36 answers

Oil like Laundry Stains on Clothes

I am trying figure out why I keep getting oil like splotches on some of my laundry. I thought it was my washer or dryer, but we recently got a new one and it is still happening. I use Tide, Downy and Clorox II on a regular basis and sometimes Bounce in the dryer. I called a technition once and he said it was probably my soap and using too much or the wrong kind. He suggested only using Tide, not any off brands. I have done that and it still happens on t shirts and dress shirts mostly. I haven't noticed it on anything else. Please let me know if this has happened to you and what you did about it. I am at a loss - but ruining some of our favorite clothes! Thanks for your help

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My neighbor told me that the best thing to use for oil stains is plain old shampoo. Whatever brand you like should work. Give it a try!! Good luck

Arrgh I get this too!! I am so glad I'm not the only one - it drives me crazy. I never even use fabric softener, and I got them even when I didn't cook very often so it wasn't cooking oil. I use Charlie's Soap now, and one thing that helped was to run a cycle through the washer without anything in it, just the Charlie's and water. I THINK this has helped. I only did this a couple weeks ago but I haven't seen the spots. Here is a link telling why: http://www.charliesoap.com/faq.asp and click on "Why is it necessary to clean out the machine?"

Good Luck!!

The only time I had that happen was when I washed and dried a load of laundry with a chapstick in a pocket by mistake!

More Answers

S.
Is it a oil stain like a dark grease stain, or is it like a clear oil stain? The reason I ask is that if it is a dark grease stain like what one gets when working on a car there is probably something wrong with your washer and it is leaking transmission fluid into your washer and depositing on your clothes. If it is a clear oil stain it could be coming from your fabric softner. I know when I use liquid fabric softner I get oily looking stains on clothes. I no longer use liquid softner. I also seen that someone mentioned using Dawn dish soap in your washer. That is a great idea. I use Dawn instead of any other stain removers. Dawn dish soap works on everything.
I hope this helps ya.
Good Luck
K.

1 mom found this helpful

This has happened to me several times too. I use liquid laundry detergent and I noticed that when I poured it directly on the clothes that the spots appear, and won't come out. Now, I let the water fill up a little, put the detergent in and let the water mix it up, then put the clothes in. I haven't seen it happen since then. It also happens with fabric softener.
Hope this helps

I am glad to know that I am not alone. I have been experiencing the same things with no knowlege of why. I will be interested to know what you find out and the solutions you come up with. I am sorry that I have none of my own.

M.

I found that using a liquid fabric softener sometimes leaves some spots. Maybe try running some loads with out it and just use dryer sheets and see if the spots stop. I only use liquid softener on my towels and sheets. Good Luck !

Hi S.,

I didn't read all of the responses, but I swear by Dreft.
I use the liquid detergent for any stains, especially oily ones.
Make sure it's the detergent and not the stain remover. I've tried both and the detergent is far superior to the actual stain remover.

I have had this problem before the seal on the bottom of the agitator was worn allowing oil to enter.

I have never had this happen, but I always put my liquid detergent in the water and let the machine fill up at least half way before I put my clothes in. I also use a downy ball in the machine which will slowly let the fabric softner out. Good luck!

Hi S.,
If its a clear oily spot then it could be from the dryer sheets. Mine have downy in them and Ive had that happen when they get older. A good way to find out is to take on with an old or already ruined sheet and fold it into it. Place it out in the sun and have a look about an hour or so later. I dont know why it happens or whats in them that makes it happen but it took me forever to work it out. Its funny though because when I got new ones and did the same thing it didnt happen go figure. Hope this helps

Don't use Bounce that will leave thingsx on clothes. Try putting a little Dawn dish detergent in the wash. I have used it to pre-treat oil stains on my clothing and it works great.
C. B

Hi S.! I'm so glad you asked this! I have this same problem! I never knew what it was but I'm definitely going to look into the fabric softener. didn't know about the vinegar either. Great idea!!! Anyway, I finally got the spots out with Spray n Wash the foaming kind. Let it sit for a while (5 minutes or so). Some I had to wash more than once. Good luck! and again, thank you!!

I am not sure about the spots, but do know that my pediatrician said that Tide was the worse detergent out there for sensitive skin! So you might consider changing just based on that if your children are suseptible to sensitive skin.

I have the same thing! Good to know I am not the only one - PLEASE send out an update and let us all know what worked for you...

The only time I had that happen was when I washed and dried a load of laundry with a chapstick in a pocket by mistake!

It is possible it is from oil splash when you cook? My kids have these same spots on their clothes at times but that is because they use their shirt as a towel too. I have teamed up with an amazing health and wellness company that has a great laundry line - All stains gone everytime we wash and there are no toxic ingredients.

If you would like to know more just let me know.. You can email me at: ____@____.com

The company works on referrals and I would be happy to share them with you..

C.
www.AHomeCareer.com

I had this problem once and my dear granny told me to dilute the fabric softener with hot water before adding it to the laundry. Also, I don't just add it at the beginning of the load, I wait until the rinse cycle water is full and add it as it's spinning. This has solved my "wet spot" or "oil spot" problem. Takes a bit more time but well worth it compared to the cost of clothes.

I had these problems for a while. At first we thought it could be chapstick left in pockets accidentally but I started becoming really careful about checking pockets and it was still happening. I finally quit using liquid fabric softener and haven't had a problem since. I still will use it on my towels and sheets, but just use dryer sheets for my clothes since I don't want them ruined by these types of spots! Good luck.

Hi S.,
Your question caught my attention. I don't know if I can help but I'll tell you what happened to me. I bought some brand new towel sets from JCPenny's about a year ago. I got them home and into the washer they went. When I went to pull them out to put them in the dryer there was a black "inky" or oily type substance all over them and my washer. It was a mess and I had no idea what was going on. I thought well, I guess I'll go ahead and wash everything again and see what happens. I had the same problem though the "inky" oily substance was growing weaker. Three washings later I came to the conclusion it was the dye in the towels. I ended up taking them back for a refund but that didn't help my dirty washer. I managed to get it cleaned out with a "degreaser". So in my thinking perhaps you have purchased clothing/towels etc that perhaps the dye in causing the grease problem. Best wishes and God Bless!

This happens to me when I do not let the laundry detergent dissolve in the water before I put my clothes in. Also if your fabric softener comes in contact with clothing it does this also. Your fabric softener should be diluted before it touches your clothing. How I fixed it is, I made sure of the above things and I also switched my fabric softener and laundry detergent to quick dissolving detergents. That are also non-toxic (which makes them all the more better..:)) If interested in switching to non-toxic products and saving money on cleaners you can go to www.shaklee.net/touchofgreen. This worked for me.

Also, have you ever heard of Fly Lady. She helps you keep your house clean with daily maintenance. I don't know how old your children are, but she has things for children also. It is awesome and free!!!

Good luck on what you do!!!

Hi S.-
If you have a top loading washer with the dispenser in the top of the ocilator (sp) in the middle of the washer pull that off and look underneath. I bet that you will find a lot of greasy, discolored, old fabric softener deposited there. I was shocked the first time that I saw that in my washer and ever since I have perodically cleaned under there and have never had another problem. Good luck : )

I get these all the time! I think it is for two reasons, one my two year old uses me as a human napkin. I get hand prints and face wipes on my shirts all the time. Second, my husband occasionally leaves chapstick in his pockets and they get washed. That one will do it for sure. To get them out, just put some shout or liquid detergent on the spot, and it should come out.

Several people suggested fabric softener as the culprit. If so, you could try switching to white vinegar for fabric softener. It makes everything rinse really clean and towels are super soft and absorbent.

g/l

Sometimes if you put too much Downey in, it can stain clothes. I found this out when my husband didn't measure the Downey and the clothes all came out with oily spots on them. I hope this helps.

It could be your perfume. Try covering up your shirts before you apply.

Hi there S.,
I had the same problem awhile back. I believe it was the fabric softner as when I started diluting it the oil-like stains disapeared. We have a HE BOSH washer & dryer and with these type of machines it is real important you only use 2 TBLSP of HD liquid detergent and now I add water to the fabric softner. I hope this might help.

Chalon

That was happening to me too! I thought maybe my bf left his chapstick in the wash and there was still some 'stuck' in the washer... Then I thought maybe it was the fabric softener...

I still never know what happened but it stopped... when I got a new washing machine :)

Good luck! I'm going to check out other women's responses incase it happens again!

S.,

I only use SA8 laundry products. They are the best and with 3 kids (2 of which are boys) I come across some interesting stains and stinky clothes. Go to www.getitherenow.mychoices.biz for all the best products for your entire family not just the laundry. Send me an email if you have any other product questions.
Happy washing. =)

M.
____@____.com

please email me at
____@____.com
when you get this one figured out....
same thing here.
I switched to ALL and removed my soap dispenser
and saw a decrease but am still getting some of
the greasy looking stains...
HELP!

When I get these stains on our clothes it's usually too much Downy or my fabric softener dispenser is clogged. If it's the dispenser that is clogged - simply take apart and run hot water through it. Hope this helps!

Have you tried using Purex or Xtra detergant? I've been using those and neither one of them have left oil stains on clothes. I know what your talking about though. If you don't want to use those, I would recommend using Tide for your colors, and just the Clorox bleach with the tide detergant for your whites. I've never used the Clorox II so I can't really say that thats whats causeing the oil stains, but just try cutting out the fabric softner. Bounce dryer sheets shouldn't be leaving oil stains at all. I use those in my dryer all the time.

Hope this works for you! Good luck!
D.

You can also try adding a few tablespoons of Borax to every load. That helps wash out the residue that detergents leave in the clothes. You don't need to use as much detergent either because it is a "detergent booster", which save a some money. Good luck.

Arrgh I get this too!! I am so glad I'm not the only one - it drives me crazy. I never even use fabric softener, and I got them even when I didn't cook very often so it wasn't cooking oil. I use Charlie's Soap now, and one thing that helped was to run a cycle through the washer without anything in it, just the Charlie's and water. I THINK this has helped. I only did this a couple weeks ago but I haven't seen the spots. Here is a link telling why: http://www.charliesoap.com/faq.asp and click on "Why is it necessary to clean out the machine?"

Good Luck!!

Dear S.,
I too, have had oil type stains on my clothing after washing them. I did find out it was the detergent I was using, Tide. I switched to a product called Melaleuca, which you can go to Melaleuca.com to view their products. I have also since switched to all of their cleaning products and supplements. A friend of mine referred me to this company and I am so happy I have switched. My clothes are cleaner and brighter than they've ever been before. If you want additional information I would be happy to help you out.

it's probably your fabric softener. It should come right out. It's probably not dispensing right (my guess). Try removing the fabric softener and see if that changes it. I believe you should be able to get those "oil" stains out.. with another wash and some stain remover. Perhaps, a 2nd rinse also might help. It's weird, I rarely have this problem at home but at my mom's it always seems to have softener at the bottom of the basket. It's like it doesn't fully dispense.

It's the downy. Stop using it for a while and you'll notice a difference. Maybe use it in every other wash.

Same thing happened to me. I put shout on the stains and let it sit overnight. Then washed it. That worked to get the stains out.

Good luck.

My neighbor told me that the best thing to use for oil stains is plain old shampoo. Whatever brand you like should work. Give it a try!! Good luck

S.-
Sorry about your stains! I don't know what is causing them, but I do know how to get them out. Spray them with WD-40 (Put a rag or towel in the middle of them so it doesn't go to both sides of the garment) let it soak for a minute and then cover with liquid dish soap-I use Dawn, and then rinse with water and wash with Tide. Good Luck!

it probably is your soap. It doesn't matter what kind you use.....i use Arm & Hammer because my hubby is allergic to chemical perfumes.
Try this....set your load size and all and start the washer, put soap in in it right away, and let more water run in and wet the soap down and disperse it. then throw your laundry in. I've found that letting the soap sit on top of the clothes sometimes keep it from getting wet and dissolving in the water. when you put the soap in first, it starts to dissolve and the clothes that go in first, sit on top of the water until the cycle starts.
Good Luck, hope this helps

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