How to Remove Grease Stains: 13 Household Solutions

We rounded up simple, great tips to deal with grease stain removal.

From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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Baby Powder

Frying foods can be dangerous business—especially for your clothes. If you get a grease splatter on your clothing, try dabbing the stain with some baby powder on a powder puff. Make sure you rub it in well, and then remove and brush off any excess powder. Repeat until the mark is gone.

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Baking Soda

Say good-bye to cooked-on grease stains on your stovetop or backsplash. First wet them with a little water and cover them with a bit of baking soda. Then rub them off with a damp sponge or towel. Another hint—adding baking soda to your dishwashing liquid breaks down grease on dirty dishes.

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Chalk

Rub chalk on a grease spot on clothing or table linens and let it absorb the oil before you brush it off. If the stain lingers, rub chalk into it again before laundering. Get rid of ring-around-the-collar stains too; mark the stains heavily with chalk before laundering. The chalk will absorb the oils that hold dirt in.

Club Soda

Food tastes delicious when it’s cooked in cast iron, but cleaning those heavy pots and pans with the sticky mess inside is no fun at all. You can make the cleanup a lot easier by pouring some club soda in the pan while it’s still warm. The bubbly soda will keep the mess from sticking.

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Cat Litter

Looking to get rid of that garage floor oil slick left behind by your car? First, blot any wet oil or grease with newspaper until the floor is fairly dry. Next, spread a generous amount of cat litter over the stain (you can use a broom to make sure the whole stain is covered). Let it stand for 24 hours, then sweep or vacuum up to reveal a clean, grease-free floor.

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Cornstarch

Even the most careful cook can't avoid an occasional grease stain. Sprinkle cornstarch onto a soft cloth, and rub the grease spot gently until it disappears. Cornstarch is also great for the family room: sprinkle carpet grease spots with cornstarch and let sit for several hours. Vacuum up and the stain should be gone.

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Newspaper

This trick is great for large grease stains, like those found in the garage or driveway. Spread several thicknesses of newspaper over the spot, then thoroughly soak the paper with water and weight it down with a heavy object. When the paper is completely dry, remove it—and the stain should come with it.

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Paper Bag

Have you ever noticed how greasy foods immediately leave their mark on the bags that hold them? This trick uses the same process, but in reverse. For greasy stains on wallpaper, fold a brown paper bag and hold it over the stain. Next, run a warm iron over the spot, drawing the grease into the paper. Repeat as necessary until the spot is gone, repositioning the bag each time so fresh paper collects the grease.  

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Salt

Did that football-watching couch potato knock greasy nachos onto your nice white carpet? Mix up 1 part salt to 4 parts rubbing alcohol and rub it hard on the grease stain, being careful to rub in the direction of the rug’s natural nap. 

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Talcum Powder

You can remove greasy stains from a carpet with a combination of talcum powder and patience. Just cover the affected area with talcum powder and wait at least 6 hours for the talcum to absorb the grease. Then vacuum the stain away. Baking soda, cornmeal, or cornstarch may be substituted for the talcum powder. Talcum powder can also be used to remove greasy fingerprints from your favorite wallpaper; simply brush the powder on the stain, let sit for at least half an hour, and then brush off. 

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Tape

You may never be able to get rid of grease spots on books or important papers, but you can keep them from spreading with a little help from some transparent tape. Affix tape over both sides of the spot to keep the grease from seeping through to other pages or papers.

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Vinegar

Eliminate grease stains from your kitchen table or counter by wiping them down with a cloth dampened in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. In addition to removing the grease, the vinegar will neutralize any odors on the surface (once its own aroma evaporates, that is).

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Shaving Cream

Accidentally drop greasy food on your beautiful carpet? Try working shaving cream into the spot. Let it dry, and rub off with a damp soft cloth to remove the stain. 

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