How to Remove Most Food and Grease Stains from Clothes


Stains make clothes look sloppy and dirty, and can be difficult to get out without knowledge of proper removal techniques. Removing grease and oil stains from food or non-food sources requires different strategies than removing other food stains. Correct stain removal for food stains also varies depending on whether the stain is protein-based or from fruit and most beverages. For example, stains from wine, berries, coffee and jam require different stain removal techniques than stains from protein-based egg whites, pudding, baby formula, gelatin and sherbet.

Things You'll Need

  • For grease stains:
  • Paper towels
  • Dry cleaning fluid
  • Pretreatment stain remover
  • Hot water
  • Laundry detergent
  • For fruit and beverage stains:
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Sponge or rag
  • Alcohol
  • Enzyme presoak product
  • Bleach (optional)
  • For protein stains:
  • Cool water
  • Ammonia

Grease Stains

  • Set the stained area of the fabric on top of absorbent paper towels if the fabric has a severe stain.

  • Apply dry cleaning solvent to the stain over the absorbent paper towels.

  • Let the stain dry.

  • Rinse the stain.

  • Soak the stain with a pretreatment stain remover and let it sit for about a minute.

  • Wash the garment as usual using the hottest water safe for the fabric, as Ohio State University experts suggest.

Fruit and Beverage Stains

Protein Stains

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not attempt to rinse a protein stain in hot water, because the hot water can cook the protein and make it set into the fabric.

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