Cleaning Grease

Useful Techniques for Cleaning Grease

Cleaning grease can be a very strenuous task.  However, the proper use of a solvent or cleaner can limit the amount of frustration that you may encounter.  In this article, we will discuss various methods and cleaners that may help you with your grease cleaning challenges.

White Vinegar- This has because a very popular solvent for cleaning grease from kitchen appliances since it is very safe and non-toxic as opposed to some of the more powerful chemical cleaners on the market.  Simply apply to the greasy area and allow to soak for a few minutes.  Then, with a cloth or paper towel, wipe the greasy area until the grease has been removed.  You may choose to keep white vinegar in a spray bottle in your kitchen for this purpose as well.

Paint Thinner/ Mineral Spirits-  Mineral spirits is not the strongest of solvents used for cleaning grease but it is much less toxic than others.  It does have a noticeable smell, but it is not overwhelming compared to some of the other stronger forms of grease cleaning solvents.  It is also usually a little cheaper than paint thinner and can perform the same task.  However, paint thinner may yield better results than the mineral spirits depending on application and type of surface that you are trying to remove the grease from.

Brake Parts Cleaner- Sometimes it is necessary to remove the grease from the brakes of your vehicle to allow for better and safer braking.  Therefore, auto parts manufacturers have developed a specialized brake parts cleaner that is extremely effective for removing even the most stubborn grease from solid surfaces.  It essentially dries out the grease, making it into a powdery substance that can then be removed rather easily.  It is used mainly in automotive applications, although you can use this elsewhere as well.  You should check for colorfastness of materials before applying to a larger surface.  This type of solvent should not be used around children or pets, as the cleaner is very toxic.  Most manufacturers will recommend the user to wear eye protection, rubber gloves and a respirator.  Also, use in an unventilated room is not recommended.  

Removing grease stains from clothing can be somewhat trickier than removing it from a solid surface.  You must be much more careful about colorfastness of the material, and if you launder the stain before removing it, the stain may set and it may become more difficult or nearly impossible to remove the stain.  The most important thing to remember with a grease stain on clothing is that the sooner you try to remove the stain, the better chance you have of doing so.  Always use very hot water when removing a grease stain, as this will help to break down the grease.  Cornstarch, baby powder, or baking soda can be applied to a fresh grease stain to soak up some of the excess liquid.  Rub the powder in lightly and allow it to sit overnight.  Then brush the excess powder off of the surface of the clothing.  To finish the stain removal process, you have several choices.  You can spray the stain with hairspray, apply some dish detergent to the stain, or use a spray pre-treater specifically designed for use on laundry.  After you apply one of these to the stain, allow it to sit for several minutes and then launder as usual.

Since there are many different surfaces or fabrics that may require grease cleaning, contacting a solvent/chemical company and speaking with a representative may prove to be worth the call or email.  Many companies have done many hours of research and development to ensure you get the advertised results.  In the long term, this could save you many hours of guessing and purchase of inadequate/ too harsh cleaners.