Removing Butter Stains

Written by Amy Gordon (last updated April 8, 2024)

Butter stains can be tricky to notice, which makes it easier to enjoy covering your corn on the cob in butter. A few drops of butter on a shirt or pair of pants can go unnoticed for a few hours until the butter dries and you have a strange gray grease mark on your pants.

If you've left a butter stain, and now it's dried or already been through the wash, try spraying the stain with WD-40. WD-40 should loosen the stain so you can treat it and get it out. There are a lot of solutions that will remove a butter stain; you are only limited to what you have around your house. A butter stain is an oil stain, and oils can be lifted with most emulsifiers. Most household cleaners are emulsifiers. One thing to remember if you decide to experiment is not to mix a lot of different household cleaners—only use one at a time. Some cleaners create dangerous fumes when combined, and only using one cleaner at a time will make it easier for you to tell which cleaner worked.

The easiest solution to greasy butter stains is to dab some liquid dishwashing detergent onto the stain. The soap acts as an emulsifier to break down the water and grease bonds so that the water can wash away the grease. Apply dishwashing liquid to the stain and toss the garment into the wash. A paste of dry laundry soap and water applied directly to the stained area and allowed to sit for half an hour before going into the wash will also work.

If you pull your article of clothing out of the washing machine and the stain is still there, there are a number of other solutions you can try, including ammonia. (Ammonia may lighten your clothes, so test for colorfastness on a small, hidden area first). You could also try squirting a blob of clear or white shampoo onto the stain before throwing it into the washing machine—the shampoo would work the same way soap would.

A less conventional method is to pour a bit of lighter fluid onto the stain, then rub or brush at the stain to work the butter out before washing the fabric in the machine. Another technique you could try is to spray some hairspray onto the butter stain before putting the article of clothing into the wash. (This method works well on ink stains).

Butter and other grease stains can be inconsistent. Sometimes you can lift the stain easily with one wash, but other times your tried and trusted methods fail you. Try one of the above methods that's new to you, and you might find a new method to add to your arsenal while also saving a favorite or expensive garment.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...

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