Removing Oily Stains from Clothing and Rugs

There is nothing more frustrating than removing oily stains form clothing and rugs. Oil based stains are some of the most difficult stains to remove because of oils resistance to water. It is for this reason very important to being fighting these oily stains as quickly as possible to ensure your ability to completely remove the stain from your carpet or clothing.

picture of rug

Removing Oily Stains From Clothing

Materials you will need when removing oily stains from clothing:

  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap (perferably Dawn)
  • Vinegar
  • Laundry detergent

Removing oily stains from clothing and rugs can be a difficult task to complete becuase oil or oil based stains are resistant to water or products that have a water base. There are many sites that explain the reason for oil not being water soluable. It is for this reason that you will need to begin removing oily stains from clothing and rugs as quickly as possible. Trying to remove the oily stain from clothing will prove to be a little less complicated than trying to remove it from a rug because you can more easily launder clothing. 

  1. To remove oily stains from clothing you will need to first try to blot any remaining oil off of the article of clothing. You can do this with a paper towel to ensure you do not stain a towel. 
  2. Next, you will need to reach for the liquid dish soap. Dawn is one of the better liquid dish soaps to use, but any liquid dish soap will do. There is a site that will tell you all of the great success stories that environmentalists have had with using Dawn on oil stains and spills, which is why it is the preferred liquid dish soap to use. You will need to cover the whole stain with the liquid dish soap. Do not dilute the detergent. You will need the whole power of the liquid dish detergent when removing oily stains from clothing and rugs. 
  3. Allow the soap to sit for only a short amount of time, less than five minutes. After the five minutes you can start to make circular motions with a clean paper towel or rag. you will want to try and make the dish soap foam. Gental rubbing is necessary depending on the fabric you are trying to remove the oily stain from. 
  4. Once you believe that you have removed the oily stain from your clothing you will need to rinse the area and launder the clothing as directed on the tag. It is important to remember to launder the article of clothing by itself. If the oily stain has not been removed you do not want to transfer the stain to other pieces of your clothing. Right before the rinse cycle begins you can add about a cup of white distilled vinegar to the laundry. This will help to break up the oily stain if it has not been completely removed. 
  5. Finally, you will need to inspect your clothing. If the stain has been removed you can dry your clothing as specified on the tag, but if it has not been entirely removed DO NOT put the clothing in the dryer. Adding heat to an oily stain will only set the stain making it virtually impossible to remove entirely. Repeat the steps above to ensure the stain is removed.

Removing Oily Stains from Rugs

What materials you will need to remove oily stains from rugs:

  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap (preferably Dawn)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towel/clean rag

Cleaning an oily stain from a rug can be a nightmare without the right tips and information. It is very important  to pay close attention to details when removing oily stains from clothing and rugs to ensure you do not damage the materials being cleaned. 

  1. To begin the process of removing oily stains from clothing and rugs is very similar. You will need to blot the oily substance with a paper towel to ensure that all of the oil has been removed and you are ready to begin the cleaning process. 
  2. Once the oily substance has been removed you can choose which method you would like to use. If you have a white or lighter colored rug you can use rubbing alcohol to remove the stain. This method is NOT recommended for rugs or carpets that are brighter or darker in color as the rubbing alcohol can damage the color. 
  3. If you are choosing to use the rubbing alcohol you will need to place a small amount right on the stain. Do not allow the rubbing alcohol to sit for too long. You should begin to blot the stain right away. It is important to remember to blot the stain and not rub or wipe it because you can cause the oily substance to spread. 
  4. If the stain is removed flush the area with cool water and allow to air dry. You can then vacuum the rug to ensure that the oily stain has been removed. If the stain has not been removed you can then follow the next steps. 

If you were not successful at removing oily stains from clothing or rugs or your rug is a bright or dark colored you can use a solution of dish detergent and water to help remove the stain. To make the solution you will mix 1/4 TSP of liquid dish soap to 1 quart of water. You will then take the clean rag and completely douse it with the solution. Next, you will dab the stain with the rag and the solution. Try not to wipe the stain as this could spread the oily substance throughout the rug.  Allow the rug to air dry and then vacuum the area to ensure that the rug takes its original shape and texture.