Grease is more difficult to get out than most other stains because grease is a lipid and insoluble in water. An average laundry cycle won't do the trick because the grease just clings onto the fibers of the fabric. The answer - concentrated attention in the form of a pre-treatment that's not complicated or expensive.
In this case, the baking soda draws the stain out and away from the fabric and the liquid dish soap breaks up what remains. Surfactants in the dish soap are the key when you need to remove grease stains. These affect the hydrogen bonds in the water in a way that allows it to cut through the grease stains and wash them right out.
What You’ll Need
- Baking soda
- A toothbrush
- Boulder Clean Dish Soap
- A piece of cardboard or dark towel you don't mind transferring the stain to
What to Do
- Lay the article of clothing flat.
- Place the cardboard or old towel underneath the stain.
- If the stain is fresh and hasn't been through the washer and dryer yet, sprinkle baking soda on top of the grease. If it has set, pour enough dish soap onto the stain to cover it well. Leave the baking soda or dish soap on the clothing for about 5-10 minutes.
- Use a toothbrush to scrub the baking soda or dish soap into the stain, really working it in (be careful not to damage the fabric, though).
- If your stain is fresh, you'll notice the baking soda changing color. Scrape the first round of baking soda away and apply more.
- Repeat the process until the baking soda no longer turns brown.
- If the stain is fresh, now is the time to add dish soap. If your stain is old, sprinkle enough baking soda onto the dish soap to cover the stained area.
- Scrub again with the toothbrush.
- Let the mixture set for 10-15 minutes.
- Wash the clothing as you normally would, using the hottest water the fabric will allow. Some cotton clothing is prone to shrinking in hot water, so use your best judgment depending on the type of clothing that's stained.
- Check to make sure the stain is gone before drying the garment.
Removing grease stains may have seemed hopeless before, but now you know it's possible to get that cotton garment looking brand new again!