Remove Grease Stains

by Amy Gordon
(last updated May 19, 2009)

Grease stains on your clothes appear as dark gray spots. Sometimes they can be difficult to even notice when they happen, since they come from small things, like a drop of oil that fell onto your shirt as you were baking or cooking, or maybe a drop of butter that landed in your lap while you were eating some corn on the cob.

If you have just discovered an old grease stain that you did not notice or treat when it was fresh, try spraying the stain with WD 40, then treating the stain as you normally would a fresh stain. Oils can be lifted with most emulsifiers like soap or detergent. 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. It can be dangerous to mix many household cleaners, because they can react with each other.

If the stain is fresh, a quick and easy solution is to dab some liquid dishwashing detergent onto the stain. Dish detergent works on getting grease off your dishes, why not off your clothes, too? Apply the dishwashing liquid and toss the garment into the wash. You can also try applying a paste of dry laundry soap and water directly to the stained area and allowing it to sit for half an hour before putting it into the wash.

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—test for colorfastness on a small area first. If it causes your fabric to fade a bit, try rinsing it out and then sponging some white vinegar onto the faded area.

You could also try squirting a blob of clear or white shampoo onto the stain before throwing it into the washing machine—shampoo is made to cut through grease and oils. A less conventional method is to pour a bit of lighter fluid carefully onto the stain, then work at the stain to get the grease out before washing it in the machine. Another suggestion that may work is to pour a bit of Coca Cola onto the stain, then drop it straight into the wash.

Grease stains can be inconsistent. Sometimes you can lift the stain easily with one wash, and other times your tried and trusted methods will fail you. Try out some different solutions before giving up on a stain or throwing out a 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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