How to Get Olive Oil Stains Out of Clothes

We all love olive oil, but unfortunately olive oil loves our clothes. The next time you splash, drip or drizzle an oily cooking stain on your favorite outfit, remember these steps.

Turns out that dishwashing detergent is great for removing olive oil from clothes, as it’s formulated to cut greasy stains on dishes. Remember that liquid dishwashing detergent generally makes tons of suds, so you should only use it for pretreating, and rinse it away before you load the washing machine. If not, you’ll likely end up with excessive foam.

What you need

Steps to get olive oil out of clothes

  1. Keep the clothes dry

    Work the olive oil stains while the fabric is dry. That is, don’t rinse the clothing before pretreating.

  2. Pre-treat the oil stains

    Apply a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to each oil stain and gently massage it in. After 5 minutes, rinse the clothing thoroughly with warm water.

  3. Machine wash with the appropriate bleach

    If your clothing is white and bleach-safe (check the care label for the fiber content), wash the item in hot water using a good laundry detergent and 1/3 cup Clorox® Bleach.

    For items with any spandex or colored clothing, wash in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and Clorox 2® for Colors.


    Always avoid bleaching wool, silk, mohair, leather, spandex and non-fast colors.

  4. Air dry and check for any remaining stains

    Air dry your clothes, and check for success. Remember that damp or wet clothing can hide residual olive oil. 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 with dry fabric.