How To Remove Old Oil Stains From Clothes (DIY)

What are the best ways to remove old oil stains from clothes? With home remedies right from your pantry, like baking soda and vinegar.

If you’ve got an oily mess on one of your favorite garments, it doesn’t need to ruin the day. There are numerous do-it-yourself methods available to remove these stubborn stains from any fabric.

However, some may be more suited for a particular fabric type and may require a different approach altogether for another type of clothing material.

Grease stain in a garment, How to remove old oil stains from clothes with natural remedies
How to remove old oil stains from clothes with home remedies

You should always treat stains as soon as possible to minimize the damage and provide yourself with the best chance to get rid of them entirely because old oil stains on clothes can be a real pain to remove.

Even if the stains on your clothing are old there is still hope.

Check the remedies below to help you remove those stubborn stains.

15 Ways To Remove Old Oil Stains From Clothes With Home Remedies

NOTE: Take particular care if using these remedies on delicate fabrics or for the first time. Use it in an inconspicuous area first to make sure the fabric is not damaged.

1. Use Ammonia

A woman's hand spraying from a bottle

A few drops of ammonia into the water to soak your clothes will help remove any annoying oil stain. If the oil is nasty, try adding a couple of spoonfuls of baking soda to your water.

One of the best ways to remove old stains from fabrics is with a solution of one part ammonia and two parts of water. Just put the mixture in a spray bottle, saturate the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes before laundering as usual.

This home remedy works because ammonia dissolves dirt by dehydrating it. It also helps break up greasy stains such as lipstick, salad dressing, and motor oil.

In addition, you can use this great method on almost any fabric except wool or silk, as these are delicate fabrics that may be sensitive to ammonia fumes.

To remove vegetable or olive oil stains from your clothes use a little bit of ammonia and a clean white cloth for scrubbing the stain with the solution.

After applying it let it sit on the stained area for about 5 minutes, before putting the clothing in a washing machine.

RELATED READING: Complete laundry room checklist


A hand holding a bottle of coke

Pour Coca-Cola directly on the oil stain, let it soak for a few minutes, and rub the fabric against itself. Repeat until the stain is gone. Then wash with soap and water.

3. Dish Soap or Laundry Detergent

A couple of isolated dishwashing liquid bottles

You’ll need some dabs of dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent, some ammonia, and a spray bottle filled with water. Keep in mind that the ingredients should be mixed before using them on stained clothing.

You can also remove old oil stains from clothing by making a paste of laundry detergent and water.

Apply the mixture to the stain, let it sit for two hours, then wash with warm water.

4. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly on a spoon

Wipe petroleum jelly over the stain to cover it completely. Place a paper towel over
the jelly and iron it until dry, about five seconds each time.

Repeat until the stain is out of your clothes.

If you don’t have an iron at home, lay the garment flat in bright sunlight for eight hours. Launder according to fabric directions.

5. Fabric Softener

Pouring fabric softener on the lid, basket with towels

To get rid of old oil stains from your clothes make a mixture of 2 tbsp fabric softener and 1 cup water.

Massage the liquid into the stained part of the cloth and leave it to dry in a sunny spot before washing it usually.

6. Baking Soda

A baking soda jar and a wooden spoon with baking sida

To remove old oil stains from your clothes use baking soda. First, pre-treat the stains with white vinegar. Then dilute baking soda with water and rub it in.

Let it sit for an hour or two. You can also use dish detergent if you don’t have access to baking soda. For a nasty stain or a stubborn one, you might need to repeat the process more than once.

Other baking soda uses:

7. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide bottle

A paste made from baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide is applied directly to the stained area of clothes for an hour, then washed usually in hot water.

This solution works best on dark-colored clothing due to its ability to lift up even old oil spots without damaging the color of the fabric.

8. Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

A bottle of  Dawn liquid dishwashing

Oil stains are difficult to remove from white clothes, but they can be taken out quite easily if you know the right tricks.

Dawn dishwashing liquid is a great way to remove old oil stains from clothing because it’s capable of cutting through even the most stubborn grease.

Here is a way you can use it to banish all traces of oily stains from your favorite white shirts and blouses.

For best results, use a clean toothbrush or any fine bristled brush to apply a thick layer of dawn soap directly onto the affected area with gentle circular motions until all traces of oil have disappeared.

Rinse thoroughly under running water before placing the garment in your washing machine.

9. Motor Oil Stains DIY Recipe

A couple of bottles of motor oil

Motor oil is a highly viscous petroleum product that is used as an engine lubricant or as a fuel.

All motor oils have the potential to leave stains on clothes, leather, and other materials, so it’s important to know how to remove them after they’ve been left on clothing for some time.

In addition, you want to ensure the stain remover you use is conscious of your fabric type and won’t harm your clothes.

You can easily eliminate most motor oil stains from clothing with a little help from common household products such as dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide bleach.


  • 4 tablespoons of baking soda (bicarbonate soda)
  • 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap (diluted)
  • Warm water

Combine the ingredients, adding them to a large bowl with warm water. Mix it until you get a smooth mixture.

Apply a generous amount to the entire stain of your shirt and wait for 10 minutes. Use an old toothbrush or any kind of gentle scrub brush to remove the stain. Rinse using cold water. Repeat if necessary.

The next step is to wash your clothes, as usual, using laundry detergent. Pour some vinegar at the final rinsing step to prevent future oil stains on your clothes.

10. Hair Shampoo to Remove Coconut oil

Pouring hair shampoo on a woman's hand

To remove a tough stain of coconut oil from clothes you can use hair shampoo, dishwashing soap, or baking soda. Cover the oiled area with either hair shampoo, dishwashing soap, or baking soda and rub in well.

Rinse thoroughly with warm water until you are certain all residue has been removed from the garment.

11. Olive Oil (Leather Clothes)

A bottle pouring olive oil into a glass

Grease stains in leather clothes can be treated with some olive oil and lemon juice mixed in equal proportions, leaving the mixture on for 15-20 minutes before wiping it off using a damp cloth or paper towels.

12. Cornstarch (Suede Clothes)

A bowl full of cornstarch powder with a wooden spoon and scattered corn kernels

Oil stains on suede clothes can be removed by blotting their surface with some cornstarch and brushing them carefully afterward to get rid of the remaining white powder.

13. White Vinegar

Isolated bottle of white vinegar

Place one tablespoon of white vinegar with one teaspoon of laundry detergent. in a spray bottle. Fill with warm water and shake well. Spray over the stain and rub the solution in circular motions using a sponge.

Let it sit for a while and then wash your garment in the washing machine with warm water.

When removing old oil stains from clothes with natural remedies is not enough try one of the two solutions below.

RELATED READING: 15 Vinegar cleaning hacks

14. WD-40

Remove stubborn oil stains from polyester and nylon-based fabrics with WD-40. WD-40 is one of the most versatile cleaners around.

Many people underestimate its ability to clean but in fact, WD-40 can be used for many household cleaning tasks.

With just a small amount you can remove oil stains from your polyester and nylon-based fabrics such as clothing, furniture, and car seats. It’s also good for removing sap, glues, and adhesives!

Remove as much of the oil as possible from clothing by blotting with a paper towel. For the toughest stains, saturate the stain with WD-40 and scrub with an old toothbrush. Launder well.

WD-40 can also remove tar from clothing, so it’s great for those who work on cars. Just cover the stains liberally with WD-40 and leave for a few minutes before laundering as usual.

15. Clorox®’s Bleach Pen Gel

Clorox® bleach pen gel makes it easy to remove tough stains by applying the tips of the pen directly on the spot to lift away even 10-year-old oil stains, while whitening whites.

A bleach pen is very handy and an item you should always have in your laundry arsenal.

Articles you may find useful:

How To Remove Old Oil Stains From Clothes With Home Remedies

And that’s it.

If you’re still struggling with removing grease stains from your clothing, don’t worry.
You can try these effective methods and see what works best for you.

It may take a few tries to figure out the perfect technique, but once you do, greasy clothes will never be an issue again!

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