How To Remove Set In Black Grease Stains From Clothes

Set in black grease stains might seem like the end of the world, but they’re not.

And no matter how long they’ve been sitting on the surface of your fabric, there’s always something you can do to either reduce their prominence or completely banish them away from the surface of the fabric, just as you can also get rid of the persistent smell coming from the underarm of your clothes.

When you have set in black grease stain on your clothes, sponge the spot with a paste made by mixing baking soda and liquid dish soap and allow it to sit for 1 hour or more. Then scrape off as much paste as you can from the cloth and rinse in warm water, then launder using heavy duty liquid laundry detergent in the hottest setting allowable for that fabric.

Doing that should entirely get rid of the grease stain, but if some of it still persist, repeat the process all over again and your fabric should be stain free in no time.

While dishsoap and baking soda work well to tackle grease stains, including the set in type of stains, there are much more efficient and faster methods out there that are quite easy to adopt, and below we’ll discuss each one of them carefully.

How To Get Rid Of Set In Grease Stains On Clothes

Getting grease splattered all over our favorite fabrics can be disheartening, and all that would want to know is how to quickly banish it away from there, but jumping into the stain removal process without bearing some critical things at the back of your mind can do more harm than good to your fabric.

Here are the things you should bear at the back of your mind prior to starting any stain removal campaign.

  1. Consider the type of fabric you’re working with. Not all fabrics are created equal, and so not all of them will fare well with the techniques of cleaning mentioned below. Fabrics like cotton and cotton/polyester blends are relatively rigid and can withstand scrubbing or agitation to some extent, while others like silk or wool cant, same thing with stain removers, some fabrics can be compatible with them while others won’t. So always make sure to check the care label of your fabric, and also the label on your stain remover and other cleaning products to ensure they are all compatible with each other.
  2. When your fabric says “dry clean only” on the care label tucked somewhere at the neck seam, heed to that instructions and dry clean only. So blot and clean the surface of the stain with a dampened cloth if new, and take to the dry cleaners before 24 hours.
  3. If your stain remover is solvent based, or you used a dry cleaning solvent, avoid drying fabrics in the dryer as that can be dangerous.

Using baking soda and liquid dish soap

This is by far the easiest route to go and I know, the one most people are going to be trying out, because the ingredients are readily available to us at home.

Baking soda helps absorb the oil when it comes to the surface by virtue of the action of the liquid dish soap to tackle and lift grease stains.

And in this way, these two magic ingredients get rid of any grease or oil stain whether old or fresh in no time.

To begin with this method,

First create a paste of baking soda and liquid dish soap. Then feather the paste using a soft toothbrush or soft cloth into the grease spot in a circular motion while making sure to be very gentle.

When dealing with large grease stains, you want to start with the outer edges then work your way inside to avoid spreading the stain further.

When you have the paste fully covering the grease stain, allow it to sit for an hour or more then wash with warm water and launder using a heavy duty liquid laundry detergent in the hottest water tolerable by the fabric. At the end of the wash cycle, rinse and air dry.

Check for noticeable stains and if you find any, repeat the process all over again (for sturdy clothes) until the stain is completely removed.

One alternative uses only liquid dish soap. But this is more likely going to work with relatively fresh grease stains.

Apply dish soap and work it into the area, then apply a little water and apply decent agitation until most if not all of the stain comes off.

Next, launder in a heavy duty liquid laundry detergent in the hottest water permissible for the fabric.

Using stain remover

A more effective way for tackling grease stains is to use a detergent based stain remover you can get from your local stores.

Make sure to go for a stain remover that targets grease stains primarily, or as part of the mix too!

Apply or use these as per manufacturer’s instructions (paying careful attention to the care label of both the product and the fabric to ensure they are compatible).

Read: How To Remove Stain From Leather Purse

Normally, it’s recommended to test stain removers in an inconspicuous area of your fabric to see how it reacts with it, and only proceeds when the test is passed, meaning no reaction or adverse side effects are seen.

Using dry cleaning solvent

A dry cleaning solvent is the most effective way to get rid of grease stains, especially those that are already set in.

But despite their effectiveness, they should always be your last resort due to how toxic and dangerous they can be if not handled properly.

When dealing with dry cleaning solvent, make sure to wear gloves, eye protection and a nose mask.

Apply the solvent directly on the spot and work it into the stain. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how severe or set in the stain is) and wash with warm water.

Next, launder in the hottest water allowed for the fabric using a heavy duty laundry detergent. Rinse and air dry. Repeat steps if some grease stains still persist on the fabric.


  • When you notice that you’ve reached a dead end with the stain even after performing the steps above, then it’s best to leave the stain as it is to prevent causing damage to the fabric, especially if it is delicate. At this point, the stain is probably super set in and any attempts to remove it will yield fruitless results.

How To remove Oil Stains From Clothes

When you have fresh oil splattered across the surface of your fabric, treat that asap by sponging using liquid dish soap or laundry soap, and then pretreating with baking soda and washing in the machine using the hottest water tolerable by fabric.

Final Thoughts

Tackling set in grease stains isn’t going to be a one action process, but it still works nonetheless.

When you have a stain that annoys you, make a paste using baking soda and dish soap and work it directly into the stain area.

Next, wash the paste off using warm water and launder the cloth in the hottest water tolerable by the fabric. Repeat the process again if you have to obtain a fabric that is stain free!