A Quick Guide to Removing Grease
If you are one of those people who can’t eat anything without spilling it on a clean shirt or blouse, you will be interested in learning some of the techniques for removing grease stains. Grease stains are very hard to get out and this is especially true if you get grease on your clothes from working on a car or other type of machinery.
The key to removing grease on any kind of material, be it clothing, rug, or sofa is to begin by using hot water. Hot water has a little bit more stain-removing power than cold water. You also need to get to the stain as quickly as possible. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove.
You should begin with any stain by getting rid of as much excess oil or grease as you can. Automotive grease can be scraped off if necessary. If your stain looks wet, your best choice is to soak up any of it you can with a paper towel. Then add a powdery substance to the stain, such as baking soda or cornstarch, work it in with your fingers and let it sit for a few hours. If it is a large, intense stain, you might even need to leave it as it is overnight.
Now comes the serious work in removing grease. The ultimate answer to the problem will depend on the kind of material you have and the type of oil or grease that made the stain. The old standby in all cases is to start by rubbing a dishwashing liquid into the stain and, if it is a piece of clothing, running it through your washing machine. Many dishwashing detergents can do the trick but everyone reports that the best is Dawn ™ dishwashing liquid (the original blue one, not the new colors).
Removing grease from clothing can also be as easy as just rubbing in some of your laundry detergent on the spot. If you use a powdered detergent, make a paste. This is a method of pre-treating the grease or oil stain. If you have a favorite stain removal spray or want to try one, this will work as a great pre-wash treatment as well. There are many of them out there and they all work just about the same.
If you are removing grease from a trickier place, such as a chair, sofa, or carpet, you can find stain remover sprays that spray on and wipe or vacuum off. You can also use dishwashing detergent here as well. Rub it into the stain with a little water on a paper towel or sponge. Then use clear water to wipe off the suds until they are gone. If it is in a place that can be vacuumed, wait for it to dry and then run the vacuum cleaner over the spot.
A couple of techniques of removing grease that you may not have heard of are to spray the offending spot or area with either WD-40 or hair spray. You should not start out with these methods because they are a little harder on the material that has the stain than our first soap-type choices. Ammonia is also wonderful at removing stains. If you have a large area stained, try a little bit on one tiny spot to see if it works, plus to test that the chemical is not so strong it can ruin the material entirely.
Another item that most people have around the house is baking soda. Mixing a little baking soda into the grease stain and letting it dry will often do the trick. Another cleaning remedy is to use Lestoil ™ for tough stain removal. If you have some vinegar, simply put it into a spray bottle and spray it onto the grease stain. It will disappear in almost no time plus vinegar deodorizes as it works.