How To Remove Coconut Oil Stains From Clothing

You might expect coconut oil not to stain clothing but it can. In fact, coconut oil stains can be pretty stubborn and can be tough to deal with.

In this guide I’ll share with you how to remove coconut oil stains from clothing.

Does coconut oil stain clothing?

does coconut oil stain clothing

As we have already established, coconut oil does stain clothing. A lot of people don’t expect coconut oil to stain clothing, or anything for that matter, due to its clear color. But even though it might not be colored, coconut oil is still a type of oil, and all oils will stain.

Coconut oil often comes in solid form, so you might not expect it to stain, but it still will. In fact, even if your coconut oil has been frozen, it could still stain any clothing that it comes into contact with. This is because textiles are incredibly vulnerable to staining, and all oils have all the properties that are closely linked with staining clothing.

So, even though you might think it is a ‘safer’ option, it really isn’t. If coconut oil comes into contact with your clothing, then it will stain.

Thankfully, coconut oil stains are usually reversible, as long as you act quickly. We’ll take a look at how to remove or prevent these stains a little later on.

Why does coconut oil stain clothes?

why does coconut oil stain clothes

You might be wondering why oil stains clothing. As we have said, all oils will stain clothes, and this can be quite tricky to wrap your head around. Most of the time when you think of stains in clothing, you think of colored stains on white clothing, but this isn’t the only type of stain that your clothing might encounter.

Coconut oil does not leave a brightly colored stain on your clothing, mainly because it is not bright. Instead, the oil will leave a dark stain where it has soaked into the textiles of your clothing.

It is able to do this because all oils are very greasy, and grease will sink into the clothing, making the stain darker and darker the longer that it is on your clothing.

Removing coconut oil stains from your clothing isn’t as simple as throwing your clothes in the wash. To prevent the stain from becoming permanent, you will need to act quickly.

To find out what you need to do, keep on reading. But first, let’s take a look at the different things you will need to get started.

How to remove coconut oil stains from clothing

how to remove coconut oil stains from clothing

What you need

To remove coconut oil stains, and prevent them from becoming permanent, you will need to act quickly. There are also a lot of tools that you will need to gather in order to get the job done. Thankfully, you should have all of these already in your home, as they are simple household items.

So, when you notice that you have got coconut oil on your clothing, gather the following items:

  • A Towel
  • Baking Soda
  • Scraper
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Soap
  • Scrub Brush

Once you have gathered all of this equipment, you are then ready to begin removing the coconut oil from your clothing. To find out how to do this, read on.

Removing fresh coconut oil stains: options one

The best way to save your clothing from long-term coconut oil stains is to act quickly. If you can do this, then you will be removing fresh coconut oil stains. Removing fresh coconut oil stains is much easier than removing old and stubborn stains, which is why we would recommend getting started as soon as possible.

When you notice that coconut oil has stained your clothing, the first thing that you should do is try to remove as much of the oil that is on the surface as you possibly can.

To do this, you should use a paper towel to mop up liquid coconut oil, and a scraper if the coconut oil is frozen or still in hard form. Once you have removed as much as you can, you should then rinse the clothing under a cold tap to try and to remove the last of the excess coconut oil.

You should then pretreat the stains with stain remover. To do this, follow the instructions on the packaging of the stain remover that you are using. Then put the clothing on your usual wash cycle. Leave it to dry, and you should find that the majority of the stain is unnoticeable.

Removing fresh coconut oil stains: option two

Another great way to remove fresh coconut oil stains is to use baking soda. For this method, you should begin by soaking up as much coconut oil as possible with a towel. It is very important that you only use a white towel, and preferably an old one, as the coconut oil will draw the color dyes out of the towel.

Once you have soaked up as much coconut oil as you can, you should then take your baking soda and apply it to the area of the stain. There is no need to be cautious with the amount of coconut oil that you apply, you should pour a generous amount onto the stain. If you haven’t got baking soda in the house, you can use cornstarch instead.

You should then leave the baking soda to sit for a minimum of 10 minutes. If the stain is particularly stubborn, you might have to apply more baking soda or leave it for longer.

You will notice that the baking soda is doing its job, as it will turn brown when it soaks up the coconut oil. When you are confident that the coconut oil has been soaked up, you can then scrape the baking soda off of the clothing.

When this is done, all that is left to do is wash your clothing on the highest possible heat setting that your washing machine allows. The hot water will help melt the remaining oil, encouraging it to work out of your clothing. Once your clothes have dried, the stains should not be noticeable.

Removing old/dried coconut oil stains

removing old/dried coconut oil stains

Throughout this, we have emphasized the importance of acting quickly to remove coconut oil stains from clothing. You might take this to mean that old or dried coconut oil stains are beyond repair, but this isn’t the case. It is simply easier to remove fresh coconut oil stains, but this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to remove older stains.

If the stain is old, then you should not apply any liquid to it. It can be tempting to wet stains, but with set-in oil stains, you should work on them for a while when they are dry.

Oil and water do not get along, so it is best to target the oil on its own when you can. So, begin by placing some cardboard underneath the stain. You should then begin to blot at the stain with a clean towel.

Next up, take some dish soap and apply it to the affected area. Dish soap is designed to cut through grease on dishes, so it makes sense that it will also be able to do the job with coconut oil on clothes.

Let the dish soap sink into the clothing, and rub it gently with your fingers over the area of the stain. Then take a soft-bristled brush (like a toothbrush) and use this to work the dish soap into the stain, rubbing in gentle motions. Leave this soap to soak into the clothing for at least 5 minutes.

When the soap has soaked in, you should then take the affected area of clothing and rinse it under warm running water. This should remove the dish soap, and the stain, with it.

Once you have rinsed the item, then place it in your washing machine and wash it on your usual cycle. Leave the item to dry, and you should find that the stubborn, old coconut oil stain has been removed.

James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »