How To Get Cooking and Vegetable Oil Out of Clothes?

Nothing ruins a good outfit faster than a cooking or vegetable oil stain. It’s as if your clothing screamed, “Dinner is served,” but not in a good way. Not only are these oil stains tricky to remove, but they can also turn into stubborn marks that taunt you every time you try to wear that item of clothing again.

But fret not! This extensive guide is here to be your savior. Whether you’re a culinary aficionado who loves to cook or just someone who had an unfortunate encounter with a greasy slice of pizza, we’ve got you covered.

Types of Fabrics

The first thing you need to consider is the type of fabric you’re dealing with. Trust me, your grandmother’s lace tablecloth will need a different treatment than your gym T-shirt. You need to read the care labels and understand the fabric type to choose the best cleaning method.

Preliminary Steps

Before jumping into the stain-removal process, it’s essential to address the stain as soon as possible. If you let it sit, you’re inviting more trouble. Use a paper towel to blot the excess oil carefully.

Spot Treatment Methods

Spot treatment is the unsung hero in stain removal. The localized approach ensures the stain gets ample attention without affecting the rest of the fabric. Several methods and products can be used for spot treatment, but we’ll get into those in detail later on.

Ingredients to Avoid

While you may be tempted to throw everything but the kitchen sink at a stubborn oil stain, some ingredients can do more harm than good. For instance, chlorine bleach can weaken the fabric and exacerbate the problem.

DIY Stain Removers:

Kitchen Staples

Your kitchen pantry is a treasure trove of potential stain removers. Baking soda, salt, and even cornstarch can work wonders.

Natural Alternatives

If you prefer going the eco-friendly route, consider options like lemon juice and white vinegar. Not only are these effective, but they’re also gentle on the fabric.

Commercial Stain Removers:

Top Brands

Several off-the-shelf options are extremely effective at tackling oil stains. Brands like Shout, OxiClean, and Tide have specialized products that can make your stain removal process a breeze.

Chemical Components

While commercial stain removers are effective, they often contain chemicals that might not be suitable for all fabric types. Always read the label and maybe do a spot test before using them extensively.

Methods for Different Fabrics:


Cotton is a forgiving fabric. A simple spot treatment followed by machine washing usually does the trick.


Wool requires a gentler approach. Opt for cold water and mild detergents to preserve the fabric quality.


Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon might require specialized stain removers, as they tend to hold onto oils more stubbornly.

How Temperature Affects the Stain Removal Process:

Cold Water vs. Hot Water

Temperature can be a crucial factor in stain removal. While hot water is excellent for breaking down oil molecules, it can also set some stains, making them permanent.


Be cautious while ironing a stained piece of clothing. Heat can set the stain and make it a permanent fixture of your garment.

The Role of Detergent:


The type of detergent you use can be a game-changer. Liquid detergents are generally more effective at breaking down oils compared to powder detergents.


Following the correct dosage is crucial. Too much detergent can leave a residue, and too little might not be effective at all.

Machine Wash Tips:

Cycle Settings

The cycle you choose for washing your stained clothes can make a significant difference. For oily stains, a heavy-duty cycle is often more effective.

Detergent Use

We’ve already discussed the importance of choosing the right detergent. During machine wash, ensure you’re using the appropriate amount as well.

Hand Wash Techniques:

Stain Treatment

Sometimes, the good old hand-washing technique can outperform a machine wash. But it’s essential to know the right way to do it. Use a brush or an old toothbrush for a more focused approach.


Always rinse with cold water first. This helps in removing any loose particles and prepares the fabric for a more in-depth clean.

Specialized Techniques:

For Delicate Fabrics

Some fabrics require special attention. Silks, laces, and other delicate materials should ideally be hand-washed or even taken to a professional cleaner.

Vintage Clothes

Vintage clothing has its own set of challenges. Due to their age, the fabrics are more susceptible to damage, so a gentle approach is advised.

Prevention Tips:

Fabric Selection

Choosing the right type of fabric can prevent future staining. Some materials are more stain-resistant than others.

Protective Measures

Wearing an apron while cooking or using a napkin while eating can go a long way in preventing accidental spills and stains.

Children’s Clothes:

Different Approach

Kids’ clothing is often made of softer, more delicate fabrics. Additionally, children are more sensitive to certain chemicals, so a gentler approach is advised.

Kid-Friendly Remedies

We’ll share some kid-friendly stain removal methods that are not only effective but also safe for your children.

Environmental Concerns:

Eco-Friendly Alternatives

We all have a role to play in taking care of our planet. Opt for eco-friendly stain removal methods whenever possible.


Reusable cloths, biodegradable detergents, and other sustainable options should be your go-to choices for an eco-friendly approach.


How long should I let the stain remover sit before washing?

Typically, letting the stain remover sit for 5-10 minutes is effective. However, it can vary depending on the fabric and the type of stain remover.

Can I use hot water for all types of fabric?

No, hot water is not suitable for all fabrics. Delicate and colored fabrics especially should avoid hot water as it may cause shrinking or fading.

Is dish soap effective for oil stains?

Yes, dish soap can be effective as it is designed to break down grease and oils. However, make sure it doesn’t contain any additives that can harm your fabric.

What is the most effective DIY stain remover?

The effectiveness of DIY stain removers can vary, but a mixture of baking soda and vinegar often gives good results.

Can I mix different types of stain removers?

Mixing different types of stain removers is not advisable as they might react with each other and worsen the stain.

How often should I wash stained clothes?

It’s advisable to wash stained clothes immediately or as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting in.


Stains happen to the best of us. However, knowledge is power, and armed with the comprehensive information in this guide, you’re more than ready to tackle those pesky cooking and vegetable oil stains. From DIY remedies to commercial solutions, we’ve covered it all to make sure you have the right tools in your arsenal. Happy stain-fighting!

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