How to remove oil stains from clothes

Many vehicle owners enjoy working on their cars or bikes at home. A lot of service processes like oil changes are quite simple and can be easily performed at home to save service costs. However, the one drawback of doing this at home, is the danger of getting your clothes dirty. Unlike normal dust or mud, oil and grease stains can be very persistent and hard to remove. Simply washing your clothes in the machine might not remove all the stains. Here are some tips on how you can remove oil stains and grease from your clothes. However, before using any of the listed methods, ensure you read the labels on your clothes to determine whether or not using these techniques is safe for your clothes. Certain delicate clothes might get damaged with the strong products recommended below.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera contains amino acids which react with the oil and make it easier to remove the oil stains without damaging the clothes. Using aloe vera to get rid of stains is very simple, as all you need is some aloe vera gel and an old toothbrush. Take the stained clothes and apply the aloe on it. Then, scrub the stain with a toothbrush, ensuring you are gentle enough not to damage the fabric. Once this is done, soak the fabric in some water for about an hour and simply put it in the washing machine as usual. Once the wash cycle is done, the stain should have disappeared completely.

Dry Powder

Another simple hack to get stubborn engine oil stains out of clothes is by using some sort of dry powder. You can use different household powders like cornstarch, baby powder or baking soda. All you need to do is take the powder and spread it on the stained portion of your clothes. Leave it that way for a few hours so that the powder will soak up all the grease or oil. After a while, use a toothbrush to scrub off the powder or simply wash it off with some water. Keep repeating these steps till the stain is very faint and then wash the garment in the washing machine. 


This method is useful in cases where a lot of oil has spilled. When there is a lot of oil that has gotten on to your clothes, directly washing it is of no use. You must first blot up as much of the oil as you can, before cleaning the clothes. For this, you can use any absorbent material in the house such as paper napkins, blotting paper, absorbent rags, microfibre towels, etc. Simply keep the material on top of the oil stain and let it be for a while. Keep repeating the process until all the excess oil has been soaked up and then use any other method to get the remaining stain out. 


Presoaking is an excellent method to clean out grease, oil or any other stubborn stain. All you need for this is a small amount of detergent powder and some hot water. Take the detergent and rub it into the stain carefully. Use a toothbrush for this if the fabric is not delicate. Then, place it in a tub full of hot water and let it soak for at least a few hours. This extra soaking time will allow the detergent to react to the oil stains. Once this is done, put the garment in the washing machine as usual.

WD 40

WD 40 is a tried and tested product that is often used to remove engine oil stains and other gunk from cars. It is designed to break down oily substances and leave the surface clean and spotless. All you need is a teaspoon of WD 40 and an old toothbrush. You can use a Q-tip to apply the product to the stain and then scrub it with the toothbrush. Let it sit for an hour or so and then pre soak it with detergent. Once this is done, you can put it in the washing machine, and it should come out spotless. Keep in mind however, that WD 40 is quite a strong product and thus should be used carefully, in small quantities.


Most shampoos contain surfactants, which makes it more effective in finding and eradicating dirt. If the motor oil on your clothes is organic, then you can apply a little bit of shampoo on the stain and let it sit for a while, before you rinse it off. You can repeat this process multiple times, as needed. Once the stain has been reduced significantly, you can put it in the washing machine and it will come out spotless.

Nail Polish Remover

Nail paint remover is something most people have around the house. It contains acetone, which helps remove greasy stains. You can take a little bit of nail polish remover on a Q-tip and apply it sparingly on the stained portion of the garment. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes and then rinse it off. You can then put the garment in the washing machine and add some vinegar in the machine to make the clothes extra clean, if needed. 



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