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

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

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.


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

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