From aromatherapy to workout recovery, you can use essential oils in some pretty cool ways. Geranium reduces the appearance of fine lines, Lemon essential oil is perfect in DIY garbage disposal fresheners, Lavender oil promotes feelings of calm and relaxation, and our VitalityTM essential oils spice up your cooking. Pure essential oils are an important part of any routine, whether you’re talking skin care, cleaning, relaxation, or overall wellness. To help ensure your day is free of oil-related mishaps, we’re answering your questions about whether essential oils stain clothes and other fabrics.

Blue Tansy essential oil

Q: Do essential oils stain?

A: Other than the exceptions listed below, pure essential oils do not stain. Because they are volatile, the oil evaporates without leaving a grease stain on clothes or fabrics like you could get from a drop of carrier oil. Young Living’s pure essential oils don’t leave a greasy mark.

Q: Which essential oils stain?

A: Though pure essential oils don’t leave an oily spot, a handful of oils can leave a stain due to the naturally occurring darker or yellowish coloring from the original botanicals. So be careful using these essential oils around your favorite white layering tee or Grandma’s heirloom linens.

Oils that stain due to a natural dark color:

Oils that stain due to a natural yellow color*:

Myrrh essential oil

*The yellowish color fades, but you’ll still want to avoid using it around your whites.

Q: How can these essential oils stain?

A: Applying any of these oils directly on white fabric will leave a stain—which is okay if you’re trying a new tie-dye project. If tinting your t-shirt isn’t the plan, avoid doing the following with these oils:

  • Applying directly to the skin and then putting on clothes before the oil absorbs
  • Adding to your laundry
  • Spilling on clothes or other fabrics

Q: How can I use the darker-colored oils?

A: While it’s true that these essential oils have potential to stain, their bottles are full of powerful benefits. If used with care, you—not your clothes—will be golden! Here are a few ways you can use darker-colored oils:

Tangerine essential oil
  • Add a drop of Blue Tansy to your moisturizer to dilute its color and help reduce the appearance of blemishes.
  • Diffuse Jasmine to fill your home with a rich, sultry aroma.
  • Combine German Chamomile with our V-6TM Vegetable Oil Complex to enhance your massage.
  • Make a set of DIY bathtub crayons that double as soap.

FYI, these oils may stain your diffuser depending on the oil and the amount you use. Be sure to clean your diffuser after each use; check out this post for some helpful tips!

Q: Can I use essential oils as a stain remover?

A: You’re in luck! We have a recipe for a stain remover stick made with Lemon essential oil and Thieves® Laundry soap. You can also use essential oils, and a few other natural ingredients, to clean up after your pets.

BTW, some of your favorite blends include darker oils that could stain, like Peace & Calming® and Valor®. Remember to read the labels before adding them to your laundry!


Besides Thieves Laundry Soap, here are a few more ways you can use essential oils to enhance your laundry routine. Are oils safe for my pet? How should I store my oils? We’ve got answers to your most-asked essential oil questions!