How to Remove Oil Stains from Shoes
Oil stains are among the most common stains we get on both clothing and shoes. One of the main reasons for this is due to oil being spilled during cooking as it can happen so easily if we're not paying attention. This could be due to oil splashing from a pan or simply spilling some oil on yourself when pouring it. They are particularly difficult to remove, but not impossible. Help is at hand here at oneHOWTO as we find out how to remove oil stains from shoes, using tricks and tips on how to remove these annoying stains from all types of shoes.
If you are in a busy kitchen or working outside on a vehicle, you may not even notice you have spilled some oil on your shoes. If this is the case, unfortunately one of the best ways to remove the oil stain is to act fast and get into action immediately. The first thing to do is put it under an absorbent material, such as talcum powder, salt, cornflour or powdered chalk. The best of them is talcum powder: cover the oil stain on the shoe with talcum and leave it on a few hours to absorb all the fat. If you do not have talcum powder, instead you can use salt or cornstarch. Leave these to act for the whole day. This trick is ideal for all types of shoes as there shouldn't be anything in the talcum powder or cornstarch which will cause damage to the material.
Take a look at alternatives on our article how to remove oil stains with talcum powder for more information on the subject.
After a rest period of about 5-10 minutes, very carefully remove the talcum with a soft bristle brush like a toothbrush. Then, with a clean, dry cloth remove any dust left on the shoe. If the stain continues to be present you can repeat the process or one of the following steps, depending on the type of footwear.
If the oil has already dried on, you may still be able to salvage the show. Mix the cornstarch with a little (only a few drops) so that you get a thick paste. Rub this on the affected area and follow the rest of the above steps. It may be enough to absorb the oil stain.
Removing oil stains from leather shoes
If you have tried removing the oil stain with talcum powder or cornstarch, but it hasn't worked, you may still have several options for removing oil stains from your leather shoes.
- If it's natural leather, dilute two tablespoons of shampoo in 1/2 litre of hot water. It is important what type of shampoo you use and it is recommend you use something like Mane 'n Tail which is a horse shampoo also marketed to humans. Dampen a clean cloth in the mixture, remove excess fluid and gently rub the stain. Then, with another damp cloth soaked in water only, remove the excess soap. Pumpkin Soap is also very effective and you can find in any supermarket.
- If it's synthetic leather you can use the above products or washing up liquid you normally use to wash dishes because it is a powerful degreaser and removes fine oil stains. Again, a cheap product may not work and cause even more damage. Dawn brand washing up liquid has been used to remove oil stains from animals affected by oil spillages and is a powerful degreaser. This trick is great for greased leather shoes.
- If the leather is dark a very effective trick to remove oil stains is to rub these with the inside of a banana peel which will absorb it and leave it like new. This also can work for ink stains on your skin.
In all cases, you must use the hair dryer, a fan or any other object that emits air to dry the shoes because if left wet they could become warped or damaged.
If you need more information, we advise you to take a look at our article on how to remove oil stains from leather shoes.
Removing oil stains from suede shoes
Suede shoes are much more delicate than leather, so we must take special care when we want to get rid of an oil stain. The best option to remove oil stains from this type of footwear is talcum powder. Perform steps 1 and 2 from above and the stain should disappear. If not, you can prepare a solution of warm water, mild soap and a little ammonia. Beat the mixture until it froths. This is because you must remove the stain with the foam only and never with the soapy liquid solution. Put some foam on a soft bristle brush and rub the stain carefully, in the direction of suede's texture. Then, with a clean cloth remove any debris and dry the shoe well with a hair dryer.
Removing oil stains from nubuck shoes
Nubuk is a material that's extremely similar to suede, and is often confused with this material. Although nubuck has been stamped and treated using the outside of the leather hide to make it more durable, the cleaning process for removing oil stains is very similar. To remove oil stains from these shoes it is advisable to not use liquid products. However, as oil is a fluid, it can seep into the material and a trace may be left on our shoe. To best avoid this, you will need to clean all the shoe. After applying the talcum powder, prepare a solution of hot water and suitable bar soap. When the soap has dissolved, moisten a soft brush and clean the whole shoe, focusing particularly on the oil stain. Remember that this type of material should always be cleaned in the direction of the leather otherwise it might also cause damage.
Removing oil stains from fabric shoes
Fabric shoes are the easiest to clean. After using talcum, prepare a mixture with warm water, soap and a little baking soda. When the ingredients are well combined, moisten a soft bristle brush and rub the stain. Then let them dry in a shady spot. Some trainers can have additional material such as suede or leather, so you will need to be careful and check the label. Most running shoes are made from a washable fabric along with plastic and rubber, so you may be able to put them in the washing machine without damaging them. This will generally depend on how sturdy the shoes have been made in the first place. You can prepare the same mixture and then brush it off before putting them on a gentle cycle at a low temperature.
It may take a little trial and error, but you can test all these homemade tricks to remove oil stains from your shoes and hopefully get rid of them either entirely or so that you won't be able to notice them.
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