As soap makers, we work with base oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil and even fragrance oils and essential oils. While making soap, spills and splashes occur. Oil lands and is wiped on clothes and aprons during the process. When you run them through the wash without pre-treating, sometimes they don’t come out!

olive oil

I’ve used an oil-cutting dish washing soap before. I just poured it on the stain and used a tooth brush to scrub.

So how do you pre-treat clothes and other fabrics before you wash?

This question was posted in our Facebook group Saponification Nation. Here are some helpful responses from the community.

“If you have Poly 80, rub it in the spot before you wash.”Sarah Withnell

“I think it was Jackie Thompson who told me to get a bottle of polysorbate from a supplier and use that on oil stains on clothes. It emulsifies the oil with water when washing.”Amanda Gail

“And I got that helpful hint (Poly 80)  from Beth Byrne!! It’s saved me a lot of clothes. Sometimes I have to repeat.”Jackie Thompson

Personally, I use Stanley Home Products degreaser. I’ve used this my entire life (thanks Mom!) because it’s the only thing I’ve found that gets out grease stains that have already been washed and dried… grass stains… and even baby poo stains. This stuff is amazing when it comes to laundry (and a bottle lasts FOREVER! I moved to Oregon 17 years ago with two bottles… and I still have some!). If you don’t have a Stanley Home Products rep, you can buy it on Amazon. I just wet the spot and add a little bit of degreaser. Rub it in and toss in with the rest of the laundry. (And it really does get rid of stains that have been washed and dried… even multiple times)Renee Lillie

“I have successfully used a mix of hydrogen peroxide and clear dawn. After applying to stain sprinkle with baking soda and scrub with an old toothbrush. Then wash in hottest water possible. This has removed even old oil stains.”Donna Dalton

How do you remove oil spots from clothes after making soap?

Happy Soaping!

-Amanda Gail