How can I get the smell of vegetable oil out of my laundry?
June 1, 2015 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Spilled vegetable oil on the floor, cleaned it up with a rag. Thoughtlessly threw the rag in with a big load of laundry. Now everything smells like oil, even after repeated washings on different temperatures and soaking in the tub with dish soap. Help!
posted by chaiminda to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Adding white vinegar to a wash load helps.
posted by 4th number at 12:50 PM on June 1, 2015

Best answer: I've had good luck using OxiClean for those types of odors. Here's a recipe for a homemade version that supposedly works well. More suggestions here. Edited to add: if you have a HE washing machine, I'd be wary of using Dawn or any type of dishwashing detergent in it as those detergents get too sudsy and can ruin your machine.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:51 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've removed an oil stain with distilled white vinegar (spot treated then soaked in diluted vinegar and dawn dish soap). I know some people who use vinegar to remove mildew smells from clothes, I think they add it to the last rinse cycle.

Have you run a cleaning cycle in your washing machine? You run it with no load on the hottest, largest setting and add vinegar or bleach as it fills. Some people let it soak, use a vinegar/baking soda combination, and/or run another cycle with just hot water.

On preview: yes, be careful with dawn dish soap if you have HE machine (I thoroughly rinsed the shirt before throwing it in my HE machine).
posted by ghost phoneme at 1:00 PM on June 1, 2015

Try ammonia--it is very good for removing grease in the laundry, and isn't damaging to clothes despite what people think. I put a 1/2 cup in with 1/2 the normal amount of laundry detergent when I am washing kitchen towels.

BIG SAFETY WARNING: You probably know this already, but never mix ammonia with bleach because that is very very dangerous. Make sure your detergent doesn't have bleach in it, too.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:09 PM on June 1, 2015

Ammonia. The smell won't linger, and it's a great at cleaning oil and grease. When I used to use colored towels that couldn't be bleached, I used to use it about once a month with no problems.
posted by wryly at 1:18 PM on June 1, 2015

Oxyclean. My father was a chef & a soak in Oxyclean (Napisan in Australia) was what my mother used to get rid of greasy cooking smells. Wash normally afterwards.
posted by wwax at 1:26 PM on June 1, 2015

Best answer: Another safety warning: There is a small but real risk that cloth with residual oils on it will spontaneously combust in your dryer. You should monitor your load, and not dry it to fully dry.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 1:32 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oxi- clean with a half tablespoon of Tea Tree oil has never failed me for horrid laundry smells, including oil, mildew, football locker room etc.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 1:51 PM on June 1, 2015

My dog occasionally finds something vile to roll in, sometimes wearing his cunning little fleece coat. Borax has been a big help, and a useful item to have on the laundry shelf.
posted by theora55 at 3:54 PM on June 1, 2015

Definitely ammonia. It cuts the grease and is harmless to virtually all fabrics.
posted by HotToddy at 6:42 PM on June 1, 2015

Response by poster: For the benefit of future generations: ammonia did not work even after three washes. I am going to try Oxiclean next.
posted by chaiminda at 8:54 AM on June 4, 2015

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