How to Get Citronella Oil Out of Clothes

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda, cornstarch or salt

  • Laundry pre-wash treater

  • Dawn dish soap

  • Laundry detergent

  • White distilled vinegar


Treat citronella oil stains as soon as possible.


Check the manufacturer's instructions before treating a garment. Delicate fabrics should only be treated by a dry cleaner.

Citronella oil can permanently stain clothing.

Citronella, like other oils and greases, can leave permanent stains in clothing. However, if treated quickly and effectively, you can remove citronella oil from your clothes. As with any type of stain, act as soon as possible to remove citronella oil.


Step 1

Apply an absorbent material, such as baking soda, cornstarch or salt to the citronella oil stain. Allow the absorbent material to sit on the stain for two to three minutes and brush it off.

Step 2

Apply Dawn dish soap (which is designed specifically to break up grease and oil) to the citronella oil stain. Use a cloth or soft brush to gently rub the Dawn into the stain. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 3

Rinse the spot with cool water until the Dawn dish soap has been removed.


Step 4

Apply a pre-wash laundry treater to the stain according to package directions. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 5

Launder the garment according to package directions, using a detergent with color-safe non-chlorine bleach. Add distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle in place of fabric softener, to deodorize the garment.

Step 6

Check the stain and repeat steps two and three as necessary.

Step 7

Dry the garment according to manufacturer's instructions.



Lane Madison

Lane Madison is a freelance writer and editor with over eight years experience as a corporate paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and English and a paralegal certificate. Her writing has been published on various websites.