Use This Ingredient To Remove Stubborn Grease Stains From Your Household Fabrics

Whether you've accidentally spilled your dinner all over your clothes or your child has gotten greasy handprints on your couch, cleaning up oily stains isn't easy. Fabrics absorb liquids and getting that grease out of your favorite shirt or new upholstery without leaving a mark can be stressful and time-consuming. The solution to easily rid your furniture and clothes of these stains is likely already in your pantry. While cornstarch is typically thought of when cooking or baking, it is surprisingly good for cleaning, especially if you're dealing with nasty grease stains.

Cornstarch is extremely absorbent and will help draw the grease out of the fabric. Even if the stain has had time to set, cornstarch should be able to help remove it. Not only can it absorb the stains, but its abrasive qualities make cornstarch great for cleaning. The next time you spill oil on fabric, try heading to your kitchen rather than your laundry room.

How to use cornstarch on grease stains

For fresh grease spots that are still wet, cornstarch can be used to absorb the liquid and keep the stain from fully setting. Start by liberally dusting your cornstarch over the stain and allowing it to sit for at least 15 minutes, though bigger stains may require more time. If you're concerned about the stain bleeding through a piece of clothing, place a paper towel or old rag between the fabric. Once the cornstarch has set, the grease should be absorbed and can be wiped away with a cloth. This method works for most types of clothing, linens, and upholstery.

If this doesn't immediately remove the stain or if you're dealing with a set stain, making a paste out of the cornstarch may prove more effective. Combine one part of water with one part of cornstarch in a bowl, stirring to make your paste. Gently dab the mixture onto the stained fabric and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight. Use a dry cloth to remove the paste and the stain should be gone.

Things to know about removing stains with cornstarch

If you're treating a stain on upholstered furniture, it's important to ensure the piece can be cleaned with water before starting. If your upholstery isn't compatible with water-based cleaners, make sure to use dry cornstarch rather than mixing a paste. Once the powder has absorbed the grease, you can gently brush it off the furniture. While some recommend vacuuming the cornstarch, this could potentially damage your vacuum's motor. Cornstarch could be used to treat grease stains on carpet, but if you don't want to risk sucking up the fine powder with your vacuum, it may be difficult to remove from the fibers.

Depending on how difficult of a stain you're working with, you may need to treat it further after using cornstarch. While cornstarch will pull the grease out of fabric, if marks are left behind, you'll have to wash the cloth as well. Liquid laundry detergent can be applied to the fabric before washing it in cold water if the cornstarch doesn't totally remove the stain.