How to Get Oily Hair Stains Out of Pillow Cases

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda

  • Aerosol petroleum-based stain remover

  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent

  • White vinegar

  • Dry cleaning solvent

  • Paper towels

Oil naturally transfers from hair to the pillowcase as you sleep.

Natural oils serve to keep the hair and scalp moisturized. These oils are produced below the scalp, transferring to hair as a matter of course. Oil production varies from one person to the next. No matter what the level of your scalp's oil production, oil easily transfers from your hair to the pillowcase as you sleep. When it's left unattended, hair oil left on your pillowcase leads to discoloration and attracts dirt and dust. You can get oily hair stains out of pillowcases with the use of common household supplies and effective removal techniques.

Step 1

Remove the pillowcase from the pillow. Lay it on a flat work surface. Pour baking soda over the hair oil stain to cover it. Leave the baking soda in place for 20 to 30 minutes to absorb the oil stain and any accompanying odor.

Step 2

Brush the baking soda off the pillowcase and into the trash. Spray the remaining hair oil stain with petroleum-based stain remover to help loosen the oil. Allow the stain remover to soak into the fabric for two minutes.

Step 3

White vinegar has grease-cutting abilities to help remove the oil stain.

Launder the pillowcase in the hottest water allowed for the fabric. Add heavy-duty laundry detergent and 1 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle to remove hair oil.

Step 4

Check the pillowcase fabric before placing it in the dryer.

Step 5

Treat any remaining hair oil stains with dry cleaning solvent. Wet a paper towel with dry cleaning solvent and blot the hair oil stains from the inside of the pillowcase. Allow the dry cleaning solvent to dry before laundering the pillowcase again.


Substitute baby powder or cornstarch to absorb hair oil stains from your pillowcase. Apply a paste made of 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the hair oil stains. Allow the paste to dry on the fabric is it draws the oil stain out of the fibers. Wash as normal.


Avoid drying the pillowcase until the oil stain is completely removed. Heat from the dryer can cause oil stain discoloration to set.


Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.