Grease Cleaning Made Easy

When cleaning grease, you must know which of two kinds of grease you intend to clean: either cooking grease or lubricant grease. There are nuances within each category, but essentially all grease can be labeled as one or the other. These two categories of grease are so different chemically that the agents used to clean them must be different as well.

Cooking grease is animal or vegetable fat that is a liquid at room temperature. Both types of cooking liquids can be cleaned up using the same products. Cooking grease that has spilled can be cleaned up in a number of ways: if it has gotten onto fabric, you should use a dishwashing detergent and water to soak the fabric immediately. The detergent and water break up the fat molecules, removing the stain from the fabric. If you don’t have a detergent, aloe vera gel or hairspray may work as an alternative. Cooking grease also often gets onto cabinets. If this is the case, wash the cabinets with a vinegar solution and water, finishing the cleanup with a pleasant smelling spray or liquid to resolve the vinegar smell. If the cabinets are wooden, wash the vinegar smell away with dishwater.

The easiest cooking-grease messes are on appliances. The smooth surfaces allow a solution of dishwater and soap to remove the stain quite easily. If the stain persists, add some dish detergent to the solution and try again.

Industrial lubricant grease, however, requires a completely different set of cleaning solutions. These lubricants consist of a mineral or vegetable oil base emulsified with a thickening substance, such as a lithium or sodium soap. Lubricating grease is used where other lubricates cannot remain, or where water needs to be prevented from entering, in which case it acts as a sealant.

Common places you’ll find industrial lubricant grease include under the hood of your car, your oven, and in other mechanical places, such as the ball bearings in the hub of a bicycle. Just as with cooking grease, the best way to clean lubricating grease depends on the surface on which it needs to be removed:

If lubricating grease has gotten into fabric, immediately rinse with baking soda, dishwashing detergent, and water. If grease has gotten onto skin, which often happens when cleaning a car, pipes, or a furnace, a number of steps may be needed to remove it.

First, wash the skin with water and soap, getting as much of the grease off as possible. Whatever remains, rub generously with petroleum jelly. Wipe your hands clean with a dry cloth, especially focusing on the areas where the grease seems to have gotten trapped in dead skin. Whatever grease remains will need to be sloffed off through exfoliation, using a scrub. If grease still remains, use a pumice stone on the leftover stains. Be sure to moisturize your hands after this rough treatment.

The most difficult cleaning task with lubricant grease is on rugs or carpets. The first step is to immediately blot as much grease off of the carpet or rug. It’s essential not to scrub the grease into the fabric of the material, but to lift the grease off with a paper towel. Next, spray the remaining stain with a cleaning solution appropriate to your type of carpet. Repeat the first and second step over and over until the stain has disappeared, being sure to prevent the stain from spreading. If the stain still doesn’t disappear, pour cornmeal over the affected area and let set. In either case, leave the affected area overnight, and the next day vacuum clean until the area is back to normal.
Grease stains are hard to fight, but if they are treated at once, they won’t ruin the surface they tried to conquer. Get started today! Contact 1st class Cleaning today to schedule a cleaning appointment!

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