Posted by Bridget Reed

How To Get Oil and Grease Stains Out of Clothes

Navigating the challenge of removing stubborn oil and grease stains from clothes can often seem daunting. Whether it's a splash of olive oil while whipping up a family dinner, a drop of motor oil in the garage, or an accidental brush against a greasy surface, these stains can be a nuisance. 

Let’s talk about everything you need to know to successfully get rid of oil and grease stains from your clothes. With the right tactics and materials, laundry can be a breeze, even with stubborn stains.

What Are Oil Stains?

Oil stains present a unique challenge in fabric care, often proving more stubborn than other types of stains. Their resilience is due to the nature of oil as a hydrophobic substance, meaning it repels water, making typical water-based cleaning methods less effective. 

Oily substances tend to cling to fabric fibers, creating stains that look unsightly and can damage the fabric over time if not treated properly. These stains come from a variety of sources, including common cooking oils like olive oil or vegetable oil, lubricants like motor oil, and even natural body oils. 

The diversity of these sources means that almost everyone encounters oil stains in their daily life. Understanding the properties of these oils is crucial in determining the most effective removal method. Cooking oil stains might require a different approach than heavier, more viscous substances like motor oil.

Oil seeps quickly into fabrics, so it’s important to take care of it right away. It's not just about removing a visible mark but about preserving the integrity and appearance of your clothing. Even the most intimidating oil stains can be effectively managed with the right approach and products.

What Do I Do First With an Oil Stain?

The first response to an oil stain can change the game. Immediately blotting the stain is essential. 

It’s a crucial action that prevents the stained area from spreading further into the fabric. By absorbing as much oil as possible, you can get ahead of the stain, setting the stage for a more effective wash — not to mention spare yourself an emergency dry cleaning bill.

It's important to remember that different fabrics react differently to oil stains. Delicate fabrics may require a gentler approach than sturdier materials. Avoid rubbing the stain in all cases, as this can cause the oil to penetrate deeper into the fabric's fibers, making it more challenging to remove and increasing the risk of permanently damaging the fabric.

After blotting, lay the stained clothing flat, preferably in a well-ventilated area. This allows the remaining oil to come to the surface, making the rest of the cleaning steps more effective. This early intervention is a key aspect of fabric care, ensuring that when you move on to washing and treating the fabric, the oil stain has been effectively prepared for removal. 

What Is the Best Stain Remover?

Selecting an effective stain remover is pivotal in the battle against oil and grease stains. Our Miracle Made Laundry Detergent Sheets stand out as a superior choice. These innovative sheets are specifically designed to tackle tough stains, including stubborn grease marks and oily residues that can ruin your favorite garments. 

Their powerful cleaning agents break down and lift oil from fabrics, ensuring your clothes come out of the wash looking as good as new. At the same time, they’re made to be kind to the environment — which is exactly the balance you want. Tough on stains, gentle on the world around you.

How Do I Pre-Treat Oil Stains?

Pre-treating oily stains is a critical step in ensuring their complete removal. Removing oil stains from clothing using household staples can be effective and convenient. 

Start by blotting excess oil with a paper towel, avoiding rubbing the fabric. Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to absorb the oil.

Brush off the powder, then apply a small amount of liquid dish soap or liquid detergent directly onto the stain. You can actually dissolve a portion of our laundry sheets for this purpose. 

Gently scrub with an old toothbrush to penetrate the fibers. Rinse the area with hot water, then launder as usual with your regular detergent. This simple method can effectively lift most oil stains from your garments.

This gentle scrubbing action helps to break down the oil, making it easier to wash out in the subsequent laundering step. 

Should I Hand Wash or Machine Wash an Oil Stain?

Once pre-treated, depending on the stain, you can choose between hand washing or using a washing machine. Warm water is most effective for fresh grease stains, while cold water is better suited for set-in oil stains. 

The fabric type and the severity of the stain should guide the choice between hand wash and machine wash. It’s ideal to wash the stained garment immediately after you notice the stain. The longer it has to set into the fabric, the harder it will be to remove.

Post-Wash Care

After laundering, proper drying is essential. For the best results, we recommend air drying your clothes, particularly for garments with old or stubborn stains. High heat from dryers can cause these stains to set into the fabric, making them nearly impossible to remove. 

Special Fabrics and Situations

Extra care is important for oil stains on upholstery or delicate fabrics. While our products are safe and effective for a wide range of fabrics, there are always exceptions. A professional dry cleaner might be the best solution for extremely delicate items or challenging stains. 

It's always a good idea to test any stain removal method on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't damage the fabric. If you’re worried about the extra work stain removing can add to your chore list, don’t worry — we can help with that, too.

In addition to our hard-working laundry detergent sheets, our bed sheets are made from fabric infused with antimicrobial silver. This means that it requires 3x less laundry! This combination of powerful cleaning and sustainable practices makes our products a must-have in every household.

By cutting down on unnecessary, endless laundry cycles, you’ll have more time to give your more delicate garments the care they need, especially when they’re stained. You might even have enough extra time to fix that squeaky bed.

Additional Cleaning Tips

For the best fabric care results, check your garments' care label before attempting any stain removal. This ensures that the chosen method is suitable for the type of fabric you're dealing with. General maintenance and cleaning of your clothes should always be done gently to preserve their quality and extend their life.

Oil's Well That Ends Well

Dealing with oil and grease stains doesn't have to be a chore. With Miracle Brand's innovative products, you can tackle these stains with ease and confidence. 

Our detergent sheets and antimicrobial sheets offer a powerful, eco-friendly solution for keeping your clothes clean and fresh. Try Miracle Brand today and experience the difference in your fabric care routine — where sustainability meets powerful cleaning technology.


Antibacterial Silver | National Library of Medicine

Green Cleaning: Healthy Alternatives for Day-to-Day Cleaning | Mississippi State Department of Health

Stain Removal Guide | ACI

Stain Removal | Smithsonian

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