Greasy food splatters and spills happen. Use these fast-acting stain removal tips to erase all evidence of grease or oil stains on clothing.

By BH&G Editors
Updated May 14, 2020
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We've all been there: Despite your best attempts to stay clean and stain-free, cooking oil splatters on your sleeve or a slice of pizza plops in your lap. The good news is that your grease-stained garment doesn't have to go into the donation bin or get added to your dry-cleaning order. Learn how to get grease out of clothes quickly with this handy guide, which provides specific steps for how to remove grease stains from different types of fabrics. Several stain removal methods use household items you probably already have on hand, including cornstarch, baby powder, and regular liquid laundry detergent. Try these tricks to get grease and oil out of clothing and make your garments look good as new.

David Tsay

How to Get Grease Out of Canvas Clothing

To treat a cooking oil stain on canvas, saturate the stained area with a heavy-duty liquid detergent, pretreatment spray, or a thin paste made from powdered detergent and water. Gently work into the stained area with your finger or a clean, white cloth, and let sit for a few minutes. Wash using the warmest water recommended for the fabric. Let the garment air-dry. Grease stains like cooking oil tend to disappear when wet, so make sure the stain is gone before placing it in a dryer, as heat from the dryer will set the stain. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone, then dry as directed on the garment label.

How to Remove Grease Stains from Chenille

For washable chenille items, immediately apply cornstarch or baby powder (which act as absorbents) to the cooking oil stain. Allow the powder to sit on the stain for at least five minutes, then gently brush off. If the stain is small, this might be enough. If not, apply a stain pretreatment product according to the manufacturer's instructions. Wash the item according to the garment's label. Air-dry completely and check to make sure the stain is gone before placing the garment in a dryer.

Grease Stain Removal for Corduroy Clothes

For washable corduroy items, immediately apply an absorbent such as cornstarch or baby powder to the cooking oil stain. Allow the absorbent to sit on the stain for at least five minutes, then gently brush off. If the stain is small, this might be enough. If not, apply a stain pretreatment product according to the manufacturer's instructions. Wash the item according to the garment label. Let the clothing air-dry and check to make sure the stain is gone before using a dryer.

How to Get Grease Out of Cotton Clothing

To treat a cooking oil stain on cotton, saturate the stained area with a heavy-duty liquid detergent, pretreatment spray, or a thin paste made from powdered detergent and water. Gently work into the stained area with your finger or a clean, white cloth, and let sit for a few minutes. Wash using the warmest water recommended for the fabric. Air-dry the garment, as grease stains can seem to disappear when wet, and heat from the dryer will set the stain. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone, then dry as directed on the garment label.

Jacob Fox

How to Remove Grease Stains from Leather

Gently blot to remove excess oil. Quality saddle soap should remove any residue. If it doesn't, try rubbing with an absorbent powder, such as cornstarch or baking powder. Let sit a few hours or overnight. Brush the powder off; repeat if necessary. Finish with a leather cleaner and conditioner. Note: Follow the manufacturer's instructions on both the saddle soap and leather cleaner for the best results.

How to Get Grease Out of Linen Clothes

To remove grease stains from linen, saturate the stained area with a heavy-duty liquid detergent, pretreatment spray, or thin paste made from powdered detergent and water. Gently work into the stained area with your finger or a clean, white cloth. Wash using the warmest water recommended for the fabric. Air-dry, because grease stains seem to disappear when wet, and heat from the dryer will set the stain. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

Jay Wilde

How to Get Rid of Grease Stains on Nylon, Polyester, Spandex, or Lycra

You can follow the same steps to get grease out of clothing made of nylon, polyester, spandex, or Lycra. Use a pretreatment product specifically made for oily stains, or rub liquid detergent into the stain area. Wash the garment using the warmest water recommended for the clothing. Air-dry, and repeat if stain remains. Once the stain has disappeared, dry as directed.

Food grease stains on nylon and polyester are more easily removed the sooner you can treat them. As soon as possible, apply an aerosol pretreatment laundry stain remover for at least one minute before washing. If the stain is set in, you might want to rub the food grease area with liquid detergent, too. Wash using the hottest temperature of water recommended on the clothing care label, then air-dry, and inspect the area carefully. For remaining stain, wash using liquid chlorine bleach (whites) or color-safe bleach (colors). Air-dry, and repeat as needed.

How to Get Grease Stains Out of Silk

Blot away as much oil as possible. Apply an absorbent powder, such as cornstarch or baking powder, and let sit overnight. Gently brush off, and reapply if necessary. If stain persists, dab on a small amount of clear, grease-cutting dish detergent. Let sit at least an hour. Dab with water to remove. Blot dry.

How to Remove Grease Stains on Suede

Blot the excess oil on the suede. Dip a cloth into ground cornmeal, and rub into stain using a circular motion. When dry, gently brush off powder with a wire brush. Repeat if necessary. If stain persists, test lemon juice in an inconspicuous place. If the suede looks fine, rub the stain with lemon juice, and hold it in the steam from a boiling teakettle for a few minutes. Brush with a wire brush.

Jay Wilde

How to Get Grease Out of Velvet

For washable velvet items, immediately apply cornstarch or baby powder (absorbents) to the cooking oil stain. Allow the absorbent to sit on the stain for at least five minutes, then gently brush off. If the stain is small, this might be enough. If not, apply a stain pretreatment product according to the manufacturer's instructions. Wash the item according to the garment label. Air-dry. Grease stains, such as cooking oil, seem to disappear when wet, so check to make sure the stain is gone before placing it in a dryer because the heat from a dryer can set the stain.

Grease Stain Removal for Wool

Gently scrape off as much cooking oil as you can. Then apply an absorbent substance, such as cornstarch or baking soda, to the surface of the wool, and let sit for at least an hour. Gently brush off, and reapply if needed. If stain remains, wet the area carefully with cool, sudsy water spiked with a little vinegar. Blot with clear water and blot dry. If stain still remains, try a consumer dry-cleaning solvent, following the manufacturer's instructions.

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