Phenolic compounds are important basic materials for the organic chemical industry, such as pesticides, medicines and preservatives. Phenolic compounds can be obtained from biomass, coal and petroleum via pyrolysis and liquefaction, but they are mixtures in oil. The traditional methods to separate phenols from oil using alkaline washing are not environmentally benign. To solve the problems, deep eutectic solvents (DESs) and ionic liquids (ILs) have been developed to separate phenols from oil, which shows high efficiency and environmental friendliness. In this article, we summarized the properties of DESs and ILs and the applications of DESs and ILs in the separation of phenols and oil. There are two ways in which DESs and ILs are used in these applications: (1) DESs formed in situ using different hydrogen bonding acceptors including quaternary ammonium salts, zwitterions, imidazoles and amides; (2) DESs and ILs used as extractants. The effect of water on the separation, mass transfer dynamics in the separation process, removal of neutral oil entrained in DESs, phase diagrams of phenol + oil + extractant during extraction, are also discussed. In the last, we analyze general trends for the separation and evaluate the problematic or challenging aspects in the separation of phenols from oil mixtures.