5 effective grease stain removal tips


No matter how neat your family of eaters may be, there is bound to be a grease spot or oil stain on clothes every now and then.

Never fear; these little reminders of family life - in the form of grease stains on clothes - needn't become a permanent memory on your clothes.

These 5 grease stain removal tips can get your favorite clothes looking fresh and clean again in no time.

1.  Grease Stain Removal Using Dish Soap and Hot Water

Treat grease-stained clothes the same way you would a sink full of greasy dishes - remove grease from the surface with hand dish-washing liquid. 

Because dish detergent is designed to break up surface grease and allow it to rinse away, it's uniquely qualified for grease stain removal on clothes.

Liquid dishwashing detergent is one of the best (and least expensive) solutions for removing grease stains on clothes.
  • Place the garment stain-side down on white paper towels. (Printed paper towels could transfer ink color to your clothes.)
  • Squirt a dime-size amount of dishwashing liquid on the backside of the grease stains. Gently massage the dish detergent into the stain center and work your way to the edges. Give it a minute or so to work its breakdown magic.
  • Rinse the treated area under warm to hot running water for a minute or so to remove the dish detergent. The water temperature will depend on what the fabric can handle. For 100 percent cotton, you can usually use hot water.

2.  Remove Grease Stains from Clothes with a Laundry Detergent Pretreatment

Rub a liquid laundry detergent into the grease stain, and let the detergent sit and do its work for 3-5 minutes.

Wash the stained item separately from the rest of your clothes in the warmest water temperature safe for the fabric. Add a little bleach or bleach-alternative to the wash water.

Extend the wash cycle to give the garment some extra time in the spin cycle. With a top-loading washer, wait 6-8 minutes into the cycle, stop it, and spin the dial back for another 10 minutes.

For really tough, greasy stains, OxiClean Max Force Foam Laundry Pre-Treater 9 is one of the toughest grease stain busters around.

3.  Treat Grease Stains with an Absorbent Powder and Dry Cleaning Fluid

The best way to remove grease stains that are fresh is to give them a one-two punch of absorbent powder (such as cornstarch, salt, baking powder or talcum powder) and dry cleaning fluid.

  • Apply the absorbent of choice, and let it set until the powder has absorbed as much of the grease stain as possible. Brush away the absorbent remnants with a stiff-bristle brush.
  • Sponge-blot the treated area with dry cleaning fluid, working outward from the center using light strokes. Allow to dry completely before wearing.

4.  How to Remove a Grease Stain with WD-40

Place the garment on paper towels, grease stain side up. Spray the greasy area with WD-40. Let stand 10 minutes. Then turn the garment over and spray the underside  as well.

Allow to sit another 10 minutes.  Using paper towels, blot on some hand dishwashing liquid, replacing the towels as they absorb the grease. Rinse the treated area, and wash separately from the rest of your laundry.

5.  Treating Grease Stains with Lestoil Heavy Duty Cleaner

Lestoil concentrated heavy duty cleaner, manufactured by Clorox, safely removes oil spots, grease smears and tar from washable fabrics. It's both effective and easy to use, but it does have a very strong smell, much like paraffin.

Simply pour Lestoil onto the grease stain, and let it soak into the fabric for about 20 minutes before washing. And if you're washing a huge greasy load of laundry, add some to the wash water to get the load clean and grease-free.

Lestoil is also good for removing stains from fabric on sofas, chairs, carpets, and concrete driveways.

Finally, Inspect the Treated Area Before Drying

Before placing the garment in the dryer, inspect the formerly stained area to ensure your grease stain removal efforts have been successful. If you can still see any residue, repeat one of the stain-biting treatments above, and wash again until the stain is entirely removed. Then, go ahead and dry the garment as usual.


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