An unexpected spill or splatter can leave your favorite clothes looking less than their best. They might seem impossible to remove, but there’s actually a simple solution for removing old grease stains. Follow these 7 steps to remove old grease stains.

Step 1: Find the Stain

The first step in removing old grease stains is to locate where on the item of clothing the stains are. Be sure to check the front and back of the garment to ensure you haven’t missed a spot.

How to remove old grease stains

Step 2: Apply Baking Soda

Once you know where the grease stains are, the next step is to apply a generous amount of baking soda to the stain. Using a toothbrush, rub the baking soda all over the grease stain until it collects in small clumps on the fabric. Once the baking soda has collected into small pieces, you can dust it off and dispose of it.

Helpful Tip: You can also use other fine powders in the same manner as baking soda in order to soak up the grease stain. This includes chalk, cornstarch, baby powder, or talcum powder.

Step 3: Apply Dish Detergent

Once you know where the grease stains are, the next step is to add a small amount of dish detergent directly onto the stain.

Warning: Dish detergent may discolor or react with fabrics in an unintended way, so it’s always best to spot treat an inconspicuous area before treating the stained area.

Keep in Mind: Heavier fabrics such as denim or linen may benefit from a mixture of 3 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part salt. Let rest for 15 minutes after applying and rubbing this mixture to the grease stain, then wash as usual.

Step 4: Rub the Soap In

The next step in removing old grease stains after you’ve applied the detergent is to rub it into the stain. This helps to saturate the area, and break down the oils that are causing the stain and weren’t absorbed by the baking sode. Again, you can use the toothbrush to rub the dish soap into the stain.

Keep in Mind: All-natural or eco-friendly dish detergents should be able to handle removing most grease stains, however they are not always as effective as their conventional counterparts. For this reason, you might need to treat the stain more than once if you are using an all-natural or eco-friendly dish detergent.

Step 5: Let it Sit

After you’ve rubbed the dish detergent into the fabric, you should let it sit for at least 5 minutes before washing the item. If you can wait an hour, or even longer, before washing, it will be more effective at removing the grease stain from the fabric.

Step 6: Wash

Once the garment has rested with the dish detergent on the stain for at least a few minutes, you should next proceed with popping it in the washing machine and washing the item according to the garment label. Use cold or warm water, not hot, for cleaning the treated garment.

Helpful Tip: Once the item has been washed, inspect it again to see if the stain has been removed. If it has, you’re safe to dry the item, otherwise you can try treating the stain again with the dish detergent.

Step 7: Dry

Finally, if you’ve inspected your garment and the grease stain is gone, you can dry the item according to the garment label, and enjoy wearing your spic and span clothing once more.

Even if your clothing has been washed and dried repeatedly, this method is still effective at removing old grease stains. With these 7 simple steps, you can quickly and easily remove old grease stains from your clothing and other washable fabrics.