How to Get Olive Oil Out of Clothes in a Pinch
When you need to get olive oil out of clothes fast, there are a few simple steps that can get the job done. Olive oil stains are tricky, but most can be removed with some simple rubbing, cold water, and dish soap. Read on to learn how to get olive oil out of clothes in just minutes.
If it’s dry, launder as usual
There’s no need to panic if you put olive oil on your spaghetti and manage to get some on your shirt. If it’s dry, try simply laundering as usual, and you might be surprised by how well it comes out! However, if it’s still wet or sticky, there are a few other things you can do to help remove that olive oil stain. Here are three ways to deal with an unexpected spill:
1. Soak up excess oil with paper towels before washing: If you have time, lay down several layers of paper towels on top of the area where you spilled olive oil (don’t forget to cover any areas where it may have run) and let them sit for a while until they absorb most of the excess liquid. Then, launder as normal the paper towels will help soak up any remaining liquid before it has a chance to set into your clothes.
2. Add a little dish soap to the wash cycle: A small amount of dish soap added to your laundry detergent is a great way to help break down oily stains like those from olive oil.
3. Make a paste using baking soda and water: A paste made from baking soda and water is another good option for removing stubborn stains like those left behind by olive oil. Simply mix together one part baking soda with two parts water, then apply directly to stained clothing using a toothbrush or clean cloth. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
4. Use oxygen bleach to finish off your load: Oxygen bleach is a powerful stain remover that works particularly well on oily stains like those left behind by olive oil. To use, add 1⁄4 cup of oxygen bleach to your regular laundry detergent during each wash cycle, and allow items to air dry after each wash. This method may take a bit longer than others, but it’s worth it when you consider how effectively oxygen bleach removes even tough stains.
5. Try white vinegar: White vinegar is another natural cleaning product that works especially well on greasy stains like those left behind by olive oil. Fill your washer with cold water and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar along with your regular laundry detergent; place stained clothing inside, close the lid, and allow to soak overnight before washing as usual.
6. Baking soda + lemon juice = winning combination: Baking soda and lemon juice work wonders when it comes to breaking down grease stains, so why not combine them? Sprinkle baking soda over a fresh olive oil stain, then pour lemon juice overtop. Allow mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes before blotting away excess moisture with a clean cloth. You should see some lightening of the stain right away if not, repeat the process until desired results are achieved.
7. Vinegar + hydrogen peroxide: Mixing equal parts of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is a good alternative to plain old lemon juice. While it doesn’t produce quite as dramatic results, it also costs less and won’t leave your laundry smelling like you just doused it with citrus.
8. Heat treatment: Sometimes all you need to do to remove a stubborn olive oil stain is heat up your washer and let it sit for a while. Turn your machine on and fill with hot water, adding a splash of laundry detergent. Close your washer’s lid and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, giving stains plenty of time to loosen up.
9. OxiClean: It’s hard to beat OxiClean for getting rid of a wide variety of stains, including those caused by olive oil. The key is to act quickly, as it only takes a short period of time for olive oil stains to become permanent. Pour some OxiClean directly onto your stain and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing as usual. Be sure to wash on a gentle cycle, and always test on an inconspicuous area first. 10. Hydrogen peroxide: If you’re looking for a quick fix that’s safe enough to use on virtually every fabric, hydrogen peroxide is your best bet.
If it’s white, wash alone first
Before you do anything else, wash any garment that is white by itself first. The olive oil should come out after just one wash. If not, proceed with these tips.
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If it’s colored, mix vinegar and baking soda: For colored clothes or items made from natural fibers (cotton, linen), make a paste using equal parts baking soda and water and add 1/2 cup vinegar. Apply directly to the affected area, let sit for 5 minutes then launder as usual.
This will remove both grease and stains! If it’s silk, use cornstarch: Silk can be tricky because it doesn’t react well to detergents. In order to get rid of excess oil on silk without discoloring it, rub cornstarch over the stain before washing. When washing your silk garments, avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets; they will only make things worse.
If it’s leather, use saddle soap: Leather is another material that needs special care when washing. Saddle soap contains ingredients such as glycerin and beeswax which help nourish leather while also removing dirt and grime. Simply apply a small amount of saddle soap to a clean cloth and rub it into the surface until clean.
Then follow up with regular cleaning products if desired. If none of these work, call in professional help: Finally, if none of these methods work, don’t panic.
It might be time to call in some professionals. There are plenty of cleaners who specialize in removing stubborn stains like olive oil and they can usually get your clothes looking like new again. It might cost a little bit, but it’s worth getting back those favorite pieces that have been stained by an accident or mishap.
If it’s dyed fabric, pretreat with regular detergent
The first thing you’ll want to do is identify if it’s a natural or synthetic fiber, and whether or not it’s dyed. If your clothes are made out of natural fibers (cotton, silk, wool), and aren’t colored at all, use regular detergent on them as usual.
However, if they’re synthetic (polyester) or dyed fabrics, you might have some trouble getting that olive oil stain out. In that case, you can try pretreating with a mixture of 2 cups warm water and 1/4 cup liquid dish soap before washing with laundry detergent as usual.
Don’t rub too hard you don’t want to break down any more fibers than necessary! For particularly stubborn stains, add in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Vinegar has been shown to help loosen up oils like olive oil and make them easier to wash away.
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Just be sure to check that there isn’t any residual vinegar left after washing; if there is, put it through another cycle using baking soda instead of detergent. You may also consider putting some dryer sheets into your dryer along with your wet clothes. Dryer sheets work wonders for removing smells from fabrics, and even better for absorbing oil.
Soak: For especially large or tough-to-reach stains, fill a tub with cold water and dissolve in one tablespoon of laundry detergent per gallon of water. Soak stained clothing for about 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly under running water and then laundering as usual.
Be sure to rinse until no suds remain. Use an oxygen bleach: Oxygen bleaches will help lift color molecules out of fabric, so they can be washed away during your next load of laundry. To remove olive oil stains, mix 3 tablespoons of oxygen bleach with 1-quart cool water in a spray bottle and spritz directly onto the stain until saturated.
Let sit for 15 minutes before laundering as usual. This treatment should only be used on natural fibers since it could damage synthetics. Consider lemon juice: Lemon juice is another great way to get rid of pesky olive oil stains. First, pour some lemon juice over your stained area and let it soak in for 10–15 minutes before washing as usual.
Second, combine equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and spritz over the stain until saturated. Allow sitting for 10–15 minutes before laundering as usual. Make sure to test these methods on a small portion of your garment first, just to ensure that it won’t fade or discolor.
Also keep in mind that while most stains will come out eventually, they might leave behind a faint yellowish tint on darker colors. That said, these methods should still prove useful when dealing with smaller spills—just remember to take precautions against larger ones.
If you can still see the stain, pre-treat again
If you can still see any evidence of olive oil on your clothes, go ahead and pre-treat again with dish soap. Wash as usual. In order to find more information, you can continue reading.
If you have time, allow it to sit overnight: If possible, let it sit overnight (especially if it’s an older stain). The longer you leave it sitting there, even if it doesn’t look like anything is happening at first glance, there is still some potential for good results.
Launder as normal: Once your clothes are clean (you should be able to tell by looking at them), toss them into your washer with detergent and launder as normal.
You might want to do a second rinse cycle just to make sure all of that extra oil has been removed from your clothing. Check back after washing: After your clothes have finished washing, check back on them once they’ve dried.
It may take several wash cycles before all signs of oil are gone. Be sure not to dry clean or iron-stained clothing until you know that all traces of oil have been removed! For more information, please keep reading. Dry as usual: Finally, once they’re dry, check to make sure that all traces of olive oil are gone.
For further details about how to get olive oil out of clothes, please read on. Hopefully, these tips will help you next time you need to tackle an oil stain.
To summarize what we’ve learned so far about how to get olive oil out of clothes: Use hot water to pre-treat stains; Use dish soap; Allow it to sit overnight; Launder as normal; Repeat steps 2 through 4 until no trace of olive oil remains; Dry thoroughly. Remember, don’t try to remove stubborn stains with harsh chemicals it could end up damaging your clothing! Instead, stick to natural products like vinegar and baking soda.
And remember that prevention is always better than cure when it comes to dealing with stubborn stains avoid getting them in the first place whenever possible.
Soak overnight if needed
We’ve all been there we spill something on our clothes we can’t get out any other way, and there is no time for a laundry cycle. If you’re faced with an oil stain that won’t come out with water or pre-treatment, do as your mother would have you do: Give it at least overnight to try and see if it will work its way out.
Some oils (like olive oil) are very stubborn, but others (like mayonnaise) come right out. The longer you let it sit, the better chance you have of getting rid of those stains! But don’t keep sleeping on it if it doesn’t seem to be working; toss it into the wash when you wake up and hope for the best.
You might even want to set your alarm so you remember to check before bedtime. Just make sure not to leave it sitting around too long oils like these can break down fibers over time. And remember: This trick only works on non-washable fabrics like cotton and linen.
For dry-clean-only items, you’ll need to take them to a professional cleaner. It never hurts to call ahead first just to make sure they’ll accept your stained item.
If worse comes to worst, buy some new ones: Sometimes no amount of soaking will help get that oil stain out. If you give it a good go and nothing seems to work, sometimes it’s worth throwing those stained pieces away altogether rather than trying again and again with less effective methods. At least then you know there was nothing else you could do and you can always go shopping for replacements.
Just make sure you don’t throw them in your regular laundry; once an item has been contaminated by an oil stain, keep your clothes isolated from anything else so they don’t get ruined, perhaps store them in a ziplock bag until you’re able to wash them separately or trash them if they are no longer wearable.
Keep in mind that dry cleaning won’t remove all stains, especially greasy ones like olive oil or butter. In fact, many dry cleaners use olive oil on their presses to prevent sticking so be careful what you send through.
Dry cleaning also uses harsh chemicals like perchloroethylene, which can fade fabrics over time (so choose eco-friendly cleaners when possible). It never hurts to call ahead first just to make sure they’ll accept your stained item.