How to remove machine oil or grease stains from clothes 3

How to remove machine oil or grease stains from clothes

The biggest nightmare of a seamstress is to remove machine oil stains on a finished garment.

Or, even worse, on a client’s piece of clothing. I’ve had this experience quite often in my practice, once even on a prom dress.

I usually work with industrial machines and they tend to release oil more often. But this can happen with regular sewing machines, too.

Sure, there are a couple of natural stain removers you can use with a good result, like apple vinegar for example, or baby powder.

But unfortunately,

all of them require washing afterward. And, as I’ve never had the time to wash and dry (let alone the fact that washed clothing doesn’t look and feel exactly like the new ones) I had to find a better and faster solution.

So here is my piece of advice.

What you are going to need to remove machine oil or grease stains from clothes:

  1. A spot remover like this one.
  2. A brush.

Any type of brush would do. I prefer to use a toothbrush. It has a smaller surface and works great for this purpose.

In the image below, there is an ugly oil spot that needs to be removed. I’ve found that this type of spot-lifting spray works best on stains that are fresh and haven’t been treated or washed, yet. This is what we have to deal with anyway, so here are the steps to follow.

Steps to follow:

remove machine oil stains from clothes
  1. Shake the spot lifter bottle well before you use it. Spray lavishly, holding the spray approximately 10 inches/ 20 cm from the garment, but don’t overdo it (image 2). Make sure to cover around the edge of the spot. Spray well on the spot, all over it, and a bit wider than the spot itself.
  2. Wait until it’s fully dried (image 3). It usually takes about 20 minutes.
  3. Brush the powder off gently. Be careful not to inhale it.
remove oil spot from clothes

4.  In most cases, a big part of the spot would have vanished, or even the whole of it. But it happens that some areas are not fully cleaned and there is still some oil in the fabric threads. The powder would not go off as easily in these areas (images 5 and 6).

5. Just spray them over again, wait until it’s fully dried, and brush it off. There is no sight of the spot (image 8).


this is how I deal with this problem, that used to freak me out. Speaking of problems, damaged delicate fabrics during ironing is the other top one. Here is how I fixed this problem once and for all.

Get yourself an iron cover for delicate clothes

Everyone who sews knows that ironing is very important for good results. But delicate fabrics are tricky – they usually are hard to iron at the seams but require a lower temperature. This iron cover lets you set high temperatures without any concerns – I iron everything at a maximum temperature.

I’ve bought this iron cover for delicate clothes. I’ve been using it for more than 5 years now – the same one. It can be adjusted to an iron of any model and trademark. It’s the best investment I’ve made, right after the sewing machines. I use it with a cheap iron and always get great results.

In fact, I’ve replaced several irons (some cheap and some expensive) but kept the same iron cover. It lets me set a high temperature on the iron even with delicate fabrics. I only take it off to wash it once a year and this is all the attention it gets.

iron cover for delecate clothes

Another advantage is that it doesn’t give you the shiny effect on some polyester and rayon fabrics. I find it better than an ironing cloth because it is still as precise as the iron itself and you can easily see what you are doing underneath.

These are my two best problem solvers. Which are yours?  Drop me a line below, I would add some to the list so it’s of use to more people.

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More sewing tutorials:

  1. What is interfacing in sewing?
  2. How to repair ripped jeans
  3. Fix a hole in jeans between the legs
  4.  How to make a neckline smaller


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