How to Get Grease Out

We have easy solutions to tackle a tough household stain. Consumer Educator, Teresa Hunsaker, has tips to get grease out of fabric, wallpaper and more.

Of all the different type stains that make their way into our homes, probably one of the toughest to deal with is a grease or oil based stain.

Grease out of Microfiber

· Blot the stain with a clean paper towel to get any extra grease out of the fabric.

· Cover stain with baking soda and let sit 15-20 minutes to absorb the grease.

· Vacuum up the soda.

· If stain persists, and it probably will, mix a few drops of dish detergent with a few drops of water and apply the stain.

· Rinse and blot with plain water mixed with a few drops of white vinegar.

· Rinse and blot with plain water. Dry.

Note: Be sure to always read manufacturer’s use and care instructions carefully prior to treating any stains.

Grease off of Wallpaper

· Wipe up as much as possible right at first.

· Make a paste out of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. (Some prefer to use cornstarch and water—either if fine.)

· Rub on stain and let sit until dry. Brush off. (This method helps pull the grease out of the paper and into the soda.)

· For remaining stain, if any, make a solution of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and water (approximately 1 cup water and 1 tsp. detergent), and rub gently onto the stain. Rinse.

Note: Depending on the wall paper, the age of the grease stain, and the type of grease, the stain may not be completely removed.

Grease out of Carpet

· Blot or scrape as much of the grease out of the carpet fibers as possible….using a clean paper towel or rag.

· Using a warm iron and clean paper towels, iron the spot to absorb up even more of the grease/oil.

· Cover the stain with baby powder, corn starch, or baking soda. Allow to sit a few hours to absorb oil up into the powder.

· Vacuum the area well.

· Sponge area with a warm soapy solution and allow to stand 5-10 minutes. Blot up.

· Rinse area with plain water. Blot dry.

Grease out of Oven Vent Filter

· After carefully removing the vent filter, place in a sink with very hot water and ammonia…5 parts water to 1 part ammonia, along with 1 TBS liquid dish detergent.

· Let sit 30 minutes.

· Using a soft bristle brush gently clean the filter of the grease and grime build up.

· Rinse in hot water.

Another option is to run it through the dishwasher with a little extra dishwasher detergent. If there is years of grease build up, you may want to place filter on a news print lined pan in the oven at 250°F for an hour or two. The grease will melt off the filter onto the paper, then you can run the filter through the dishwasher.

Grease off of Cement/Concrete

· Spread kitty litter, corn starch, or saw dust on the grease stain.

· Let sit for 24-48 hours, then sweep up.

· Scrub with a mixture of washing soda and water….making a paste, and using a scrub brush work the stained area in a circular motion.

· Rinse with hot water.

Another option is a product at Costco called Oil Eater, or BEHR Cleaner/Degreaser sold at Home Depot.

Desitin (or other diaper rash ointment)

· Blot and or scrape as much of the ointment out of the clothing or carpet with clean paper towels.

· Apply a degreasing liquid hand dishwashing detergent (such as Dawn), full strength, directly to the stain.

· Launder as usual for washable clothing items, or rinse and blot carpet well with clean rags and warm water.

Vaseline out of Clothing

· Lay the garment flat with a layer or two of a sturdy paper towel behind it.

· With a dull knife scrape as much of the Vaseline out as possible.

· With a warm iron, and another layer of clean paper towel on top of the stain, iron as much of the Vaseline out as possible.

· Spray stain with WD-40, let sit 15 minutes. Rinse in warm water.

· Next, cover stain with a degreasing liquid hand dishwashing detergent, let sit 15 minutes, rinse, and launder as usual.


WD-40 is a solvent, and much like turpentine or paint thinner, can break down grease, especially of a petroleum based grease like Vaseline. When using WD-40, you may have to treat for WD-40 residue ….using a little bit of rubbing alcohol.

GoJo Waterless Hand Degreaser is another option in place of WD-40.

If you have any questions, contact Teresa Hunsaker at the Family and Consumer Science Education Department at the Weber County USU Extension office at (801) 399-8203 or online at

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