Can I get out set in grease stains?
October 23, 2011 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Hope me, laundry wizards! Is there any way to get out grease stains on a shirt after it's been dried?

So I'm kind of a terribly messy eater. I got big blotches of grease on a cotton shirt I would rather not have to replace. I pre-treated with handwashing detergent and let it sit for a week. I laundered in cold water and dried on medium. Stains are still there. :( Is there anything I can do now or should I chalk this up to live and learn?
posted by calistasm to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Dry clean! This is what they're for!
posted by small_ruminant at 6:45 PM on October 23, 2011

Spot clean with a dish soap, like Dawn or Palmolive. It's designed to get food grease off of dishes, and it does a great job of getting food grease out of clothes. Squirt a couple drops on the area and massage with your fingertips to open the weave of the fabric...hopefully that will do it.
posted by phunniemee at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Reactivate the stain (dab or spray oil onto it). Let sit for ten minutes. Put liberal amount of Dawn dish soap on the freshened stain. Let sit for ten minutes. Launder as usual.

This has worked for me every time I've accidentally laundered a tube of lip balm along with my clothing.
posted by palomar at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2011 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: And because this useful question somehow didn't come up in my search, I'm linking to it here for other hapless messy eaters like myself.
posted by calistasm at 6:48 PM on October 23, 2011

Resolve Dual-Action. I've used it literally dozens of times to remove post-wash grease stains (and one time even removed a post-wash and dry huge yellow mustard stain 100%) it's amazing stuff.
posted by Cosine at 6:49 PM on October 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

sorry, it's Dual-Power. Sometime sold as Spray and Wash Dual-Power. The main thing is it contains two active ingredients that only get mixed at the time of application.
posted by Cosine at 6:50 PM on October 23, 2011

I can't tell you how many times lip balm has gone through the full wash and dry cycle at my house. A good soak in Oxyclean does the trick when spot cleaning with dish detergent or Fels Naptha won't.
posted by padraigin at 6:51 PM on October 23, 2011

posted by mhoye at 6:58 PM on October 23, 2011

You want Rit Super Stain Remover. I never discover grease stains until after they've been dried. This always works.
posted by artychoke at 6:59 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Squirt some dish detergent on it and soak it in a sink full of hot water, with maybe some hand agitation. Should do the trick.
posted by orange swan at 7:04 PM on October 23, 2011

Lestoil has never failed me.
posted by kittydelsol at 7:04 PM on October 23, 2011

Oxiclean. Just did this with a couple shirts a few weeks ago. It took a couple washes, but it worked when Dawn didn't.
posted by runningwithscissors at 7:17 PM on October 23, 2011

Best I've found for anything greasy (even after drying) is OxiClean Max Force Laundry Pre-Treater Spray. I used to be more promiscuous in my choice of pretreaters but realized after dealing with many stains from clumsy butter-loving children that this was the way to go.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:20 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Shout gel that comes in a squeeze bottle with a bristle brush on the top has always worked for me. Rub it in, 10 minutes, wash. Sometimes I have to do it twice.
posted by peep at 7:36 PM on October 23, 2011

yes! even a year-old oil stain can be removed with Marseille soap (the olive oil variety).
posted by seriousmoonlight at 7:43 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thirding Oxiclean. It might take a couple of rounds but don't give up, it will come out eventually.
posted by ambrosia at 7:44 PM on October 23, 2011

Spray and Wash Dual-Power (it's a bottle with pink liquid on one side and clear liquid on the other). Spray it directly on stain and let set for 3-5 minutes (not more!), followed by Oxyclean in the washing machine water. This combination has gotten out almost anything I've ever thrown at it. And I'm a messy eater.
posted by Simon Barclay at 7:52 PM on October 23, 2011

Oh, and wash with HOT water.
posted by Simon Barclay at 7:53 PM on October 23, 2011

Kevin Kelly just did a Cool Tools on this very subject and Fels-Naptha.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:59 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try some sodium carbonate aka washing soda/soda ash which is sold as "Soooo Clean". Either mix up a small amount to make a paste and slather on damp fabric, or add a few tablespoons to a gallon of water and let it soak.
posted by squeak at 8:07 PM on October 23, 2011

my family swears by Goop. used by mechanics for washing grease off their hands, but fantastic for grease stains on clothes. bonus: fun to smoosh around.
posted by changeling at 8:09 PM on October 23, 2011

kittydelsol has already mentioned it: LESTOIL. I've used it to get grease stains out of everything from sweatshirts to satin saris. It works in one treatment, and it works on old, gone-through-the-dryer stains too.
posted by yawper at 7:00 AM on October 24, 2011

K2r gets out anything.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:17 AM on October 24, 2011

I have good luck with Fels-Naptha and Grandma's secret spot remover. Work it in, let it sit a while, then wash normally. After washing, let the garment hang dry so if the spots didn't come out you can try again without the heat-setting that comes with the dryer. For some reason, running some stains through the dryer makes them a lot harder to remove, but if you hang-dry you can try a different solvent.
posted by leapfrog at 1:11 PM on October 24, 2011

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