Whether you’re using baby oil or massage oil, it can seem nearly impossible not to soak the sheets with it. After oil sits for a few minutes, it stains sheets and sinks into the fabric. The good news is that, with a little bit of elbow grease, you can remove any oil from your sheets.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn a couple of ways to remove oil out of your sheets, the reason that baby oil is so hard to get out, and whether or not massage oil can ruin your bedding. Without further ado, let’s dive into the guide below!

Removing Different Oils From Sheets

You might’ve accidentally spilled baby oil on the sheets, or you were using massage oil, and some of it soaked into the bedding without you noticing. Either way, oil has been known to wreak havoc on sheets, hair, carpet, clothing, and almost everything else around the house.

If you’ve tried to use water by itself, then you already know that oil and water don’t mix. The goal is to push water through the porous fabric to pull it in and out until all of the oil is gone.

How to Get Baby Oil Out of Sheets

Getting baby oil out of sheets.

Step-by-Step Process to Remove Baby Oil Stains

  1. Pour enough water onto the stained area to soak it completely. You need to make sure that every bit of the stain is covered so it can start loosing from the fibers. Once the stain is covered in water, pour on a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap to cut through the thickness and density of the oil.
  2. Take an old toothbrush and scrub away at the stain. This process will take a while, oftentimes requiring 5 to 10 minutes of constant scrubbing. Once you notice that the oil is starting to lift and loosen, you’ll only have a few minutes left. The time span depends on how much oil you spilled and how long it sat in the sheets.
  3. Place the sheets in a sink, water basin, tub, or bucket filled with water. Squeeze and pull the sheets back and forth, focusing your attention on the oil-stained parts. Do this motion for about five minutes, then repeat step 2 if your sheets need an extra dose of dish soap scrubbing.
  4. Put the sheets into the laundry machine and give it a heavy rinse cycle. Don’t throw any other laundry in the machine with it; You want all of the washing power to focus on the stain. If you don’t have a laundry machine, use powdered laundry detergent in the sink for 10 to 15 minutes of scrubbing.
  5. Before you put the sheets into the dryer, make sure you check the stain. If it’s still there, you could risk drying it onto the sheets even more. Scrub it down by following steps two and three until the stain is gone, then place them in the dryer.

Why Is Baby Oil So Hard to Remove?

Baby oil is a type of mineral oil, which makes it a derivative of petroleum. Petroleum is known to cause all sorts of problems when it comes in contact with fabric because it’s a condensed, thick oil. When you spill baby oil on the sheets, you need to act as quickly as possible to stop it in its tracks.

To make matters worse, most sheets are quite porous. You might not see the tiny holes by looking at them far away, but a close examination will reveal the weaving patterns throughout all types of bedding. When oil gets into the pores, it’s very hard to remove.

The reason that washing with dish soap is so effective against baby oil stains is that it works to pull and push the stain through while also loosening it. It’s only a matter of time until the oil starts to fall off and get out of your sheets.

Unfortunately, using nothing but water won’t produce great results. The simple back and forth motion isn’t enough without dish soap or stain removal products. Water and oil have a different density. Although they’re both liquids, they won’t mix. By using dish soap, you increase the density of the water solution and make it much easier to remove the oil stain.

How to Get Massage Oil Out of Sheets

Luckily, massage oil isn’t as bad for sheets as baby oil tends to be.

How to get massage oil out of sheets.

Instructions for Removing Massage Oil

  1. Soak the sheets in a bucket of water. Massage oil can be quickly loosened if you start washing the bedding right when the spill happens. Once you’ve soaked the sheets, use a stain removal spray, such as the Oxiclean Maxforce Spray. It’ll further loosen the stain without pulling the color out of your sheets.
  2. Place the sheets in the laundry machine (or a water basin if you don’t have a washer). Use an oil removal laundry detergent, such as the Tide Heavy Duty Laundry Detergent. Much like the spray, it won’t strip the color out of your sheets. When these two products are combined, no oils will stand a chance.
  3. Remove the sheets from the washer and assess the stain. If it’s gone, you’re free to air dry the sheets or toss them in the dryer. If you notice that it’s still there, repeat step 1 until it’s gone, then dry them.
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Can Massage Oil Ruin Sheets?

Massage oil is used all over the world, and most of the time, it involves bedding. Nobody wants to go to a massage parlor and lay on a flat metal board! Since sheets are so common, you can probably imagine how many stains are caused by massage oil every day.

But is it really all that bad? Yes! Massage oil can loosen the fibers of bedding, causing it to deteriorate. It won’t decompose or eat away at the material, but it’ll cause holes and gaps around your sheets from the weight of the oil dispersing.

The good news is that massage oil won’t rip away at your sheets right away. If you’re able to catch the spill before it dries, then you can stop the stain from being an actual problem. By following the steps above, you’ll have no problem removing the oil completely.

How to Prevent Oil Stains on Sheets

The best way to remove oil stains is to never have them in the first place. While it might seem impossible considering the texture of oil and fabric, you can follow a few suggestions to prevent the oil from settling on the sheets. Try these tips:

  • Place a thin plastic sheet over the sheets before you use baby oil or massage oil. You don’t want a layer of garbage bag material, so make sure they’re relatively thin. Since oil can’t penetrate or soak plastic, it’ll never be able to make it to your bedding.
  • Consider using a lighter oil, such as coconut oil. While it can still stain sheets, the removal process isn’t nearly as tasking, nor is the potential damage as bad. Coconut oil also has numerous health benefits.
  • Buy spare sheets for massage sessions. You don’t have to worry about soaking your Egyptian cotton sheets if you take them off the bed and replace them with old sheets that you don’t care about.
  • Consider using leather couches or platforms. Oil can still dry on leather, but you can scrub it off quickly with dish soap. There’s no need for laundry machines since leather isn’t nearly as porous as microfiber or bamboo sheets.
  • Use diluted essential oils. They’ll soak into the skin long before they have the chance to drip down onto the sheets. Even if a few drops make their way to your bedding, it won’t cause any issues. Some people intentionally put drops of diluted essential oils onto their sheets for relaxation purposes.


Getting oil out of your sheets can be an annoying task. Rest assured that you’ll be able to follow the numerous solutions throughout this article to make your sheets look and feel like new again.

Remember that you should start washing the spill as soon as you can to prevent it from spreading and leaving a yellow stain. The damage caused by oil is exponential if you don’t start scrubbing away immediately.

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Baby oil is a mineral oil that’s very difficult to remove from sheets.
  • Use stain removers, such as dish soap, laundry detergent, and fabric spray.
  • Plastic sheets, essential oils, and leather are all great methods to prevent stains.

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