Used in cosmetics and many cuisines around the world, coconut oil is much more welcome on your face or in a recipe than on your clothes.
Like most oils, coconut oil can be tricky to get out of fabric once it’s in. Tricky, but not impossible. As long as you act in a timely fashion and use the correct approach.
We’ll cover a few different ways to get coconut oil out of clothes, as well as seeing what you can do if you get it in other less than ideal spots.
In pretty much all of these unfortunate scenarios, there are ways you can deal with it. So, don’t panic and let’s get on with things.
Whatever the material that your clothes are made off, you need to start by soaking up the excess oil with kitchen roll. Give it a good dabbing so you’ve got rid of the surface oil.
Then apply some powder such as talc, arrowroot or that mainstay of the cleaning cupboard, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).
The powder will soak up a good deal of the oil that’s soaked into the fabric. Shake it quite liberally on to the patch, then shake off any excess.
You then need to leave for a significant amount of time before moving on to the next step. 30 minutes to an hour is great.
Then scrape off the powder with something with a keen edge, like a credit card for instance.
How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Cotton
One of the best ways to get coconut oil out of cotton is with oxygen bleach. Mix ½ a cup of oxygen bleach with one cup of water and two teaspoons of washing up liquid.
Put the mixture in a spray bottle and apply quite heavily to the affected area. Leave it for five minutes then rinse in cold water. Then wash on the hottest setting suitable for your garment.
You can use this technique on old coconut oil stains as well as fresh ones.
How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Silk
When removing coconut oil from silk, you first need to take a look at the garment. Does it have a high likelihood of colour bleeding?
For instance, it may be white or pale with bold colours or dark with white trim. If this is the case, you’d better take your oily undies to a dry cleaner.
If you’re happy that colour bleeding won’t be an issue, then, once you’ve done the dabbing and powdering as above, put in a cool wash (or silk wash if your machine has one) with a gentle detergent.
If there’s any remnant of stain visible, try the process once more. If this still doesn’t work, then you’ll probably need to take the garment to a dry cleaner.
How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Synthetics
With most synthetics, including nylon, polyester, Lycra and spandex, once you’ve applied some absorbent powder, you need to use a pretreatment product for oily stains, such as Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils. Then get your garment in the washing machine on the hottest setting suitable for that garment.
A Word on Drying
Whatever the material, when it comes to drying your garment, avoid tumble drying if you can. If you can dry outside, this will give better results.
The sunlight can help to eradicate any remaining marks. Tumble drying can lead to problems if there’s any oil left in the garment, as the heat in tumble drying can set the stain.
How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Carpet
With carpet, first of all you need to get rid of what oil you can. Get a dessert spoon and scrape up any oil that hasn’t already absorbed into the pile. Then dab and powder as above.
Vacuum over the powder and you may find that the oil stain is gone.
If not, your best bet is to reach for the vinegar. Mix one part white vinegar with three parts warm water and spray it all over the stain. Leave for around 15 minutes then blot with a light-coloured dry soft cloth.
Once the stain’s disappeared, you’ll need to apply some clean water in order to get rid of any remaining vinegar odour.
How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Hair
Coconut oil is used in a lot of hair hydration products, so it’s not unlikely that it’ll find its way into somebody’s hair.
In this sort of situation, it’s just a matter of rinsing it out, somewhat obviously. However, if coconut oil of another derivation has got into your hair, it can be tricky to get rid of.
A great way to do it is to mix a tablespoon of vodka with two cups of water and apply to your hair. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse off with lukewarm water. Then wash with your normal shampoo.
You can also try lemon juice – apply the juice of one lemon to your hair and leave on for five minutes. Then rinse and shampoo. Tea is also good – brew a cup of black tea, allow to cool, then pour on your head. Refreshing.
Seeing Off Coconut Oil
As welcome as coconut oil is in the right place, we might not welcome its bounty when it comes to staining clothes and other items.
The good news is that, using the techniques described here, you can eradicate most of the traces of coconut oil, and mostly with cheap household products. So, you don’t have to shell out.
Now that you know what to do if things go wrong and coconut oil manages to stain your possessions, you needn’t be scared to include it in your kitchen cupboard and bathroom belongings. There’s no need to be coconut shy.
Martin’s life revolves around films, dogs and food, but rarely all at the same time. At least two out of these three like to give clothes and furniture a hard time, and Martin enjoys discovering and writing about new ways to stop them doing their worst.