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Preparing, Sploshing With & Cleaning Up Runny Oils - A Full Guide

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Preparing Oil For Sploshing Sessions.

Vegetable oil and sunflower oil are relatively cheap and safer for skin, eyes and intimate areas than baby oil, so please avoid baby oil where possible. Motor oil is carcinogenic, so don't use that either!

In supermarkets you’ll find bottles of neutral vegetable oil between 1 litre and 3 litres, and some wholesale places have even larger bottles.

Oil is best used when it’s not too cold, so try to store it in a warm room for at least 2 hours before using it, or stand it on top of a radiator for 30 to 60 minutes.

Pro tip - don't use any kind of oil with latex clothing or condoms - it will degrade and put holes in the items. Pretty vital to avoid, especially with condoms!

If you must use it with latex clothing, keep contact with the oil short, and clean the clothing quickly with warm water and washing up liquid before a regular washing machine cycle. Then pat it dry and hang it up, and apply latex protecting/shining spray or liquid.

two bottles of vegetable oil
Vegetable Oil

Cleaning Up Runny Oils

Special note: This is for runny oils only, the ones that stay runny even when they are cold, like vegetable oil, sunflower oil and baby oil, and also applies to some oily wam substances like mayonnaise and Nutella.

For other fats that harden when cold, like butter, coconut oil and lard, there will be a specific article for them coming soon. I'll link to it here when it's published, but very generally you need those hard fats and any water you are cleaning with to stay warm or even hot to be able to clean them up.

Getting Oil Off Your Hair, Body & Skin


For short haired people

If covered in a runny type of oil like vegetable oil or baby oil it’s important you get your shampoo on (or even washing up liquid instead for the initial wash) before adding any water. Shampoo twice or more, massaging it in carefully for as long as you can each time to emulsify the oil. When you finally get a crazy amount of lather, that’s when you know most of the oil is gone. You likely won’t need conditioner after being doused in oil, unless you are certain you got rid of every trace.

For longer hair

For longer hair covered in runny oils, it’s very important you cover the whole surface of your hair in shampoo or washing up liquid before adding any water. You may have noticed this is a theme with everything oily you need to clean - emulsify the oil first with neat soap, shower gel or dish soap.

After the first wash, shampoo twice more, massaging it out each time for as long as you can from root to tip. You don't have to be rough though, go gently and be careful not to rub or scrub it into your hair, just keep smoothing it down and gently work it in with fingertips. You don’t want to give yourself split ends and a bird's nest.

Keep shampooing and rinsing until you can work up a crazy amount of lather, then you can be pretty sure all the oil is gone.

Condition as normal, but only on the very ends of your hair.

Body & Skin

If you are covered in oil you must cover yourself in neat shower gel and rub it in well before getting wet in the shower, though unlike with hair, it won't be a greasy disaster if you don't, it will just be more difficult. I highly recommend using very warm water and those plastic loofahs or bath puffs, made of scrunched up plastic mesh for removing any mess from skin, or a soft bristled body brush.

To get rid of the oiliness you’ll need a few passes of this method all over, rinsing off each time and doing it all again.

I also recommend having a mirror within your line of sight in the bathroom so you can visually check for any missed areas. Common areas I used to miss were backs of arms, flanks, backs of legs and ankles. Always check every single crevice of your ears too!

Pro tip - give your bathroom mirror a super thin coating of washing up liquid to stop it fogging up with steam. Use just a drop, and a soft cloth or kitchen paper.

Cleaning Oily Items & Objects

Baths & Showers

Don't do it! It's too slippery and you risk it going down the drain. Use a pool, inflatable massage mat or a makeshift messy nest (I make them out of thick plastic, with rolled up towels underneath, propping up the sides)

If you absolutely have to clean oil off your bath or shower, scoop away the worst of it and then use lots of hot water and washing up liquid.

See the inflatable pools advice for ways to dispose of the oil.

Inflatable Pools

For getting a large amount of runny oils out of pools, I have some very particular advice. It’s not a good idea to flush it or put it down drains, so you need something absorbent instead.

If you want to save the pool

Disposing of the oil is the first step. Keep the pool inflated the whole time through this process.

Line several bin bags, as many as you may need, with wood pellet cat litter, sawdust or absorbent floor pads, the ones intended for puppy accidents.

Using a jug or dustpan, scoop out the oil into the bags until the sawdust, cat litter or puppy pads are nearly soaked, then seal it and put it into another clean bin bag. Repeat this process til all the oil is gone.

These bin bags will need to be put in your general waste bin or taken to your local tip to the general waste area, so be careful not to make any of them too heavy.

Now back to the pool. Cover your pool in lots of neat washing up liquid/dish soap and give it a good scrub around with a brush, twice all over to be sure, not forgetting the outsides.

Then add a litre or so of very hot water and do it again. Now scoop out and tip away or flush the water, and keeping it inflated the whole time, clean the sides of the pool with a few microfibre cloths and a cleaning spray.

Finally, stand it up against a wall and use the cleaning spray again, and absorbent cloths all over it. Dry it thoroughly with towels or kitchen roll and then allow air dry, still inflated, before trying to pack it away. If any moisture remains when you pack it away it will go mouldy.

If you don't have time for it to air dry (at least 24 hours) you're probably better off throwing it out.

I recently wrote an even more in depth guide to pool cleaning with step by step instructions from prep to finish, and my thoughts on wet/dry vacuums and lining the pool with plastic. To read that, go here

If you want to throw away the pool

If you used a small pool and a bucket or less of mess in total

You may be able to pop the pool with scissors, squash it and put it into a bin bag. If you do this, be mindful of avoiding leaks from the edges as you squash it up, put it into a bin bag, secure the bin bag and then add another to be sure of no leaking. I often use three bin bags with this method, and with any other messy things that have to be thrown away.

If you used a large inflatable pool and more than one bucket of mess

For large amounts, you'll need to scoop out and dispose of everything before trying to bag it, or it will be too heavy. 10 litres is one bucket, and is the equivalent of 10kg. Even if you are strong enough to lift it easily, you risk the bin bag tearing if the contents are too heavy. Follow the above advice about absorbing the excess oil with wood pellet cat litter or puppy pads and bagging it up, before doing the same with the pool itself.

Buckets & Tools

As with the other things, a ‘dry’ coating of dish soap and a brushing first, then lots of warm soapy water and lots of rinsing is all you need, helping it along with a soft brush or cloth if need be.

Washing Oil Out Of Clothes

Wrap them up in a large clean towel or drop into a clean bucket so they don’t drip on the way to your washing machine.

Being careful not to overload your machine (wet and messy clothes and towels are heavy so split into more than one load if you have more than about 5kg worth)

Give each laundry load three or four full washing cycles, as hot as the fabrics will allow, all with 10% more than the recommended amount of laundry detergent or powder, and then a final wash cycle with a normal amount of detergent and fabric softener.

Washing Oil Out Of Underwear, Lingerie, Tights & Stockings

Follow the above laundry advice but put tights and lingerie items in their own zip up mesh laundry bags, separate from each other.

It's especially important to keep them separate from bras or anything with clasps or fastenings, as they will get snagged, potentially twist and rip, and be difficult to untangle.

You could also keep them separate to hand wash on their own.

Bras, teddies, babydoll nighties, basques etc all need their own zip up mesh laundry bags, or like with tights and stockings, keep them separate for thorough hand washing individually.

Due to the oiliness they will need extra detergent and careful attention, and likely several cycles of washing, rinsing and wringing out.

Cleaning Your Oily Shoes

Wash shoes in the sink as though you were washing dishes, but like with your hair and pool, get them covered in dish soap and rub it in well before getting them anywhere near water. Stuff the shoes with kitchen paper and put them somewhere warm, but away from direct heat to dry.

Cleaning Oily Wigs

For wigs, hand washing is best. Be very gentle and use neat shampoo for the first wash, without adding any water. Then shampoo it twice more, rinsing each time. Then liberally soak it with hair conditioner and leave it for at least 30 minutes. Brush it out gently with a wet brush - a wet brush is a great invention and is the name of the brand. It's very gentle and good for head hair too.

Rinse thoroughly and wrap it in a towel, then apply pressure to dry it a little, do not rub it. Then keep away from direct heat to dry it, preferably hanging on something rounded to help it keep its shape, like a mannequin head.


Always use neat soap on anything oily before using any water, it really helps. I recommend a good washing up liquid/dish soap for the first cleaning. Use wood pellet cat litter or sawdust to absorb oil for disposal if you used a large amount - don't flush it or put it down the drain.

You can always clean any substance off anything, and you can do it easily. You just need the right kit. With that in mind, I put together a whole page of all items I recommend and use myself in my studio and during personal WAM time. Join me in a more leisurely sploshing life!

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