove oil stains. And instead of having you dig through the comments to find these solutions, I’ve compiled them here.
And so, on behalf of my brilliant readers, I bring to you: MORE ways to remove set-in oil stains.
1. Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Dawn
“I use 1 part Dawn dishwashing liquid and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. Mix up a small amount, and rub it in the stain(s).
Leave it on for 30 mins. Soak for 30 mins with some of the mixture and wash. it works 99.5% of the time.” – Grace
2. Using Ammonia, Hydrogen Peroxide and Dawn
1 part regular ammonia, 1 part regular Dawn dishwashing liquid, and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. I mix it up in a large squirt bottle.
I have used this stain remover for the past 23 years. It was given to me by a woman who owned a children’s clothing resale shop and takes out almost everything.
I used it on baby food, sports grime, blood, dirt, even these oily stains. I couldn’t tell you if it has worked on the oily stains every time but it’s fast, easy and worth a try before going to all this work (especially if it is just a t-shirt).
Pre-treat the stain when you see it, toss the item in the dirty clothes hamper and let it sit until laundry day if you want.” – Margo
I always use plain white chalk it works. I even had a grease stain on the back of my khaki chair (my fault greasy take out box+ full hands; had no idea it was leaking) the chalk worked after several times but I also added dish soap to help. Since I can’t throw the chair into the washer.” – Aubrey
4. Eucalyptus Oil
Try eucalyptus oil, onto the stain and a little rub, wash immediately it should take out those oily stains and smells so nice too. I have had pretty good results with it on some old stains.
Just be careful on anything really delicate. But for cotton or polyester fabrics it works well.
My mum used to swear by brown paper over the stain and ironing it. It takes a little bit of the oil out” – Helen
5. NIKWAX Tech Wash
For those of you worried about ruining Under Armor, my hub uses — or, he has ME use, since he’s not allowed to use my appliances — Nikwax Tech Wash.
It’s a “wash-in cleaner for waterproof textiles” and will “revitalize the breathability and water repellency” of that type of item. It’s great for UnderArmour and for hiking clothes, I think we even used it on a tent.” – Holly
6. Formula 409
I usually use Formula 409. Works great! No scrubbing! Use it by itself, spray on grease stains and wash and they come right out! Done with several shirts!” – Angela
7. Fels-Naptha laundry soap
I have found using a fels-naptha bar and letting it sit before washing also takes out set in oil stains!” – Kari
8. Shout Advanced stain remover
I think it’s worth purchasing Shout Advanced stain remover (it comes in a blue spray bottle). It claims to remove set in stains, and it does!! You DO have to follow the directions, however.
Be sure to rub the stain after applying… just applying isn’t as effective. Also, can be applied and left for some days before washing.
My son-in-law had set-in oil stains all over a shirt – I had to wash more than once after using the Shout, but it did all come out.” – Jill
9. SHOUT laundry pre-treater and Baking Soda
I then rub the soda in till it makes a paste with the Shout and sprinkle a bit more soda on for good measure. Then I let it sit over night.
After 12 hours wash as usual and the stain is gone.” – Bethany
10. Goo Gone
I have used Goo Gone for many years to get out grease stains from my teenagers clothes, and it works like magic. Both are grease monkeys and work on cars, so their clothes always have grease stains on them.
Also, I’m terrible about getting grease stains on my clothes while cooking. Goo Gone gets it all out.
Just spray the stain lightly and rub it in and let it set for a while, then wash in the hottest water possible. You might have to repeat it if the stain is set in. But it has never failed me.” – Kimmie
Lestoil works wonders on all sorts of stains, especially oil. And no need to scrub, just saturate the stain. The longer you let it sit the better. I wait overnight or even a couple days if possible.” – Melissa
12. Baby Powder
Just put baby powder and let it set over night, next day just place wash it with soap and the stains will come right off. Works every time.” – Maya
13. GOOP Creme Hand Cleaner
I have been using GOOP waterless hand cleaner to get out grease stains. It works even after clothes have gone through the washer and dryer.” – Barney
14. Borax, laundry detergent, and dish soap
I use laundry soap, Borax, and dish soap. I start by filling the washer with hot water and I put in 3 generous squirts of Dawn liquid soap, 1/4 cup of borax, and my normal laundry detergent.
Once the tub is half full of the hot water I put in my oil stained clothes. I allow the the tub to agitate and I keep the washing machine lid open so it doesn’t go into the rinse cycle.
I allow it to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes. Once I am happy with the results I fill a downy ball with white distilled vinegar.
About 1/4 – 1/3 cup of vinegar will do. I put it in the washer and let the cycle finish. The vinegar acts like fabric softener and neutralizes bad odors.
If you don’t have a downy ball put the vinegar in the washer during the rinse cycle. I find my clothes, bed sheets, and towels are fluffier, fresher, and the unsightly oil is gone. This process is great for sheets and stinky teenage boys.
Do you have a unique method to removing oil stains?
Share in the comments below and I’ll add your method to this post!
Thank you to all who have commented on my How to Remove Set-In Oil Stains post for these tips!