What are Grease Stains?

Article Details
  • Written By: Caroline Cloutier
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Grease stains can ruin clothing, make unsightly marks on table cloths and furniture and make household cleaning seem impossible. Primarily caused by cooking oils and fats, foods such as french fries, fried chicken, cheese, and buttery desserts can easily cheapen those new jeans you just purchased or make you want to hide your favorite couch.

In addition to cooking oils, auto oils can produce unattractive effects on concrete or clothing. A grease stain in your driveway could have the potential to devalue your home. Often times, people opt to install a new driveway when grease stains become unbearable and unsightly.

Learning how to effectively remove grease stains can help save money that would otherwise have been spent on a new pair of jeans or couch, or installing a new driveway. While grease stains are not always easy to remove, they are not impossible to eliminate either. Many tips and household tricks have been uncovered and some work better than others.

When attempting to remove a grease stain from fabrics, you should immediately tend to it. If you do not, you'll risk it setting into the clothing, making it more difficult to remove. Blot the stain with paper towel or old rag as soon as possible.


To be more successful at removing a grease stain, you shouldn't allow it to dry. Allowing the stain to dry will only make removing it more difficult. If the stain is drying, keep it moist by dabbing cold water on it. Hot water will only cause it to set in as well.

Applying an absorbent substance, like baby powder or cornstarch, will help lift out the stain. Keep applying powder to the area until it has absorbed the stain as much as possible. Other absorbent products such as baking soda and flour will work as well.

For more difficult grease stains, a store-bought, grease-removing product may be required. Be careful not to rub the stain however, as commercial products tend to be more harsh on fabrics. Rubbing the stain will only ruin the fabric further. Instead, dab the stain with the product until it has diminished, then machine wash.

If the stain is in carpet, try dabbing powder and water over the area. You may also wish to try a product like DW-40®, which tends to dissolve the stain and assists with easier removal. You may also wish to use a commercial carpet shampoo to help rid the stain completely.

Because concrete is different from fabric, baby powder will not have the same cleaning effect on stains caused by auto oils. Instead, try covering the stain with sawdust or cat litter. Allow the stain to sit covered for two days, and then sweep away. Repeat if you must.



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