Cleaning Food Oil Stains from T-Shirts

Cooking or even eating can sometimes result in food oil stains on your clothing. This is a page about cleaning food oil stains from t-shirts.


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October 17, 2004

After I washed my t-shirt, there's always a stain on it. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks like (food) oil stains. I compared it to one of my shirts that got (food) oil stain and it looks exactly like the ones I wash (same stains). Do you know how I can remove this stain?

Phu from CA


October 1, 20130 found this helpful

This is very simple but it always works for me. As soon as I notice the stain (usually while I'm still wearing the t-shirt/dress/garment) I get a kitchen wet-wipe (the ant-bacterial ones for wiping and cleaning kitchen surfaces) and rub the stain from the top of the garment and from underneath the stain as well until the damp looking patch is much bigger than the original and you can't see the original stain in the damp patch any more.


Then I just let it dry. Most of the time the oil stain is completely gone by the time it dries and on the odd time when it is still slightly visible it washes out during the next laundry without any extra fussing about.

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March 3, 2011

After I washed my t-shirt, there's always a stain on it. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks like (food) oil stains. I compared it to one of my shirts that got (food) oil stain and it looks exactly like the ones I wash (same stains). Do you know how I can remove this stain?

Phu from cA


How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Try Dawn dish detergent. I keep a bottle in my laundry room just for stain removal. I use it on all of my food stains. If you have dried the shirt, it may not work as well. Just squirt a small amount directly on the stain. (10/17/2004)


By Ann

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Whether it be oil from butter, fatty food, or just anything greasy on your fingers that you have rubbed on your clothes, lighter fluid will take it out. It's wonderful, do not let the lighter fluid sit too long on the clothes or it will outline the stain. (10/17/2004)

By Patty

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Try soaking for 24-48 hours in nappy soaker. I do this for all heavily soiled or stained clothes as I don't use washing powder/liquid. Any stains, including grease, usually come out OK.


By Jo Bodey

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Spray-on oven cleaner and let sit 10 minutes, then wash immediately. This works so well that industrial kitchens use this to get chef's whites white. It can take the color out of a bright colored garment though. (10/17/2004)


By Linda L.

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

I use GOOP it is what mechanics use to get grease off their hands. (10/18/2004)

By guest

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

If you are sure you didn't get a stain on the shirt yourself, there are two things that may be causing it. First, are you using cheap fabric softener? They can cause strange, yellowish, greasy looking stains. Avoid cheap fabric softeners like the plague! It is much better to do without or use vinegar; or pay the extra money for Downey, which doesn't leave those stains. The other possible cause is, do you use washing machines or dryers that many other people use as well? Like at a laundromat or in an apartment building? You never know what someone else is washing/drying and then leaving a residue in the machine. And some fabrics are more prone to staining then others. If possible, buy or rent your own machines or go to a family member's or friend's to do your laundry where you have more control.


I had a real problem a few years back with all of my white t-shirts (actually anything white cotton and somethings not white), getting yellowish greasy type stains on them that I knew I hadn't put on them. I was using cheap fabric softener and using machines shared by a whole apartment building. When I stopped using the fabric softener, the stains stopped about 95% of the time. I figure the other strange stains were from something in the machines. Now I live somewhere else and have my own machines and never see stains like that anymore.

Good luck!

Heather (10/19/2004)

By plantgirl848

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

I use a product called "Super Mean Green" degreaser. You can get it at either Family Dollar or Walmart. It is actually more of a kitchen cleaner, but I have used it on some of my t-shirts and it has worked great. (10/19/2004)


By Renee Bosley

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

The best thing to remove oil and food grease stains is talc. Regular baby talc will work. It just has to be before you wash the clothing. Even if it's two weeks after the stain got on, as long as it hasn't been laundered, it'll come out. Just apply talc on the stain, rub it in and let it set for 24 hours. Then launder as usual and you should have no stain. It works like a charm, again, as long as it hasn't been washed with the stain. Good luck! (01/25/2006)

By Ivette

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Well, I used WD-40 on my white business shirt. The outcome, sensational. I am a bloke who couldn't get a stain out of the carpet let alone out off my shirt. This shirt was $175. I thought to myself it's already ruined why not give it a try you couldn't do any more damage then you already have. Thank you all. Now I sound like the regular Mr Mom at work. I wish I knew that these message boards existed years ago.
All the best.

By Jason

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Careful using lighter fluid, GOOP, oven cleaner, Goof-off, or anything else oil/solvent based. It is very hard to remove the residual odors out of the clothes and when it is heated up by the dryer it creates a vapor and could ignite. It happened to my dad's work clothes when I was a kid and we had severe smoke damage to our house not to mention the dryer was a total loss. It only took about 15 minutes to ignite. (12/05/2006)

By Sherri

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

Better than baby powder, borax! OK I've tried with the baby powder bit before, but borax has never let me down. It's safe for all colors. Combine that with some Dawn detergent and HOT water, you've got a never fail solution for all types of oil stains. Sprinkle borax on the oil stain even if it's "set in". Wait a few minutes. Then rub with some Dawn dish soap. Launder in the warmest water the garment care instructions will allow, preferably HOT. This is my all time favorite oil stain removal solution. Since they discontinued my all time favorite degreaser Westley's Clear Magic which worked in cold water. (12/06/2007)

By James

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

I used to teach art and also have a farm, so know that this "cure" has been used many times before. The first time I tried it I removed one-pound of softened butter from the front of a solid-blue cotton skirt. No color was removed from the skirt, and it only took one treatment of the recipe below to perfectly and totally remove all of the butter's oil. It works perfectly on spaghetti sauce, car oil, etc., too.

  1. Once you notice the oil spot, leave the fabric dry if you can.
  2. Blot off as much oil as you can by pressing down (only press straight down on it or you will spread the oil into a larger area to remove) with a paper towel or tissue.
  3. Immediately rub shampoo directly on the oil/food stain on both sides of the fabric. Really rub the stained spot against itself. Add more shampoo if you can, and repeat the rubbing process.
  4. Now you can add water! Rinse under warm water while rubbing fabric against itself gently (cold water can set some stains and hot water can set some stains, do this is a "down-the-middle" approach).

If you aren't going to be near a place where you can wash out the stain, carry a small bottle filled with shampoo in your car. You can apply it to the spot as soon as you see it, rub it in using the directions above and add water when you get to a sink or get home.

I also carry a small amount of "stick" Spray 'n Wash (I put a small amount in a small plastic jar) with me in the car and use it on pop stains on clothes before I get home. When you get home, you must start work on the stain right right away! Good luck! (02/28/2010)

By Mensan

How to Remove Oil Stains from T-shirts

I'm a massage therapist so i deal with oil on clothes regularly. This tip works on old and new stains. Put any kind of powder on the stain and let it sit over night. I use a baby powder. The next day shake off the excess and brush it with a lint brush. Repeat the process until it's gone. It has worked for me 99% of the time. Good luck! (01/27/2011)

By Carreen

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