There is nothing more frustrating than ruining an article of clothing by spilling cooking oil or grease. Your favorite shirt can be rendered unwearable by a few drops of oil from your favorite greasy foods.
Food grease and cooking oil create tough stains to remove. So, you may be wondering, how do I get grease stains out of clothes?
Removing grease stains from clothes differs greatly depending on the type of material your clothing is made of. Delicate and specialty fabrics like wool may need dry cleaning to become stain free.
The amount of time that has passed since the grease stain also matters. Grease stains are much easier to remove from clothes immediately after they happen. However, old grease stains can be difficult to remove.
However, it is still possible to remove set-in stains from clothes. With warm water and dish soap, most grease stains can be removed entirely in minutes.
How To Remove Grease From Clothing: First Thing’s First
Keep it from spreading.
Before you do anything else, try to protect the grease stains from spreading. For example, place a piece of cardboard, a rag, or some thick white paper between the layers of the shirt. This prevents the grease stains from soaking through one layer onto the other layer.
For example, if the stain is on the front of your shirt, place the cardboard inside the shirt. This will ensure that the grease does not leak through onto the back of the shirt. You can also place an old towel underneath your clothing. This will also protect the cleaning surface (such as an ironing board, washing machine, countertop, or table) from oil spots.
Remove excess grease.
After protecting the rest of your clothing, try removing oil stains by using a white paper towel or rag to blot or scoop excess grease off your clothes. Using a white paper towel during the grease removal process is important because patterned or colored towels can stain your clothing further and damage the coloration of your clothes.
You can also use a butter knife to scrape excess oil off of your clothes. Remove as much grease as you can before proceeding to the next removal step.
Removing Grease Stains from Synthetic and Cotton Clothing
Removing Oil Stains with Dishwashing Detergent
Materials Needed: liquid dish soap (such as Dawn dish soap), warm water solution
Step 1: Hand wash with liquid dish soap.
First, apply dish soap directly to the affected area of your clothing. Dish detergent is explicitly created to remove grease stains from dishes, so it is ideal for many types of grease and oil stains.
Gently rub it into the fabric and let it sit for at least ten minutes. Then, you can use a soft brush, such as an old toothbrush or a rag to work the soap into the fabric. Ensure the stain is completely covered with the dish soap before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Rinse the dish soap out of the clothing.
Before rinsing, check the tag on the clothing for the preferred water temperature for washing. Then, rinse the dish soap and oil stain out of the clothing using the warmest water possible. If the stain remains, repeat the process or move on to the next method.
Step 3: Run the clothing through the washing machine.
After rinsing, thoroughly wash the affected clothing in the washing machine with laundry detergent. After washing, check the grease spot to see if it has improved or completely disappeared.
Step 4: Line dry the clothing instead of using a dryer.
Never machine dry your clothing when you remove grease stains from clothes. The heat from the dryer can activate the grease and oil stains and create a fire hazard. In addition, a heated dryer can further set-in grease stains. Air drying clothes eliminates these dangers from the grease stain removal process.
Isn’t grease? Something Sticky? Here’s how to How To Remove Sticker Residue From Clothes
Remove Stains with Stain Remover
Materials Needed: Stain remover or liquid enzyme laundry detergent, hot water
Step 1: Create a stain removal cleaning solution.
Check your garment label for the ideal water temperature for washing. Then, mix a solution of the warmest water possible and stain remover. You can also use liquid enzyme laundry detergent mixed with warm water.
Step 2: Soak the stain area in the solution.
Soak the stain in the stain removal solution for at least thirty minutes. Make sure the stain is entirely submerged in the cleaning solution. You can even let it sit overnight for a more severe oil stain.
Step 3: Wash the garment.
Machine wash the clothing using the instructions on the garment label. If the stain persists after going through the wash, repeat the above steps or try a different method to get grease out of your clothing. Make sure to air dry your clothing and do not machine dry to avoid fire hazards and ruining your clothes.
Remove a Grease Stain with Powder
Materials Needed: baby powder, baking soda, corn starch, old toothbrush
Step One: Apply a powder, such as baking soda, to the clothing.
Sprinkle baking soda onto the stain. Baby powder, chalk, or corn starch can also work. The baking soda is often enough to get into the fabric’s fibers to remove grease stains.
Step Two: Scrub the powder into the material.
Using a circular motion, scrub the baking soda into the material. This will help remove grease stains from the clothing. Next, use a paper towel to blot excess powder off of the clothing.
Step Three: Wash the clothing.
After removing excess baby powder or baking soda, run the clothing through the wash. Then, air dry the clothes and check if the stain remains.
Remember not to machine dry your clothing if there is any trace of oil on the clothes. The heat from the dryer combined with the oil can cause a fire hazard. Additionally, the dryer can cause the oil spots to become even more permanent.
Remove Grease Stains with Aloe Vera Gel
Materials Needed: Aloe Vera, cold water
Step One: Apply aloe Vera to the stain.
Generously apply Aloe Vera to the stain. Aloe Vera has amino acids that eat away at grease, making it a great cleaning agent.
Step Two: Wash the affected area with cold water.
After dampening the stain with cold water, rub the aloe Vera into the fabric for a few minutes. Afterward, wash the area thoroughly in cold water.
Try Using Hairspray
Materials Needed: Hairspray
Step One: Spray hairspray on the area.
Spray a steady stream of hairspray onto the oil area on your clothing. Next, drench the shirt with hairspray and let it sit for at least thirty minutes.
Step Two: Wash the clothing.
Put the clothing through the washing machine. The hairspray and the oil will both wash out of the clothing. Ensure that the oil is completely dry before putting it in the dryer. Just to be safe, you can line dry the item.
Alternate Cleaning Options
Some people use an unorthodox method to get grease out of clothing: cheese whiz. Rub a thick layer of cheese whiz into the area and let it soak into the material for a few moments. Then throw it in the washing machine. The cheese whiz and the oil spot should come out of the clothing.
Many people swear by using Coca-Cola to remove these oil spots from clothes in a similar vein. Coca-Cola can dissolve just about any substance and is used for many different cleaning methods.
Let the area soak for up to two hours. This is not enough time for the soda to stain the clothing. After the Coca-Cola soaks for two hours, throw the clothing into the wash. The soda and the oil should come out. Make sure you line dry the clothes just in case.
Finally, if nothing else seems to work, try waterless mechanic’s soap. The name of this powdered detergent shows that mechanics use this product to remove oil from their hands and clothing after a long day of work.
Apply the waterless mechanic’s soap to the clothing, similar to the baking soda method. After scrubbing the waterless mechanic’s soap into the clothing, run the clothing through the washing machine and line dry.
Related: Free Laundry Symbols Download
Removing Oil and Grease Stains From Clothing FAQ
Will vinegar remove grease from clothes?
No, vinegar will not oil from clothing. Vinegar is an acidic substance, so it will not clean grease off of clothing. To clean grease or oil stains, you need an alkaline soap, such as dish detergent.
How do you remove dried stains?
Dried grease will be more challenging to remove from your clothing. However, it is not impossible. Many of the above removal methods will work on old, dried stains as well.
After dampening the area, try the dish soap method. You may have to try the method more than once for the best results.
How to get oil out of clothes after drying?
After drying, it can be nearly impossible to remove grease stains out of clothing. If a tough grease stain does not respond to any of the above methods, try using a water displacement lubricant to remove the stain.
Applying a product such as WD-40 onto the stain can reactivate the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes before trying the dish soap method to remove oil from your clothes once again. After using the dish soap on the stain, rinse thoroughly and wash by hand before taking it outside to air dry.