How to remove coconut oil from clothes?

Image showing clothes stained with coconut oil.

To remove coconut oil from clothes, you can use standard dishwashing soap and baking soda. Start by removing any extra oil from the garment by gently dabbing wet spots with a clean cloth. Now apply dishwashing soap onto the stain, and try to carefully scrub off any remaining oil. To remove dissolved oil with dishwashing soap, sprinkle baking soda and wait for it to absorb all the moisture. Finally, throw the garment into the washing machine and use a hot water cycle.

After washing the garment, it’s best to air dry it – A dryer machine or an iron can react with the fabric, potentially damaging the fibers. Waiting 24 hours should completely suffice, even if you are living in a humid area. If there appears to be no stain you can iron the item of clothing, otherwise, repeat the process again. If you are dealing with really stubborn stains, reaching for professional cleaning agents may also be a good idea.

Important side note: There is no guarantee that the stain will be removed. The sooner you deal with it, the higher the chance it will go away.

Removing coconut oil stains from clothes

Before you start washing the clothes

You need to know that time plays an important role in removing all types of stains. If you just got coconut oil on your clothes, be sure to act as soon as possible. Before you take any action, scrape off the excess coconut oil to prevent it from rubbing in.

For the most stubborn stains prepare commercial cleaning agents, although, in most cases, dishwashing soap and baking soda should suffice. We also recommend trying out any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous place first. Check how the fibers of your garment react before using any of the cleaning agents on the stains.

Already set-in stains are not only harder to remove but also require different handling. Dealing with these stains often calls for harsh cleaning agents that potentiate the risk of damaging the clothes.

If the stain is only on one side of the fabric, put some material underneath it. You do not want the coconut oil to travel on the other side of the clothing creating another stain. A regular towel should work well but any thick material will do.

The best way to remove coconut oil stains from clothes

After discussing all the technical information, we can finally go to actionable tips. Even though there are many ways to remove coconut oil stains from clothes, here’s the most popular one. It also does not require any commercial cleaning agents, only everyday household items.

Infographic showing how to remove coconut oil stains from clothes.

  1. Start by removing the excess coconut oil.
    Scrub off any excess amount of coconut oil from the fabric with a spoon and some type of cloth. Anything that can pick up the oil will work including paper towels, regular towels, or a hand towel. Work your way around the stain by gently dabbing the area – Do not rub it in!
  2. Apply dishwashing soap.
    Now you can apply a moderate amount of dishwashing soap to the stain. An excess can be once again removed with a clean cloth or a towel. Alternatively, you can put dishwashing soap onto the towel and gently dab the stained area.
  3. Apply baking soda.
    In order to remove the coconut oil with dishwashing soap, apply a generous amount of baking soda to the stained area. After 15-30 minutes it will absorb all the moisture, creating visible clumps. This is the time to remove the baking soda from the fabric by scraping it off with a thin-like material such as a spoon or a piece of hard paper.
  4. Wash the clothing.
    Now you can throw the garment into the washing machine, running a hot water cycle. Warm water is more effective at getting coconut oil out of the material. If you can still spot the stain at this stage, repeat the whole process or continue with commercial cleaning agents.
  5. Dry your garment.
    Air drying is your safest option, and we highly recommend doing it this way. Simply leave your garment for up to 24 hours, in order to dry completely. 

3 More ways to get coconut oil out of clothes

Laundry detergent

If you don’t have dishwashing soap, laundry detergent is the next best solution. Most products do a good job when dealing with all types of oil, however, be sure to check for bleach. It’s often added for whitening and brightening stains but some garments do not take it well.

No matter what type of detergent you use, we always recommend testing it on an inconspicuous area or a similar material. Fibers on delicate clothing can get damaged but the garment can also change its color.


Surprisingly, toothpaste can be used for removing stubborn stains. Thanks to its abrasive agents mixed with bleaching power, toothpaste effectively removes dirt and grime. For this method to work, you should apply toothpaste on a coconut stain and scrub it with a clean cloth or a towel. After you are done, be sure to clean the excess with another clean towel. You will have to finish off by putting the garment into the laundry. Once again, we highly recommend testing toothpaste on an inconspicuous place first.


Vinegar is probably one of the oldest ways to deal with dirt and grime using household items. If coconut stains are everywhere, or they are very stubborn, you can soak the clothes in a vinegar solution (⅓ water and ⅔ vinegar should be enough) for 30 minutes. You can also spray undiluted vinegar only on stained areas. If you have baking soda around, you can even create a paste by mixing it with some water and vinegar, and then apply it to stained areas.

Some people also recommend adding vinegar to the washing cycle, however, this solution does not remove stubborn stains well. It’s more for dealing with unpleasant smells or surface dirt and grime.

How to remove coconut oil stains from delicate clothing?

If you want to remove coconut oil stains from delicate clothing, the process will look a little different. Clothes made out of delicate fabrics such as silk, wool, chiffon, lace, or just very thin cotton are potent to damage due to weak fibers. All you need, in order to take care of them, is the right cleaning solution.

To create a DIY cleaning solution applicable to delicate clothing you will need:

  • Vinegar
  • Mild dish soap or castile soap
  • Warm water

Now mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¾ cup of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of dish soap into the solution. The solution can be either sprayed or applied onto the clean cloth. Turn the garment inside and outside and gently blot the stain with the cloth dipped in the formula until the stain goes away. After you are done, rinse the formula with another clean cloth and let it air dry (it should take no more than 24 hours).

If you don’t want to create a homemade formula, you can always purchase a commercial one. You can also check the ingredients yourself and choose one that has the best composition for your clothing.

Dealing with dried old coconut oil stains

Dried coconut oil stains are much harder to remove, and that is why we always recommend taking care of them ASAP. Nonetheless, you can still try to battle them, although there is no guarantee they will go away.

To remove dried coconut oil stains you will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • WD-40
  • Small container
  • Clean cloth
  • Regular laundry detergent

Start off by spraying WD-40 into the container, preferably outside, so you don’t cover anything by accident. Dip a clean cloth and apply the WD-40 onto the stained area, and then pour a generous amount of baking soda on top of it. Rub in the baking soda using an old toothbrush, and after you’re done, remove the clumped baking soda. Apply regular liquid laundry detergent onto the stain and scrub the area once again using the same toothbrush. Finally, throw the clothing into the washing machine and air dry it.

Instead of the WD-40 method, many people recommend using toothpaste, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol. This combination seems to work just as well, if not better. Start by putting toothpaste on the stained area and scrubbing it with an old toothbrush. Create a mixture of water, dishwashing soap, and rubbing alcohol in equal proportions and soak the garment there for 30 to 45 minutes. Wash off the mixture and repeat the process if necessary. Finally throw the garment into the washing machine and air dry it.

How to prevent coconut oil stains? – 5 Tips

  • Deal with the stain ASAP. This is probably the most important part when avoiding coconut oil stains. If you deal with the coconut oil in your clothes quickly, there should be no stain left.
  • Keep a clean cloth handy. Something to wipe off your hands when cooking will lower the chance of getting coconut oil on your clothes. It can also be used to quickly blot the stained area if you happen to get some on your garment.
  • Apply powder on the stained area. If you apply some type of powder on the stained area, it should absorb all the oil from the clothing. The sooner you act, the less oil will stay in the fabric.
  • Use household items to save time. If you just got coconut oil on your clothing, household items should be enough to completely remove it. Since time counts, we do not recommend getting commercial cleaning agents in this case.
  • Keep coconut oil in a special container. While using a jar can be comfortable for dealing with solidified oil, keeping it inside a bottle can help with overall cleanliness.


How do you get coconut oil out of clothes that have been washed?

The best way to get coconut oil out of washed clothes is to use WD-40 and baking soda. Start by applying WD-40 to the stained area and then put a generous amount of baking soda on top of it. Scrub the stained area with an old toothbrush and after you’re done, soak the garment in the mixture of dishwashing soap, water, and rubbing alcohol. Finish off with a regular washing machine cycle and air dry it.

Are coconut oil stains permanent?

Most coconut oil stains are not permanent, provided you take care of them quickly enough. If you leave coconut oil on a garment for too long, it can actually leave a dark spot. That is why we recommend dealing with them ASAP. You can always try to remove even old dried-up stains using WD-40 and the baking soda method.

Is coconut oil hard to get out of clothes?

Coconut oil may be hard to get out of clothes using just water. Since oils are hydrophobic, they do not break down with water. To remove coconut oil stains we would recommend hand-cleaning clothes using dish soap, vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, or in extreme cases, WD-40.

What dissolves coconut oil?

Since coconut oil doesn’t dissolve in water it may be hard to remove from clogged drain or clothes. If you would like to clean it from a garment, dish soap and baking soda is your best friend. In fact, the same method can create a mixture of hot water and dish soap – The hot water will help melt the coconut oil, while dish soap will further break it down.


In conclusion, to remove coconut oil stains from clothes it’s best to use dishwashing soap and baking soda. Since time plays an important role, we would not recommend going shopping for commercial cleaning agents, as a fresh stain can be easily removed. Remove excess coconut oil from the garment by gently dabbing wet spots with a clean cloth. Pour some dishwashing soap directly onto the stained area and carefully scrub any oil that comes out. Now sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and wait for it to absorb the moisture. Finish off by throwing the garment into the cleaning machine and air drying it (this process should take no longer than 24 hours).

You may also want to check out our other article about stained clothes – Does green tea stain clothes?