Baby oil is a fantastic product for keeping your baby’s skin soft and moisturised, but it can be a nightmare when it accidentally ends up on your clothes.
The oily nature of baby oil makes it tricky to remove using just regular washing. So, how do you get baby oil out of clothes?
Here’s a step-by-step guide covering several effective methods to get baby oil out of clothes and save your favourite garments.
Whether it’s your clothing or your child’s, keep reading and act promptly to prevent permanent staining. Using suitable techniques and products, you can effectively eliminate the oil stain from your clothes for good!
How Do You Get Baby Oil Out of Clothes?
Getting baby oil out of your clothes can be challenging. Like any oil stain, baby oil is slick and repels water.
This makes it more difficult to remove the stain using methods you might usually go for. Additionally, baby oil can spread quickly on clothes due to its liquid nature, so you must be careful about rubbing on the stain to prevent it from spreading.
With this in mind, several vital points must be considered before commencing the stain removal process. Familiarise yourself with these before moving on to the steps below.
- Dab and blot: Dab or blot at the stain when removing baby oil from your garments. Rubbing the stain will only push the oil and stain further into the fabric fibres, increasing the chances of it causing permanent damage.
- Act quickly: When it comes to getting baby oil out of clothes, time is of the essence. The longer you wait, the higher the chance the oil will set and create a permanent stain. The sooner you start treating the stain, the better your chance of completely removing it.
- Take care during drying: Excess heat can cause the oil to bond tightly with the material and make the mark permanent. Therefore, always avoid using a clothes dryer to dry oil-stained garments unless you’re certain the stain has completely vanished.
- Opt for gentle cleaning products: Choose household cleaning products over harsh commercial stain removers whenever possible. These are effective on baby oil stains and are also more environmentally friendly.
Step 1: Remove excess oil immediately
As with all stains, acting quickly is vital for success. Fresh stains have had less time to soak into the material and so are easier to remove.
Blot the baby oil gently with a clean cloth or paper towel as soon as you notice the spill to immediately remove any excess from the fabric.
Be careful not to rub the stain, as rubbing can spread the oil and make the stain worse.
Step 2: Pre-treat the baby oil stain
When facing challenging stains on your garments, a dependable and efficient laundry pre-treatment can significantly impact the outcome.
We have listed several options for pre-treating oil stains in the next section, Homemade Solutions to Get Baby Oil Out of Clothes. Here are your options:
To pre-treat the stain, apply your preferred stain remover directly to the baby oil, ensuring complete coverage. Then, gently work the detergent into the fabric using a soft-bristled brush or a clean toothbrush.
Allow the stain remover to sit on the baby oil stain for several minutes, letting it soak into the fibres and loosen the baby oil.
Step 3: Wash the stained clothing
Before washing the item of clothing, carefully review the care label for washing instructions.
Assuming it’s safe for machine washing, put the baby oil-stained garment into the washing machine along with other laundry, add your favourite laundry detergent, and set a cycle to run.
For the best chance of successfully removing the baby oil stain, using the hottest water setting as recommended on the care label is crucial.
Hot water plays a vital role in breaking down the baby oil and effectively removing the stains from the fabric.
Step 4: Unload & dry your garments
After the wash cycle is finished, promptly remove the garments from the machine drum and inspect the stain.
If the baby oil mark persists after washing, repeat the earlier steps. Avoid using the dryer until the stain is entirely gone from the fabric, as this could set the stain.
Once satisfied with the results, throw the clothes in the tumble dryer or hang them to air dry.
What’s the Best Thing for Removing Baby Oil from Clothes?
In the above method, Step 2: Pre-Treat the Baby Oil Stain is the most crucial for getting the oily mark from your garments.
You can choose from several stain removers, which can broadly be split into two categories: (1) homemade solutions and (2) commercial products.
Homemade solutions to get baby oil out of clothes
If you don’t have any commercial cleaning products available or prefer to use something milder on your garments, there are several effective household methods to get baby oil out of clothing.
Method 1: Washing up liquid and water
While washing-up liquid might seem like an unconventional stain remover, its degreasing properties effectively remove oil from surfaces, regardless of whether the stains are from cooking oil or baby oil.
To use washing-up liquid for this purpose, follow the steps below:
- Apply a few drops of washing-up liquid onto the stain, ensuring complete coverage.
- Add a few drops of warm water and gently dab the stain using your finger.
- Allow the dish soap to penetrate the stain on the affected clothing for around half an hour.
- Wash the clothing as usual, following the instructions on the care label.
Method 2: Baby powder
Baby powder is an excellent hack for removing baby oil from your clothes. Plus, if baby oil has found its way onto your clothing, you likely have some baby powder readily available in your household!
Here’s the process you can follow if using baby powder to remove stains:
- Using paper towels, remove any excess baby oil on your clothing.
- Sprinkle baby powder on the oil-stained area, ensuring you cover the entire area.
- Leave the baby powder to sit for around 30 minutes to one hour. The baby powder will absorb most of the baby oil from the material during this time.
- Wash the clothing as usual, using laundry detergent and the hottest available wash setting as per the care instructions.
Method 3: Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and water
Due to being a natural degreaser, the bicarbonate of soda can be successfully utilised to absorb baby oil from clothing.
Here’s how to use it:
- Place one cup of bicarbonate of soda into a small bowl.
- Wet a clean cloth until it is damp, and dip it into the bowl to coat the cloth in the bicarbonate of soda powder.
- Find a patch of fabric that is out of sight and gently press the bicarb-coated cloth onto this area. If the test area is okay, continue with this method on the stained area.
- Gently press the coated cloth onto the baby oil-stained area. Leave the bicarbonate of soda to work its magic over a couple of minutes.
- Use a new wet cloth, moistened with cold water, to rinse the garment by blotting at the stained area. Use a clean white towel or white paper towel to soak up any excess bicarbonate of soda and water.
- Repeat the process until the stain has been removed.
- Wash the garment in the washing machine as per the garment care instructions.
Method 4: Distilled white vinegar and water
White vinegar is renowned for its stain-removing capabilities and serves as a potent degreaser. It is highly effective in eliminating stubborn, old baby oil stains from clothing.
The acid compounds in vinegar work to break down and dissolve grease and oil present in the fabric.
Here is how you can use vinegar for stain removal:
- Put a few drops of vinegar onto the baby oil-stained area of your garment, covering the stain completely.
- Blot the area with a clean white cloth for a minute or two.
- Leave the vinegar to work its magic and absorb the oil, leaving it for a few minutes if you are in a rush or overnight for better results.
- Once the stain appears to be faded or gone, wash the item of clothing as usual.
Commercial stain removers
If the baby oil stain remains on your garment after attempting the homemade solutions, consider using a commercial stain remover designed for clothing.
Here are some of our favourite stain removal products that effectively cut through oils and grease:
- Napisan Non-Biological Stain Remover – This solution is ideal for sensitive skin and tough stains, especially on baby clothes. Designed for babies, it effectively tackles stains from colourful meals or accidents. It also works well on adult clothing, is suitable for most materials and works even in colder wash cycles.
- Vanish Fabric Remover Action Colours – A reliable stain remover, Vanish is effective even in cold washes. It excels at eliminating stains and unpleasant odours, leaving clothes vibrant. Ideal for everyday coloured fabrics like cotton and polyester, it has a mild, pleasant scent and eco-friendly packaging.
- Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils Pre-Wash Stain Remover-– This solution effectively tackles both new and set-in oil-based stains, being tough on stains yet gentle on fabric. It performs well in short and cold wash cycles. This bleach-free gel comes with a soft brush applicator to penetrate stains deeply.
- Ecover Stain Remover-– Whilst this stain remover is a slightly higher-priced option, it is an environmentally friendly choice by being entirely plant-based. The product has a convenient brush applicator and effectively handles tough stains like grease, grass, and blood. It’s suitable for light colours and leaves no residue on clothes.
Does Baby Oil Stain Clothes?
If baby oil spills aren’t promptly addressed and washed out, they can leave lasting marks on clothes.
Despite the typically colourless nature of most baby oil types, the liquid manifests as dark spots when spilt on fabrics. The marks resemble water spots that remain visible even after drying.
Moreover, baby oil stains can embed themselves permanently in the fabric when left untreated. Over time, as the clothing fades, these stains become more noticeable.
This means that even a baby oil stain that initially seems “invisible” on a black shirt may gradually become apparent. It doesn’t matter what colour your garment is—baby oil stains are possible.
Spilt baby oil stains can also occur on various fabric types. They’re particularly noticeable on satin and silk garments but can leave marks on cotton, denim, and synthetics.
However, taking immediate action to remove baby oil stains and laundering the affected fabric can effectively prevent this issue.
Tips to Remember When Getting Baby Oil Stains out of Clothing
Before treating a baby oil stain on clothing, keep these tips in mind:
- Act fast and remove the baby oil stain quickly. Fresh stains have had less time to embed themselves in the material and are easier to remove.
- Do not rub the stain, which can spread the baby oil more deeply into the material. Instead, gentle blotting is far more effective.
- Be prepared to repeat the cleaning steps. If the stain persists, try a different stain removal method until the oil mark is gone.
- Exercise caution when dealing with delicate fabrics like silk or wool. Certain stain removers or techniques may harm these delicate materials.
- Before using any stain removal solution(s) on your clothing, test it on a hidden area of the garment to ensure it doesn’t cause discolouration or damage.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.