Guide to Removing Coconut Oil Stains From Clothes & Surfaces

Absorb and remove coconut oil stains with these tested cleaning methods.

Published May 25, 2023
coconut oil

The high percentage of saturated fats in coconut oil causes it to stain clothes and other fabrics. You may wonder if a coconut oil stain will come out, and the good news is that there are a couple of ways you can free your fabric of the stain. If you experience a coconut oil mishap, these tips for getting coconut oil out of clothes will help you save the fabric and restore your clothing.

Step-by-Step Guides for Removing Coconut Oil Stains

There's more than one way to remove coconut oil from your clothing, and these two step-by-step methods are tried and tested. If one method doesn't quite do the trick for you, the other one likely will. Use these methods together if you need to tackle a particularly tough coconut oil stain.

Cold Water Method for Removing Coconut Oil From Clothes

If you've caught your coconut oil oopsie pretty early, the cold water method should remove the oil and any potential stain. This cold water and laundering method for coconut oil stains will get your clothes back to new in just a few simple steps.


  • Cold water (as cold as you can manage)
  • A basin, a bowl, or laundry sink
  • A gentle stain remover
  • Your go-to laundry detergent


  1. Remove any excess oil from the garment as soon as possible, using a flat or sharp edge to pick up the oil without pressing it deeper into the fabric.
  2. Spray your favorite stain remover directly onto the stain and let it sit according to the package instructions. If the package instructs you to rub the stain remover into the fabric, do so carefully. The last thing you want to do is press the coconut oil into the fibers.
  3. Add laundry detergent and extremely cold water to your sink or basin, giving it a good mix.
  4. Place your garment in and let it soak for 2-8 hours.
  5. Give the garment a light wringing and launder on a usual cycle in your washing machine with some additional detergent. Be sure to use cold water here as well.
  6. Air dry the garment on a flat surface or drying rack.
  7. Repeat these steps as needed. It may take a couple of rounds to fully rid your garment of the stain.

Hot Water Method for Removing Coconut Oil From Clothes

If you noticed the stain a bit later or if the cold water method doesn't remove every part of the stain after a couple of washes, you might need to use the hot water method.


  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush or small bristle brush
  • Heavy duty dish detergent (Dawn is a great stain remover)
  • A pot or teapot of boiling water
  • Basin or empty sink


  1. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda directly onto the coconut oil stain.
  2. Let the baking soda sit on the stain for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Use your bristle brush and a few drops of dish detergent to create a paste and gently scrub at the stain.
  4. Place the garment in your basin or sink while you bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
  5. Carefully pour the boiling water over the garment, completely covering the clothing.
  6. Let the garment soak in the hot water until the water is no longer steaming and is safe to touch.
  7. Remove the garment from the basin and thoroughly wring it out.
  8. Air dry on a flat surface or drying rack.

What to Do for Set-In Coconut Oil Stains

coconut oil and toothbrush

If you've tried both of the above methods and you're still left with an oil stain, you might need to take a few additional steps. If your coconut oil stain is older and set in, these extra steps might help lift and break down the stain before you begin the cleaning process.

  • Use additional baking soda or cornstarch to scrub at the stain and allow it to set for some time in order to absorb the oil.
  • Use a heavy duty gel stain remover to break down the oil and start lifting the stain away.
  • Coat the stain in a layer of hair spray and allow it to set for at least an hour, then wash in a cold or warm water cycle.
  • Soak the stained area of the garment in WD-40 for only 10 minutes before rinsing and washing.
  • Grab a piece of chalkboard chalk - your child's sidewalk chalk probably won't work here - and use a little elbow grease to work the chalk into the fibers of the fabric. Toss the clothing in the washing machine to remove the chalk and the stain all at once.

What Not to Do When Treating Coconut Oil Stains

As you're attempting to rid your garment of that pesky coconut oil stain, keep these warnings in mind to preserve your clothing and avoid potential health hazards.

  • Don't rub your fabric too vigorously when scrubbing at the stain. Doing so could press the oil further into the fibers and make it more difficult to remove the stain.
  • After you wash your clothes, don't place them in the dryer unless you are 100% certain the coconut oil stain is gone. If the oil is still present, the high heat of the dryer could present a health and safety hazard. Air dry the garment until you know for sure the stain is gone.
  • If your garment is dry-clean only, don't launder it yourself. Remove any excess oil and then jet over to the dry cleaner for a professional stain removal process that will preserve your clothing.
  • If you have a coconut oil mishap and find your clothing stained, don't wait to treat it. You certainly don't want the stain to set in. If you don't have time to do a full stain treatment, at least add baking soda or a gentle stain remover to the garment and get it soaking in water as quickly as possible.

Spot Treating Coconut Oil Stains on Other Surfaces

If you find coconut oil on other surfaces in your home - like a marble countertop or an upholstered dining chair - these tips should help you spot treat the stain successfully.

  • Use baby powder or baking soda to soak up the oil, letting it sit as long as you like, and then rinse it away with cold or warm water.
  • Use an upholstery grade stain remover or cleaner to treat the stained area.
  • Lift the oil stain with a steam cleaner or carpet cleaner.
  • Try cleaning stained countertops with baking soda, dish detergent, or vinegar. If these methods aren't working for you, you may need to consult a professional to remove a deep-set stain from quartz or marble countertops.

These Stain Removal Tips Keep You From Going Coco-Nuts

With these coconut oil stain removal tips, you know you don't need to panic when cooking, cleaning, and skincare mishaps happen. If you spill coconut oil onto a piece of clothing or a home surface, take a deep breath and quickly treat the stain with the helpful hacks you now know.

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Guide to Removing Coconut Oil Stains From Clothes & Surfaces