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Thread: I need advice about removing an oil stain

  1. #1
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I need advice about removing an oil stain

    Aaargh.

    I have cleverly managed to get a smear of machine oil on my quilt. It is a very small smear (about 1/4" long) but I would much prefer it not to be there. When I have finished quilting and binding I thought I would dab some bar soap on the spot, soak the (very very small) quilt in warm water with dish detergent for a while, and then spin it and line dry. This little wallhanging has a lot of hand applique that I don't really want to stress more than necessary, so I would prefer not to machine wash it.

    Do you think this might work? Does anyone have a different approach that might be better?

    Oily Alison

    PS The oil came from my walking foot. It had started jamming up, so I gave it a bit of oil. I've done this many times before with no ill consequences...but *sigh* there's always a first time!

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good plan. I might block it and dry it flat if possible just in case things want to stretch from the weight of being wet. If it is a wall hanging, sweater racks might be big enough to dry it on.

    If the spot is still noticeable, you might be able to applique a piece over it that goes with whatever is in the hanging. Applique can cover a multitude of sins and ends up looking planned many times.

  3. #3
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    There is a grease spot remover you can purchase at fabric and quilt shops. I get it at the Hancocks in my town (not the same as the Hancocks in Paducah). It's made by Sullivan, is called Spot Remover. You spray it on, it dries white where the spot is. After it dries, you can shake or brush it off, or wash/wipe gently with a damp cloth. Works fabulously. I use it when my husband drips butter on his shirts and ties.

    I found the stuff years ago when I worked at a company that made knit items such as cheerleading uniforms. Often times the knits would brush up against the knitting machinery, which would then leave grease spots. We'd spray this on, blow it off with compressed air after it dried, and you could not tell there had ever been anything there.

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    p.s. After you oil your walking foot (for next time) sew on some paper towels for a bit.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    For oil based stains I use dawn dishwashing liquid... it has had the best results for me .. Just spot clean it with the liquid.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Lots of good information about removing various stains from quilts here - http://www.quilthistory.com/stain.htm

  7. #7
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Thanks y'all!

    I will hunt down the Sullivan's Spot Remover, and the quilt is small enough to dry on a rack, so I will go that route (with blocking).

    The funny thing is that I had been sewing with my walking foot for days after I oiled it, with no problems (after test sewing on white muslin). I think it was the extra bulk of the applique that pushed material up higher than usual and into contact with oil that hadn't been blotted. Whatever, I am grateful for all of your suggestions - and have learned something new in the process!

    Alison

  8. #8
    Super Member Maureen NJ's Avatar
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    I also use Dawn dish washing detergent to spot treat stains, including oil. I mx it with water and brush it on with a toothbrush. Then I put it in the washing machine with cold water, agitate 15 seconds mre or less, and let the item soak overnight. Of course you can't do that with the quilt, so I'd try putting paper towels underneath, brushing the spot with. dawn, and pouring with cold water and blotting to absorb the water. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i also use Dawn dish soap for oil stains.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    When I see Dawn I think of my mother in law and chuckle. For years, when she'd come for a visit during the holidays, we'd go grocery shopping together. Every single time we'd walk down the aisle that had the dish detergents, she'd tell me to buy Dawn because that's what they use to wash the ducks after an oil spill. Every. Single. Time. For YEARS. Finally one day I got tired of it and told her I wasn't going to buy any Dawn because I don't plan on giving any ducks a bath anytime soon. Her mouth snapped shut so fast, you could actually hear it. Now it's become a family joke - we're out of dish soap, can't be bathing ducks now!

  11. #11
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    If you aren't going to wash it right away, sprinkle some baby powder on the stain. The talc keeps the oil from locking in.

  12. #12
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    When I see Dawn I think of my mother in law and chuckle. For years, when she'd come for a visit during the holidays, we'd go grocery shopping together. Every single time we'd walk down the aisle that had the dish detergents, she'd tell me to buy Dawn because that's what they use to wash the ducks after an oil spill. Every. Single. Time. For YEARS. Finally one day I got tired of it and told her I wasn't going to buy any Dawn because I don't plan on giving any ducks a bath anytime soon. Her mouth snapped shut so fast, you could actually hear it. Now it's become a family joke - we're out of dish soap, can't be bathing ducks now!
    ROFL!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiBug123 View Post
    If you aren't going to wash it right away, sprinkle some baby powder on the stain. The talc keeps the oil from locking in.
    I am going to do this RIGHT NOW. Thank you for this tip!

    Alison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    For oil based stains I use dawn dishwashing liquid... it has had the best results for me .. Just spot clean it with the liquid.
    I would also try the Dawn. Might try wetting a cotton tipped swab then dabbing it in the Dawn dish soap to dilute it a little before swiping the oil spot. Paper towel or cotton ball to blot up the soap, then water dampened towel or cotton ball to make sure all soap is gone.

  14. #14
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    Try dawn dishwashing liquid.
    Judy

  15. #15
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MimiBug123 View Post
    If you aren't going to wash it right away, sprinkle some baby powder on the stain. The talc keeps the oil from locking in.
    If you don't have baby powder, corn starch (that you use in the kitchen) works just as well.

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MimiBug123 View Post
    If you aren't going to wash it right away, sprinkle some baby powder on the stain. The talc keeps the oil from locking in.
    I've also used corn starch. It will absorb the oil.

    I see Pam already beat me to this suggestion. That's what I get for not reading the whole thread before posting.
    Last edited by quiltsRfun; 11-11-2012 at 09:04 AM.

  17. #17
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Dawn dish soap - there is absolutely NOTHING better for getting greasy oily stuff out of anything!! And yes, if it can cut the oil on the ducks from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, then it can handle a little bit of sewing machine oil
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  18. #18
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    Carbona Stain Devils

    I've never found any better stain removal products than the Carbona Stain Devils; they're individually formulated for specific stain types. The Grease and Oil one does a remarkable job, as does the one for blood stains. I get them at my local grocery, and Joann's carries the Carbona multi-purpose stain product, which also works very well. Not to keep touting, but Carbona makes an excellent color catcher product, too!
    Last edited by smanry; 11-11-2012 at 07:40 PM. Reason: link repair

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