- Greasy stains on fabric. Don’t panic when that pizza cheese dribbles onto your favorite t-shirt. Just grab a cloth and blot it as well as you can, then heavily dust both sides of the fabric with cornstarch. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then shake the powder off before dabbing at any remaining grease with white vinegar. Launder immediately at the hottest temperature permitted by the manufacturer’s label and you should be stain-free. (Always check that the stain is gone before putting clothes in the dryer, or you’ll set the stain.)
- Greasy stains on leather jackets and furniture. Carefully blot — not wipe! — the grease with a dry cloth, then heavily sprinkle on cornstarch. Let it sit 12-24 hours to absorb the grease fully, then brush the item clean.
- Greasy stains from ointments. If you have a baby in the house or someone with a skin condition that requires heavy ointments, you’ve no doubt found plenty of clothes stained with zinc or petroleum. It’s a mess to wash off without taking a few simple steps: scrape off as much as you can with a butter knife, then dust the remaining goo with cornstarch and let it sit for an hour or two. When the cornstarch has had a chance to do its absorbing thing, brush it off and dab at any remaining stain with a grease cutting dish-soap (I like Dawn) and a washcloth. Launder in cold water, and check to ensure the stain’s gone before transferring the item to the dryer.
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