How to Remove Rancid Oil from Massage Sheets

In April, I discovered that my beloved deep tissue massage cream had been discontinued. Suddenly, twelve years of using the same fabulous massage cream dissolved in one fell swoop. I broke into a panic and started researching replacements. The reason I loved this cream so much was because of its hypoallergenic nature. I have uber sensitive skin. Most massage creams and oils leave my hands feeling itchy, dry, scaly, and lizard-like, which is pretty bad for the longevity of a massage career. I flew to Seattle and visited my very favorite massage supply store, Zenith Supplies, and bought some samples of creams and lotions for research. My best friend Christine lives near Seattle and volunteered to be my massage lotion testing research subject. She’s so brave. I found two great creams from Biotone, with hypoallergenic ingredients, and have been using them ever since.

Now, here’s the problem. It’s four months into my new massage cream usage. This week, I noticed that my massage sheets are taking on a nasty, rancid oil smell. Yuck!!!!! I am pining for my old deep tissue cream, but it’s not coming back any time soon. So, today I drove to Safeway and bought four cases of Classic Coke (On sale: buy 2 cases, get 2 free).

No, I’m not going on a Coca-Cola drinking binge. My blog is called, “Creating Wellness,” remember?

Did you know that Coca Cola is one of the best degreasers ever? I learned this trick in massage school. One can of Coke emptied into the washing machine along with the normal amount of laundry detergent lifts that nasty rancid oil smell right out of the sheets. It’s like a magic fairy wand. You can let the sheets soak in it for a while, or just run the washer as you normally would. And then, voila! Fresh, clean sheets. Many massage therapists use bleach to pull the oil out. It doesn’t work very well, and leaves your sheets smelling like a rancid hot tub. Yummy.

In the rest of the world, Coca Cola also helps get that stale, human oil smell out of bedsheets. You know what I’m talking about. You pull the “clean” sheets out of the closet, and after you’ve made the bed, there’s an unwashed human smell lingering in the room. Coca Cola is better than linen spray, and a million times better than Tide. With my uber sensitive skin, I don’t want any nasty perfume-y crud rubbing its chemical compounds into my skin. That’s a recipe for disaster.

I found another blog that lists 51 uses for Coca Cola. Let it be known that I have used Coke in the past to remove rust from car brake light wires with fabulous success. Notice that I don’t recommend drinking it. Coca Cola cans are lined with BPA, and the same compound in Coke that degreases my sheets also removes the BPA right along with some of the aluminum from the can. When you drink it from the can, you’re getting all that great BPA along with a shot of aluminum. Keep the Coke in the laundry room.

For the Coca-Cola curious:
51 Uses for Coca Cola – The Ultimate List

4 thoughts on “How to Remove Rancid Oil from Massage Sheets

  1. I’m also going to try this, tho I wonder about the environmental impact of flushing the used coke down the drain with all that BPA, and also worry about its coming in contact with my client’s skin…(realizing that thw coke’s going to be partially rinsed out of the sheets, but still…

  2. I tried this so many times but unfortunately, it hasn’t got rid of the rancid smell. I find it also affects the smell of the rest of the laundry that is in the cupboard with my massage sheets. Is there another ‘natural’ way of ridding this smell?

  3. Yes! Since I have a front-loading washing machine, it’s definitely more difficult to get rancid smells out of laundry. Another great solution is to use 1 tablespoon of Citrasolve with 2 scoops of Oxiclean along with liquid Tide (I use the unscented kind). Tide has enzymes in it and is well-known in the diapering world for getting smells out of diapers, and I’ve found it has extremely good success at eliminating oil stink from sheets. I will still soak my face cradle covers and pillowcase in Coke overnight in the kitchen sink to get them really clean. Another remedy is to use Dawn dish soap, 1 teaspoon in front loaders and 1 tablespoon in top loaders (don’t use too much!!!!!). Dawn is used for removing oil from oil spills, and it also removes oil from sheets. Using too much can make too many bubbles that can destroy your front loading washer, so don’t add any extra soap with this method. And most of all, don’t overload your washing machine! I was putting 3 sets of sheets into my washer and I’ve found that putting 2 sets in the washer helps them agitate against each other a lot more easily and they have no smells at all now.

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