Soaking in Dawn Solution

I’m thrilled to share this tip for how to remove set-in grease stains from clothing with all of you. Seriously, how many times have you pulled a top or some slacks from the dryer, only to discover those dark, tell-tale stains?

You’ll never guess, but that happened to me just this week. It all started when I was seriously delayed in traffic during a grocery-shopping trip. I called my marvelous husband and asked if he could throw something together for dinner.

He did a great job putting a meal on the table (I love this guy!), but he did mention that he spilled grease on his pants while cooking. I wasn’t too concerned. After all, who wouldn’t trade a hot meal (that you didn’t have to cook, by the way!) for a tiny bit of scrubbing on a little bitty stain?

Stained trousers

Of course, I forgot all about the grease stain, only to remember it while I was pulling the clothes from the dryer. Turns out, the stain wasn’t itty bitty, either. Good grief!

Rather than throw my hands up in despair (or throw the trousers in the trash), I searched the Internet for a solution. I decided to give this laundry tip a try. Simply pour some Dawn dishwashing liquid on the set-in grease stain, rub it in, and let it soak for at least one hour. Then wash as usual.

Rub in dishwashing liquid

I did read that you want to be careful not to let it soak too long, because the dishwashing liquid can potentially lighten the fabric. I let the Dawn soak in for three days, simply because that’s when I was washing the next load.

No more stains

Sure enough, the Dawn removed all but the teansiest remnants of the set-in grease stains, and the fabric didn’t fade at all. Good enough for me! No more grease-stained clothes finding their way to the “these-are-only-good-for-working-in-the-garage” pile at our house.

Anybody else have a laundry tip to share? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments section below.

19 Responses to How to Remove Set-In Grease Stains from Clothing

  1. I came here to get some hints on removing one of those….you know…kind of just a dark spot really, on a light grey pair of shorts 🙁 Thanks for all your great tips, A few years back I remember reading that to get rid of the stain, spray hairspray on it leave in and launder…IT WORKED !! I just don’t use hair spray anymore, LOL..ty again for all the great tips.

  2. Have any of you tried Persil pro clean laundry soap? It takes out everything without spraying anything on stains. Amazing. My husband gets his clothes grass stained, muddy it all comes out easily.

    • LindaK says:

      I am finishing up my second bottle of Persil laundry detergent. I have not found it to work any better than Wisk or Arm and Hammer detergents and it’s more expensive. In fact, the reason I’m on this site is because the Persil did not remove grease stains from two of my favorite shirts.

  3. Carin says:

    I used Dawn as recommended and it worked perfectly. The grease stain is gone from my pretty linen dress. Thanks!

  4. Marc Tan says:

    How about set grease stains on jeans?

  5. Briony says:

    What you’ll need:
    1) Whitening toothpaste
    2) Simple soap bar

    What to do:
    1) Scrub the grease stain with a damp cloth and a blob of toothpaste – repeat a few times. Wipe away excess.
    2) Set the item in a bath(what i found easiest) of warm water and scrub the stain out with the bar of soap. Rinse with water and let to dry.
    TA-DA – poof and the stain is gone 🙂

    • Barbara says:

      What kind of toothpaste do you use? It’s not funny but the drooling conjures up all types of visuals of how I must look when brushing my teeth. However, I once drooled toothpaste on one of my favorite shirts, and believe it or not the toothpaste took the color out of the shirt! Yes, I never thought it was a problem before; but tooth paste is one of those things where I almost right off the fabric now. It was a main brand whitening toothpaste. I am leery of accidentally putting toothpaste on clothing, let alone intentionally. What brand do you use?

  6. susan says:

    I work on a kitchen at a hospital. Have tried the dawn on my scrubs. Im sorry to say it didnt work. Unless i didn’t do it right. I love dawn.

  7. Tamara says:

    I noticed your pic shows “bleach alternative” are there different types of Dawn? I wouldn’t know as I have to use certain clear and free items due to chemical allergies but we have some set in grease stains that need treated. Thanks!

    • MaryJane says:

      Hi, Tamara. I believe any liquid dish detergent will work. Most dish detergents are designed to remove grease from dishes, so they work as a good degreaser for laundry, too. So as long as your favorite dish detergent does a good job of removing grease from your dishes, it should work on the grease stain, too.

  8. Brenda Meads says:

    If you have a tiny bit of the grease stain left put baking soda or baby powder on it to remove the rest. Baking powder will shake out if you want to wear it right away while baby powder may or may not come out until it’s washed especially on dark fabrics.

  9. brakenda jones says:

    Well i just put some dawn on some of my shirts that have set in grease stains i trying to figure out how longto let it sit into my shirts cause i keep reading different mins so can someone who for sure help me out here thanks

    • MaryJane says:

      I don’t have a set time, but here’s a general rule of thumb. The longer you leave the detergent on the shirt, the better it will remove the grease. The flip side, of course, is that the longer you leave the detergent on the shirt, the more likely it is to remove some of the color as well. The trick is finding the least amount of time possible to remove the stain without removing color. It varies according to the severity of the stain and the type of fabric. I would recommend starting with a couple of hours and washing. If the stains are still there, try again a little longer. It’s more involved that way, but you’ll be more likely to keep the color. Hope that helps!

  10. Joyce Bolin says:

    I used to own a bridal shop, and when asked as to what to do with stains on wedding gowns…I would tell them , make sure that it is a washable fabric, and not silks! using a white wash cloth, very gently, with distilled water, using white Dove bath bar or clear Dawn…Placing a white wash cloth underneath….use the soap first, when stain is out then use just the water to remove the soap from the fabric, as a rinse procedure.

  11. louisse says:

    thank you I am going to try this solution asap as I have a draw full of grease stained tops that are perfect except for those tell tale stains

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