How to Get Oil Stains Out of Clothing, Carpet & Fabric

Cooking splatters, food droplets, and even dirty shoes can leave oily stains on your garments and carpet. Remove them with common household products.


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No matter what you spilled on your clothes or furnishings, we can tell you how to get it out.


You Will Need

  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean rags
  • White vinegar


  1. Step 1

    Soak up oil with baking soda

    Sprinkle baking soda on the oil stain and allow it to sit for 24 hours to soak up oily residue.

  2. Step 2

    Brush off

    Shake off or vacuum up the baking soda, and see if the oil went with it.

  3. Step 3

    Soap up

    Squeeze liquid dish soap onto the stain, if any remains. Add a bit of warm water, and agitate it to work up a lather.

  4. Step 4

    Scrub stain

    Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush to get the soap deep into the fibers of your clothes, carpet, or other fabric. Allow the soap to sit for three minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Rinse thoroughly and pat dry

    Rinse the soap out thoroughly and pat the spot dry with a clean rag. Allow the spot to dry completely.

  6. Step 6

    Soak stain in vinegar

    Soak the stain with white vinegar if oil still remains. Allow it to sit for two minutes for clothing and fabric or for one hour for carpet.

  7. Always do a test spot to check for color fastness when using vinegar.

  8. Step 7

    Rinse and pat dry

    Rinse the spot and pat it dry with a clean rag. Then allow the spot to dry completely.

  9. Step 8

    Reevaluate the stain

    Check the stain for any residual oil. Repeat any or all of these steps as needed to remove the stain completely and never worry about oil stains again.

  10. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. oil consumption in 2009 was 19.5 million barrels per day.