how to take oil smell out of clothes

What Takes Oil Smell Out of Clothes?

From time to time, we may encounter unpleasant oil smells in our clothes. The oil smell could be down to food, mechanical work, or a variety of other reasons. Regardless of the source, it is necessary to eliminate the odor to keep the clothing fresh and wearable.

Oil smells can be effectively removed from clothes using baking soda and vinegar, specialized laundry detergents designed for odor removal, or ammonia. These methods work by breaking down the oil molecules responsible for the unpleasant scent.

This article will explore three effective methods for removing oil smell from clothes, answer frequently asked questions on the topic, and provide a comprehensive summary.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar For Oil Smell

Baking soda and vinegar are both excellent odor neutralizers, and together, they can effectively remove oil smells from clothes.

  1. First, fill your washing machine or a large basin with warm water.
  2. Add 1 cup of baking soda to the water and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Place your oily clothing in the solution and let them soak for at least one hour. Better still overnight if possible.
  4. After soaking, drain the water and rinse the clothes.
  5. Then, run your clothes through a regular wash cycle in your machine, but replace your usual detergent with 1 cup of white vinegar.
  6. Finally, rinse and dry your clothes as usual. The oil smell should be gone.

Using Specific Laundry Detergents For Oil Smell

There are specific laundry detergents in the market that are designed to remove stubborn smells, including oil smells, from clothes. These products usually contain enzymes that break down the oil molecules responsible for the unpleasant scent.

  1. Look for laundry detergents that are marked as ‘odor removing’ or ‘for oily stains’.
  2. Follow the instructions on the product label for the correct amount to use.
  3. Wash your clothes as per usual, but consider using a warm or hot wash cycle as this can help to further break down the oil.
  4. After washing, give your clothes a sniff. If the oil smell is still present, you may want to repeat the process or try a different product.

Using Ammonia For Oil Smell on Clothes

Ammonia is another effective substance for removing oil smells. Be very careful and use with caution, as ammonia can be harmful if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes.

  1. Fill your washing machine or a basin with warm water.
  2. Add 1 cup of clear, non-sudsing ammonia to the water.
  3. Submerge your clothes in the solution, ensuring they’re fully soaked.
  4. Let them soak for about an hour.
  5. After soaking, rinse the clothes thoroughly.
  6. Then, wash your clothes as usual with your regular detergent.
  7. Rinse and dry your clothes as normal. The oil smell should have been significantly reduced, if not entirely eliminated.


How can soaking clothes in a vinegar and water solution help remove oil smell?

Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that can neutralize odors, including oil smell. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the oil molecules, eliminating the source of the smell.

Are there any specific laundry detergents that are effective in removing oil smell from clothes?

Yes, there are specific laundry detergents designed to tackle stubborn smells, including oil. These detergents often contain enzymes that break down oil molecules, thereby removing the smell.

Can ammonia be used to remove rancid oil smell from clothes?

Yes, ammonia can be very effective in removing rancid oil smells. However, it should be used with caution due to its strong and potentially harmful nature.

How can Coca-Cola be used to treat clothes with rancid oil smell?

Coca-Cola, due to its acidic nature, can help break down oil molecules and therefore remove the associated smell. Simply add a can of Coca-Cola along with your regular detergent and run a normal wash cycle. Be sure to rinse and dry the clothes thoroughly afterward to remove any residual soda.

What are the best ways to prevent oil smell from returning to clothes after washing?

To prevent oil smells from returning, ensure that your clothes are thoroughly rinsed and dried after washing. Storing clothes in a well-ventilated area also helps prevent odors. Avoiding direct contact with oils, or promptly treating clothes that have come in contact with oil, will also help.

Can air-drying clothes help in removing oil smell?

Yes, air-drying clothes can help in removing oil smell. Fresh air and sunlight can naturally deodorize clothing and help to evaporate any residual oil.

What is the best way to remove fish oil smell from clothes?

Removing fish oil smell can be achieved through the methods mentioned in this article. Washing with vinegar or ammonia, or using a specialized detergent, can be especially effective.

What are some techniques to get essential oil smells out of clothing?

Essential oils are quite concentrated and can adhere strongly to fabrics. Using a combination of baking soda and vinegar, a specialized detergent, or ammonia, as outlined above, can help to remove these scents.


Oil smells can make clothing unpleasant to wear, but there are several effective methods for eliminating these odors. Baking soda and vinegar, certain specially-formulated detergents, and ammonia can all be used to tackle oil smells in clothes.

Complimentary to these methods, there are also various strategies for preventing oil smells from returning. By taking a proactive approach to treating oil-scented clothes and employing some of these techniques, you can keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean.