How to remove oil stains from your clothes

Feb 18, 2019. Oil and clothing just do not go together, and if you have noticed your favourite Khaki coloured shirt has an oil stain, you are probably wishing it was the black one instead!

Most of us have attempted to remove oil stains out of our clothes, whether they come from cooking or from tools in the shed, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. There is no doubt that oil stains are sticky and like to cling to clothing fibres.

But with a bit of care up front and the right action, you’ll be able to get rid of them and keep the fabric intact and undamaged. Here are a few tips to help you do it right the first time.

Remember the following when you are presented with that offensive looking stain: 1) do not rub the oil stain, this will make it worse and 2) get onto it fast, the longer you leave it the harder it will be to remove.

Follow these steps to help remove oil stains:

  • For a bigger heavier oil stain, add cornflour and let it sit for about 30 minutes. These particles are very light and absorbent and will not harm the fabric, but will soak up much of the oil.
  • After 30 minutes, shake off the excess cornflour and then add dishwashing liquid detergent, gently blot the stain and let it sit for about 5 minutes (don’t let it dry on the clothing). Dishwashing liquid detergent has excellent oil stripping properties (after all we use it on our greasy pans) so it is more effective in removing oil stains than laundry detergent.
  • Then follow the instructions to wash the garment with normal laundry detergent, using the hottest water temperature that you can.
  • Allow the garment to dry and do not put it in the dryer. If the oil stain has not lifted which you cannot always tell from a wet piece of clothing, the dryer will set the oil stain permanently. So just air dry for now.
  • After the garment has dried, check to see if the oil stain has gone. If it hasn’t, repeat the steps above.

If the oil stain is a smaller and lighter one, you can also use some normal spray-on stain remover and this should do the trick.

Bring your clothing to a Star Laundromat to do the final task in removing those oil stains

Once you have pre-treated the oil stain with the steps above, bring your clothing to one of our laundromats.

Find a Star Laundromat at an Adelaide or Sydney location near you

Conveniently located near shops and supermarkets so that you can do your shopping while the washing gets done. All our laundromats are equipped with state of the art washing machines and dryers. We have free WiFi, free mobile charging and free detergent!

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