Remove Tough Grease Stains With The Soap Your Grandma Loved

Cooking a delicious stir fry and working on your car have something in common: a hideous amount of grease. That grease can spatter onto your shirt while cooking or transfer from your fingers to your pants, creating one of the most stubborn and uncooperative stains out there. Grease is not water soluble, so rinsing alone isn't enough, and if a grease stain makes it through the dryer cycle, the heat sets it in even more. However, there is a product your grandmother almost certainly uses that has stood the test of time. Older generations often keep a wood furniture cleaner on hand that has a secret bonus function. It's called Murphy's Oil Soap, and it's a pleasantly old-fashioned hardwood floor cleaner, as well as an unexpected rock star at getting tough grease stains out of your clothes.

Murphy's came out in 1910, and it's retained its popularity for more than a century. We shouldn't assume in this hyper-connected modern world that an old-school product has had its day, when in fact, often the reverse is true. Modern technology has given us powerful chemicals in contemporary cleaning products, and many of them are known to be harmful to people, animals, and the earth. For instance, chlorine bleach is risky to use in your home and responsible for tens of thousands of calls to poison control. In contrast, Murphy's is made with non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients.

How to use Murphy's on your grease stains

Whenever you want to experiment with a new-to-you product, we always recommend first doing a little test on a hidden part of the fabric. That way you can make sure the color of your garment doesn't run or change and that the clothing tolerates the cleaner well. After you've done a successful spot test, lay your garment on a flat surface, then go ahead and pour out a little Murphys Oil Soap right onto the grease stain. 

Using either a little brush, rag, or washcloth, scrub the cleaner into the area for no more than one minute. You'll want to find that optimal timing by saturating the grease with the cleaner but not over-scrubbing so much that you disrupt the nap or texture of the fabric. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then run it through a wash cycle with other clothes. It should be as good as new, although be on the lookout for a scent of citronella. If needed, you can always wash the item a second time to get rid of the scent if you don't like it.