How do I Choose the Best Grease Stain Remover?

K. Testa

There are various ways to get rid of grease stains. Selecting the best grease stain remover will most likely depend on the type of material that you are trying to clean. Examples of items that might need to be cleaned include furniture upholstery, carpets, and clothing. Some stains are easily removed with a spot stain remover, while others require more effort, such as using something to absorb the grease and then treating it with a strong cleaner. You can choose a grease stain remover from among the numerous commercial products available, and many people have found homemade solutions that are just as effective. Some common sources of grease stains include food, cooking oil, and motor oil. Since these are all made up of unique ingredients, there are some different ways to treat each type of stain.

Cornstarch can be used to absorb grease from fabric before it has had a chance to soak in.
Cornstarch can be used to absorb grease from fabric before it has had a chance to soak in.

When dealing with most grease stains on fabrics, a typical first step is to absorb as much of the grease as possible, using a clean cloth or paper towel. If there is a large amount, many people suggest using a white powder such as cornstarch, baby powder, or baking soda to absorb it. Some people also claim that using a stick of white chalk has the same desired effect.

Liquid dish detergents are usually mild and safe on fabrics.
Liquid dish detergents are usually mild and safe on fabrics.

Next, you can treat the area with a grease stain remover. Be sure to read the labels on commercial products for instructions and warnings. For instance, most people want to avoid damaging fibers using a harsh chemical or cleaner. Liquid dish detergents, on the other hand, tend to be milder and therefore safer for most fabrics. Carpet stain removers are specially formulated to eliminate stains effectively while also protecting carpet fibers.

Baking soda can help absorb grease.
Baking soda can help absorb grease.

For laundry stain removal, you often can pre-treat the item with a paste made from powdered laundry detergent and water. With clothes, use hot water in the washing machine and check the stain before drying the item, as the dryer’s heat may set the stain. Items to be dry cleaned usually have special instructions for dealing with stains. In addition, it might help to consult a professional laundry cleaner for advice on removing grease stains from delicate fabrics.

If you need additional help choosing a commercial grease stain remover, check your local retail stores or online merchants to compare cleaners. By reading the ingredients and usage instructions, you can easily select the one that is appropriate. Many people prefer to have different types of cleaners on hand, including one that can treat a stain after it has set.

Be sure all stains are completely gone before putting the clothing in the dryer.
Be sure all stains are completely gone before putting the clothing in the dryer.

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Discussion Comments

Rotergirl

My favorite grease remover (as far as food grease goes) is the famous blue dishwashing liquid. I spilled some red oil based salad dressing on an ivory pillowcase and it looked awful. I saturated the case with the dishwashing liquid and washed it in cool water. No more grease and no more red stain! It was like magic!

Most dishwashing liquids are great stain removers, but the blue kind is the best for a really greasy stain. I've used it on about every kind of material that can be safely machine washed and it works. Just remember: don't put it in the dryer! It will set in the stain.

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