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We're not here to judge; whether you splash oil when lightly dressing your salad, or deep frying some chips, we're here to help!

The good news is, it is often easy to remove an oil or grease stain.

We'll help you identify which one you have, and how to remove it from your clothes.

You'll find instructions for removing stains from cotton, synthetic, and delicate garments, so there is sure to be a method that works for you!

Is Your Stain Oil Or Grease?

We often use the words fat, oil, and grease interchangeably. They do have some similar properties, for example being hydrophobic (rough translation - scared of water!).

This means that you can't remove oil and grease stains with water alone, as the water will just be repelled and the stain will remain intact.

However, there are some subtle differences between oil and grease. Here are some of the fundamental differences so you can tell the difference:

Solid Or Liquid?

Oil, at room temperature, is often a liquid.

An example of this would be the olive oil you use to dress your salads or the engine oil you pour in your car.

Grease, at room temperature, is often a semisolid and therefore thicker than oil.

An example of this would be the cooled contents of your frying pan after you've cooked bacon or the grease you may apply to the chain of your bike.

Where Oil & Grease Comes From

Oil and grease can both be produced from animal fats. Oil, however, can also be produced from plants.

For example, think of sunflower oil, coconut oil, or peanut oil - all common ingredients that can be found in a supermarket.

Grease can be made up of minerals or synthetic materials; these are often mixed with a thickener to attain the semisolid state.

Cooked animal fat, such as bacon, sausages, or a roast chicken all cools to a form greasy semisolid product.

Removing oil stains from cotton clothes

For a natural fibre, cotton is remarkably robust. You'll know from when you wash your cotton towels, jeans and shirts, that cotton can withstand high temperatures.

It can also face a range of more unconventional stain treatment options. This gives you more of a chance to get rid of the stain.

What you'll need:

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    Kitchen Towel
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    Washing Up Liquid (clear)
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    Old Toothbrush or Nailbrush
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    Distilled White Vinegar
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    Laundry Detergent

For best results, avoid using coloured washing up liquids. For example, green Fairy Liquid.

Do not use any other type of vinegar, for example, brown malt vinegar.

How to remove oil stains from cotton clothes:

Here's a method for getting oil stains out of cotton clothes in 4 quick steps.

Step 1 -Blot Excess Oil

Use an absorbent piece of kitchen towel to blot any excess oil from the garment.

Do not rub the stain as you may cause it to spread further.

Step 2 -Soak Stain

Washing up liquid is an effective oil-buster, hence why we use it for cleaning our dishes.

Apply some to the oil stain on your garment and gently rub it into the fibres using the old toothbrush.

Be gentle as you do not want to damage the garment.

Step 3 -Rinse Stain

Use the white distilled vinegar to rinse the washing up liquid from the fabric.

Repeat the washing up liquid and vinegar steps if the stain is still present.

Step 4 -Wash Garment

Wash the stained garment at the highest temperature that is safe for your garment. Check the care label if you are unsure.  

How to remove oil stains from synthetic fibres:

Synthetic textiles such as polyester, nylon, and spandex can require additional care when attempting to remove oil stains.

Synthetic fibres can have benefits such as improved elasticity, water-resistance and durability, compared to natural fibres. However, they can be more susceptible to being damaged by stain removers.

To avoid damaging your garment, be sure to read the care label before trying to remove the oil stain.

If you find that our guide advises you to do something that the label states is not suitable for the garment, please don't continue.

What you'll need:

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    Kitchen Towel
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    Pre-wash stain treatment
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    Bio-laundry detergent

How to remove oil stains from synthetic clothes:

Here's three steps for getting oil stains out of your synthetic clothes.

Step 1 - Blot Excess Oil

Using a piece of absorbent kitchen towel, blot the oil stain.

Take care not to spread the stain further; you simply want to absorb any excess oil.

Step 2 - Apply Stain Remover 

Apply a liberal amount of the pre-wash stain treatment to the oil stain. It needs to be soaked through.

Once applied, leave it to soak for around 30 minutes.

Step 3 - Wash

Wash the garment at a low temperature to prevent setting the stain or damaging the fabric.

A bio laundry detergent will prove more effective than a non-bio detergent at low temperatures.

How to remove oil from delicate clothes

Delicate clothes such as those made from wool or silk require gentle treatment. Using a harsh stain remover or a brush would only make matters worse.

Instead, use this kind approach to restore your garment.

What you'll need:

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    Talcum / Baby Powder
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    Bio-laundry detergent

If you don't have any talcum powder to hand, you can also use baking soda as this is also absorbent.

Step 1 - Blot Excess Oil

Coat the stain with powder and leave overnight.

This will allow the powder to slowly absorb as much oil as possible.

Step 2 - Wash The Garment

Wash the garment at a low temperature, following any guidelines on the care label.

For extra effectiveness, use a bio laundry powder which is designed to work at low temperatures.

Hopefully, your garment is now oil-free!

Here's a video using the above method.

If you found this guide useful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends.

If you have any other tips for removing oil stains, please leave them in the comments section below!