How to Clean Grease Stains After Laundry

The best time to treat oily, greasy stains in fabrics is when they’re fresh. If you don’t get to them until your regular laundry day, most will present a challenge. And if you notice them after they’ve been through the dryer? You might be looking at a permanent addition to your wardrobe, but before you resign yourself to that grease spot, give this method a try.

You Will Need:

  • WD-40
  • Hot water
  • Heavy duty liquid laundry detergent
  • Washing machine

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Spray the stain with a generous amount of WD-40. The lubricant from the WD-40 will help to make the oil stain like a fresh stain again.
  2. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes so the stained area can become fully absorbed with the WD-40.
  3. Rinse the area with hot water to remove the excess oil.
  4. Cover the spot with liquid laundry detergent. Rub gently with your fingers to ensure the spot is saturated.
  5. Allow the laundry detergent to set on the stained area for 30 minutes.
  6. Wash the piece in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.
  7. Check to ensure the stain is gone before drying. Repeat as needed, or until you no longer see an improvement.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • You can try grease cutting dish soap such as Dawn in place of laundry detergent. Avoid using one with citrus additives (lemon or orange scented, for example) or one with bleach.
  • Be careful to keep the WD-40 on the stain only. Overspray may cause the stain to appear to spread in some fabrics.


  1. Clare says:

    Small grease stains can be ironed out by sprinkling talcum powder on the stain and then ironing.

  2. Melinda says:

    Wick up as much of the grease (such as butter, salad dressing or cooking oil) with baking soda, even if it is an old stain. Then, if the stain remains AND the fabric is colorfast, spray it with Dawn Power Dissolver designed for greasy pots and pans, let it sit for a few minutes and launder as usual. Try not to put it in the dryer until the stain is gone.

  3. Sharon says:

    My daughter sat on a tube of lip gloss and got bad grease marks over her brand new school uniform. I washed it straight away after applying a good quality stain removing spray, but it did nothing. After a number of attempts, which didn’t do a thing, in desperation I looked up your website and tried the talcum powder. The first time it didn’t work, so I left the powder on overnight, and washed the dress this morning – and now the marks are gone. I can’t thank you enough.

  4. Luanne says:

    I found that Goo Gone works great for removing old grease spots. I buy the spray, but the liquid version works well too. Just apply it to the spot, rub slightly and launder and swish; it’s gone! Hope this works for you.

  5. Julie says:

    **This Works!**
    I had a shirt that had butter stains all across the front of it. I washed and dried it once, without any remedy, and of course the stain was the same. A few days later, I tried Spot/Stain remover, soaking for at least an hour. Then washed and dried and no change. A couple weeks later, I found this idea; the WD-40. I tried it today and there is no more stain! Thank you!

  6. PG says:

    I tried WD-40 to remove some residue from foam insulation, and it left a large oil stain on my clothing! Now, the problem is much worse. How do I remove the WD-40 stain?

  7. Susan C says:

    We wash polyester tablecloths and we keep getting a yellow stain. I am going to try the WD-40 on some, but wondering if anyone else has these yellow areas on their poly after washing?

    I do use the Dawn on stains prior to washing. Any recommendations for stain removal on tablecloths?

  8. Bossy says:

    There was black oil automotive-type grease set on a pair of my husband’s jeans. I applied generous amount of WD-40. Let it dry. Washed and dried. I could still see stain. Reapplied WD-40, followed by applying grease-cutting Ajax dish detergent. Rubbed it with a brush and rinsed. Washed the jeans in the hottest cycle. It is still a little visible, but I’m satisfied with how much got removed. This method works.

  9. Barb says:

    My husband managed to saturate himself in hydraulic oil. Then, he washed & dried his clothes 3 or 4 times without any pre-treatment of the stain. Help!

  10. Paul says:

    I used WD-40 and ordinary washing up liquid. After one hour, I rinsed it off, then applied a solution of lemon juice and vinegar to the stains. Left that overnight and “hey presto,” stains no more.

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