The Most Ingenious Way to Get Rid of a Grease Stain (Because All the Stain Removers in the World Aren’t Cutting It)

cornstarch stain removal cat

You made a mistake that everyone makes at least once. You wore your favorite shirt on pizza night. Before you tearfully toss it away, give that tee one last shot at redemption—one that doesn't involve fancy, chemical-filled stain removers. In fact, the best grease stain remover is likely in your pantry right this minute: cornstarch.  

That’s right, it does way more than thicken soups and sauces. Cornstarch can basically suck grease and oil stains right out of fabric, from clothing to carpeting. How does it work, you ask? Well, not only is cornstarch naturally abrasive, which aids in cleaning, it’s also super absorbent.

If you don’t have a container of cornstarch in your purse when that drippy pepperoni slice does its damage, don’t worry. Cornstarch works on old grease stains that have already set, as well as sweat stains (your yellowed mattress is begging for some TLC). Here’s how to make your favorite top look good as new: 

1. Mix equal parts cornstarch and water in a small bowl until it turns into a paste.

2. Apply the paste to the grease spot. Let it sit overnight. You can also put a paper towel or cloth under the stain to keep it from bleeding, especially if it’s a new stain.

3. In the morning, brush away the paste with a dry cloth and be wowed. 

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taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...