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How to remove fat stains from clothes

Exposure to greasy, oily foods can leave fat stains on clothes. Butter, lard and cooking oil are common sources of fat stains. These oily food products cause unsightly dark blotches on fabric that are very apparent. Fat stains become more embedded and challenging to remove the longer they soak into clothing. Promptly treat fat stains on clothing to prevent the fabric from becoming permanently marred.

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  1. Blot the fat stain with clean paper towels to lift as much grease and oil from the fabric as possible.

  2. Apply heavy-duty liquid pretreatment detergent directly to the stain. Follow the detergent manufacturer's instructions on the product's label.

  3. Blot the fabric with a non-dyed cotton cloth to work the detergent into the stain. Allow the stain to absorb the detergent for the amount of time recommended by the detergent manufacturer.

  4. Dampen another non-dyed cotton cloth with hot water. Blot the fabric with the damp cloth to remove the remaining stain.

  5. Launder the garment in a clothes washer with hot water and washing powder. Use the amount of detergent recommended by the manufacturer.

  6. Allow the garment to air dry completely. Repeat the process if the fat stain persists.

  7. Tip

    You can substitute washing-up liquid for the heavy-duty liquid pretreatment detergent.

    You can substitute warm water for the hot water if the garment's care tag requests it.


    Test the liquid pretreatment detergent on a small, hidden area of the fabric to ensure the garment does not become discoloured.

    Drying the garment in a clothes dyer can cause any traces of grease or oil to permanently set in the fabric.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean paper towels
  • Heavy-duty liquid pretreatment detergent
  • 2 non-dyed cotton cloths
  • Hot water
  • Clothes washer
  • Washing powder

About the Author

April Dowling

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

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