The Unlikely Kitchen Ingredient You Should Use To Get Rid Of Grease Stains

Aren't grease stains just the worst? Whether you're making a heroic attempt to fry a whole turkey or merely making a meal of freshly-delivered pizza, it's an immutable law of nature that some of the copious grease involved is going to transfer itself from the cooking vessel or the food you're eating right to your shirt. Whether the fabric you're wearing is dark or light, there's really no way to hide a grease stain, since they tend to stand out on any background.

So how do you remove such a stain? Just about every commercially-available laundry product asserts its ability to dissolve those pesky grease stains with just one wash, but not all advertising promises actually deliver — this is one of those sad facts of life we learn shortly after discovering the truth about Santa Claus. The good news, however, is that there's a common kitchen ingredient that is actually pretty effective against grease stains and, as an added bonus, it's also super cheap!

Corn starch can save your favorite shirt

Yes, corn starch, that stuff that's used to thicken soups and sauces and can even, in a pinch, transform granulated sugar into powdered sugar with the added intervention of a blender. So how can corn starch help with grease stains? Well, its secret lies in its super-absorbing powers. You know how some people just suck the air out of any room? Well, corn starch is kind of like that, only in a good way, since it sucks the grease out of any fabric.

PureWow says that the best way to deal with a grease spot is to mix up a paste of equal parts corn starch and water and then apply it directly to the spot, whether it's fresh or already set. Let the corn starch sit and soak overnight. They suggest maybe putting a paper towel or a rag under the damp area just in case there's any color bleeding. In the morning (or whenever you get around to it), simply brush away the paste — don't forget to say the magic words "out, out, damn spot!" — and your formerly grease-be spattered item should now be spotless. Sweet!

Corn starch can also tackle grease outside the laundry room

Have you also had to deal with any unsightly oil stains on a concrete or asphalt surface such as a driveway or a garage floor? The Spruce says corn starch can help here, as well. While these stains can often seem like a permanent part of your parking area, they don't have to be that way.

What you can do is to take your trusty corn starch box and just sprinkle it all over the stain. Then sprinkle some more. You want a good, thick layer, since there may be a lot of grease down there below the surface. Allow the corn starch to sit for at least a few hours, then sweep or vacuum it up along with all of the oil it will have absorbed. If there's still any stain remaining, you can always try a repeat round of corn starch sprinkling, since after all, the stuff is dirt cheap. (You can find a pound of it for under a buck.) Oh, and once that stain's been seen to, you might want to get that oil leak seen to, just saying.