How to Remove Cooking Oil From Clothes


Many things can go wrong in the kitchen, and I’m not talking about burning the roast or forgetting to put the lid on your blender – though, that would be a problem!

What I’m talking about is the dreaded aftermath from a kitchen mishap… an oil stain!

Whether it’s Sunday morning bacon or Tuesday night fried chicken I’m sure you have felt the pain — not the physical pain (though oil burns are no fun), but the emotional pain of greasy cooking oil splattered all over your clothes. Now you have a dark stubborn stain that you don’t know how to get rid of.

Wearing an apron is the obvious choice to prevent this from happening, but it’s usually something you remember to do after the oil has splattered all over your favorite shirt. 

So how exactly are you supposed to save your clothes once they’ve been splattered with cooking oil? 

Stay right here, and you’ll find out exactly how to remove cooking oil from clothes


Why are oil stains so hard to remove? 

It’s frustrating, isn’t it? 

Some stains come right out… and others need a bit more elbow “grease” — if you know what I mean. 

Stains from cooking oil — or any other oil-based stain — are some of the most difficult to remove. One reason is that most oils are semi-solid, requiring warm or hot water to help remove them. Another reason is that oils are attracted to, and adhere well to synthetic fibers. With more of our clothing being made of synthetic material, this presents more of a problem now than it did in the past. 

How to Remove Cooking Oil Stains


Like any stain, the best way to remove cooking oil from clothes is to act quickly. Once it’s had time to dry and set into the fabric, it is more difficult — although not impossible — to remove. 

Here are some tried and true methods to remove cooking oil from clothes, and save your favorite shirt in the process.  

How to Remove Fresh Cooking Oil From Your Clothes 

1. Act quickly and use a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much excess oil as possible. Don’t forget to put something underneath the stain, so it doesn’t transfer to a different part of the garment. 
2. Apply liquid dish soap or laundry detergent directly to the stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to help loosen the oil from the fiber. (If you use Kind Laundry detergent sheets, tear off a piece of the detergent sheet and lay it directly on the stain, then dampen with water until it dissolves into the stain). 
3. Rinse the stained area, apply a stain remover bar to the stain, and wash in the warmest setting recommended for the garment. 
4. Hang the garment to dry. Because cooking oil stains become invisible when the garment is wet, don’t toss it in the dryer unless you know the stain is out! Machine-drying the garment will essentially set any stain that remains. Don’t try to rush the process, let it hang dry first.


If you’ve completed the above steps and the stain is still there, just repeat the process, or keep reading and try some of the other options explaining how to remove cooking oil from clothes listed below. 


How to Remove Set-in Cooking Oil Stains From Your Clothes

How to Remove Set-in Cooking Oil Stains


If you’re like most of us, you usually find those splattered oil stains after the fact. This means the stain has already set… and quite possibly been laundered and gone through the dryer (yikes!)

While this does make stain removal more difficult, it’s not impossible! 

If you’ve got a pesky set-in cooking oil stain you’re trying to remove, a common pantry staple might be exactly what you’re looking for. 

  • Place something behind the stain. A paper towel or piece of cardboard works nicely. 
  • Grab some baking soda or cornstarch (we all have at least one of these in our pantry) and sprinkle it on the cooking-oil stain. Make sure you use enough to fully cover the stain.
  • Let it sit for an hour or more. This is where the magic happens! The baking soda or cornstarch pulls the grease from the fibers and absorbs it. It’s not a quick process, but it works like magic on those set-in cooking oil stains. 
  • Brush off the excess powder, treat with a stain remover bar, and wash using the warmest setting recommended for the garment. 
  • Hang dry, don’t toss it in the dryer just yet! 

Voila! You should have a stain-free garment. If for some reason the stain is still there, you can always repeat the above steps. 

Because oil-based stains are so difficult to remove, patience is a virtue. Don’t give up if you have to repeat the process a few times… if it’s your favorite shirt, it’s worth it. 


How do you remove cooking-oil stains from non-washable items?

In the blink of an eye, your kiddo went from eating fries and dino nuggets, to putting their greasy hands all over your couch. 

Before thinking “This is why I can’t have nice things!” take a deep breath, and know that hope is not lost! 

  • Go back to the pantry staples, grab the baking soda or cornstarch, and sprinkle it all over those greasy handprints. 
  • Let it sit for 12-24 hours (or as long as you can keep pets and kids away from it) then vacuum it up. 
  • Spray with a vinegar and water solution, add a drop of liquid dish detergent, and scrub with an old (but clean!) toothbrush. 
  • Rinse using a damp cloth, and pat dry. 

If the stain remains, repeat a couple more times until it’s gone. 

Acting quickly is the best way to attack any stain. But, if you find yourself a bit behind the 8-ball in treating a cooking-oil stain, patience and a little elbow grease will do the trick. 

At Kind Laundry, we strive to provide the most eco-friendly products and solutions for all your laundry needs. We are proud to offer safe, non-toxic laundry products that make laundry kind to your clothes and kind to the planet.

Related Articles


How to Eliminate Armpit Sweat Stains

Armpit sweat stains are a common nuisance, affecting clothes and confidence alike. In this compre...


How to Remove Grape Juice Stains

Grape juice is a delicious and refreshing beverage, but it can be a nightmare if it spills on you...


How To Clean a Top Loading Washing Machine

Do you want to find out how to clean an upright washing machine?  Just like cleaning front loader...


How to Clean Mold Out of a Washing Machine

Regular maintenance of your washing machine will help keep it performing optimally, helping ensur...

Share This Article

Print PDF

Product Recommendation

New To Kind Laundry? Start Here

Our popular travel pack allows you to test out Kind Laundry for a few spin cycles before committing to a larger box.

Our popular travel pack allows you to test out Kind Laundry for a few spin cycles before committing to a larger box.