Voluminous grease dump on clothing: what to do?
September 8, 2014 5:14 PM   Subscribe

Carrying a serving dish full of pot roast and all the delicious associated juices. Slipped out of my hands, exploded on floor. Crockery shards, meat and grease everywhere. My pants - polyester wool blend, dry clean only - what to do until/in prep for dry cleaner? Anything? Soak? Blot? My shoes - brown leather tasseled loafers. Great splotches of grease. Ruined? This just sucks.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure if it work on the specific fabrics you mentioned, but I've had some success with dabbing a bit of cornstarch on oil stains. It absorbs the oils and draws them out of the material.
posted by RingerChopChop at 5:24 PM on September 8, 2014

I've had great success with pretreating clothes with dish washing liquid soap. But you know if you call Tide or Clorox they can help you -- they offer great advice by phone.
posted by spunweb at 5:26 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wait until you get it to the dry cleaners. Don't do anything now as you may ruin it. The dry cleaner will know what solvents to use to get rid of the stain without damaging the fabric. Dry cleaning isn't very good for removing smells but stains is where dry cleaning excels.
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! at 5:27 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]

Are the shoes suede? If they are, you're probably SOL, unfortunately. If not, that's still tricky. If they're good quality shoes, I'd first use cornstarch on the spots to soak up as much oil as possible, then wash them to saturation with soap and water, then let them dry properly and then apply a good neutral shoe-restoring cream, the polish. That would probably restore them to wearability.
posted by Frowner at 5:30 PM on September 8, 2014

I would try something non-staining to soak up some of the grease on the clothes, like the cornstarch mentioned above.

Also on the off-chance you've burned yourself make sure to take care of that first!
posted by poffin boffin at 5:32 PM on September 8, 2014

Do you have any kitty litter on hand? It must be kitty litter with sodium bentonite as the active ingredient. Sodium bentonite is a very absorbent clay, capable of absorbing several times its own mass - I use it to soak up crude oil stains off my clothes before I wash them. It doesn't get everything, but it does soak up what it can and creates little clumps, much like you'd see in a kitty litter box. If you have grease stains on your floor you can also use it there as well if regular Dawn dish soap doesn't work. Make sure you shake off all the kitty litter before you go to the dry cleaner, however.

Activated charcoal can also act in a similar way.

I have no idea what either will do to leather, however.
posted by barchan at 6:30 PM on September 8, 2014

Cornstarch + time for the leather. You can start with that and take to a shoe place for cleaning.
posted by oneear at 8:41 PM on September 8, 2014

Apart from trying to gently soak up some of the oil with cornstarch (good) or kitty litter (better), do not try to treat the stained pants yourself. You'll only end up making the dry cleaner's job harder.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:55 PM on September 8, 2014

I've used dish soap on small oily stains before with success. However, having experienced the trauma of dropping an exquisite, slow-cooked, expensive meal on the floor, I recommend you take this occasion to treat yo' self to some new garments.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:04 AM on September 9, 2014

If you find that you can't get the greasy stains out of the shoes, consider getting a good quality leather oil/grease and treating them all over with that. Then they will be all the same colour again, and possibly waterproof. Bonus!
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:42 AM on September 9, 2014

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