How to Remove Grease Stains

Grease stains – both food grease or motor oil grease – can sometimes be removed quickly from washable fabric using inexpensive, common household materials.

The next time you see a greasy stain on your washable fabrics and before you start to panic, take a look at these stain removal tips and find one that works for you.

Removing the Grease:

  1. The first thing to do is scrape off any grease that you can with a plastic knife or spoon.
  2. Then blot at the remainder of the stain to see what you can remove with a paper towel or a cloth.

Removing the Leftover Stain:

Here is a list of some suggestions you can try to get rid of a grease stain. You will have better results working on fresh stains, and don’t put any item in the dryer until you are sure the stain has been removed.


Sprinkle talcum powder, baking soda, cornstarch, or cornmeal on the entire stain to soak up as much grease as possible. Let it sit on the stain for five or ten minutes. Brush it off with an old toothbrush.

Dish Detergent(Degreaser):

Pour a small amount of dish detergent on the stained area. Dawn Dish Detergent is an effective grease remover. Gently rub into the stain and let it sit a few minutes then wash as usual.

Baking Soda and Dish Detergent:

Make a paste of baking soda and dish detergent. Apply it to both sides of the fabric. When you’re done, rinse the area with clean water.


Either pour some ammonia on the grease stain and let it sit a few minutes before washing as usual, or put some ammonia directly into the washing machine with your usual detergent.


Apply some full strength Lestoil to the stain and rub. Rinse and repeat until the stain is gone.


Rub some Lysol on the stain and leave it for a few minutes. Spot test someplace inconspicuous first.

Lighter Fluid:

Use a paper towel to blot a very small amount of lighter fluid onto the stain. To check for colorfastness, test in a inconspicuous spot before treatment.

Finishing Up:

After you have applied a stain removal technique, it’s time to wash your clothing.

Wash the fabric the way your normally would.

Do not put the fabric in the dryer until you’re certain the stain is gone. This may set any stain that’s left, making it almost impossible to remove. The best thing to do is to dry the item that has been stained either on a line in the sun or spread out it out to dry on a towel on a flat surface.

If a stain remains, you can treat it again.

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