Known for its moisturizing properties, coconut oil does wonders for your skin. No wonder the raw ingredient is used in DIY hair oils, facial masks, and body lotions.
You might find yourself wondering, “Does coconut oil stain?” or “Can it be easily washed out without leaving greasy residue?” Those are some of the questions we hear a lot, so we’re here to give you some answers.
Does coconut oil stain? Yes, Most types of oils stain, especially raw coconut oil like a virgin oil. If you’re concerned about ruining your clothes, towels, cotton bed sheets, pillows, and delicate textiles, resort to a refined or fractionated coconut oil that will less likely stain them.
Raw vs. Refined—Which Coconut Oil Will Likely Stain?
Made from fresh coconuts, raw coconut oil is unprocessed, which makes it greasy, leaving a stain on your clothes and bedsheets.
On the other hand, refined coconut oil has been bleached and deodorized, making it odorless, lightweight, and colorless which won’t likely stain any fabric.
If you’re wondering whether the coconut oil you have at home is raw or refined, consider its texture. The raw or virgin oil solidifies at room temperature, while a refined or fractionated oil remains in its liquid form.
If you want to avoid stains, opt for refined coconut oil.
In fact, it is used as a carrier oil in skincare products and massage balms since it is lightweight. Both oils have similar moisturizing properties, but you can still opt for raw coconut oil as long as you know some hacks on removing stains.
Also Read: How to Keep Coconut Oil Liquified?
How to Remove Coconut Oil Stains from Pillows and Bed Sheets
On Light Cotton Fabric
Most of the time, a dishwashing soap can dissolve the fats in the stain, and baking soda absorbs the oil from the fabric. If it’s a new stain, blot the excess oil with a paper towel, and apply baking soda to it, leaving it for 30 minutes.
Then, rub the baking soda along with the stain with a credit card or toothbrush until it comes off.
When it is still visible, apply a dishwashing soap and leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse. You may even add a glass of white vinegar to detergent and wash the cotton sheet in hot water.
Dry the cotton sheet in the sun, not in the dryer, so the stain won’t stick to the fabric.
Once dry, check if the coconut stain is still there. If yes, repeat the process until it is removed completely. Do not iron the fabric until the stain is removed to avoid permanent damage to your bedsheets.
On Dark Cotton Fabric
Instead of a baking soda that is harsh on colored fabric, use arrowroot or cornstarch instead, and repeat the process above. Apply cornstarch to the stain and leave it for 30 minutes.
Then, scrape the stain with a credit card or toothbrush before washing it with dishwashing soap and detergent. However, wash it in cold water, as hot water can fade the color of dark cotton fabric.
On Polyester Fabric
Baking soda and dishwashing soap work well with polyester pillowcases and bedsheets, but better use cold water instead of hot water. Repeat the process above, but expect you’ll need more effort on rubbing stain, as it tends to stick with polyester fabric. Wash it in cold water and dry in the sun—and repeat the process if the stain is still visible.
On Delicate Fabric
If the fabric of your bed sheet or pillowcase is quite delicate like silk, satin, and chiffon, skip using baking soda, vinegar, and hot water. You may apply baby powder to absorb the stain, for at least an hour, and rub it off with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Soak it in cold water with detergent or dishwashing liquid and wash it as you normally do. However, avoid putting much pressure on the fabric when rubbing to avoid damaging the fabric. Remember, delicate fabric requires delicate care, so be patient when removing stains.
On Carpets and Sofa Coverings
When coconut oil strains your textile furniture, the process will be more complicated.
If the sofa covering is attached and cannot be removed, go for a more dry cleaning approach when removing stains. If the stain is new, rub it off with a paper towel and apply baking soda to absorb the excess oil.
Scrape it with a toothbrush, and apply a mixture of detergent and water with a sponge, then rub carefully.
Repeat the process if the stain is still there. Unfortunately, old coconut stains are more challenging to handle. You might need to add a bleach mixed with detergent and water when removing it.
When it is old and dark, apply a solution of bleach, detergent, and water, leaving it for an hour.
Then, proceed with baking soda, rubbing off the stain from the fabric. The same procedure applies to carpets or upholstery. When the stain is completely gone, let it dry as usual.
On Leather Material
Unfortunately, coconut oil stain is trickier to remove in leather pillowcases, as it tends to leave a permanent mark. If the leather has a protective finish on it, any water-based cleaner or leather degreaser can do the trick.
If not, you must blot the stain right away and remove it with a microfiber cloth or paper towel. You can use talcum powder or cornstarch to absorb the grease and leave it overnight. Once the powder absorbed the stain, simply brush it off with a soft-bristle brush.
However, make sure you brush in the direction of lines, not back and forth to avoid scratching the surface. Think of investing in a waterproof stain guard for easier stain removal in the future.
On Suede Material
When it comes to suede pillowcases with old stains, think of removing them with an eraser. It can remove stains without applying water or any solution to them. Remember, the material is vulnerable when wet, so only rub the surface when it is dry.
Have you noticed that suede has a fiber-like finish into it? You should follow the direction of fibers when rubbing off to avoid leaving permanent scratches. If the stain is just new, blot it and apply cornstarch or baby powder on it. Continue applying powder if it still gets oily and brush it away with a suede brush.
How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Clothes After Washing
When dealing with coconut oil stains, time matters, as the longer you wait the harder it will stick to the fabric. However, what if you already did your part and washed your clothes, but the stain is still there?
Don’t use heat for drying your clothes
If you’re done with the washing part and the stain is still visible, you may dry your clothes under the sun, but not in the dryer. Also, avoid ironing it that will only cause the stain to cling to the fibers. As much as possible, proceed with the stain removal once your clothes are dried, as old stains will be harder to remove.
If the stain is old, use oxygen bleach
If your clothes are colored or printed, use color-safe bleach to remove the coconut oil stain. Prepare a solution with a moderate amount of bleach, detergent, and water. Rub the solution on the stain until it lightens and completely disappears.
If it is white fabric, continue on the stain removal process by applying baking soda to the stain, and leave it for an hour. If it is colored or printed, use a cornstarch powder. Scratch it off, and wash your clothes as usual.
Which type of coconut oil should you choose?
If you need coconut oil for topical application, think of a fractionated or refined oil that’s easier to apply and won’t stain your pillows and bed sheets in case you leave them on overnight.
More than that, it is more easily absorbed by the skin and won’t leave a greasy residue. It is also ideal for DIY roll-ons, and as a carrier oil to be mixed with essential oils since it is lightweight.
On the other hand, if you need a pre-wash hair product before shampooing or coloring your hair, you may choose virgin coconut oil.
If you like its coconut aroma, think of using it in DIY body butter, lotions, and balms. You may even mix it with cocoa butter, but make sure to store it at room temperature to keep its solid consistency.
Which type of coconut oil has a strong scent?
Some people don’t like the overpowering scent of coconut oil, especially the raw or virgin oil that leaves its scent even on stains. A fractionated coconut oil is odorless, so it’s a great choice for hair masks, body oils, and shampoos. More than that, it won’t alter the aromatic scent of your essential oils if you want to mix it with them.