Getting an Oil Stain Out of Polyester

Mary Ylisela

Polyester is a synthetic fiber used for clothing and other textiles. When cared for properly, it's long-lasting and travels well. Polyester is sensitive to heat and oil-based stains. Greasy stains that are left too long on the fabric can become permanent.

Oil stains on polyester should be treated promptly.

Act fast, using supplies found readily around the home, to absorb the oil out of the polyester fibers before removing it from the surface. Thorough and prompt treatment leaves your garment clean and grease-free.


Substitute baby powder, cornstarch or table salt to absorb excess oil out of the polyester fabric. Rub grease-cutting dishwashing detergent into an oil stain to break down the oil for easier removal.


Avoid heat from hot water, the clothes dryer or iron with polyester fabric. This can permanently damage the fibers, ruining your clothing.

    Blot up excess oil to prevent it from spreading.
  1. Lay the oil-stained polyester on a flat surface. Blot with paper towels to soak up as much oil from the fabric as possible. Change to clean paper towels and continue to blot the fabric until there's no more transfer.

  2. Pour baking soda on the oil stain until completely covered. Leave the baking soda on the polyester for 30 to 60 minutes to absorb the grease. Brush the baking soda off the fabric, into the trash.

  3. Spray aerosol prewash stain remover onto the remaining oil stain. Allow it to soak into the fabric fibers for one minute.

  4. Mix up a solution of 1/4 cup oxygen bleach and 1 gallon warm water. Soak the polyester in a bucket containing the solution. Agitate the fabric a bit by dunking it up and down in the bleach mixtur, then allow it to soak for half an hour.

  5. Check the polyester as soon as it's finished in the wash machine.
  6. Wash the polyester item in warm water with laundry detergent. If any oil stain remains on the fabric after washing, lay the fabric face-down on paper towels and apply dry cleaning solvent. Allow the solvent to dry on the oil stain before rinsing it with water and laundering again.