How To Remove Grease Stains

(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Perfectly wonderful and pricey clothes can meet their match with one quick spill or unexpected splatter. Often small and inconspicuous, grease stains have put quite a few of my husband’s dress shirts in the “do not wear” pile. The real problem arose, however, when my own brand new, on-sale, perfectly fitting pants suddenly sported a nasty grease spot. Unacceptable.

This led me on a search for the best way to get grease stains out of clothes, and I think I’ve discovered the perfect trick.

(Image credit: Erika Tracy)

Dish detergent!

Breaking down the grease is the essential to stain removal in this case. The thought of simple dish detergent to remove grease stains never crossed my mind until I saw Emma’s post about it, but it certainly did the trick without causing additional damage. And it makes sense because dish soap is designed to cut through grease!

I’d suggest testing your detergent in an unseen area (the shirt tail of dress shirts, for example) just to be cautious of any discoloration. Most petroleum-based liquid dish detergent (like Dawn) should work well. All-natural or eco-friendly detergents weren’t quite as effective in our testing, unfortunately.

It’s the easiest and most successful laundry tip I’ve ever tried. (It’s just three steps!) All of our pieces, even dried-in stains, came out stain-free. Give it a try and let us know what favorite garments you’re enjoying showing off again. Do you have successful laundry tips for removing grease or other food stains?

How To Get Grease Stains Out of Clothes

What You Need

  • Petroleum-based liquid dish detergent
  • Washing machine


  1. Cut the grease: Apply the dish detergent directly to the grease stain. Rub the detergent in to saturate the affected area, and let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Wash: Wash the garment as instructed on garment label.
  3. Enjoy new, revived duds: Rejoice in victory over grease stains and enjoy wearing your clothes stain-free once again.

More Stain-Fighting Tips

We support our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.