Laundry Tips & Tricks

Grease Out Grease Stains

May 23, 2023

Grease Stained Shirt

Subtle and sneaky, grease stains tend to pop up when you least expect them. Perhaps you only noticed the stain when getting dressed. Perhaps you only noticed it as you pulled the affected item out of the dryer.  

You tried pretreating and washing again with different soaps and methods, but nothing worked. Is it time to retire the garment? Maybe so, maybe not…

There is one more method you could try: reactivate the grease. It’s a little unconventional but it is worth a shot.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • WD-40® or a comparable water-displacing lubricant
  • Disposable cardboard
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • An old soft toothbrush

Before you get started:

  • Plan to use this method away from any sources of fire. WD-40® is a flammable agent so use with great precaution.
  • Check the laundry tag to see what the manufacturer’s instructions are. Note the recommended water temperature and drying instructions for later.
  • Test this method in an inconspicuous spot of the garment for color fastness and efficacy. If your garment came with an extra piece of fabric, test on that instead.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Prepare your item by inserting cardboard to separate the stained areas from the others. This helps protect unaffected areas from receiving any of the WD-40 that will be sprayed.
  2. Spray those tough set-in stains with WD-40. Carefully target the center of each stain as this lubricant tends to spread. Only spray the existing stains with the cardboard shielding any other parts of the garment from receiving any of this spray.
  3. Apply baking soda to each stain. Use a toothbrush to gently rub in the baking soda. At first you may notice the baking soda clumps. This is part of the process. That is the baking soda absorbing the WD-40 and the reactivated stain. Repeat this action until the baking soda is reduced to a fine powdery dust.
  4. Apply dish soap to the stain. Use the toothbrush to gently rub and scrub the soap into the stain. This will break up the grease even more. Let the soap sit for about 30 minutes.
  5. Hand wash the item in the warmest water recommended and air dry. Wait until the garment is fully dry, up to 48 hours, and check for grease stains. Grease stains are difficult to detect on wet garments.
  6. Repeat as needed.

Removing tough, set-in grease stains can be quite a chore. To save yourself the time and hassle, bring your items to Easy Kleen’s drop off wash and fold service. Our knowledgeable attendants will pretreat and wash, dry, and fold your items for you. To save yourself more time, try our pickup and delivery service and we’ll take not just the affected item but an entire load off your to-do list.

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