I have a pair of Adidas Los Angeles Denim running shoes the same as these. Apparently they have a denim upper which is printed with a pattern.

Over the weekend I was changing the oil on my car and mistakenly caught and kicked over the container with the used engine oil in it. I got a smallish amount of oil on the toe of my shoe. I instantly put my shoes in our washing machine using non-bio detergent (our machine has a "shoe" program) and the result was reasonably acceptable. The white rubber area of the sole is almost spotless. On the toe area there is still a slight discoloring / dullness.

Is this staining something I'm just going to have to live with or can anyone suggest anything or any process that might remove this stain from the printed denim?

  • 2
    Have you checked "remove engine oil stains from clothes"? For example, there are 4 methods in the first result: wikihow.com/Remove-Grease-or-Oil-Stains-from-Clothing. If you've already given them the elbow grease then unfortunately you just have to live with it; used motor oil has more than just oil in it. Next time you buy new shoes keep these ones, that way when you do work you'll have not-your-nicest-pair-of-shoes to wear while you do it. Lesson: Don't wear nice clothes when doing dirty work. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 13:53

6 Answers 6


Orange hand cleaner (without pumice) from the auto parts store, walmart, etc. Works on clothes, might work on your shoes.

  • If this is what I'm thinking of, it may also go by the name of Orange oil - in Australia, at least. Though this won't help the OP, it may help someone else. Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 7:27
  1. Lather with Goo Goo Gone.
  2. Brush with a soft bristle brush,
  3. Wipe with suede rag, damp with nail polish remover (flammable!)l
  4. Air dry.

Never machine wash sneakers!


Use Greased Lightning. I used to get oil in my clothes growing up and this would get it out every time.


"Athletic Shoes

Just spray Greased Lightning directly to your shoe’s soiled area and wipe clean. For set-in stains, scrub with a well-bristled brush and toss into the washer. Test in an inconspicuous area first."


Any time I get oil or other difficult to remove stains on my clothes I use washing up liquid (or dish soap) to remove them. The soap in the washing up liquid breaks down the oil and makes it easier to remove.

Try using a bit of soap massaged into the stain with a soft bristled toothbrush. The apply a but more soap, leave to soak for a few minutes and wash the shoe in your washing machine again.

It should get rid of the stain for you.


Depends if it's a grease stain from oil or a blackening stain from the byproducts of combustion (the spot that engine oil accumulates turning it black. A picture would be helpful. If a grease stain I would have advocated using gasoline on a clean rag as a solvent to soak into the stain and spread it out/transfer the majority percentage to the tag so that it becomes imperceptible. If it's a soot stain a more rigorous soaping combined with a forceful rinse.

I'd also recommend next time placing your feet into plastic bags and tying them up to protect the top of your shoes and/or perhaps putting some old sports socks on over your shoes


Shout Advanced Aerosol Spray,gets out even dried in motor oil, or any kind of oil. You could also try Dawn dishwashing liquid. I know for a fact it gets out dried in cooking grease and I have tried it on motor oil,but I think I had to wash it more than once, I can't remember. The trick to getting any kind of oil out is to wash it before it gets dry, I know sometimes that isn't possible,but pre-wash with Dawn and then use the Shout Advanced.

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