How to get grease stains out of clothes

By | June 30, 2016

Removing grease stains from clothes

Grease stains can come over onto clothes from many different places. Be it the cooking oil, or some grease on your bike or bicycle. Cosmetic products like creams and gels also contain petroleum substances which can stain fabrics. Oily substances tend to stain clothes very quickly.

Common food recipes also contain oil and dropping some of it on your clothes lead to colorless stains even if you manage to clean it well. Towels and rugs also catch lots of oily stains when you use them for cleaning.

Oil stains are still easier to remove compared to stains from industrial greases and synthetic oils. Industrial grease stains are a lot stronger and require a lot of extra work to get rid of.

Some common household items that can be used to clean oil or grease stains include dish soap, talcum powder, baking soda.

oil stains on clothes

1. Soak oil with Talcum Powder/Baby powder

If its a fresh or recent stain then try soaking out excess oil using an absorbent powder like talcum or baby powder. You can also use corn starch.

Sprinkle plenty of baby powder on the stained area to cover it entirely. Then press and rub it with fingers so that the powder and soak the oil well. Let it stay like that for about 15 minutes.

Dust off the powder from the clothes. Use a tissue paper or normal paper to press the stain. The paper should absorb some of the oil out of the stain. This should reduce the stain and make it easier to treat.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda can also be used to absorb oil out of the fabric like talcum powder. Just follow the same step as before. Sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and press and rub a little. Let it sit for few minutes and then dust off. Press a tissue paper on the stain to absorb whatever oil can come out.

3. Club soda/Coca Cola/Pepsi

Club soda or coca cola are mildly acidic liquids can be used to loosen the oil in the stain. However make sure to check the washing instructions on the fabric first.

This method should work fine with regular washable fabrics like cotton and polyester. However, do not use this method on delicate fabrics like silk or non washable wool.

Pour some coca cola on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. That should loosen the stain and make it lighter and easier to treat.

4. Dish Soap

Dish soap like Palmolive and Dawn are seen very effective in removing grease stains from clothes. Just apply a little dish soap on the stain. Rub it a little and then let it sit for few minutes.

Rinse with water and the stain should be gone. If a little of the stain is still left, repeat the steps again. Afterwards wash as usual with laundry detergent.

5. Laundry detergents

Laundry detergent can be used to pre treat the stain. However it may not be very effective in lifting the stain. Prepare a paste of detergent with water. Apply it on the stain and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Rinse with water and see if there is any improvement in the stain. If the detergent could lift some of the stain, you may want to repeat the process. Or else try some commercial stain remover.

Extra tips and advice

Another common recipe to remove grease stains is Salt + Shampoo + Dish soap. Mix a little of each in a cup with water to make a thick and dense solution. And then rub this solution on the stained area with fingers and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then wash as usual.

Another usual piece of advice is to be careful about the fabric and its washing rules. If its a silk garment for example and marked as dry clean only on the label, then your best option is to take it to a professional rather than trying to fix the stain yourself.

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