How to Get Grease Out of Clothes Before It Stains or Sets In

Whether they’re from sputtering bacon, slippery pizza cheese or the gears of your bike, grease stains have the power to ruin your day. Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to get grease out of clothes, no matter what type of fabric you’re dealing with. Here are two easy methods that will leave your clothes looking like new once again.

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how to get grease out of clothes with laundry detergent
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How To Get Grease Out Of Clothes With Laundry Detergent

While you can just toss your clothes into the wash and hope for the best, it’s better to pretreat grease stains. Laundry detergent is likely your best bet for machine-washable clothing, but it can also be used on certain items with tags that suggest hand washing or dry-cleaning (though we wouldn’t recommend it for delicate silks or most knit sweaters, especially cashmere).


  1. Lay the item on a flat surface, apply a bit of liquid detergent directly to the stain and rub gently.

  2. Let the detergent sit for two to five minutes before running the item through the wash at the highest temperature setting the fabric can handle.

  3. Double-check that the stain has been completely removed and wash again (if necessary) before putting the item in the dryer.
how to get grease out of clothes
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How To Get Grease Out Of Clothes With Dish Soap

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the product we use to cut grease on plates and pans would be good at getting grease out of fabric as well. In fact, some folks say it works better than laundry detergent to get these pesky marks out of almost any fabric.


  1. Lay the item on a flat surface and apply a dollop of dish soap directly to the stain. Spread the soap around so that it covers the entire stain. Let it sit for five to ten minutes.

  2. Use your fingers to gently work the soap into the fabric. You should see the stain lifting as you work.

  3. Rinse the clothing with warm water. If the stain is still there, repeat the process once more before air-drying the garment.

A few things to remember:

Speed Is Key

Like most stains, the sooner you treat a grease mark, the easier it is to remove. If you don’t have immediate access to cleaning products, or even a detergent stick, dab the stain with water or add a sprinkle of salt or artificial sweetener (to help prevent the stain from setting, making it easier to remove later) until you can get yourself to a sink or washing machine.

Always Check Your Clothing Labels

Always read the care label before treating clothing in any way. There you’ll learn just how hot the water can be, whether the item can be tossed into the dryer afterward and whether the garment is just too delicate for this process and should be dry-cleaned instead.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...