How to get grease smell out of clothes – 14 effective ways

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There are a handful of helpful ways of how to get grease smell out of your clothes. After all, nothing is more annoying than smelly clothes after going to a restaurant or cooking.

Whether you want to wear the clothes again or simply want to get rid of the greasy smell out of clothes, here are 14 quick and easy ways to fight the stubborn oil smell in your clothes.

How to get grease smell out of clothes – 14 simple methods

Good smelling laundry, laundry pile with flowers on top

If you are wondering, “How to get greasy smell out of clothes?“, you will definitely find it in the following part. So let’s get started right away.

Fresh air

Why not make it simple and remove the food others in clothes in the most natural way possible? If you have some time and your clothes are not too affected by the smell, “airing out in the fresh air” is often enough. Ideally, you’ll have a garden, balcony, or other outdoor space where you can hang your clothes for a few hours.

Let your clothes hang outside for a while. It’s especially good if your clothes can hang out in the sun while you air them out.

Extra tip: Be careful not to leave your textiles under direct sunlight for too long, as the sun can have a bleaching effect on textile colors. In general, hanging laundry outside is also generally a good way to avoid odors in clothing if you don’t want to let the laundry dry indoors.

Steam Bath

If fresh air alone isn’t enough or you’re in a hurry, a steam bath can be a great way to remove unpleasant odors from your clothes. Don’t worry, this doesn’t require a new steam appliance or anything similar.

For this, simply hang the bad-smelling clothes near your shower. The next time you take a hot shower, the steam will help remove odor molecules from your clothes.

Win-Win: The water vapor not only helps your clothes smell better but also helps iron out some wrinkles naturally.

Hot air

The next method on our list is nothing more than hot air – and yet it works. With this solution, you can easily (quite literally) blow the bad smells out of your clothes.

Use a hairdryer or fan with a hot air function. Direct the air at your clothes and let it work for a bit. The hot air attack has a similar effect as airing out in fresh air. However, the big advantage is that the warm air blows even more of the scent molecules out of your clothes.

Baking Soda

Jar with baking soda and wooden spoon, remove food odors from clothes

Are you already reading this post before you go to a place where your clothes might catch that pesky food smell? Then there’s a way you can take precautions to prevent that nasty greasy smell from getting into your clothes in the first place – and that’s baking soda.

But if that’s not the case, baking soda will also help after the event. Just add a few spoonfuls to your laundry. Because baking soda acts as a natural cleaning agent and ensures long-lasting freshness.

It is especially suitable for light-colored laundry because it also helps to wash your clothes bright white again.

Tumble Dryer

If you have a tumble dryer at home, this may also be a good idea to get rid of food odors from your clothes. The high temperatures in the dryer will also kill any germs and bacteria that may also be responsible for bad odors.

To get rid of odors even better, use dryer sheets that you simply put in the dryer with your clothes. Let the whole thing run for a few minutes and enjoy a pleasant smell as soon as you take the textiles out of the dryer.

Extra tip: You can put the clothes in the dryer dry or wet.


If you want to move quickly and the smell of food in your clothes is not too penetrating, you can try to drown out the smell very easily.

For example, a good-smelling perfume or a spray deodorant is suitable. Simply apply them to your skin and clothes. Note here, however, that the motto “much helps much” is not appropriate. You should apply the smell only discreetly. After all, you don’t want to be noticed by unpleasantly strong perfume smells instead, do you?


Yes, you read that right. Vodka is considered an insider tip for removing bad odors in clothing, especially when combined with heat. This is because the alcohol contained in the vodka combines with the scent particles in the clothing.

If the vodka is now heated, e.g., by sunlight or an iron, the alcohol evaporates and with it the bad smell from your clothes. Since vodka, unlike many other types of alcohol, is relatively odorless, it leaves nothing but freshness to your clothes.

Laundry Wash

legs looking out from a washing machine

You’ve tried some of these tips, and your laundry still smells like oil or grease? Then the good old washing machine will have to do. Especially at higher temperatures (over 40°C/105°F), even the most stubborn odors are usually removed.

But be sure to follow the washing instructions for your clothes. You should wash not all textiles at higher temperatures. If your clothes are too delicate to be washed at high temperatures, you can soak them for a few hours before washing, which brings us to the next point.

Extra tip: For extra fragrant laundry, it is important that your washing machine is kept clean at all times. When doing so, it is also important to clean the rubber ring of the washing machine.

Soaking your clothes

If your clothes are seriously dirty or have a strong smell of grease, it is worth soaking them before washing. You can soak the clothes in water or add scented detergent to the laundry.

Another option is to soak your clothes in a vinegar solution. However, you should be careful not to let the vinegar soak for too long, especially with dark textiles, in order to avoid unwanted bleaching of the clothes.

Soaking with dishwashing liquid

A real insider tip from laundry professionals is dishwashing liquid. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about regular dishwashing detergent that you normally use to wash your dishes. Use a few drops in the water you’re soaking your laundry in.

Soaking with dishwashing detergent is especially useful if, in addition to grease smells, a few grease splatters have landed on your clothes. With its grease-dissolving effect, which we appreciate so much when doing the dishes, the dishwashing detergent also gets into the textile fabric and thus helps to remove stubborn grease stains.

You can then let the whole thing work in lukewarm water for about an hour before washing. Then you can wash your clothes according to the washing instructions.

Extra tip: For grease stains, soak as soon as possible. The faster the stain is soaked, the higher the chance that you can get rid of it.

Fabric Softener

freshly washed linen, citrus fruits and white towels

The good old fabric softener not only helps to make your laundry velvety soft but also leaves a fragrant freshness in your clothes. However, you should make sure that your clothes are also suitable for fabric softeners. Some delicate textiles, such as wool, do not tolerate the strong fabric softener at all.

The softener gets deeper into your clothes and can simply rinse out annoying odors.

Extra tip: If you want to avoid fabric softener, but still want to have great smelling laundry, you might be interested in our guide to scented laundry without fabric softener.

Washing Perfume

Another option to get rid of unwanted food smells in clothes is the so-called fragrance pearls or washing perfume.

Both the scented pearls (click here for more information and prices of the scented pearls) and the washing perfume (click here for more information and prices of the washing perfume) are added to the laundry (most of the time directly into the machine). Unlike fabric softeners, they usually serve no other purpose than to add a nice smell to your laundry.

You can choose between different brands and fragrances. So there is definitely the right fragrance for you.

Vinegar Washing

Vinegar is a true all-rounder in the home and can be used in so many areas. But vinegar can also be a real miracle worker for laundry. Be it for removing stains, as a softener, or as an odor remover for sweat and food smells.

To do this, you can add a shot of vinegar to your washing machine (in the part you usually add the fabric softener). Now just run the standard wash program. And in the end, you’ll have nothing but great smelling laundry.

You don’t have to worry about the strong vinegar smell. In fact, vinegar has an antibacterial effect, so it neutralizes its own odor during the wash.

Extra tip: Washing with a vinegar solution not only benefits your laundry. Your washing machine will also thank you. Because the vinegar cleans and decalcifies. Therefore, you can also use vinegar to descale your kettle or other kitchen appliances.

Special Detergent

You have tried all the tips on our list and nothing worked? Then only a special detergent will help. Use a strong detergent to get rid of even the most stubborn odors.

If you have laundry that cannot be washed at 60°C or other high temperatures, so-called hygiene detergent can help. Fill this kind of detergent simply into the fabric softener compartment during washing. When washing your laundry, it then ensures particularly thorough cleaning of your clothes or disinfection of your laundry.

Depending on the brand and type, it differs in fragrance and effectiveness. As a rule, such a hygienic rinse works from 30°C (86°F) and helps to eliminate bacteria. Ideally, however, you should wash the laundry starting at least 40°C (105°F) to achieve an optimal result. Click here to see more information and prices of the hygiene washer on Amazon.

Now you’ve read our 14 tricks for fighting food odors in your clothes. Be sure to let us know which of those worked for you.

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