We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re at an outdoor barbecue about to bite into a delicious, juicy hamburger. Perhaps you’ve just gotten your favorite toasted sub from the corner shop and enjoy it cross-legged in the park. Maybe you’re cooking breakfast for friends and family which always involves lots of bacon. Regardless? After one bite, flip or accidental drop, you’ve got a grease stain on your hands. Well, not on your hands, but on your clothing. Ugh.
Should you change immediately? If you don’t put it in the laundry right this second is it going to die a sad, waste bin clothing death? Does cold water help?
Sure, sometimes you’re at your own house where immediately changing and applying stain remover is possible, and in those situations, you should absolutely take those precautions. However, if you’re at a party or don’t notice the stain until much later — should you give up hope? Certainly not.
Luckily there are a number of ingenious life hacks for getting grease stains out of clothes that go beyond the standard process of spraying with stain remover and tossing in the washer. Here are eight of the best ways to get grease stains out of your clothes.
1. Dish Soap
If you spill on your clothes at home or at a friend’s house, chances are they’ve got dish soap around and ready to use. Apply a small dot to the stain itself, no more than a quarter to avoid excess suds, and rub in all around the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes before immediately tossing in the wash. If you’re missing your classic spray bottle of Shout and assume your shirt’s a goner, fear no more. Classic dish soap will work just as effectively in nipping that stain in the bud before it really breaks ground on the fibers of your favorite shirt.
Dawn Platinum Dishwashing Liquid Soap
Dawn is the mother of all dish soap for a reason — it’s got four times the amount of grease cleaning power than other brands on dishes and on clothes, apparently. It can grind through stuck-on food quickly, even if it’s been there for a few days, and has a cleansing rain scent. This pack of three 24 oz. bottles also comes with two non-scratch scrubbers that won’t damage your non-stick cookware and other sensitive cooking surfaces.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great hack for lifting stains out of clothes immediately after they happen. The stain has to be fresh in order for this method to work most effectively, but if it is all it takes is a quick sprinkle and a wait of five to 10 minutes. After that, scrub the baking soda into the stain and watch it absorb the color of the stain. After it’s fully changed color wipe it away and repeat this process until it no longer changes color, and you’ll see a difference in the stain on your clothing as well.
Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda
Arm & Hammer is the ultimate baking soda brand for its cleaning and deodorizing abilities. Sprinkle a little bit of this on your clothes and watch the color and stain transform right in front of you. This mix is also free of harsh chemicals, natural, and the ultimate deodorizing hack as well.
Salt, much like baking soda, is effective at removing the stain right there and then after it happens. If you’re eat the dinner table, grab the salt shaker and shake a little right into your pants or shirt to start lifting the stain out. After this process, add a little stain remover and throw it in the laundry as fast as possible, as salt won’t take the stain out completely, only make a difference after the moment of impact.
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
Kosher salt is great for stains for its texture and ability to be precisely controlled when seasoning. This pack from Diamond Crystal is 48 ounces so you’ll be stocked up for a while. It contains no additives and is also Kosher for passover, in case you were wondering.
4. Stain Remover
Despite the fact that this piece is about alternative methods for removing grease stains, we had to give a shout out to stain removers in general for their grease-fighting power. If a slide of pepperoni pizza betrays you and you’re close enough to a laundry room, stain removal spray will help immensely in lifting and removing the stain before it sets and becomes much more complicated to remove. Unlike some of these other methods, stain remover is formulated specifically for that purpose, and is quite effective when used correctly.
Spray it directly onto the stain and laundry right afterward for best results.
Shout Advanced Foaming Grease Stain Remover
Shout Advanced is a top choice for perpetual stainers like myself for its removing powers that are reliable and tough on even the greasiest of grease stains. This formula contains three powerful ingredients which all remove grease and oil, and while Shout is tough on removing stains it’s gentle on clothes and won’t cause damage. All it takes is a quick spray and immediate wash to get a huge head start on the stain removal process.
5. Makeup Remover
Makeup remover can do more than wipe off last night’s mascara, turns out it’s also a powerful grease stain remover. It works best on cotton and is frequently used in a pinch backstage at fashion shows. Using a makeup wipe, dab the stain on your pants or shirt before throwing them in the wash. It’s not rocket science, but it makes sense that something that works on your face would also work on clothes? Right…? Just make sure to avoid silk, as they will cause a wet spot.
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Face Wipes
These pre-moistened Neutrogena makeup remover wipes are some of the best in the business when it comes to cutting through thick foundation or greasy face oils and leaving your skin nice and clean. They even remove tough waterproof mascara designed not to come off for anyone, so you know they mean business. These wipes are disposable after each use and cleanse your skin without leaving behind any heavy residue. This formula is alcohol-free so it’s gentle enough to use on your skin or clothes frequently.
5. Artificial Sweetener
Okay, this one was a bit of a surprise. Artificial sweetener is another life hack for removing grease stains from clothing. The fine powder is effective at absorbing and pulling up grease and oil stains from clothing. Sprinkle a little bit on the stain as quickly as possible and observe a similar process to the salt or baking soda. Scrub the sweetener in and then brush it off to help remove moisture particles from the fibers and get a jumpstart on returning to fabric to a clean equilibrium.
Splenda Value Pack
This Splenda value pack has 1000 packets of sweetener that are easy to carry around in your wallet, car or pocket in case a stain happens. The packets only contain a small amount so there’s no worry about spilling needless amounts of sweetener everywhere, and are super portable. Plus, Splenda is a great sugar alternative when you need to sweeten up a beverage throughout the day with a zero-carb option.
6. Shaving Cream
If your carpet suffers a dropped greasy item and the subsequent stain, go grab your shaving cream from your medicine cabinet and get to work. Shaving cream is an incredibly useful method for removing grease stains from carpets, rugs and other tougher fabrics in your home. Scrub it into the spot, let it dry completely and them rub it off with a damp cloth to remove the stain. Pro tip: it’s especially powerful on tomato sauce.
Gillette Foamy Regular Shaving Foam
This shaving foam from Gillette is extra foamy and will get the job done. The instant lather spreads easily and the non-nonsense nozzle will give you the targeted precision you need to aim right at the stain and nothing else. This is also a very comfortable and rich lather to use for shaving needs so you can feed two birds with one stone with this simple purchase. Plus, for less than $25 you get 12 bottles of this stuff, a real bargain if you ask me.
7. Baby Powder
Those moisture-wicking capabilities pop up yet again with the baby powder trick. If you’ve got a grease mark on your clothes dab a little bit of baby powder on the stain with a makeup sponge or powder puff. Rub it in well and then brush off the excess powder to reveal your stain almost gone. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary for the powder to life those greasy molecules off of your shirt.
Johnson’s Baby Powder
This small 4-ounce container of baby powder is small and portable enough to store easily. The powder is quick to absorb moisture and is completely free of parabens, sulfates and other harsh chemicals.
I know, you might be thinking “Chalk?! Really?!” Yes friends. Chalk is fantastic for getting stains out of clothing and table linens. Rub it on, let it absorb the oil of the stain and then brush it off before laundering the piece or putting it in the pile for the dry cleaners. You can also get rid of ring-around-the-collar stains by rubbing them heavily with chalk before they get washed to absorb the oils that hold dirt in and make stubborn stains stubborn.
Crayola White Chalk 3-Pack
It doesn’t need to be fancy chalk to work, your standard white chalk from Crayola will do just fine. This classic chalk glides on smoothly and is high-quality enough to use on your favorite fabrics. Throw a few pieces in your laundry room and car for stain removal on-the-go. Plus, the formula is non-toxic so it’s safe to use around pets or children.