Doing laundry is a tough job, especially when dealing with bacon grease, whether it splatters on your clothes while you cook or you drop a piece of greasy bacon on your favorite shirt while eating. If it isn’t cleaned properly, it will leave permanent damage on your garment. Here are some tips on how to get bacon grease out of clothes. No matter which tip you choose to try, be sure to test an inconspicuous spot on the garment first. You don’t want to damage the color or fabric of your garment to the point that it is beyond repair.
What Makes Bacon So Greasy?
Bacon comes from the side of a hog. The spare ribs are removed and the bacon is cured, then smoked. Canadian bacon is very different from American-style bacon. Canadian bacon is cut from the loin portion of a hog. This portion is leaner.
Today, in the United States, American-style bacon is sold in five different styles: slab, thin-sliced, thick-sliced, ends, and pieces. Bacon slabs come from the side or belly of a hog that has been cured 10-14 days under refrigeration, then cooked and smoked. Slab bacon has stripes of lean and fat, and one side is usually covered with skin. Both thin and thick-sliced bacon is cut from slab bacon and is layered in packaging after the skin has been removed.
American-style bacon has a very high-fat content. That is why bacon is so greasy.
Despite the fact that bacon is greasy and has low nutritious value, it is quite popular. It has a smoky flavor. It’s been a favorite breakfast food enjoyed with eggs for years. But it’s not just for breakfast anymore. Now it is also enjoyed at lunch and dinner as well, on burgers and pizza, in salads, and many other recipes.
How to Get Grease and Oil Stains Out of Clothes Using Everyday Household Items:
Removing grease and oil stains from clothes is a difficult task. First and foremost, always do your best to treat the stain as soon as possible. Here are some suggested solutions for how to get bacon grease out of clothing, as well as other food grease and kitchen oils, using everyday household items:
● Plain White Paper Towel and Liquid Laundry Detergent – Be sure to lift any bacon pieces from the garment. Treat the grease spot as soon as possible. For washable clothes, the first step in removing grease stains is to blot the greasy stain using a plain white paper towel to absorb as much of the oil as possible. Avoid rubbing, as this can push grease stains deeper into the fabric fibers. Continue this process until most of the grease has been absorbed.
When you are ready to launder the garment, apply a heavy-duty liquid detergent directly to the affected area. Work the detergent in by gently rubbing the fabric together with your fingers. Let the garment sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then toss it into the washer and wash according to the care tag label instructions.
● Dish Soap – Another option for getting grease out of clothes is to squirt a little dish soap on the grease stain and gently rub it in. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing the garment as you normally would.
● Dish Soap with Salt, Baking Soda, or Cornstarch and Laundry Detergent + Hot Water are ingredients for one stain removing recipe – To remove grease stains, sprinkle salt, baking soda, or cornstarch on the stain and let it sit on the stain for half an hour. Then brush the powder away with a gentle brush, like a makeup brush. Repeat this process to get as much of the grease out as possible.
Rub dish soap into the stain with your finger or a clean soft toothbrush and let it stand for a few minutes, then soak the garment in hot water for 30 minutes. Next, turn the garment inside out and run hot water through the backside of the stain to thoroughly rinse it. Hang to dry.
If this process got the grease and oil out, you can launder as you normally would. If the process didn’t get the greasy stains out, mix 3 parts baking soda to one part water and apply to the affected area. Let it dry, then brush it off with a gentle brush. Pour on a little liquid laundry detergent and let it sit for 10 minutes. Launder in the washing machine in hot water. To remove a stubborn stain you can use half the amount of laundry detergent, replacing the other half with baking soda.
● Dish Soap with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda are ingredients for the best homemade method of removing an oily food grease stain from dark-colored clothes – Spray on hydrogen peroxide to saturate the stain, then add a little dish detergent. Sprinkle with baking soda and brush the baking soda in until it forms a fine paste. Be sure to brush it into the entire stained area. Let the garment sit for 1 ½ hours, then throw it in your washer and launder as usual. Dry as directed.
3 Steps on How to Get Bacon Grease Out of Clothes
Removing bacon grease from delicate and dry clean only fabrics:
Step 1) Try to treat the stained area immediately. Using a dry paper towel, blot the affected area to soak up as much of the grease as possible. Be sure to blot and not rub to avoid embedding the grease into the fabric.
Step 2) Sprinkle cornstarch or talcum powder on the stain. Using a generous amount of cornstarch or talcum powder, cover the stain completely. Let the garment sit for a few hours or overnight in a warm, out-of-the-way place.
Step 3) Brush the powder away using a soft toothbrush, or shake the powder off outside. Examine the stained area to see if this treatment was effective in getting the grease out. If the grease stain is still visible, repeat the process. Otherwise, launder the garment as usual. However, if the item is dry clean only, take it to a professional dry cleaner, explaining what happened and what you did to try to remove the stain.
Removing stubborn stains:
Step 1) Check the care tag for fabric information. If the tag says, “cold water only” or “dry clean only,” don’t use this technique.
Step 2) If the stain is small, soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and use it to gently dab the stain. Saturate the stained area with alcohol and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then rinse the stain with hot water. Hang it to dry. If the stain is still visible when the garment is dry, repeat the process. When you are certain the stain has been eliminated from the dry garment, wash and dry as directed.
You can also try WD-40 or hairspray for stubborn stains:
Step 1) Spray the affected area liberally.
Step 2) Let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with hot water and launder as usual.
How to Clean Oily Stains Out of Clothing Fabrics:
The first two things you need to be aware of to get oil out of clothes are: 1) what type of fabric is the article of clothing you spilled the oil on; and 2) what are the care tag cleaning instructions recommended for the fabric of the garment?
Now, let’s look at some stain removal tips for eliminating cooking oil stains from specific fabrics:
Cotton, Linen, Spandex/Lycra
To treat a cooking oil stain, saturate the affected area with a liquid detergent prewash spray or with a thin paste made from powdered detergent and water. Using your finger, gently work the paste made from powdered detergent and water into the cooking oil stain. Then let the garment sit for a few minutes. Next, check the care tag instructions and wash the garment using the warmest water temperature recommended.
After washing in the warmest water recommended, hang the garment to air dry. You may not be able to see the stain because grease stains tend to disappear when wet. Also, you don’t want to throw the garment in the dryer, as heat from the dryer will set the stain into the garment’s fibers. When the article of clothing is dry, check to make sure all traces of the stain are gone before you launder it as normal or it will set into the garment’s fabric. If the grease stain didn’t come out, repeat the process.
For nylon fabric, you will also want to use a pretreatment product that is made for oily stains or rub liquid detergent into the stain. Again, check the care label and wash the garment using the warmest water temperature recommended. After the garment has been washed, hang it up to dry. When dry, make sure the stain is gone. If the stain remains, use liquid detergent and work into the stained area again. Then again, wash using the warmest water recommended. Hang to dry to prevent any possible remaining stain from setting into the fabric. Check to be sure the stain is gone. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process until the stain is gone.
Greasy food or cooking oil stains are the easiest to remove if you treat them immediately. Apply an aerosol pretreatment stain remover for one minute or more before washing. If you couldn’t treat it quickly and the stain has set in the fabric, apply liquid detergent to the affected area and gently rub it into the stained area with your finger. Again, wash in the warmest water temperature recommended and hang to dry.
Remember, drying the garment will set the stain in the fabric. If the stain remains, you may choose to wash using liquid chlorine bleach for whites or color-safe bleach for colors. Then air-dry because an oil stain tends to disappear when the garment is wet. So you will want to be sure the stain is gone. If the stain is still present, repeat the process again. Repeating the process is necessary until the stain is gone.
For washable garments made of corduroy cloth, apply cornstarch or baking soda as soon as possible. These substances will work to absorb the stain, so let them sit on the stain for at least five minutes. Then gently brush them off with a soft-bristled brush. For small stains, this may be all you need to do. However, if the stain persists, try using a stain prewash product and wash the garment according to the instructions on the care tag. Then air dry and check to make sure the stain is gone because oil stains seem to disappear when the garment is wet.
For woolens, apply an absorbent like baking soda or cornstarch to the surface of the wool. Let it sit for one hour, then gently brush the powder off with a gentle brush. If you still see an oily stain, you can repeat this process. Then, if the cooking oil stain is still visible, use a little bit of liquid detergent to make cool, soapy water with a little vinegar, carefully wet the area. Dab on clear water, then blot dry with a clean towel.
Using a clean white paper napkin or towel, blot as much of the oil away as possible. Then apply baking soda or cornstarch and let the garment sit overnight. In the morning, gently brush the powder off with a soft brush and reapply if the oil stain is still noticeable. If the stain didn’t come out after the second application of powder substance, apply a small amount of colorless dish detergent. Let it sit for an hour, then apply a little water and blot dry.
Note that all cleaning instructions for removing grease and oil stains from clothes, specify to rub gently not scrub, which is much more vigorous. If you scrub, you may damage your garment.
Did you notice the one trick most of these suggestions had in common – using cornstarch, baking soda, or talcum powder to soak the grease out of the fabric before doing any kind of washing.
As you can see, none of these stain removal options offer a foolproof solution. Most of them say, “if the spot remains, repeat the process”, and the rest give instructions on what to do if the stain didn’t come out the first time.
These options might save you some money, but they will take quite a bit of your time, and they may or may not get your stain out. Why might dish soap work better than some of these other household items or why might a degreaser or laundry detergent with enzymes work better?
Cleaning is Scientific
Chemistry is a science, and cleaning involves chemistry.
Water has what is called surface tension. This tension is the reason you will see beads of water on the surface of things like glass, your car, your countertop, and certain fabrics. In order to get your clothes clean, water needs to be able to reach the surface. Water can only get to the surface if the surface tension is reduced. When it comes to cleaning, surface tension is reduced through the use of chemicals called surface-active agents or surfactants.
Surfactants change the behavior of water. Adding a surfactant reduces the surface tension and allows water to spread out and wet the surface of whatever article you are trying to clean.
You see, surfactants each have two ends. One end is called the hydrophobic end. The word hydrophobic comes from two Greek roots: hydro which means “water” and phobia which means “fearing”.
Therefore this end of the surfactant does not want to have anything to do with water. This end of the surfactant is made up of hydrocarbon chains. Hydrocarbon is a molecule made of hydrogen and carbon. These hydrocarbon chains are attracted to grease and oil but want nothing to do with water.
The other end of the surfactant is called the hydrophilic end. As mentioned above, hydro means “water” and philic, also a Greek word root, means “loving”. Therefore this end of the surfactant chain is attracted to water.
Now that you know the science, here is how the surfactant aids in cleaning:
When you add the surfactant to the water, the water-fearing ends avoid the water by forming sphere shapes with the water-loving ends on the outside protecting the water-fearing ends on the inside. This sphere is called a micelle, and the micelle traps the dirt.
Because the inside of the surfactant micelle likes oil and grease, it is attracted to the soil on your clothing and helps loosen the oily, greasy dirt from the surface of your garment. When the dirt is removed from the garment’s surface, it is suspended in the water in the micelle. This is known as the emulsification of one liquid into another. The soil remains inside the micelle and will not settle back onto the surface of your garment.
Since the outside of the micelle loves water, it floats away during rinsing, leaving you a clean garment.
You should now have a better understanding as to why soap, including dish and laundry soaps, are effective in washing grease out of clothes. Whether chemically loaded cleaners like those in the store or products with fewer chemicals that do their best to provide you with a safe alternative, like the Champion Biodegradable Degreaser Cleaner, you will get the benefit of surfactants to get your clothing clean.
Great Cleaning Surfactants
Now here are some surfactant products we recommend to get bacon grease and other oily stains out of your clothes:
Champion Biodegradable Degreaser Cleaner
This degreaser has been designed to be a superior heavy-duty cleaning product. Because this product is concentrated, it will help you save money. Just one 32 ounce bottle of this ultra degreaser makes 256 gallons of grease-removing cleaner. Simply mix it with water and eliminate the toughest grease stains.
This ultra degreaser has the power to remove stubborn grease and oil stains, dirt, and grime from your kitchen counter surfaces, sinks, drains, appliances, and all your kitchen tools. It will also tackle the grease and oil stains on metal items, bathroom tile and Formica, all your household tools and so much more, including your washable fabrics.
This degreaser is an excellent laundry booster! It is effective in treating oily, greasy stains on washable fabrics.
Its grease and grime-removing chemistry is top of the line and is made with a 100% biodegradable formula. It is also phosphate-free and safe for your septic tank, AND it is Made in the U.S.A.!
To use Champion Biodegradable Degreaser Cleaner to remove grease and oil spots on washable fabric, you can use it in your washing machine or launder by hand. Simply pour a very small amount directly on the fabric and rub it into the stained area. Wait a minute, then wash as you normally would. (Be sure to test in an unnoticeable spot to be sure your garment’s color won’t be affected.)
Champion Delicate Wash
Champion Delicate Wash is specifically designed for delicate and fine fabrics. It is an excellent choice for cold water fabric care. It is also an effective wash for lingerie.
Champion Delicate Wash is concentrated, so you use half as much as major brands. It also eliminates costly dry cleaning.
Champion Delicate Wash is made for the delicate cycle of your washing machine as well as hand washing. It will leave your delicate fabrics clean and stain-free. It will not shrink, stretch, or fade your clothes.
Now that you have learned the science behind cleaning and are armed with a few excellent surfactant cleaning products and lots of recipe tips and tricks on how to remove grease and oil stains from clothes, caring for your clothes should be easier. Bacon grease and cooking oil spills do not need to cause panic. Your arsenal now includes skills on how to get bacon grease out of clothes, how to remove other grease stains from clothes, and recipe tips on removing oily stains as well.
Remember the key is to treat the stain as soon as possible. Using baking soda or cornstarch, which are absorbing agents, is a clever way to soak as much grease or oil out of your stained garment before deciding what other option you want to use. Also, don’t dry the garment in the heat of a dryer because that will set the stain deep into the fibers of the fabric.
You can choose everyday household items that may or may not get the stain out the first time, or you can choose one of the cleaners mentioned above Champion Supplies offers that have surfactants that are more likely to get rid of the stain the first time while saving you time and money. You are now prepared to win the battle over grease and oil stains with the right tip or product to save your favorite shirt from the rag bag.