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How to Get Oil Pastel Out of Clothes?

how to get oil pastel out of clothes

One of the most bought art supplies in the market is oil pastels. They are a common choice for creating artworks. They produce bright and vivid pictures. With proper blending and application, you can create a very realistic image. Aside from their ability to bring life to a canvas, they are also affordable and easy to use.

Before starting to work on an art project, you need to take precautionary measures. These measures include checking the materials you will be using if they do not contain toxic materials. It is best to wear an art apron over your clothes to avoid your clothes from getting stained with oil pastels.

There will be instances that you will be too excited to work on your project right away that you will no longer have time to wear an art apron or change into working clothes. If you get unlucky, you might get your clothes stained with oil pastel. Stains from oil pastels may be hard to remove as they are oil-based. Luckily, house cleaning materials can remove such stains.

Below are the recommended ways and steps to get oil pastel out of clothes

Washing with Rags

This process may sound weird. However, it works for stains that are small and have minimal pigmentation. All you need to do is put the stained cloth in the washing machine. Include scraps of clothes or rags and run a regular cycle. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. Clean the washer to ensure it is free of pigments.

WD-40 is a lubricant. It helps remove oil pastel stains that stayed long on clothes. The lubricating ability of the product will freshen the oil pastel stain. Just spray the front and back parts of the stained part with an ample amount of the product. Let it sit for half an hour before washing.

Dishwashing liquid/soap

Dishwashing soap is a readily available household item. All you have to do is squirt enough dish soap on your hand and rub it into the stained part. Be careful so that you won’t spread the stain. Soak it in a basin filled with hot water with your laundry detergent afterward. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it.

Rubbing alcohol

You need to pick out as much oil pastel from your cloth before using rubbing alcohol. Afterwards, rub ice cubes on the stained part. The rubbing hardens the remaining oil pastel, making it easier to remove. Remove the hardened oil pastel with a knife.

Take a ball of cotton and rub it on the remaining stain. If the dirt hasn’t lifted yet, take another cotton ball and soak it in isopropyl alcohol. Press it hard into the stained area. Keep pressing until the stain is gone. Wash the fabric afterward.

Greased Lightning

Greased Lightning is a product that is in the home supplies aisle in the supermarket. It is an effective stain remover. Spray a generous amount of the product on the stained region. Scrub it with a brush. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. Wash with laundry detergent.


Use a knife to scrape off as much oil pastel as you can from the stained cloth. Spray the stained part with vinegar. Let it sit before rubbing it. Wash it manually to remove the smell of the vinegar.
Cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda is another product that is present in almost every home. Place newspapers or tissue on a flat surface. Lay the stained cloth on top of the newspapers. Directly pour baking soda on the stained part. Pour vinegar on the baking soda. The chemical reaction will lift the stain. Launder the cloth to remove the smell of the vinegar.

Adding bleach to the detergent

Directly apply a liquid detergent to the stain. Let it sit for three to five minutes. Soak the stained fabric in a basin of warm water, detergent and bleach. Machine wash it at a high temperature.
Try acetone (mineral spirits)

Acetone is commonly known as nail polish remover. However, it can also remove stains effectively. Acetone can remove oil pastel stains. As usual, you need to scrape off hardened oil pastel. Directly apply acetone on the stained portion before rubbing it off using tissue paper or balls of cotton. Launder afterward.

Washing with baking soda

Pick out oil pastel pigments. Combine laundry detergent and a few tablespoons of baking soda in a basin of hot water. Soak the stained cloth before washing.

Rubbing the cloth with toothpaste

Toothpaste can easily remove oil pastel pigments on walls. Amazingly, it can also help lift oil pastel stains on clothes. All you need to do is squeeze out toothpaste into the soiled area and rub thoroughly. Rinse the cloth before laundering it. If the stain is still existent after washing, repeat the process.

Other reminders to keep in mind in getting oil pastels out of clothes


Check the wash tags

Some special washing instructions. Follow them to avoid wasting the cloth and stain remover. Removing the stain will be useless if laundering will destroy the material.

Take note of the type of fabric of the cloth.

Most of the mentioned stain removers are chemicals. Some chemicals that remove oil pastel stains may wreck delicate clothes such as silk. Be extra careful. Chemicals and washing conditions do not ruin a cloth made of cotton.

Do not mix the stain removers with another.

Aside from its possible negative impacts on the clothes, it may also harm your hand or your skin. Therefore, always research if you can mix one chemical with another.


On a final note, removing oil pastel from clothes is quite troublesome. As much as possible, avoid getting stains on your clothes. Wear art aprons and work clothes as much as possible. If you still get your clothes stained and need to use chemicals to remove the stain, be careful. Use surgical or disposable gloves to protect you from the substances that you’re going to use.

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