How to Remove Oil-Based Stains From Polyester

Polyester shirts attract oil stains.
Polyester shirts attract oil stains. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Oil-based stains are inevitable on any fabric, including polyester. Whether from oily lotions, foods or automotive parts, oil-based stains immediately mar polyester garments. Oil rapidly penetrates polyester fibers and generates dark spots that worsen over time. The longer oil-based stains stay on polyester, the more challenging the fabric becomes to restore. Like any stain, oil-based blemishes require immediate removal to ensure polyester recovers to its original condition. Properly remove oil-based stains to avoid permanently marring polyester.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic spoon
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Washing machine

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Scrape any excess oily residue, if applicable, off the polyester. Using a plastic spoon, scrape the garment and scoop up the oily mess.

Coat the oil-based stain with heavy-duty laundry detergent. Gently rub the liquid into the polyester.

Let the liquid detergent penetrate the oily polyester for 10 minutes. Rinse the oil-based stain with warm water.

Launder the polyester to fully rid of the stain. Wash the polyester clothing with 2 oz. of the previous laundry detergent in warm water.

Lay the laundered polyester flat or hang it outdoors to air dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clothes dryers and irons make oil-based stains permanent.


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