Can You Wash Oily Clothes in Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Oily Clothes in Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash oily clothes in a washing machine. However, it is essential to take some precautions to avoid damaging the machine or transferring the oil to other clothes.

Laundry expert Emily Clarke shared his experience washing Oily Clothes in Washing Machine.

During my recent discussion with laundry expert Emily Clarke, she highlighted the key steps in washing oily clothes. Clarke emphasized pre-treatment with dish soap, adhering to the warm water recommendations, and the importance of washing such garments separately. Her insights have greatly enhanced our understanding of effectively dealing with oil stains in the laundry.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Oily Clothes in Washing Machine


  • Pre-treat the stain: Before tossing your oily garment into the washing machine, it’s crucial to pre-treat the stain. Blot any excess oil with a paper towel or cloth gently. Be cautious not to rub the stain, as it can spread the oil and make the situation worse.
  • Apply dish soap: Dish soap is a fantastic oil stain remover. Apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stained area. Gently rub it into the fabric, creating a lather. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to penetrate and break down the oil.
  • Check the care tag: Always follow the care instructions on the clothing’s tag. Ensure you use the warmest water temperature recommended, as this will help to loosen the oil and effectively remove it.
  • Wash separately: To prevent the oil from transferring to other clothes, wash the oily garment separately. Mixing oily clothes with clean ones can result in the oil spreading, leading to a bigger laundry problem.
  • Use baking soda or chalk for stubborn stains: If the oil stain is particularly stubborn, you can use baking soda or chalk. Sprinkle the affected area with either of these absorbent materials, allow them to sit for a while, and then brush or shake off the excess before washing.
  • Regularly clean your washing machine: To prevent oil buildup in your washing machine, make it a routine to clean the machine. This ensures that no residual oil is left behind that could affect future loads.


  • Do not use hot water: Hot water can set oil stains, making them even more challenging to remove. Stick to the warmest water temperature recommended on the care tag of your garment.
  • Do not overload the machine: Overloading the washing machine can reduce the effectiveness of the wash cycle. It’s important to allow your clothes enough space to move freely in the drum.
  • Avoid using bleach: While bleach can be a powerful stain remover, it can also break down fabrics and discolor your clothing. It’s best to steer clear of bleach when dealing with oil stains.
  • Do not use excessive detergent: Using too much detergent can create excessive suds that trap oil and dirt, making it harder to remove stains. Follow the detergent dosage recommendations.
  • Do not skip the pre-treatment step: Neglecting to pre-treat the stain can result in the oil setting into the fabric, making it nearly impossible to remove in the wash.

Steps to Wash Oily Clothes in the Washing Machine:

Now that we’ve covered the dos and don’ts, let’s walk through the process of washing oily clothes in your washing machine.

Step 1

Pre-treat the stain: As mentioned earlier, begin by blotting any excess oil with a paper towel or cloth. Be gentle to avoid spreading the stain. Apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stained area, and gently rub it in to create a lather. Allow it to sit for approximately 10 minutes.

Step 2

Check the care tag: Inspect the care tag on the garment for the recommended water temperature. Use the warmest water setting specified.

Step 3

Load the machine: Place the pre-treated garment in the washing machine drum. It’s crucial to wash the item separately to prevent the oil from transferring to other clothes.

Step 4

Use the right detergent: Choose a good quality detergent, and follow the recommended dosage for your load size.

Step 5

Start the wash cycle: Select a regular or heavy-duty wash cycle, depending on the fabric and the severity of the stain. Remember to use warm water, as suggested by the care tag.

Step 6

Inspect before drying: After the wash cycle is complete, carefully inspect the garment for any remaining oil stains. If stains persist, refrain from drying the item as heat can set the stain further. Instead, repeat the pre-treatment process and wash again.

Step 7

Air dry if needed: If you’re satisfied that the stain is gone, you can safely dry the garment. If the stain persists, avoid using the dryer, as heat can set the stain. Instead, air dry the item to ensure the stain is completely gone before storage.

Alternative Washing Methods for Oily Clothes:

In addition to using a washing machine, there are alternative methods to tackle oil stains. These methods can be useful if you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn stain or don’t have access to a washing machine at the moment.

  • Hand washing: Hand washing can be a more controlled method for treating oil stains. Use warm water and a small amount of dish soap, gently rubbing the fabric together to remove the stain. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  • Spot treatment with commercial stain removers: There are several commercial stain removers available specifically for oil and grease stains. Follow the instructions on the product label, but in most cases, you’ll apply the stain remover, allow it to sit for a specified time, and then wash as usual.
  • Cornstarch or talcum powder: Similar to the baking soda or chalk method, you can sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain. Let it sit for a while to absorb the oil, then gently brush or shake off the excess before washing.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar is known for its stain-removing properties. Apply a small amount to the stain, gently rub it in, and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice can help break down oil stains. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto the stain, allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then wash as usual.

Some Facts About Washing Oily Clothes


  • Before washing, remove any excess oil with a paper towel or cloth. Then, apply dish soap to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Wash the garment with the warmest water recommended on the care tag.
  • Avoid washing oily clothes with other clothes to prevent the oil from transferring to them.
  • If the oil stains are stubborn, you can use baking soda or chalk to absorb the oil before washing.


Can I use cold water to wash oily clothes in the machine?

Answer: It’s best to use the warmest water recommended on the care tag. Cold water may not be as effective at breaking down the oil, and hot water can set the stain.

What if I’ve already dried the garment with an oil stain? Can I still remove it?

Answer: Drying an item with an oil stain can set the stain, making it more challenging to remove. However, you can try pre-treating the stain and washing it with warm water. If the stain persists, it may be more difficult to completely remove.

Are there specific detergents designed for removing oil stains?

Answer: While there are detergents formulated for stain removal, a regular high-quality detergent should work well if you follow the pre-treatment steps and use warm water.

Can I use a fabric softener when washing oily clothes?

Answer: It’s best to skip the fabric softener when dealing with oily clothes. Fabric softeners can leave a residue that might trap oil, making it harder to remove.

How often should I clean my washing machine to prevent oil buildup?

Answer: Cleaning your washing machine should be a regular maintenance task. Aim to clean it every 1-2 months to prevent oil and dirt buildup.

Final Words:

Washing oily clothes in a washing machine is indeed possible, and by following the right steps and precautions, you can effectively remove those stubborn stains. Remember to pre-treat the stain, use the warmest water recommended, and wash the garment separately to avoid transferring oil to other clothes. If the stain persists, don’t hesitate to try alternative methods or rewash the item. By following these guidelines, you can maintain the cleanliness and quality of your clothes, ensuring they stay oil-free and fresh for longer.

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