Last Updated: December 29, 2022

The 7 Best Oil Stain Removing Products.

WRITTEN BY Grove Collaborative • 13 min read

Let’s face it, one drop of oil on your sweater can ruin the day for anyone. Nothing is as tough to remove as oil when it comes to getting out stains. Whether it's cooking oil, body oil, or motor oil, it often seems that — once that dark spot appears on your clothing — it's all over. The only option left for your favorite shirt or pair of pants seems to be the "work clothes" drawer or the donate pile.

Worry not. Decades of pesky oil stains have provided us with numerous products that specialize in getting oil out of fabric and restoring beauty to our clothes and upholstery. Even better, we've made great strides in producing environmentally friendly oil-removing products. We rounded up the best products on Grove that are fit to keep your fabric items oil-free and looking as fresh as the day you bought them.

This list of products was determined by ratings and reviews from Grove members.

1. Molly's Suds Oxygen Whitener

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This natural bleach alternative doesn’t only whiten and brighten in the laundry room — it has stain-lifting properties all over your home! Here are a couple of our favorite additional uses for Oxygen Whitener. Extra carpet cleaning power! Add a scoop of Oxygen Whitener to the water compartment of your carpet cleaner for extra brightening power. …

41.09 oz
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2. method Stain Remover

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Stains that stay can ruin our favorite wardrobe pieces quick — make sure to tackle them before you wash with this method Stain Remover 6 fl oz. This method stain remover stick is made without triclosan and parabens. Its responsible packaging also features a built-in brush to scrub this formula deep into clothes and other fabrics, so stains lift and …

6 Oz
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3. method Laundry Booster - Sleep

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It’s not something we think about but sweat and body oils can really build up on our bedding over time — yuck! This method Laundry Booster – Sleep works alongside your regular detergent to leave your sheets, linens, and bedding fresh, clean, and softer than when washed with just laundry detergent. It’s made without parabens, phthalates, and …

28.2 oz
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4. Meliora Stain Remover Stick

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Simple, plastic-free way to remove stubborn stains from your linens and clothes! This product is known to be effective enough to save full loads of toddler laundry and get mildew out of shower curtains.
4 oz
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5. Seventh Generation Laundry Stain Remover

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Spray now, wash later. This Seventh Generation Stain Remover treats stains when they happen, so that when you get to actually washing your items, even if that’s a week (or two) later, you won’t have to worry about stains ruining your favorite shirt, sweater, or vintage pair of jeans. From baby spit up to full-on coffees spills, Seventh Generation …

16 oz
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6. Grove Co. Stain Remover Spray

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This Grove Co. Stain Remover Spray is powered by natural cleaning enzymes to eliminate grease and other everyday stains from laundry. Its formula attacks a wide variety of stains to powerfully lift tough dirt and grime out of clothes. Plastic-free and crafted to be sustainably powerful for a healthy home and planet.

This Grove stain remover is …

1 x 8oz Stain Spray
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7. Seventh Generation 3-in-1 Laundry Oxy Booster Packs

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Meet Seventh Generation’s Oxy Booster Packs—your laundry’s new best friend. Our packs fight tough stains and get your clothes back to looking great. Plus, they’re easy to use so there’s no mess and no spills. Just toss one pack in with each load with Seventh Generation laundry soap, then let its incredible 3-in-1 formula do the rest. Your family …

17.6 Oz, 25 Loads
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Why do body oils stain clothes?

Our bodies naturally produce a substance called sebum. Sebum is a body oil secreted by our glands to keep our skin moisturized and smooth. When the weather is dry, our bodies can produce too much sebum, overcompensating for extra-dry skin. Some people produce a lot of oil, which can cause oily skin and acne. Unless you've got oily skin, you probalby don't notice the presence of sebum on your skin or in your hair.

When our skin and hair make contact with clothes or bedding, sebum transfers over to the fabric. Because it's an oil, these secretions cause discoloration and never fully dry. Oils tend to repel water, so simply soaking a piece of clothing doesn't help. Many detergents are water-based, so they pass right over the stain without having any effect. A good detergent binds with both the water and oil molecules to draw the oil from the fabric, and oil stain removers are designed to do this job more efficiently and effectively than typical laundry detergents.

Can you get engine oil out of clothes?

It's entirely possible to get engine oil out of clothing. It's often darker and thicker than other oils — like cooking oil or body oils — and a spot on our favorite shirt might feel disastrous, but don't worry. If you take the proper steps, most engine oil stains will come right off.

One handy method, if you don't have a stain remover on hand, is to use baking soda. People have been using it for decades for all sorts of cleaning tasks. Baking soda is environmentally friendly and a highly effective cleaning agent.

  1. Lay the clothing flat on top of an old towel.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the oil spot.
  3. Wait a few minutes for the baking soda to change color.
  4. Scrape off the baking soda.
  5. Run hot water over the oil spot.
  6. If any discoloration remains, repeat the previous steps until the oil spot is gone.
  7. Wash and dry the clothing item according to its label.

What's as bad as oil for causing oil stains?

We dread stains of any sort, and tend to be extra cautious around oil — such as when we're cooking or lifting the hood of our car — but oil isn't the only substance to be wary of. The world is filled with liquids, powders, and other materials that will mess up your fabrics without giving it a second thought. With most, repeated application of baking soda and water will help remove the spot. In cases of pigmented substances — such as paint — you may need to consider a paint thinner or turpentine.

Here are a few substances to be careful around. Either change your clothes or wear an apron before handling. Most contain oils, but the addition of intense coloration makes them especially problematic.

  • Wine
  • Makeup
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Ink
  • Paint

What is Grove Collaborative?

At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.

If you're ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative's natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.

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