Getting grease stains out of clothes may seem like an impossible task, but it can be done --- even if you've already set the grease stain by washing and drying the item repeatedly. Stains happen, despite noble attempts to keep clothes clean, so don't worry about dropping that slice of pizza or eating that juicy burger. If you end up getting a grease stain on your clothing, you can get rid of it.

Dish Soap

dish soap

The grease and gunk busting properties of dish soap not only clean dishes, but it can also get rid of grease stains from your clothing. Simply squirt a bit onto your stain and use a toothbrush to rub it in before letting it sit a while.

Then simply run your clothes through a regular wash and dry cycle, and your clothes can come out good as new.

Some people have reported also having success with dish soap on stained items that are already set in after being repeatedly washed and dried.

Baking Soda, WD-40, And Liquid Dish Soap

baking soda

If dish soap by itself doesn't do the trick, you can add a couple of more household items to your grease stain-fighting formula.

  • Start off by spraying a small amount of WD-40 onto your grease stain or put a little bit in a bowl and apply it with a Q-tip. Make sure to put a piece of cardboard underneath your clothing, so you don't make a mess on other surfaces.
  • Next, pour a pile of baking soda on the stain, and chances are you will need more than you think. Then use a toothbrush to brush the baking soda into the stain. The baking soda will start to absorb the WD-40 and grease and turn into clumps.
  • When your baking soda becomes clumpy brush it off your clothing item, and then repeat the process again. Pour another pile of baking soda and continue brushing until it no longer clumps. When you have taken out all of the grease, the baking soda will be fine and powdery.
  • Finally, put a squeeze of dish soap on the area and use your toothbrush to brush it in for a pre-wash treatment. Then, let it sit for a few minutes before sending the item through a regular washing and drying cycle.

There is no need for a heavy wash cycle or extra rinse cycle.

This method (as well as using dish soap only) has been proven successful for cotton, but for other fabrics, there are different options.

How To Get Grease Stains Out Of Different Types Of Fabric



If you have splashed your wool clothing with cooking oil, quickly and gently scrape off as much as you can before applying baking soda or cornstarch to the fabric surface. Then, let it sit for about an hour before gently brushing it off and applying more. The baking soda or cornstarch will absorb the oil, but if you can't get it all out, a dry-cleaning solvent could possibly do the trick.


polyester basketball jersey

Removing cooking oil from polyester requires rubbing some liquid detergent to the stain and then using warm water to wash the item in a regular wash cycle. Be sure to check it before you let the item air dry because you may have to repeat this process before the stain disappears. And, if liquid detergent doesn't work, try a pretreatment product made for oily stains.

When it comes to food grease, you can remove these stains much easier from polyester. As soon as you can, use an aerosol laundry stain remover and let it set for about a minute before throwing the item in the washer. And, if the stain has already set, add some liquid laundry detergent to the stained area and wash it in hot water before letting the item air dry.

If the stain lingers, wash the item using bleach (chlorine for whites, color-safe for colors) and then air dry.


silk shirt

With silk, use a paper towel to blot away the oil before applying baking powder or cornstarch, and then let it sit overnight so it can absorb the oil. The next day, gently brush the powder off and repeat the process again until all of the oil is absorbed. If the stain is stubborn, use some clear grease cutting dish detergent and let it sit for a while before removing the soap by dabbing it with water.


linen shirt

To get a cooking oil stain out of linen, you will need to make a paste with powdered detergent and water to apply to the stain, or you can use a heavy-duty liquid detergent and pretreatment spray. Instead of using a toothbrush, use your finger or a white cloth with warm water to treat the stain, and then let it air dry. Heat from a dryer can set the stain, but air-drying will allow the stain to disappear while it dries naturally.

Nylon And Spandex/Lycra

woman running on grass

You can easily remove food grease stains from nylon or spandex the same way you do with polyester, and that is by applying an aerosol laundry stain remover as soon as possible. Then let it sit at least a minute before putting it in the washer. If you can't do it right away, also use some liquid detergent, and then wash the item in hot water before air drying.

For cooking oil stains, rub liquid detergent onto the stain and use warm water to wash the item. And if the stain persists, repeat the process before air drying. Once the stain is gone, you can dry the item in the dryer.



Start by blotting the excess oil with a cloth before dipping it into cornmeal and rubbing it on the stain in a circular motion. Again, the cornmeal will absorb the oil, and then you use a wire brush to remove the powder. If the stain lingers, rub it with lemon juice and then hold the item in the steam from a boiling tea kettle, and once again brush with a wire brush.

Getting oil or grease on that favorite pair of pants or shirt is no longer a death sentence for that clothing item. Instead, use one of these methods to get rid of the stain, and your item will once again look brand new.

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