Whether it’s grease from a bike ride or oil from cooking the children’s dinner, these substances can leave unsightly stains on your clothes. The good news is that a few little splashes don’t have to mean the end of your favourite top or trousers. In fact, learning how to get oil out of clothes is much easier than you may think! We’re here to show you how.
The grease & oil myth
There’s a common misconception that it’s impossible to remove grease and oil from clothing. Not true! Although grease and clothing aren’t exactly a winning combination, you can learn how to remove oil and grease stains from clothes. The trick is not to panic and to avoid doing anything that could make it worse – like rubbing and spreading the stain further into the fibres. The reason why oil and grease stains get such a bad reputation is because grease and clothing don’t mix. Or, more to the point, grease and water don’t mix.
We wash our clothing in water, and because oil and grease are hydrophobic – which means their molecules don’t mix with water - it can be difficult to get them clean… at least not without some extra assistance.
How to remove oil stains from clothing: Your secret weapon
So, what’s the secret weapon? It’s simple: absorption. Grease and oil is, well, greasy and oily, so absorbing as much of these oils as possible before washing stained items is the best way to learn how to get oil stains out of clothes.
For small stains, you may be able to simply blot the oil and grease with a cloth, but for larger stains try sprinkling on an absorbent powder to help. There’s lots of choices, and you may already have something useful at home (baking powder and talcum powder are all excellent choices). Leave overnight and shake the powder off into the bin in the morning.
How to remove grease from clothes: A simple process
Now that you know how to absorb the oils, it’s time to learn more about how to remove oil stains from clothes. Even using a powder to absorb excess grease and oil can still leave you with a small stain that needs to be tackled. Here’s the best way to pre-treat and wash your clothing:
- Before popping your clothing into the washing machine, give it a bit of a helping hand by pre-treating the stain. You don’t need anything fancy for this — your regular OMO laundry detergent will do the trick. Apply a small amount of liquid detergent – or powder detergent mixed into a paste with water – to the stain and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing away. Remember to check the care label on your clothing first and always test cleaning methods on an inconspicuous area first to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
- Rinse your OMO liquid or paste from your clothes and wash the item in the washing machine (or hand wash, if you’d prefer). You can use OMO detergent as normal, but if you normally wash at a high temperature then make sure you turn the dial down a little as grease and oil stains can be made worse with heat. 30 -40°C is recommended.
- Finally, when you get your clothes out of the machine, always give it a quick once-over before drying. If the stain is still present, repeat the process once again while the clothing is still wet. Only dry the clothing once you’re confident the stain has gone and try to dry it naturally. Using a tumble dryer will introduce your clothes to heat and could make any residual stain spots you’ve missed even more difficult to remove.
Grease and oil stains happen to the best of us, no matter how careful we are! But the good news is they can be tackled quickly and easily. So, next time you head off on a family bike ride, or tuck into a juicy burger for your dinner, don’t worry about any potential mess and follow OMO’s advice to remove those pesky stains.