How to Get an Oil Stain Out

Oil stains can be very difficult to remove and cause a lot of anxiety to people who don’t know how to get oil stains out. Getting an oil stain out is possible.

Oil stains are tricky to clean because the solvents in the oil bond with the soils, allowing them to resist all of your cleaning efforts. Many people think they need harsh chemicals to get the job done, but that isn’t true. You just need some knowledge and a couple of items from home.

This article will teach you to step by step what you need to do today if you have an oil stain on your clothes, hands, or driveway.

Step 1: Quickly Rinse the Area With Water

If the oil from the oil stain has hit your clothes or skin, you should quickly rinse it off with water. This is because cold water will cause the oil to harden and cling to whatever it hits.

Get a spray bottle and fill it with water. Spray this mixture onto your clothes so that you can keep working on removing all of the oil. Keep blotting until no more color comes up on the rag when you use pressure.

Wipe down the fabric with an absorbent towel or sponge, or knock off what you can with a brush.

Step 2: Put Dish Soap on the Oil Stain

Grab some dish soap and add a few drops to the stain. This will break down the oil and make it much easier to remove. If you are working with dark colors, this step is optional, but the soap will prevent any remaining oils from staining your clothes on white clothes!

Step 3: Put Baking Soda on the Oil Stain

Take your box of baking soda and pour some over the oil stain. Do not dump the whole box of baking powder on. You should pour it gradually until all white powder has covered the oil.

Mix baking soda with water to make a paste, then use this mixture to scrub the stain. If you’re working in white clothes, definitely use baking soda. Again, keep blotting until no more color comes up on your rag when you apply pressure.

Let this sit for about an hour so that the acid in the baking soda can soak into the oil and break it down.

Step 4: Wash Your Clothes With Cold Water

After letting the baking soda sit on the oil stain for an hour, take your clothes to the washing machine and wash them with cold or warm water. Make sure that you check the label on your clothing first so you know what temperature water your clothes can handle.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 1 Through 4 if the Oil is Especially Tenacious

If the baking soda and cold water treatment did not remove all of the oil stains, you would need to repeat parts 1 through 3. After you have repeated this process as many times as necessary (3-5 is common), check the area again to see if the stain has been removed.

Step 6: Rinse any Remaining Baking Soda off With Water

After you have done all of these steps, make sure that you rinse off the area with water and then dry it completely once you have finished all the steps. This will ensure that there is no residue from the baking soda left on the surface of whatever you had oil on after you removed the stain.

If any oil stains remain after doing these 5 steps, call a professional to remove them or visit your car dealership service department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Oil Stains Be Removed After Drying?

You will need to take an additional step to remove an oil stain from fabric that has already been washed and dried. The heat involved in a dryer cycle essentially “bakes” the oil into the fabric, which can result in discoloration. To remove the stain, you have to wet the area and apply a pre-treater or laundry detergent.

Rub the fabric together to work the product into the stain. Let it sit for several minutes before washing again. It’s important to note that this may not completely remove the stain, but it should help to reduce its visibility.

Will Vinegar Remove Grease From Clothes?

If you’re looking for a natural way to remove grease stains from clothing, vinegar may be the answer. White vinegar is a gentle acid that can break down grease, making it easy to rinse away. When using vinegar to remove a stain, it’s important first to test it on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it won’t cause damage.

Once you know your fabric won’t react to the vinegar, soak the stain with a mix of one part water and one part white vinegar. Add some baking soda and rub the solution into the fabric. The vinegar will break down the grease, and the baking soda will act as a mild abrasive to lift the stain.

With a little time and effort, you can safely and effectively remove grease stains from clothing using nothing more than vinegar and baking soda.


Oil stains can be a pain to remove, but with these simple steps, you can get rid of them quickly and easily. Be sure to act fast when an oil stain occurs, as it will be much easier to remove if you do not let it set in. With a little dish soap, baking soda, and some elbow grease, you will have that oil stain removed in no time!