Long story short, I got a huge oily stain on my raincoat. More precisely butter, on the shoulders part. It looks bad, it smells like butter, and I am really not comfortable having it on my clothes + under my nose.

What I've tried so far:

  • removing the butter mechanically as much as I could (wiping with toilet paper)
  • washing it with soap, by hand
  • washing it in the washing machine, with plenty of dishwasher liquid, as I thought this might remove the stain (as it helped before with other clothes, but not this time)

The stain is still there, and I don't want to wear it like this. It is not a high-tech gear (just a Decathlon poncho), but I would rather not throw it out.

What other ways are worth a try? I haven't found any useful information on the label, just wash on 30 degrees, no chemical cleaning etc.

Also, does it (the butter AND the washing) affect the waterproofness of the material?

  • Washing can affect the waterproofness of the material, usually we wash our waterproofs in a Tech wash outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/17200/3313
    – Aravona
    Jul 29 '19 at 8:28
  • 5
    The late Dutch tent designer Carl Denig used to say: Rather a dirty tent than a leaking tent. The same applies to raincoats.
    – gerrit
    Jul 29 '19 at 12:56
  • 4
    You are probably going to spend more money trying to fix it than it would cost to buy a new one. If you don't want to waste the current one then save it for times when you are likely to get very dirty and wear the butter soiled one then.
    – noah
    Jul 29 '19 at 16:57
  • I was pretty sure it will not be as new. I am not too happy with this model anyhow, it builds up condensation too much.
    – Akabelle
    Jul 30 '19 at 6:07

You already washed it, so it is probably not as waterproof as it was new. If the pores/fabric are open enough to trap butter and keep it through a wash with dish soap. you have two options.

  1. Buy a new one, this one is unlikely to be an effective rain barrier.

  2. Rub cinnamon into the area with the butter, this should cover the butter smell or at least make it smell like cinnamon toast. Followed by a spray on water treatment appropriate for the fabric. With luck the combination of the cinnamon and waterproofing should conceal the butter smell.


Ok. If you aren't going to wear it dirty, then risking its waterproofing doesn't matter.

Things to try:

First one sounds crazy: You have a stain. Stain the rest of the poncho to match. You can be fully authentic and use butter, or you can use something with less smell to it, like vaseline. Rewash as you did the first time. See if the stains merger

TSP -- tri-sodium phosphate. This is serious degreaser. Try an initial soak then a vigorous brush.

Camp stove fuel. This is remarkably good solvent for anything greasy. Might work just as well on the waterproofing. Very flammable. Do not do this inside. Leave out to dry then wash again.

If either of these reduce the waterproofing substantially you can either recoat it with something like scotch guard to give it some waterproofing; or look up the recipes for making 'tin pants' (usually a mix of linseed oil and waxes.) or get a re-waterproofer compound from any good outdoor shop.


Clothes washing detergents are not good for greasy stains. This also applies to regular clothes : Smear the area with copious amounts of dishwasher detergent then wash normally.

This is going to remove any solvent based hydrophobe so you'll have to reapply as if it has none.

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