Engine oil is one of those substances that can easily transfer onto our clothes and cause unsightly stains.
Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or simply changing the oil in your car, oil stains can be a real headache to remove.
But don’t let those stubborn stains get the best of you!
With the right approach, you can effectively get engine oil out of your clothes and restore them to their former glory.
Before attempting to remove engine oil from your clothes, there are a few important preparations you should make to ensure the best possible outcome.
When working with chemicals and solvents, it’s important to take safety precautions to avoid injury.
We recommended wearing gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals and working in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
To effectively remove engine oil from your clothes, you can use the following tools and materials: a clean cloth for blotting, talcum powder or cornflour, washing up liquid, vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, hydrogen peroxide, and a commercial cleaner (if desired).
You may want to use a container to mix household remedies and a brush to scrub the stain.
The quicker you act to remove engine oil from your clothes, the easier it will be to get out. So, as soon as you notice the stain, remove the affected clothing, and proceed with the following steps.
It is also important to avoid washing the garment until you have tried all the remedies, as this can set the stain and make it harder to remove.
How to Pre-Treat Engine Oil Stains
As soon as you realise you have an engine oil stain, it’s important to act quickly to minimize the damage.
The first steps you take can make a big difference in the success of removing the stain.
In this section, we’ll cover what you need to do to get started on removing the engine oil stain from your clothes.
1. Blot with a clean cloth
The first step in removing engine oil from your clothes is to blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove as much of the oil as possible.
Take a clean, white cloth and place it on top of the stain. Gently press down on the cloth to absorb as much of the oil as possible. Avoid rubbing the cloth, as this can spread the stain.
Repeat the blotting process with a clean section of the cloth until you have removed as much of the oil as possible.
2. Cover the stain with talcum powder or cornflour
Once you have removed as much of the oil as possible, cover the stain with a generous amount of talcum powder or cornflour.
The powder will absorb any remaining oil and make it easier to remove the stain.
3. Allow it to sit
After covering the stain with powder, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the powder to absorb as much oil as possible. This will make it easier to remove the stain during the next step of the process.
Gently brush the powder off the garment to remove any remaining oil and powder before proceeding to the next steps.
How to Remove Engine Oil from Clothes
After pre-treating the stain using the technique above, you can proceed to remove engine oil using either commercial cleaning products or household remedies.
Here are a few options to try.
Method 1: Washing up liquid and vinegar
Then, wash the garment as usual with cold water.
Method 2: Bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide
Rinse the garment with cold water and repeat the process if necessary.
Be sure to test any household remedy on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure that it does not cause any discolouration or damage!
Method 3: Commercial cleaners
If the household remedies do not effectively remove the engine oil stain, you can try using a commercial cleaner.
There are many different types of commercial cleaners available for removing oil stains, so be sure to read the label carefully and choose one that is safe for use on the type of fabric in your garment.
Most commercial cleaners are used by applying a small amount of the cleaner to the stain, letting it sit for a specified amount of time, and then washing the garment as usual.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully, as some cleaners may require special handling or dilution.
For particularly stubborn engine oil stains, you can try using a combination of a commercial cleaner and a household remedy.
For example, you can apply a commercial cleaner to the stain, let it sit for the recommended amount of time, and then rinse the garment and repeat the process with a household remedy such as bicarbonate of soda and hydrogen peroxide.
Washing and Drying Clothes After Removing Engine Oil
Once you have removed the engine oil stain to your satisfaction, it’s time to launder the garment. Be sure to follow these steps to ensure that the stain does not reappear:
Wash the garment on a cold water cycle with a mild laundry detergent. Avoid using hot water, as this can set the stain.
If the stain is still visible, repeat the stain removal process and launder the garment again.
To prevent engine oil stains from reappearing, you can try adding a cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle when washing the garment. This will help to break down any remaining oil and prevent the stain from reappearing.
Be sure to follow the care instructions on the garment label and avoid using any cleaning methods that may cause damage to the fabric.
Avoid using high heat to dry the garment, as this can also set the stain. Instead, air dry the garment or use a low heat setting on your dryer.
If the stain is still visible after the garment is dry, repeat the stain removal process and launder the garment again.
Preventing Engine Oil Stains
The best way to deal with engine oil stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting engine oil on your clothes:
Wear protective clothing
When working on your car or performing other tasks that may result in getting engine oil on your clothes, wear protective clothing such as overalls or an apron.
This will help to protect your clothes and make it easier to clean up any spills or splashes.
Use a catch pan
When performing work on your car, use a catch pan to catch any spills or drips. This will help to contain any spills and prevent them from getting on your clothes or the floor.
Keep a cleaning kit on hand
Keep a cleaning kit on hand that includes household remedies, commercial cleaners, and other supplies that you may need to remove engine oil stains.
This will help you to clean up any spills or splashes quickly and effectively before they set into the fabric.
By following these tips and taking steps to prevent engine oil stains, you can keep your clothes looking clean and stain-free.
Engine oil stains can be frustrating and difficult to remove, but if you do happen to get engine oil on your clothes, with the right techniques and supplies, they don’t have to be a permanent fixture.
Whether you prefer household remedies, commercial cleaners, or a combination of both, there are plenty of options available to help you effectively remove engine oil stains.
By taking steps to prevent engine oil stains, you can keep your clothes looking clean and stain-free.
So next time you find yourself facing an engine oil stain, take a deep breath, grab your cleaning kit, and get to work!
With a little patience and persistence, you’ll have your clothes looking clean and stain-free in no time.
In The Wash is your guide to the best laundry and cleaning products, tips and tricks. Our mission is to solve the UK’s cleaning and laundry dilemmas!