It's easy to do. You're preparing to cook, and the olive oil splashes onto your favorite shirt or pants, or maybe it drips off your snack after you've dipped it. Either way, you now need to know how to get olive oil out of your clothes. Well, we've researched in-depth the best way to get olive oil out of your clothes, and have five steps for you to follow below.
Follow these steps to remove olive oil from your clothing:
- Remove any excess oil
- Treat the oil with baking soda and detergent or soap
- Wait around 5 minutes for the detergent to soak in
- Wash the clothing
- Check for any remaining stain before drying
We've given you the five basic steps to remove olive oil from your clothes, but keep reading as we go into detail about each step. We'll also cover some other questions you might have about removing stains from your clothes.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Removing Olive Oil From Your Clothes
Things you'll need:
- Spoon or knife
- Paper towel
- Baking soda
- Laundry detergent or dish soap
Step 1: Remove Any Excess Olive Oil
The trick to successfully removing olive oil from your clothes is to act fast. As soon as you notice you've spilled olive oil on your clothes, you need to begin trying to remove it.
Use a knife or spoon to remove as much of the oil as you can. You can also use a paper towel to blot away any additional oil if you can't seem to get it with the spoon. Make sure to blot and not rub the stain as this will spread it on your clothing even more. Do not try and remove the stain with water because oil repels water and won't help you.
Step 2: Treat The Stain
Once you've removed as much of the oil as you can, you can begin treating the stain. If you have baking soda on hand, it's a good idea to apply some to your stain. Let it sit with baking soda for at least 15 minutes.
For best results, leave it to absorb the oil for half an hour to an hour. Then use a toothbrush to scrub the baking soda covered stain. Once you've removed as much of the baking soda as you can, use a strong laundry detergent, like Tide or Dawn dish soap, and apply it to the stain. It's okay if some of the baking soda remains; it will come out when you wash the garment.
Step 3: Wait For The Detergent To Work
This step won't take as long as waiting for the baking soda to work, so don't get ahead of yourself and wash your clothing before the detergent has had time to work. This stage is pretreating the stain before you wash it.
Add enough detergent that it soaks through the fabric and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. The detergent will break the remaining oil down. Do not leave it sitting too long or the detergent will dry.
Step 4: Wash The Clothing
After the detergent has soaked through, you can finally put your clothing in the washer. Follow the washing directions on the label of your garment. Use the hottest water allowable for the fabric. Run it through a regular wash cycle.
Step 5: Check The Stain
Now it's time to see if the stain removal process has worked! As you remove the clothing from the washer, check to see if the stain is completely gone. If it isn't, repeat the stain removing process again. If you still can't get the stain out, leave it to air dry and then take it to a dry cleaner for professional cleaning.
If you're more of a visual learner, and you'd like to see the process, check out this helpful YouTube video:
Can You Get Stains Out Of Clothes After Drying?
One of the reasons we mentioned air drying your oil-stained clothes in the last step above is because heat will set stains into clothing. Don't worry though, if you didn't notice a stain until after you pulled your clothing out of your dryer, there are still ways to remove it even after drying.
To remove a stain that is already set in your clothing, you will need everything we used above plus some WD-40 and a piece of cardboard to go behind the stain.
Place the cardboard behind the stain in between the front and back layers of fabric. This helps prevent the stain from transferring to the other fabric. Apply WD-40 directly to the stain. If you have a smaller stain, you can use a q-tip for this step.
Now, you'll repeat the same steps as above. Apply the baking soda and detergent and then wash your clothing. The only difference is that you'll keep applying baking soda and scrubbing it with a toothbrush until it no longer clumps.
Remember to check the item for any remaining stains before drying again. Don't make the same mistake twice! If you're able to, air-drying is always the safer option when it comes to clothing. It not only prevents stains from being set into the fabric, it prevents color discoloration and fading from the dryer, and will help your clothes last longer.
If the stain is still there when you remove it from the washer, try the process again or get help from a professional dry cleaner.
What Removes Oil Stains From Clothes At Home?
We've touched on this a lot above. Baking soda, dish soap, laundry detergent, and WD-40 can all be used to remove oil stains, and these are items many of us have on hand in our homes. If you have clothing that is delicate or sensitive to water and scrubbing, you can use cornstarch or baby powder.
It will work in a similar way to the baking soda in the methods above, but instead of scrubbing the powder in, you will just leave it to sit until it begins to clump. Brush it off and repeat the step until the powder stops clumping from absorbing the oil.
Hairspray, aloe vera, and hydrogen peroxide can all be applied to stains to help try and break up the oil. Apply these during the stage you would apply WD-40 in the example above. If you have a store-bought stain remover, you can also try that. Follow any directions and guidelines on the container.
Does Baking Soda Stain Clothes?
We've encouraged you to use baking soda a lot in our guides above, but will it cause even more stains in your clothes? Fortunately, the answer is no. Baking soda is completely safe to use on your clothes. It won't stain them or cause any discoloration or color fading.
While there are certain metals that baking soda shouldn't be used to clean with, the fabric your clothing is made from won't be damaged. And if you use baking soda to pretreat stains, any residual baking soda will be washed out once the clothing goes through the washer.
As frustrating as it is, spilling olive oil on your clothes doesn't mean you have to throw them away! Hopefully, our steps above will help you remove the stain, and your clothes will be back to normal in no time. Remember if all else fails, seek the help of a dry cleaner. Good luck!