The Simple Hack That Can Save Garment-Ruining Grease Stains

No matter how careful you are while eating, food stains happen. Whether you're rushing through your lunch hour at work or enjoying a fancy dinner, a drip of sauce or oil will inadvertently fall onto your clothing — and it'll do its best to stay there. Getting stains out of children's clothes can be especially frustrating, since the splatter may have had many hours to set in.

Depending on where you are when the stain occurs, you may not be able to tend to it immediately, although you can usually apply some water to the area and try your best to try to remove some of it. Clothing stains come in all shapes and sizes, but none are more difficult to get out of clothing than grease stains (although removing lipstick stains and deodorant stains can be lessons in patience, too).

However, there is one hack that can save your finest clothes from being sentenced to a lifetime of grease stains: Use chalk.

The normal way to get grease stains out of clothing

According to Southern Living, the regular method for eliminating a grease stain begins with removing the grease from the fabric. Blot the stain with a paper towel or napkin, and try to soak up as much excess grease as you possibly can. Then, add a drop of concentrated laundry detergent to the stain. If you have a stain remover on hand, you can also add a little of that and let it set in. Do that for 10 minutes, then soak the clothing in hot water. After 30 minutes or so, place the item in the washing machine and run it through a full hot water cycle.

When the washing machine is done, take the clothing and hang it on a clothesline. It's very important not to place any clothes with oil or grease stains in a dryer. The high heat will basically set the stain, and it'll stay encased in the fabric permanently. The grease also has the potential to start a fire, since dryers reach an incredibly high temperature.

While this is the basic advice for removing a grease stain, there is an interesting way to help address the problem even faster.

Use chalk to remove grease stains

Teachers may rejoice in this cleaning hack, because the item needed is one they probably have sitting around, though moms of small children can probably say the same.

Again, the initial step is to blot out the grease. Next, reach for a simple piece of chalk (via Reader's Digest). Rub a good amount of chalk directly on the grease and let it sit while it soaks up the oil. Then, brush away the chalk and see if the stain remains. If so, repeat the action. Brush away the chalk again, add some detergent directly to the stain, and put the garment in the washing machine.

Food stains aren't the only way that grease makes it onto your clothes. Oil from sweat can build up on your collars and in your armpit areas. You can use chalk to attend to those types of stains as well. Just rub those areas with plenty of chalk, soak the clothing, brush it off, and throw it in a regular hot water cycle.