The best detergent for removing body oils

Updated February 21, 2017

Body oils can easily set into clothing through normal wear. However, these stains can sometimes be hard to remove once set in; a typical washing powder will not always get rid of them. Any brand of detergent will work to clean the clothing, but adding a few simple ingredients to the wash cycle will create the best detergent solution for removing both stains and body oils.

Hair Shampoo

Hair shampoo works perfectly for removing body oils, as it is designed to remove built-up body oil from hair. When laundering clothes, either soak the soiled clothing in a tub with 1/2 cup of sudsy hair shampoo, or rub a few drops directly onto the stain, let sit for a few minutes, then launder as usual. You can also substitute washing soda (available at any grocery store with laundry detergents) for the washing powder to make your own homemade washing powder.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another easy way to get body oil out of clothing. Soak the clothing in water and 1 cup of lemon juice, or put clothing in the washing machine with 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup washing soda. Alternately, simply use your regular washing powder and add a cup of lemon juice. Repeat as needed to keep body oil stains from setting into clothing. Also, use a cup of lemon juice with your white laundry to keep brights fresh and white. The lemon-fresh scent is an added bonus when washing with lemon juice.


Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, cleaning and breaking up body oil deposits on clothing. Put soiled clothing in the washing machine, and add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup distilled white vinegar (available at any grocery store). Wash on the normal cycle, and clothing will come out free of body oil stains and odour. If you do not have washing soda on hand, simply substitute a scoop of your regular washing powder. Repeat as often as necessary to keep clothing odour and stain free.

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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.