How to Remove Cooking Grease and Auto Grease Stains

Whether cooking or working on your car, grease can ruin an outfit.
Whether cooking or working on your car, grease can ruin an outfit.
Paul S. Howell/Getty Images

G­reasy, oily stains are often the most difficult to get ou­t of clothing and other mat­erials. Use these tips, tools like wet or dry spotters, and techniques to make stain removal easy and get rid of those stubborn marks once and for all.

Whether you're working in the garage or at the stove, keep these tips handy so you'll be prepared to remove these tough greasy, oily stains.

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After you identify the affected material, follow the steps on each page to remove the stain:

  • Non-washable fibers such as Acetate, Carpet/Synthetic, Carpet/Wool, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate and Wool
  • Washable fibers such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex
  • Household surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic, Glass/Tile, Cork, Glass, Linoleum, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Pewter, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile and Vinyl Wallcovering
  • Stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate and Terrazzo
  • Leather
  • Marble
  • Silver
  • Suede
  • Wallpaper
  • Wood

Non-washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Acetate, Carpet/Synthetic, Carpet/Wool, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate, Wool:

  • Blot up as much excess as possible and apply an absorbent, such as cornmeal.
  • After letting the absorbent work, brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to gently remove dried stains and spots) it out of the fabric.

If a stain remains:

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  • Sponge (the method of using light strokes with a dampened pad working outward from the center of the stain) with a dry-cleaning solvent, K2r Spot Lifter (except on acetate blends) or Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Then apply a dry spotter to the area.
  • Cover the stain with an absorbent pad dampened with dry spotter.
  • Let it remain in place as long as any stain is being lifted.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain. Keep both the stain and pad moist with dry spotter.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining materials and residue from stain removers) with one of the dry-cleaning solvents.

If a stain still persists:

  • Sponge stain with water and apply a wet spotter with a few drops of white vinegar.
  • Cover the area with an absorbent pad moistened with wet spotter.
  • Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Keep both the stain and pad moist with wet spotter and vinegar.
  • Flush the area with water and repeat above procedure until no more stain is removed.
  • Allow to dry.

Washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from washable fibers such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex:

  • Blot up the excess grease as soon as possible.
  • Apply an absorbent and let it soak up the spill.
  • After brushing out the powder on the laundry stains, sponge the area with a dry-cleaning solvent, K2r Spot Lifter or Afta Cleaning Fluid.
  • Then apply a dry spotter to any remaining stain.
  • Cover the stain with an absorbent pad dampened with dry spotter and let it remain in place until no more stain is lifted.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • To help loosen the stain, occasionally tamp (the method of bringing a brush down with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials) the area, blotting up any loosened material.
  • Flush with one of the liquid dry-cleaning solvents.

If any trace of stain remains:

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  • Sponge stain with water and apply a wet spotter and a few drops of ammonia.
  • Tamp the stain again, blotting with an absorbent pad to remove any loosened material.
  • Flush the area with water and repeat until no more stain is removed.
  • Allow to dry.

Household Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from household surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic, Glass/Tile, Cork, Glass, Linoleum, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Pewter, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile and Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Blot up any excess grease.
  • Wipe the surface with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Limestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate and Terrazzo:

  • Pour a strong solution of washing soda and boiling water onto the surface.
  • Cover the stain with a paste made of fuller's earth and hot water.
  • Leave overnight.
  • Rinse with clear water.
  • Repeat if necessary.

Leather

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Leather:

  • Rub the stain with a thick paste of fuller's earth and water.
  • Allow paste to dry, then brush off the powder.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • Follow with Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap to condition the leather.

Marble

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Marble:

  • Wipe up any excess, then wipe surface with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
  • If any residue remains, mix a poultice with water, detergent, and bleach.
  • Apply the poultice to the stain and cover with a dampened cloth to retard evaporation.
  • After the stain has been bleached out, rinse the area thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

Silver

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Silver:

  • Immediately wash in hot sudsy water.
  • Rinse thoroughly in hot water.
  • Dry with a soft clean cloth to prevent tarnish.

Suede

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Suede:

  • Dip a clean cloth into ground cornmeal and rub in a circular motion into the stain.
  • Gently brush out all the powder with a wire brush.
  • Repeat if necessary.
  • If stain persists, pretest lemon juice in an inconspicuous place, then brush stain with the juice and wire brush.
  • Hold in the steam of a boiling kettle for a few minutes.
  • Brush with a wire brush.

Wallpaper

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Wallpaper:

  • Make a paste of cornstarch and water.
  • Apply it to the stain and allow to dry.
  • Brush off the powder and repeat if necessary.

Wood

Follow these steps to remove cooking grease and auto grease stains from Wood:

  • Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
  • Dip a cloth in only the foam and gently wipe.
  • Rinse with a clean cloth moistened with clear water.
  • Polish or wax as soon as possible.

If you have any other spills, there we've got plenty of other stain removal tips.

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