I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Learn more.

How To Wash Oily And Greasy Clothes? (Explained!)

Grease and oil are widely regarded as enemies of your clothes. That is because many people think that once these stains appear on your clothes, it is not possible to remove them. The general perception is to discard these clothes.

The truth, however, is different. While it might be a bit difficult to remove them using the traditional methods but there are specialized methods which you can use for the same.

Once you opt for the specialized methods, it will become easy for you to remove the stains. I have curated a list of the most effective ways which you can use against oily and greasy clothes.

Before I go into those methods, I will highlight the grease and oil myth as popularly known.

The Grease and Oil Myth

The misconception is that if you have grease or oil stains on your clothes, you will not be able to remove them.

That is false!

While grease and oil might not be easy to remove, they are not impossible to remove. Due to the same, you need to know the exact procedure which you can follow for them.

The first goal is to not spread the stain or rub it further into the fabric. Once you stick to this rule, I can certainly let you know how to wash oily and greasy clothes.

In case the stains spread, it will be difficult to clean the fabric. While the procedure will work for multiple stains but the amount of time that it takes to clean various stains is huge.

Now that you are aware that this is a myth, it is time to look at the exact procedure you have to follow to clean.

How to Wash Oily and Greasy Clothes?


Absorption is the key to remove oil and grease stains from your clothes. It reduces the intensity of the stain. Low-intensity stains are easy to eliminate.

Before you use any detergent, cleansing solution, or any other method, you have to absorb most of the oil and grease onto another fabric.

If the stain is small, you have to take a damp cloth and block the stain. If the stain is large, you have to use an absorbent powder  to reduce its impact.

In case of larger stains, you have to apply that absorbent powder and let it be throughout the night. After that, in the morning, you have to shake off the absorbent powder before cleansing the cloth.

I will now highlight the procedure below, which will let you know how to cleanse the remaining stain after you have absorbed the oil and grease.

Step 1

Once you have shaken off the absorbent powder, which can be a simple combination of baking powder and talcum powder, it is time to use a pretreating solution.

You can use any pretreating solution/powder-like OxiClean Stain Remover . It is a water-activated formula that you need to mix with water and apply to the stain. It works with any detergent.

Step 2

You have to let it be for at least 30 minutes before cleaning it. The effect is visible only after that period of time.

Step 3

The subsequent cleaning can involve any detergent. You can wash it in the washing machine like you usually do.

If your fabric can handle high-temperature water, you have to select that setting to clean the grease and oil stains.

Step 4

Once you get your clothes out of the machine, you have to inspect them for stains. Only when the stain is not present, you have to dry it. Otherwise, you have to repeat the procedure.

With absorption and pretreating solution/powder, cleaning the grease and oil stains is easy.

Alternate Methods

Do not fancy this method?

If so, there are other solutions as well.

I will highlight few alternate methods below which can help you tackle this problem differently.


Use a Spot Remover

Grandma's Secret Spot Remover - Chlorine, Bleach, and Toxin-Free Stain Remover -...
  • ✅ HARSH ON STAINS NOT THE FABRIC: The toxin-free stain remover formula removes just the stains, not the beautiful...
  • ✅ LAUNDRY STAIN REMOVER: This instant Grandmas stain remover is specifically formulated for the treatment of rust...
  • ✅ EFFECTIVE: Grandma s secret spot remover can be used on blood, food stains, grass stains, pet stains, iodine,...
  • ✅ BABY STAIN REMOVER: No matter how adorable the baby is, keeping your sweet cheeks clean is a challenge. The baby...
  • ✅ EASY TO USE: Spot remover for clothes keeps cleaning simple: just apply natural stain remover to the affected area,...

Last update on 2024-07-14 at 04:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In this alternative method, you need not use the absorption technique. You can directly follow the steps, which I will highlight below.

  1. You have to use a spot remover  and apply it to the stain. After that, you have to scrub the stain with a toothbrush. That will reduce the intensity of the stain.
  2. In a bowl, you have to heat the water till the spot remover is at work.
  3. After that, keep the cloth in the basin or a bowl and pour hot water over it. While doing so, you have to do so with extreme caution to ensure that it does not spill over you or anyone else.
  4. Doing so will wash off the stain.

If the cloth has multiple stains, you have to repeat this procedure for each stain.

While it might require a little bit more effort than some other solutions, it works in most cases. That is because hot water and the spot remover can easily eliminate the grease and oil.

If you still need an alternate method, I will highlight that below.


Baby Powder Trick

Johnson's Baby Powder, Hypoallergenic and Paraben Free, 22 oz
  • 22-ounces of baby powder provides a gentle way to soothe your baby's skin and leave it feeling soft, smooth, and...
  • Hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and specially designed for baby's delicate skin, this baby powder is clinically...
  • The powder quickly absorbs moisture, and is free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and sulfates
  • This baby powder is great for kids and adults too. Try it at the beach to help remove sand, or as a dry shampoo...
  • For over 125 years, Johnson's formulas have been specifically designed for baby's delicate skin. To use, shake baby...

Last update on 2024-07-14 at 04:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This method’s advantage is that it uses the initial absorption technique, which I have highlighted above. After that, follow the steps highlighted below.

  1. You have to apply baby powder  to the stain.
  2. After letting the baby powder be for at least 30 minutes, you have to remove it using tissue paper or a spoon. The baby powder should not come in contact with other parts of the fabric. If it gets spilled, it will result in even more stains on the fabric.
  3. You have to take the detergent you plan to use and apply it to your thumb. After that, you have to sprinkle a little bit of water on your thumb. Once the foam starts to build up, you have to take the toothbrush solution and rub it on the stain. You have to rub it circularly on both sides of the stain.
  4. After doing so, you have to wash the clothes as you usually would.

With the help of this procedure, you can remove even the most stubborn grease and oil stains. It uses the combination of absorption technique along with the baby powder and your traditional detergent.

The 3 in 1 cleaning method is one of the most effective options to remove grease and oil stains.


Use Lighter Fluid

Zippo 3341 4oz. Lighter Fluid
3,053 Reviews
Zippo 3341 4oz. Lighter Fluid
  • Premium lighter fluid 4fl. Oz
  • Cleaner burning, improved Ignition, low odour
  • Refills your Zipper lighter
  • Excellent for removing grease, oil stains, tar & label
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update on 2024-07-14 at 04:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lighter Fluid is also useful to remove grease and oil stains. I will highlight the procedure to do so below.

  1. The 1st step is to apply lighter fluid   to the stain. You have to let it be for 20 minutes. Also, you have to ensure that the fabric is not delicate before you apply this fluid. Otherwise, it can be detrimental to your cloth.
  2. After 20 minutes, you have to wash it away by soaking the clothes in warm water.
  3. Once you have soaked it in warm water, you have to use the exact washing procedure which the label advocates.
  4. After that, you have to air dry it. If you’re using the dryer for the same, you have to dry it at extremely high temperature. Doing so will ensure the removal of the oil content or the grease content, which is still pending in the fabric.

That’s it!

Using a lighter fluid is another way to remove the oil or grease stains from your fabric. This method is not suitable for every fabric.

If you’re dealing with a delicate fabric like silk, it is good to stick to the primary method I have highlighted above. Otherwise, you can use this method or any of the other alternate methods which I have highlighted.


Instead of believing the myth that you cannot remove grease and oil stains from the fabric, now is the time to take action. The myth is only prevalent since most people use the traditional washing method to remove the grease and oil stains.

If you use the conventional detergent, you will not be able to remove the stains from the fabric. It will become tough for you to reuse the garment.

On the other hand, when you try out the primary method, which I have highlighted above, you can easily remove grease and oil stains. If you’re not able to try that method or it does not work out for some reason, you can choose between any of the alternative ways that I have highlighted above.

All the ingredients and resources required to execute these methods are relatively easy to procure. Owing to the same, executing any of these methods is not going to be a problem. Also, these methods do not require much of your time.

Queen of Chores