How to remove olive oil stains

Olive oil is a great vegetable oil, but it can also leave stains on your clothes. How do you remove them? Most olive oils are composed of a blend of two types of oil: cold-pressed and processed. Processed oils are exposed to heat and chemicals, which can damage the oil’s fatty acids and cause it to spot, stain, or rain down like rainbows on white sheets when you try to scrub it out. Cold-pressed oils are the purest form of olive oil and usually have a milder flavor.

If the stain is small and localized, you can try using soap with extra enzymes such as enzyme soap or the juice of half a lemon diluted with water. If the stain is larger or if it has penetrated the fabric, give up for now and call in reinforcements—a professional cleaner who specializes in removing olive oil stains. There’s no shame in admitting defeat here; sometimes even the most tried-and-true cleaning techniques just won’t work.

remove olive oil stains

Olive oil is a common ingredient in many kitchens, but it can leave behind unsightly stains on clothes. The key to successfully removing these stains is to treat them promptly and use the right techniques. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively eliminate olive oil stains and restore your garments to their original condition.

Step 1: Keep the Clothes Dry

When dealing with olive oil stains, it’s crucial to work on the fabric while it’s still dry. Avoid rinsing the clothing before pretreating, as water can cause the oil to penetrate further into the fabric. By keeping the clothes dry, you’ll have a better chance of removing the stain successfully.

Step 2: Pre-Treat the Oil Stains

To begin the stain removal process, apply a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to each oil stain. Gently massage the detergent into the fabric using your fingers or a soft brush. Allow the detergent to penetrate the stain for about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Use a Laundry Prewash Stain Remover

For more stubborn olive oil stains, you can use a laundry prewash stain remover. Apply the stain remover directly to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes, following the product instructions. The prewash stain remover helps break down the oil and prepares the fabric for the next step.

Step 4: Rub Baking Soda into the Stain

Baking soda is known for its absorbent properties and can be highly effective in removing oil stains. After applying the prewash stain remover, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda directly onto the stain. Gently rub the baking soda into the fabric, ensuring it covers the entire affected area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, allowing the baking soda to absorb the oil.

Step 5: Wash in Hot Water

Once the pre-treatment is complete, it’s time to wash the item. For best results, wash the garment in the hottest water setting recommended for the fabric. Hot water helps to break down and dissolve the oil, ensuring a thorough cleaning. Use an appropriate laundry detergent and follow the garment’s care instructions.

Step 6: Air Dry and Check for Any Remaining Stains

After washing, air dry the clothing. Once dry, inspect the fabric for any remaining stains. If there are still visible oil stains, repeat the process from Step 2 onwards. It’s essential to remove all traces of oil before exposing the garment to heat, such as tumble drying or ironing.


Olive oil stains on clothes can be frustrating, but with the right approach, they can be effectively removed. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you can tackle these stains and restore your garments to their original condition. Remember to act promptly, keep the fabric dry, and use suitable stain removal techniques to achieve the best results.


1. Can I use bleach to remove olive oil stains? It’s crucial to check the care label for the fabric’s fiber content before using bleach. Some fabrics may not be suitable for bleach and can be damaged by its strong chemical properties. Always follow the care instructions provided by the clothing manufacturer.

2. What if the olive oil stain has already set on the fabric? If the stain has already set, it may be more challenging to remove. However, you can still try the methods outlined in this guide. It may require more repeated attempts or professional cleaning for deeply set stains.

3. Are these stain removal methods safe for all types of fabric? Most fabrics can tolerate the methods mentioned in this guide. However, it’s essential to check the garment’s care label for specific instructions. Delicate fabrics or those with special finishes may require alternative stain removal techniques.

4. Can I use cold water instead of hot water for washing? Hot water is generally more effective in breaking down and dissolving oil stains. However, if the fabric’s care instructions recommend cold water, you can follow those instructions while still using the pre-treatment methods described.

5. Is it necessary to air dry the clothes, or can I use a dryer? Air drying is recommended to ensure that the stain is entirely removed before exposing the garment to heat. Using a dryer before confirming the stain’s removal may cause the oil to set further into the fabric, making it more challenging to remove.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.