How to Clean Grease From Clothes

by Renee Vians ; Updated September 28, 2017

If you have ever tried to remove stains from your favorite clothes, then chances are you know removing grease can be a challenge. Often times, the trick is to brush the grease stain from the opposite side of the fabric. This article provides steps to remove grease from clothes.

Items you will need

  • Grease stained Clothes
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Brush (Laundry brush or a toothbrush)
  • Absorbent (baby powder, corn starch, flour, salt)
  • Laundry pre-treatment products
  • Cloth or Rag
  • Vacuum (optional)
  • Washer
Step 1

Lay clothing on a flat surface. A flat surface enables even treatment to the affected area.

Step 2

Apply an absorbent to the grease stain. Sprinkle baby powder on the spot. Baby powder is said to be effective at absorbing fresh grease stains. Allow time for the absorbent to effectively soak up the stain. Corn starch, flour and salt have been recommended as alternatives to baby powder. Remove excess absorbent with a cloth, brush or vacuum.

Step 3

Pre-laundry treatment products, or concentrated detergents, are designed to remove grease stains. But an all purpose dishwashing liquid is often just as effective. Be sure to apple an even coat of the liquid cleanser to the grease stain. Allow the liquid cleanser to set for about five minutes.

Step 4

Add a couple of drops of warm water to the dishwashing liquid. The extra moisture will help create suds.

Step 5

Rub the grease stain from underneath with a forefinger or toothbrush. For example, if the grease stain is on a shirt. Turn the shirt inside out then brush the stain from underneath. Brushing or rubbing the stain from its opposite side helps to dislodge the grease from the fiber. When you see the grease lift from the fabric, you know that it is working.

Step 6

Put clothes in washer. Remember to adjust the water temperature to the hottest setting.

Step 7

Repeat the previous steps to remove old grease stains that have set.


  • Consider the most effective treatments for grease stains. All fabrics are different and care requirements vary by fabric. Some treatment methods will be more effective than others. Remember removing a fresh grease stain from clothing is easier than removing a set stain. If residue forms a circle, treat the area directly with a degreasing cleanser, such as Dawn dish washing liquid. Let clothes with grease stains air dry.


  • Do not place clothes with grease stains in the dryer. The heat from the dryer can set the stains, thereby making the stain more difficult to remove.

About the Author

Renee Vians has been writing online since 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism and language arts certification from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Her articles have appeared on various websites.