How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Clothes

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Coconut oil is one of the best natural oils for nourishing your skin and hair. However, accidental drops of coconut oil can cause unsightly stains on your clothes. So, how do you get these stains out of your clothes?

This article explains how to get coconut oil out of clothes in three simple steps:

  • Soak the fabric with baking soda
  • Apply dish detergent and wash with hot water
  • Air dry your fabric

Read on to get valuable tips on removing coconut oil stains from your favorite shirt.


How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Clothes

Removing oil stains is easy, especially if you act immediately. However, if you leave stains to settle, they become stubborn and require more effort and patience to lift off. 

If you leave stains to settle, they become stubborn and require more effort and patience to lift off. 

Note that there is always a risk of cleaning solutions ruining the color of certain fabrics. If you feel the need, do a patch test in an inconspicuous location to make sure the fabric isn’t ruined.

Of course, your fabric is already stained, so you’re starting out in a bad position.

Step 1: Soak the fabric with baking soda

Wipe off the excess oil with a clean paper towel immediately. Next, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the stain and go at it with a soft brush for a bit. Scrub gently around the stain and allow the powder to set in for 15 minutes.

The baking powder will discolor as it absorbs the oil. If you see it discoloring, that means it’s working. Add more powder until the discoloration stops.

Step 2: Wash the Fabric with dish detergent

Brush off the baking soda and squirt some dish detergent on the stain Lather it up gently. Leave the detergent to soak for a while, then wash the garment with hot water.

Scrub the spot until a significant part or whole stain is lifted. Note that the stain may not lift off with one wash. You must be consistent with this routine for results.

Step 3: Air dry your cloth

After washing your fabric, air-dry it. Please do not use a dryer, as the heat makes the stains set in, making them hard to remove.

Similarly, do not iron it until the stain is completely removed.

Just like any other, this method has precautions, and here are things you should know while removing the oil stains;

  • Hot water damages polyester fabric, so avoid using it. Instead, put more effort into rubbing and rinse with cold water.
  • Baking soda is a mild bleaching agent and is unfriendly to colored clothes. Therefore, you are advised to swap it with cornstarch.
  • Delicate fabrics such as silk and satin are susceptible to damage by brushing, hot water, and baking soda. So, when dealing with stains on these materials, use baby powder and wash it gently in lukewarm water.

How to Get Dried Oil Stains Out of Clothes

Occasionally, you are not in a position to deal with the coconut oil stain immediately. Worse, you forget about it and pass your clothes through a washing machine and dryer.

It may be fully set in by now. So, how do you remove an oil mark that has settled? 

Once again, there is a risk that this method will further damage the fabric, so do a patch test if you are concerned.

Once again, there is a risk that this method will further damage the fabric, so do a patch test if you are concerned.

Here are steps you to follow when removing oil stains:

  1. Place a piece of cardboard in between layers of your cloth to prevent the oil from spreading to other parts
  2. Spray a small amount of WD-40 on the spot. The spray breaks down the oil molecules and loosens the stain. Be cautious not to spray WD-40 on other cloth parts as it will leave a residue.
  3. Depending on the type of fabric, pour some baking soda or corn starch on the stain and rub it gently using a soft brush. Leave the powder for about 30 minutes, and brush it off as soon as big clumps form. Please repeat this step until they are no more clumps.
  4. Scrape off the powder into a bin and apply dish detergent on the stain, lather it in using a brush and leave for about 10 minutes.
  5. Wash the fabric with the hottest water it can stand and air dry it. Use cold water if your fabric is polyester, silk, or satin.

Old stains are more stubborn and will take a little more time and effort to lift off completely. Repeat this process every time you wash your stained fabric. Also, always remember to start this process on a dry cloth.

Removing Oil Stains from Carpets and Sofa sets

Lifting oil stains from carpets or sofas can be challenging since you cannot fit them into your washing machine. So, how do you remove coconut oil stains from your carpet or sofa?

Here are simple steps to follow:

  • Wipe off the excess oil using a paper towel
  • Apply a layer of cornstarch or baby powder to the stain and brush it softly. Allow the powder to absorb the oil for 15 minutes.
  • Scrape off the powder, and use a vacuum cleaner to remove all of it. Afterward, apply some dish detergent to a sponge and rub it onto the stain.
  • Apply some soapy water and continue rubbing.
  • Rinse off the soap using clean water.
  • Dry out all the water using a clean paper towel or a soft cloth. 

You can use baking soda instead of cornstarch on your carpet as it is not as delicate as your sofa covers.

Alternative Stain Removal Agents

There exist alternative oil removal agents that you can use in place of baking soda or dish soap. Below are some of them.

1. Vinegar

Like dish detergent, vinegar is good at breaking and removing oil stains. What you do is dip the area in vinegar for some minutes and scrub the area.

However, you should not that vinegar is a mild bleach and can cause your colored clothes to fade. You are advised to dilute it with hot water when using it on a black or blue t-shirt.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol is a solvent for many organic compounds, including oil. Thus, you can use alcohol to break down oil molecules and lift the stain. First, pour alcohol on a cotton wool ball and rub it on the affected area.

Repeat the process until the spot is clean. However, avoid alcohol on your carpet as it will dissolve its backing material.

Alcohol is a solvent for many organic compounds, so you can use alcohol to break down oil molecules and lift the stain.

3. Chalk

If you are dealing with small stains, use chalk instead of baking soda. It works like baking soda by absorbing the oil from the fabric.

When oil drops on your cloth, wipe it off and cover it with chalk for 15 minutes before washing it.


It would be best to take preventive measures to avoid oil stains on your clothes. If you’re cooking, wear an apron. They’re super cute!

But if coconut oil accidentally spills on your clothing, you now know how to deal with it. Apply these methods as soon as possible, and you will be good.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).