How Can You Get Motor Oil Out of Clothes?

Get motor oil out of clothes by acting quickly, removing unabsorbed oil, using baby powder or cornstarch, applying dish or laundry detergent and washing the clothes in hot water. Remember not to dry the clothes until all the oil is gone.

  1. Act quickly

    The sooner clothes stained with oil can be treated, the more likely it is that the stain can be removed. Travel size laundry pretreaters, dish soap or even hand soap helps prevent a permanent stain. Remember that water does not help remove oil, so don't try to rinse the oil away.

  2. Remove unabsorbed oil

    Motor oil that is sitting on top of the fabric can be removed with a plastic spoon or paper towel. Use the spoon to gently scrape away the blob of oil, taking care not to smear more oil into the garment. Use a white paper towel to blot away as much oil as possible before continuing to treat.

  3. Use baby powder or cornstarch

    Sprinkle baby powder or cornstarch onto the oily stain. Allow the powder to sit for five to 10 minutes to absorb as much of the stain as possible. If baby powder or cornstarch isn't available, try flour or salt.

  4. Apply a de-greaser

    Once all the oil is gone and only the stain remains, apply a de-greasing agent. Laundry pretreating sprays or gels, undiluted laundry detergent or dish soap breaks up the grease in the clothes, removing the stain. Rub the de-greaser into the fabric from both sides.

  5. Launder in hot water

    Use the hottest washing water possible. Check the garment's label for temperature restrictions. Wash oil-stained clothes separately to prevent the oil from getting on other clothes. Re-treat and re-launder before drying if necessary.