A Quick Guide for Removing Pesky Oil Stains from Clothes

dry cleaner shop

Oil stains don’t come off as quickly as many other stains. They dry and take a thick and solid (or semi-solid) form at room temperature, making them difficult to remove. The knee-jerk reaction or first response to fresh stains is to run hot water over the surface, but depending on the material of your clothes, it may not work since hot water doesn’t agree with many synthetic fabrics. To remove oil stains, you could try these home remedies on your clothes.

Removing Fresh Oil Stains: 5 Easy Steps

1 – Blot the Stain Out

When the oil hits your clothing, it’s not too late to take it out. With an ordinary napkin, you can blot the excess fluid. This won’t remove it totally, but blotting prevents more of it from staining your clothes. 

2 – Apply Baking Soda or Cornstarch to Absorb Oil  

After taking out the excess, you can apply baking soda or starch. These two powders have absorbent properties that can draw the oil out of the fibres. Make sure that the layer is thick and covers the entire area of the stain. Let it sit for about thirty minutes.

3 – Scrub Down the Stain with a Toothbrush

After leaving it for a few minutes, start scrubbing it down with an old toothbrush. Scrub until the powder comes off before rinsing it out.

4 – Throw Dish Soap into the Mix

Ditch the toothbrush and start rubbing dish soap onto the stain with your fingers. The soap helps remove the stains that the baking soda or cornstarch couldn’t handle.

5 – Wash and Repeat

Wash the garment at high temperatures just as you normally would wash your clothes. Repeat this process until the stain is completely gone. Do not put your clothes in the dryer right away until you’re satisfied that the stain is gone.

Removing Old Oil Stains

Old oil stains are a little trickier to remove since they have likely been absorbed by the material fully. For this, you will need stronger removers specifically for this type of stain. Lay your clothes on cardboard and apply a small amount of WD-40 lubricant to the stain. After this absorbs enough set-in oil, blot it out and follow the instructions for removing fresh stains. 

When Things Get Tough, Use Dry Cleaning

This scrub-down process can take some time, especially if the stain is a big one. Dry cleaning is a good and safe option. Dry cleaning can remove tough oil stains faster than doing this method over and over again. But before checking in your clothes in the nearest dry cleaning shop, make sure your clothes are dry cleaning safe; else, you might have a stainless shirt that doesn’t quite fit right anymore.


Oil stains may be tough to remove, but it is much better to salvage our clothing than to throw them away. Clothes aren’t easy to come by for many people, so if there is a chance of saving your stained garments, go for it. If you give up trying to get rid of them, use them as nightshirts. One stain shouldn’t be the reason to give up good clothes. 

If you have a stubborn oil stain, you can try looking for nearby dry cleaners in Bell’s Corners. Goodfellow Cleaners has been providing excellent dry cleaning service for over thirty years. We offer quality services and same-day dry cleaning, which gets the job done quickly and easily, saving you a lot of time. Contact us today and enjoy free pick up and delivery with orders over forty dollars today!

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