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What Is The Best Way To Remove Cooking Oil Stains?


What is the best way to remove cooking oil stains? I splatter oil (olive, canola or veggie) on my clothes while cooking all the time. Sometimes it comes out with spray stain remover and sometimes it doesn’t.


Thanks for sending in your question—it’s a pretty common problem for a lot of people, so you are in good company!  And I have good news for you!  You should be able to get all your cooking oil stains out if you try the following:

  1. Work on the stains when the fabric is dry. That is, don’t rinse them with water first.
  2. Use a little liquid dishwashing detergent (the kind you use for hand washing dishes) to pretreat the stains. Apply a few drops to each stain and let it soak in. Wait 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
  3. For white bleachable items like dishtowels and aprons and cloth napkins and tablecloths, wash the items in hot water using a good laundry detergent and ½ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.
  4. For items with color, wash them in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and Clorox2® Stain Remover and Color Booster.
  5. Air dry the items and check for success.

I know the air drying step can be a real pain, but it’s important—damp or wet fabric can hide residual oil left behind, so it looks like the stain is out when it’s not. If you miss any of the oily stains when you pretreat with the dishwashing detergent, you’ll probably have some residual oil that you can get all the way out by repeating the treatment starting again on dry fabric.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks again for writing!

–Dr. Laundry