Skip to main navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Tips on how to remove olive oil & balsamic vinegar stains


How do I remove olive oil & balsamic vinegar stains from a shirt?


This is a classic combination stain, so it’s best to work on the oily component first, because you need to break up the oil before any bleach product can go after the colored component. It’s also important to start work on the stain when it is dry, so don’t rinse it!  Start by applying a few drops of a good liquid dishwashing detergent (the kind you use for hand washing dishes) directly to the stain and let it soak in. Wait 5 minutes, and then rinse the stained area with a little warm water. Next, pretreat the stain again, this time to work on the colored part of the stain; what you use depends on the item with the stain on it.

For a white bleachable shirt (cotton or a polycotton blend, for example — note that you should always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, and spandex) apply Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel directly to the stain and rub it in with the soft scrubber tip. Immediately wash the shirt in the hottest water recommended using detergent and ½ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2. After the wash cycle is complete, let the shirt air dry, and then check for success. Residual oil stains can be hard to see on a damp shirt, so resist the urge to toss the shirt in the dryer! This way if any stain remains you can repeat the treatment, and have a better chance of complete success.

Or, for a colored shirt (or a white shirt that includes even a little spandex) apply a little liquid Clorox 2® Stain Remover and Color Booster directly to the stain and gently rub in.  Wait 5 minutes, and then wash in the hottest water recommended using detergent and more Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster. Air dry and then check for success; repeat if necessary.