How to Remove Oil Stains From Pillows

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.


Treat an oily stain as soon as possible for the best results. Do not begin the stain removing process by rinsing your pillow with hot water and do not place the pillow into your dryer until you are certain the stain is gone. Heat may cause a stain to set into the cloth.

If you're treating an entire pillow, use a towel to wring out the excess water after soaking or washing it. Lay a large towel on the floor and wrap up the pillow in it. Roll and squeeze the pillow and the towel will absorb the water.

Don't let a stain ruin your favorite pillow.

It is a disappointment when makeup or other oily stains mar your favorite pillow or pillow covering. If the pillow is one of a set it can be expensive and difficult to replace. Treat oil stains as soon as you discover them and you may be able to save both money and time.

Step 1

Remove the covering from the pillow if possible. Treat both items if needed.

Step 2

Blot the stain with paper towels. Press paper towels against the oil stain until oil no longer appears on the towel.

Step 3

Soak the pillow or covering in cool water for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Wring out any excess water and work a drop or two of shampoo or dish washing detergent directly into the oil stain. These products are specifically formulated to remove oil and grease. Use a soft brush, such as a toothbrush, to gently scrub the detergent into the stain. Let the detergent set for 15 to 30 minutes. Or, treat the stain with a laundry stain remover specifically formulated for removing oily stains according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 5

Wash the pillow in the warmest water that is safe for the fabric type.

Step 6

Air-dry the pillow and check the stain after it is dry. If the stain is still evident, lightly sponge the stain with a commercial grease solvent. Let the pillow air outside until the odor of the solvent has dissipated and wash it again.


Jo Burns

Jo Burns has been a freelance writer since 1980. She specializes in articles relating to home and garden, alternative health care, travel, writing and crafting. In 2007, Burns received an M.F.A. in creative writing.