How To Get Motor Oil Out Of Clothes

Motor oil stains can be challenging to deal with, especially if you don’t act quickly. Most times, you won’t even notice the stains on your clothes until they attract dirt and become darker. Since motor oil is essential to the health of our cars, you can’t do without it. However, you can prevent it from staining your clothes or remove it if it does.

Motor Oil: Uses, Permanence, Prevention

how to remove set in motor oil stains from clothes

Why use motor oil?

As long as you use a car, you’ll need motor oil. You can only do without it if you don’t have one. That being said, the benefits of motor oil are many.

Its primary function is to lubricate the engine, which experiences much friction such that it wears and tears. This can cause the engine to break down more frequently, thereby increasing maintenance costs.

Also, motor oil protects your car’s engine from corrosion. Since the engine is made with metal, it’s prone to rust. Besides, the combustion from burning fuel generates acids that destroy the engine. Motor oil helps neutralize the corrosive impact of these acids, thereby making your engine last longer. Similarly, it improves the engine’s efficiency.

Equally important is that motor oil helps keep your engine clean. Fuel combustion and dust form residues that are likely to get trapped in sensitive parts of the engine, thereby clogging it and reducing its efficiency. However, when circulated through the oil filter, motor oil helps in gathering all these impurities, which are then removed during an oil change.

Are motor oil stains permanent?

Even though oil and grease stains can be difficult to clean because they attract more impurities when they stain your clothes, they can be removed if you work on them instantly. The trick is not to allow the motor oil stain to set before looking for a solution. Even if you don’t intend to wash the affected fabric instantly, ensure you pre-treat the stain.

how to get motor oil stains out of clothes

Can you prevent motor oil from staining your clothes?

Yes, you can. The most important thing to do is wear overalls when handling motor oil. That way, if anything gets stained, it’ll be your overalls. Also, be careful with how you handle motor oil. You should handle motor oil carefully and avoid any form of play or distraction to prevent spills and stains. Use it and keep it aside immediately when you’re done.

As a note of caution, store the oil in an airtight container and keep away from your clothes, food, devices, etc. If you’ve kids, keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t fool around with the oil. If you don’t have work overalls, you can wear your work clothes in the house when handling the oil. Ensure you’re not in your best wardrobe choice.

Why Remove Motor Oil From Your Clothes?

how to remove motor oil from clothing

No law states that people with motor oil stains on their clothes will be arrested or denied access to what is rightly theirs. However, stains on your clothes devalue your appearance. For example, people will see you as a dirty person if you keep going around with motor-oil-stained clothes. Here are some reasons you should always keep your clothes neat and free from stains.


Wearing clean clothes shows you care about your appearance, making people respect you. They’ll pay more attention to your words and actions compared to someone who dresses haphazardly.


Wearing clean clothes also impacts your health. For example, motor oil attracts dirt, making the stain darker with time. If you keep wearing such clothes without removing the stain, it’ll affect your health directly or indirectly. You might touch the spot and use that same hand without washing it to put food in your mouth. Besides, your skin can also breathe in dirt from the clothes.

Quality of clothes

Even if you want to reduce the number of clothes you have, you can’t afford to treat your clothes, especially stained ones, with levity. It’s more honorable to give some clothes to your younger ones or donate them to charity. If you want to maintain the quality of your clothes, you have to remove stains as quickly as possible.


While your confidence shouldn’t be gotten from your possessions, the quality of your possessions affects your confidence. Your clothes are your possessions and how you take care of them determines whether they’ll boost or deflate your confidence. For example, you can’t be as confident as you’d like to in a business meeting if there was a big motor oil stain right on your t-shirt. All eyes would be on the oil stain, and you would see the disappointment in them as you speak.


Clothes reflect who you are and what you hold dear. To some extent, people can tell your values by merely looking at how you dress. If you want to be seen as someone with a good set of values, you’ve to be conscious of your outer appearance.

How Do You Get Motor Oil Out Of Your Clothes? Here’s A Step-by-step Guide

how to remove engine oil stains from clothes

There are a couple of items you can use to get motor oil out of your clothes. They include cornstarch, liquid detergent, bar soap, baking soda, baby powder, aloe vera gel, etc. The removal method is almost the same for the items. Here is a step-by-step guide using baking soda.

Remove the excess oil

The first thing to do when getting motor oil out of your clothes is to remove the excess. If you don’t, everything you do to the stain will only push the oil further into the fabric’s fibers, making a mess of your efforts. Use an item with a blunt edge, such as a knife, spoon, etc., to scrape off the excess oil.

Lay the piece of cloth on a towel

The next thing to do is to lay the piece of cloth flat on a surface to make your work easier. Then, get a towel or cardboard and place it under the stain to prevent it from transferring to the flat surface.

Put some baking soda on the stain

After, sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes. The baking soda will change color to soak up the remaining oil. After 15 minutes, scrape off the baking soda.

Wash with warm water

After scraping off the baking soda, wash the clothes in hot water using a non-harsh but effective detergent or liquid soap. If you’re handwashing, ensure the water isn’t too hot so as not to scald your skin. Here’s a video on how to hand-wash clothes:

After washing, rinse the cloth and check if the stain is gone. If it isn’t, you have to re-apply the baking soda and let it sit for some minutes. Then wash again. Continue repeating this cycle until the stain is finally removed.

  1. Soak the clothes – The first step is to soak the clothes in warm water preferably. However, if it’s against the instructions on the care label, use water at room temperature.
  2. Apply the aloe vera gel -After soaking the cloth for some minutes, remove it from the water and scrub the gel into the stain in a circular motion. Do this for a few minutes.
  3. Wash and air dry the cloth -The next step is to wash the cloth with detergent and then air-dry.

Have You Always Wondered How To Remove Dried Motor Oil From Your Clothes? Follow This Step-by-step Guide

motor oil stain remover

The best way to get motor oil out of clothes is to remove them before they are set. However, you can still try your luck even with dried motor oil stains. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to remove dried motor oil stains.

Make a solution of vinegar, liquid detergent, and warm water

Vinegar is known to be effective in removing tough stains, and the addition of liquid detergent and warm water can facilitate the process. Make a solution of 3 tablespoons of vinegar and liquid detergent each, and fill the rest of the bottle with warm water. You should put this solution in a small-sized spray bottle so that you can easily apply it to the stain. Shake the solution well before you spray the dried stain.

Rub it in

Get a piece of soft cloth or a napkin to rub the solution into the stain. Be careful not to spread it to parts that aren’t affected.

Wash the clothes

After blotting the stain, wash the clothes normally. Check to see if the stain has gone. If not, repeat the steps until you can’t find any trace of it again.

Vinegar, warm water, and liquid detergent aren’t the only solutions to dried motor oil. Below are other things you can use.

Vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda are a powerful combination that can clean many tough stains. Mix both to form a paste and scrub the stain in a circular motion. Start working from the edges. After, scrape off the paste and wash the clothes as usual.

Commercial stain pre-treatment solution

If you don’t want to use homemade items, you can buy a commercial stain pretreatment solution. Ensure it’s of good quality so that it can work as effectively as you want while not harming your clothes.

For stubborn stains, you can soak the clothes overnight before applying any stain remover. Soaking helps to loosen the stain, making it easy to remove when washing. Also, you can follow the instructions on the stain remover’s label for best results, which might include letting them sit for extended periods to effectively remove the stain.


It’s easy to get motor oil out of your clothes when you work on it immediately; it becomes more challenging when it dries. However, your best bet is to prevent motor oil from staining your clothes so as not to go through the rigors of removing them if it does.

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