How to Remove Oil-Like Stains on Clothes After Washing: Tips and Methods

woman putting clothes inside washing machine

Finding oil-like stains on your clothes after washing can be frustrating and stressful, especially if you have no idea how to remove them. 

However, with the right knowledge and techniques, you can effectively remove oil stains from your clothes and restore them to their original condition. 

In this article, we’ll share expert tips and methods on how to remove oil-like stains on clothes after washing.

Let’s get started.

Common Causes of Oil Stains on Clothes After Washing

There are several reasons why oil stains can appear on your clothes after washing. 

One of the most common causes is residual oil from previous loads. When you wash oily clothes, some of the oil can stick to the inside of your washing machine and transfer onto your other clothes in subsequent loads. 

Another common cause of oil stains is oily skincare products such as lotions, creams, and serums. These products can easily transfer onto clothes during washing and leave greasy stains. 

Cooking oil splatters can also cause oil stains on clothes if not adequately cleaned before washing.

Prevention and Pre-Treatment

Preventing oil stains on clothes before they happen is the best way to avoid the frustration of dealing with them. 

One way to prevent oil stains is to sort clothes by color and wash them separately. This will prevent the transfer of oil from one piece of clothing to another. 

Another way to prevent oil stains is to use a pre-treatment solution. Apply a small amount of pre-treatment solution directly to the stain before washing to break down the oil and make it easier to remove. 

Avoid using too much fabric softener, as it can leave a residue that can trap oil stains.

Washing Tips for Removing Oil Stains

If you’ve already discovered oil stains on your clothes after washing, there are several washing tips you can try to remove them. 

First, use hot water to help dissolve the oil. If the garment is not heat sensitive, wash it on the highest temperature setting allowed (check the care tag). 

Second, select the highest spin cycle or use the heavy-duty cycle. 

Third, add a little more detergent to the wash cycle. The extra detergent can help break down the oil and remove it from the fabric.

Other Methods for Removing Oil Stains

If the washing tips do not remove the oil stains, there are other methods you can try. 

One of the most effective is to use baking soda. Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to make a paste and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing it as usual. 

Another method is to use vinegar. Mix 1 part vinegar and 5 parts water and soak the stained garment for 30 minutes before washing.

Important Reminders: 

While baking soda and vinegar can be effective in removing oil stains on clothes, they should be used with caution. 

Baking soda can be abrasive and can damage delicate fabrics or colors if not used properly. Always test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying baking soda. 

Vinegar can also damage some fabrics, particularly those made from silk or acetate. Avoid using vinegar on these fabrics, and always dilute the vinegar with water before applying it to the stain. 


Removing oil stains on clothes after washing can be challenging, but with the right techniques and methods, you can restore your clothes to their original condition. 

Spilled some ketchup on your favorite dress? Read How to Remove Ketchup Stains from Clothes: Tips and Tricks.

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy 

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