How to Remove Oil or Grease Stains in Dress Shirts


It seems that the clothes we want to keep the cleanest are the ones that always attract the most dirt and stains. Dress shirts are meant to stay in top condition, and we take extra caution to keep stains from ruining our professional appearance. But if a grease or oil stain finds its way onto one of your nice shirts, there's no need to worry. These stains can easily be lifted with a little effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Dish soap
  • Hair shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean cloth
  • WD-40
  • Sprinkle cornstarch onto the stain and allow it to sit overnight. The cornstarch will help draw the oil or grease from the fabric. Rub a grease-cutting dish soap into the stain and allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes before laundering to further break up any residual grease.

  • Cover the affected area with hair shampoo. Shampoo is very effective at cutting through oils and grease. Rub the shampoo into the area with an old toothbrush or clean cloth and allow it to sit for four to five minutes before laundering.

  • Place the shirt in the sink and situate the stain under the faucet. Run hot water over the stain until it is no longer visible. Launder the shirt as usual.

  • Spray the area with WD-40 and scrub it gently into the fabric with an old toothbrush. Allow the WD-40 to sit on the stain for three to four minutes and scrub a second time. Apply dish soap to the stain and work it in to help break up the WD-40 and grease, and launder the shirt as usual.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine can help get rid of any residual odor. Washing the shirt with a scoop of baking soda also will help, but never use the two together or they will neutralize each other.
  • Read the care instructions on the shirt's tag carefully. Some fabrics cannot withstand hot water and have special washing instructions.

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