Effective Ways to Remove Oil Stains from Shirts

If you love cooking or working on a car, you may often find yourself facing the problem of stubborn oil stains on your shirts. An oil stain can ruin the whole look of your outfit, but with our proven techniques, you can easily remove them without damaging your shirt.

1. Act fast

It is essential to address the oil stain as soon as possible to have the best chance of removing it entirely. The longer the oil soaks into your shirt, the harder it becomes to eliminate it.

If the stain is fresh, take off the shirt immediately and avoid rubbing the stain. Rubbing the stain can force the oil deeper into the fabric, making it harder to remove. Instead, blot the stain gently with a paper towel or clean cloth to remove the excess oil.

2. Determine the type of fabric you are dealing with

The fabric of your shirt determines the type of cleaning method you should use. Read the care label on your shirt to check whether it is suitable for machine washing or dry cleaning. If it is dry clean only, take it to a professional cleaner.

If the care label permits machine washing, it is best to wash the shirt as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting in permanently.

3. Use the right cleaning agents

It’s essential to use the correct cleaning agent that can break down the oil and remove the stain. Here are some of the best cleaning agents:

  • Dish soap – Dish soap is an excellent cleaning agent that can break down oil and grease easily. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before washing.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent that can absorb oil and grease. Mix some baking soda with water to form a paste and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before washing.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch is another natural cleaning agent that can absorb oil and grease. Apply a thick layer of cornstarch to the stain and let it sit for a few hours before brushing off and washing the shirt.

4. Pretreat the stain

Before washing the whole shirt, pretreat the stain with a cleaning agent to increase the chances of removing the oil entirely. Apply a small amount of the cleaning agent directly to the stain and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing the shirt as usual.

5. Wash the shirt

After pretreating the stain, wash the shirt in the washing machine using hot water and detergent. Hot water can help break down the oil and grease, making it easier to remove them. If the care label permits, add bleach to the wash cycle to remove any remaining stain.

6. Dry the shirt

Once the shirt is clean, hang it to dry rather than using a dryer. Heat from the dryer can set in the oil stain, making it harder to remove in future washings.

7. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary

If the oil stain is still visible after washing, repeat the cleaning process until the stain is entirely gone. Avoid putting the shirt in the dryer until the stain is entirely gone to prevent it from setting in permanently.


Removing an oil stain from a shirt may seem impossible, but with the right approach and cleaning agents, it can be an easy task. Remember to act fast, determine the type of fabric you’re dealing with, use the right cleaning agents, pretreat the stain, wash the shirt, and dry it appropriately. With these tips, you can easily remove any oil stain from your shirt and have it looking new again.

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