How to Remove Grease Stains

Three Methods:With Dish Soap and AmmoniaWith Dish Soap and Hot WaterWith an Absorbent and Dry Spotter

Don't throw it away! Whatever you have a grease stain on it can probably be lifted out. Just act quickly! With some regular cleaning agents, you'll be good as new in no time. Read on.

Method 1
With Dish Soap and Ammonia

  1. Image titled Remove Grease Stains Step 1
    Cover the entire grease spot with liquid dish detergent. You may substitute shampoo or bar soap (especially laundry bar soap) effectively, as well. Colorless is preferred. If using colored detergent, be sure to dilute it or the detergent may stain the clothing.
    • If for some reason you don't have any liquid dish detergent, stop-top spray or other kitchen solvent should also have some built in grease-blaster as well. Try it out -- it should be safe for your clothes.[1]
    • This method is best for washable fabrics. If you can throw it in the washing machine, you can do this knowing your fabrics won't be damaged.
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    Dampen with ammonia and gently work detergent into the grease. You will see it dissolve. The newer dish detergents have special properties that allow them to fight grease. If the stain has set, you may want to use a brush to work it up and out of the fibers.
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    Rinse the area with white vinegar after removing (rinsing out) all of the detergent and ammonia. Run the vinegar through the article above a container to catch the vinegar so you can reuse it, if necessary. For serious stains, you may need to do it twice.
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    Wash as usual. For really stubborn grease stains that don't come out after a washing, keep repeating steps 1-3. Even grease from a white polo shirt marked with grease from a boat engine can be removed by this method.
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    Enjoy your clean garment! Good as new.

Method 2
With Dish Soap and Hot Water

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    Cover the backside of the affected area with hand dish liquid. If you're working with an article of clothing, flip it inside out. Rub it in gently, using generous amounts of detergent. Let it sit for a few minutes.
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    Blast the stain with hot water. If you have a high-pressure washer, great. You can throw it in there and it'll do the job for you. If you don't, you'll have to improvise. You want a large amount of hot water tackling the stain with as much force as possible, literally blasting the stain away.
    • If you have a large tub and a powerful shower head, consider holding the material underneath it for 10-20 seconds, depending on the size of the stain.
    • If your faucets lack the adequate pressure, heat up a pan of water and do the job yourself. Place the material on the shower floor or in the bathtub, and rinse it with the high temp water, carefully pouring the heated water on the stain.
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    Blot the stain with a paper towel. If any grease is left, hopefully it's been brought to the surface and can be lifted out by a gentle pressing. Don't rub it back in! Simply dab at the stain, picking up the top levels of moisture. Blot on both sides.
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    If the stain persists, reapply and scrub in with a brush. Apply the hot water in the same method, pretreat with a stain remover, and throw it in your washing machine.

Method 3
With an Absorbent and Dry Spotter

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    For a newly set stain, blot as much of the stain as possible. Grab a paper towel or other cloth and soak up what you can.
    • The method being described is good for carpeting, wool, acetate, silk, and rayon.[2]
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    Apply an absorbent. Cornmeal, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, talcum powder, and salt all are super-absorbers.[3] Let it set until the process seems to have halted. With a stiff bristled brush, brush the stain out of the fabric.
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    If there's still a stain, sponge it with a dry-cleaning solvent. You know, the kind that these fabrics can tolerate -- the kind at your dry cleaners. Spot lifters work, too.
    • Work outward from the center using light strokes. A damp pad or cloth will be best.
  4. Image titled Remove Grease Stains Step 13
    Apply a bit of dry spotter to the stain. If you don't have a dry spotter, one can be made with a bit of coconut oil and dry-cleaning solvent.[4] Dampen a pad with dry spotter and place it on top of the stain. Remove the pad as soon as it is saturated.
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    Clean the area with additional dry-cleaning solvent. Let dry. Voila! Stain gone. Finito!


  • This will work on stains that have already been washed.
  • Be sure to dilute detergents with strong colours. Use colourless if you can.
  • Repeat until stain is completely removed.


  • Detergents with strong colours will stain lightly-coloured clothing.

Things You'll Need

Method One: With Dish Soap and Vinegar

  • Soiled garment
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar

Method Two: With Dish Soap and Hot Water

  • Dish soap
  • Hot water
  • Paper towel

For Non-Washable Materials

  • Stained material
  • Absorbent
  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Dry spotter
  • Pad and/or cloth

Article Info

Categories: Clothing Stains | Grease and Fat Stains