Tips for Removing Grease from Quilts

You’re probably thinking “Who would get grease on a quilt?”  Me.  That’s who.  Nothing can bring a person to tears faster than mucking up a project.  Especially when I  put hours and hours into the design and construction of this particular top.

How did I get grease on a perfectly WHITE quilt top?  I had it laying over my long arm frame so it didn’t wrinkle and when I moved Roscoe he rolled over the top on one side.  Apparently his wheels are greasy.  Nice.  Makes me so happy.  Not.  He left a 3″ streak of the blackest grease on the white fabric.  Double nice.

I tried to remain calm but it quickly turned into complete panic.   I couldn’t get to google fast enough.  I texted mom and my mother-in-law.  I started formulating a contingency plan if I couldn’t find a stain remover.  Another tear trickled down my cheek. This was actually the perfect ending to my already craptastic week.

I went to the local grocery store and came home with a multitude of stain removers and various products.

Stain Removers for grease marks on Quilt

I had a lot of faith in the Oxy products.  And I picked up a bottle of dawn which was recommended by a family friend and google.

Oxi Clean was first up.  I sprayed and let it sit.  I gently rubbed with my fingers.  Nothing.  Sprayed again.  Rubbed.  Nothing.  Time out to wipe my eyes because I couldn’t see through the tears.

Regroup.  I mixed some dawn with warm water.  I soaked the spot down with the mixture.  Started rubbing and saw that it was removing some of the grease.  I kept adding more dawn and gently rubbing.  It took me about 15 minutes but I was able to remove most the stain.

There’s still a small trace but I’m praying it comes out after the quilt is washed.  I didn’t want to continue rubbing and scrubbing because the white fabric started fraying.  I think I can cover up most of the remaining spot with the binding.

Quilting Lodge Cozco Quilt Grease Stain

I wish I had a picture of the quilt with the grease mark.  You all wouldn’t believe how much grease was on the quilt.  I just wasn’t thinking about sharing the catastrophe as it was happening.  I was thinking about jumping off a bridge as it was happening.  {I’m not suicidal just frustrated at the time}

Life Lessons:

  • Do not drive Roscoe over a quilt top
  • Dawn is an awesome grease remover

I want to take a minute and say how grateful I am.  There were several ladies out there that listened to me this week when I was having a difficult time.  I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.  Sometimes a girl just needs to vent about life without judgment.  I’m looking forward to starting a new week with a better attitude.  No more sour puss attitude.  Time to put the big girl panties on and move forward.

I hope you all have a super weekend.

20 thoughts on “Tips for Removing Grease from Quilts”

  1. How devastating!!! Well, am glad it was resolved. Whew! 🙂 If you ever have another issue like this…am praying you never do… a couple of basting lines down the edge before you soak or scrub so that the fabric doesn’t fray or distort.
    Hope the rest of your weekend is enjoyable!

  2. Craptastic! I must remember that one; some days/weeks are just that!! I understand how upset you were. Forty years ago, I’d made my just-walking daughter a new lavender with white flowers romper – I might(??) have laundered it once. She toddled over the the bicycle and managed to fall with her little tush right on top of the greasey gears!! GGA, please “NO”! But, yes, there it was.:( I tried umting things and literally rubbed off some of the flocked white flowers. Later on, I happened to read on a bottle of Pine-Sol that it could be used to remove grease. Even at that late date, I decided to give it a try and wa-la, it took it out! Of course, the romper was relegated to the everyday wear cuz the other “solutions” had already done their thing. I’m glad you had good luck with Dawn and I’ll bet most people wouldn’t even notice – esp. after you quilt and wash.

  3. Oh Vicki! Did you hear me gasp all the way from Georgia? I am so happy that it came out. Dawn is a fantastic product for a lot of things. I have never gotten grease on my quilt, but I have stuck my finger while quilting and gotten blood on it. The Dawn worked miricles by taking all of it out. I hope that this week goes a whole lot better for you! Take care.

  4. SO HAPPY you got the grease out!

    We use Dawn for getting grease out always (my husband’s work clothes, etc.). It’s what they use to clean up the animals after an oil spill, I think? Or so I’ve heard. 🙂

  5. Vicki I can imagine how upset you were when this happened! I’m so glad you were able to remove it and I used Dawn for all kinds of grease spots on clothes all the time, it is great!

  6. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes there is excess goo (dirt and oil) on my sewing machine that will get on a quilt as I am forcing it through small spaces. I’m glad to know that dawn is my new go-to friend when this happens instead of saying not so good things while wiping down my machine.

    1. Hi, I am making a quilt as I go quilt, and today I was joining the 1st 2 rows. I saw, what looked like a piece of Litne on the sashing,wiped it off and BAM!!! a little grease stain. I could cry. Shoule I dilute the dawn in a little water, or shouldI just put it on a damp cleaning cloth? Hope you still are on this web site. Thanks Pam from Maine

  7. Black grease on white fabric…I would be in tears too. So glad you were able to get the grease removed. Looks gone to me.

    Remember, it is those ugly, frustrating, tough weeks we learn the most from. In time, but certainly not at the time.

    blessings, jill

  8. Since the piece is so close to the edge it could be replaced if you are still not happy with the result. I know it is a lot of trouble but I’ve done it even in the middle of a top just to be happy. Of course I have some things that I just live with and pretend that it’s perfect too.

  9. How timely! I was doing free-motion quilting on a quilt just yesterday (one of my first attempts at FMQ!) and noticed that there was some grease on the quilt – ACK! I almost died. Thankfully it was really light and came out just in the regular wash, but I’ll definitely keep this post in mind if that ever happens again – I’d have cried if it hadn’t come out!!

  10. Thank you from Chemainus BC for this too, I just had this happen to me and aaaaah right at the end of entirely free motioned quilt I’m doing fro someone!!!!! Hope it works!

  11. Sandra Copeland

    Thank you!! Your information saved my quilt. I ran over it with the wheels of my Gammill. Hopefully I’ll remember to move it out of the way when loading my quilts

  12. Thank you for this post. I just received a quilt back from hand quilters and there is a huge grease streak along one side of the backing as though it got caught under someone’s chair wheel… I felt every one of your emotions. I soaked it in oxyclean overnight, but nothing, I am now going to go try Dawn.

  13. I have a lap quilt my mother in-law made me it means alot I just found it in my husband’s car trunk can anyone help me get the motor oil out of yet

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