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If you work in the trades, you know there are times when you’re going to do battle with some gunk and grime. It comes with the job, and so do the resulting stains on your clothes.

There’s always the option of taking your work clothes to a professional, but if you’re up to the challenge, there are a few home remedies for getting out stubborn oil or grease stains – and most of these may already be in your kitchen.

Liquid dishwashing detergent

It was formulated to cut through grease and oil found on your pots, pans, and dishes. Liquid dishwashing detergent actually can do the same for your clothes. Many people who’ve tried this solution seem to agree that regular Dawn® liquid dish soap is the most effective choice.

Use it to pre-treat spots. If you’ve got a large area, soak the entire garment. Then cover that area and let the garment sit for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, wash regularly. It’ll be more helpful if you can wash the garment in warm or hot water.

Thirst-quencher and grime-remover

Some carbonated soft drinks like Coca-Cola® have the active ingredient of citric acid. It gives the beverage a pH content of about 3.4. The combination of carbonation and citric acid can be a powerful liquid solution that can remove oil and grease from material.

Put your work clothes in a tub or bucket and add about four liters of the soda. Then fill the container the rest of the way with water and let soak overnight. Wash regularly the next day.


You’ve probably got a box or canister of this staple in your kitchen larder. Cornstarch is especially good at helping to remove older, set-in stains that might still be lingering after several washes.

Lay the garment flat, and then generously cover the entire stained area with the cornstarch. Let it sit that way for at least an hour. Then brush off the cornstarch and remove any residue from the material with a damp rag. If you still see any part of the stain, treat it with liquid dishwashing detergent before sending it for a ride in the washing machine.


This one might send you to the store, but it might be worth the trip. Use a bar Fels-Naptha® heavy duty soap to pre-treat grease and oil stains before washing. Wet the stain, and then rub the bar of soap over it. Grab an old toothbrush and scrub the area to work the soap into the stain.

Do you take pride in the appearance of your work uniform? Employers affiliated with Nexstar are looking for professionals like you. They’re considered to be some of the best in the PHCE industry. The Nexstar Jobs job board offers exclusive opportunities for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC home service technicians across the country.