Food & Recipes

How to Remove Oil Stains From Clothes, Tablecloths, and Napkins

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Cooking and eating can be a messy business. An enthusiastic cheese or pasta dish can leave clothes, tablecloths, and napkins splattered with tough-to-remove oil stains. The more it dries and sinks into your clothing, the harder the oil stain will be to clean off.

Follow these six steps and save your materials from permanent blotches.

How to Clean Oil Off of Fabric

  1. First, use a tissue or piece of paper towel to soak up the excess oil from the spot. Dab some baking soda onto the spot.
  2. Let it sit for a minute. You’ll notice the soda clumping together and perhaps taking on the color of the oil as it soaks it up.
  3. Scrub the baking soda off with a scouring cloth or old toothbrush. It’s okay if some of the soda stays on the item of clothing; it will come out in the wash.
  4. If the stain is persistent, you may need to repeat the process one or two more times.
  5. Cover the spot with a stain remover spray and rub it in a little.
  6. Wash your clothes as normal.

If, once washed, the stain is still there, don’t put the item of clothing into the dryer as that will only set the stain deeper. Instead, here are some other tricks to try for those extra heavy duty oil stains:

  • Spray on a little WD-40 before applying more baking soda and repeating the steps above.
  • Try ironing it out. Spread an old rag onto your ironing board, sprinkle it with baking soda, and place the clothing, stain side down, onto the rag. Then iron it and the rag should absorb the oil.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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