Have you ever sat down to fold laundry fresh out of the dryer only to find set in oil stains or grease stains?
Oil stains: the bane of my existence.
Aggravating, isn’t it?
I’ve been looking for alternative ways to clean around the house (and save money at the same time). While I don’t think I’m brave enough yet to use homemade laundry detergent, I found myself without a stain pre-treater or spot remover today after doing some laundry. I’ve read that baking soda is great at just about 1,000,000 different things.
I love my husband. Yesterday he managed to spill the entire contents of his coffee mug onto the floor, but didn’t drop either his cell phones (yes, two) or his coffee mug. I have also watched him be still with a drink in his hand and in a split second the drink is spilled everywhere. He defies the law of physics.
So in searching ways to remove oil stains, I remember I read somewhere that you can “revive” old oil by adding a little more oil. Makes sense when I think of my cast iron skillets looking a tad dull before I add oil or butter on them. There’s still a slight sheen of oil there even when bone dry after cleaning with soap (which you’re not supposed to do, I know).
Here’s what I did today that will remove even the oldest, most stubborn oil stains from clothes. I’ve only tried this on cotton so far, but I’ll let you know what other fabrics it will work on (because I can always trust on my husband to give me fresh material).
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Qtips (optional)
- baking soda
- scrap of cardboard (optional)
- Dawn liquid soap (or any other liquid dish detergent on hand)
- an old toothbrush
- your regular laundry routine after stain removal
Note: It has been brought to my attention that WD-40 is not oil, but rather a water dispersant. (Thanks to those observant readers!) However, the makers of WD-40 have listed the product as an oil-stain removal solution.
UPDATE: I have tried this with olive oil instead of WD-40; it did not work. Another time I forgot to use Dawn; it did not work. Oil stains were STILL THERE!
I started off with my generic WD-40. I always buy generic when I can on everyday things. WD-40 might be a tad extreme, but since I had already WASHED and DRIED these oil stains on high heat, what did I have to lose? I placed my scrap of cardboard underneath the stains (between the front and back of the t-shirt) and sprayed each oil stain…
Note: if your stains are super tiny, try spraying some WD-40 in a shallow bowl and using a Qtip to dab it on to control how much WD-40 gets on your clothing.