Nobody likes butter stains on their clothes. They’re hard to clean, and they always seem to happen at the worst possible time.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to get butter out of clothes permanently and without much hassle. We’ll also provide you with step-by-step instructions, tips, and tricks that will make the cleaning process even simpler.
Ready to fight those pesky butter stains and win your garment back? Let’s dive right in!
Grease and Fabrics: A Match Made in Hell
Like most grease products, butter is hydrophobic. In other words, it repels water. This is why it’s so difficult to remove butter stains from clothes, especially with water-based cleaning solutions.
You need a solvent-based cleaner instead.
To make matters worse, clothing fabrics tend to cling to grease like a duck to water.
Butter Stain Removal Prep
Before you roll out the big guns, take a peek at these three simple yet often overlooked steps.
Scoop the Excess Butter
Use a spoon or a butter knife from a quality knife set to scoop off as much of it as you can from your shirt. If the butter has melted and is in liquid form, blot it with a paper towel to remove as much of the excess grease as possible.
Strike While the Iron Is Hot
If you want to get butter stains out of your clothes, you need to clean them ASAP. Otherwise, you’ll need to use a stronger cleaning solution, which might damage your more delicate fabrics, and perhaps even several tries to do so.
Choose the Appropriate Cleaning Solution
The best cleaner for the job will depend on your clothing’s material and whether or not the stain has set in. For example, if your stained garment is made out of polyester, use a milder detergent than what you normally would; save the “stronger” stuff for clothing made of cotton instead.
How to Get a Butter Stain Out of Clothes
Pre-treating your garment before washing it is the most effective way to eradicate grease stains. Here’s what you can use for most butter stains on clothes.
Washing off fatty residue is what dish soap is all about. Not only is it effective, but it’s also the cheapest way of removing oily stains from your favorite garment.
Simply apply the liquid dishwashing soap on the back side of the clothing (right behind the stain) and rub it in with your fingers. Let it sit for a while, and then rinse it with hot water. After that, you can wash your clothes as you normally would.
You may need to repeat the process a few more times to get shea butter out of clothes, but the good news is — you’ll get rid of them eventually!
Dish Soap and Vinegar Combo
This powerful duo goes through grease stains like a hot knife through butter (pun intended).
Just take two cups of warm water, add one tablespoon of vinegar, and pour some liquid dishwashing soap. Just don’t forget to thoroughly rinse the area once you’re done!
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda, including its “distant cleaning cousins” — cornstarch and baby and talcum powder — works wonders to get melted butter out of clothes. All thanks to its incredible absorption properties.
Gently rub the powder into the stained area with an old toothbrush. Wait for at least half an hour for it to set in. Ideally, you should leave the baking soda overnight to absorb all the excess grease.
In the meantime, you can prepare a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray the stained area. Once there are no more bubbles forming, you can proceed with the next step.
Sponge-rinse the clothing and throw it in the washer. Note that you may need to repeat this step a couple of times to remove a butter stain that’s tougher, so be patient.
Regular laundry detergents can also work. Simply apply the detergent to the desired area and rub it in. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it as usual. Repeat until everything is pristine.
Enzyme-Based Cleaning Products
One of the best ways to get popcorn butter out of clothes is to use an enzyme-based detergent or stain remover. In fact, this goes for any butter stain. This is particularly the case for fabrics that contains the enzyme lipase.
These enzyme cleaners are specifically designed to break down fatty substances, making them ideal for getting rid of butter stains.
Apply the cleaner and let it sit for a while, per the manufacturer’s instructions, before throwing it in the washer. Then, just sit back and relax — the enzyme cleaner will break down the oils and get the butter stain out of your clothes.
When it comes to removing grease stains, hairspray is superb. Yet, before you use it, place a small towel underneath the stained fabric to prevent the stain from seeping.
Spray the stain with a generous amount. Wait for at least half an hour and then clean the area with a paper towel and put it in the washer.
If you’re looking for an effective way to get peanut butter out of clothes, look no further than ammonia. Mix the ammonia with liquid dish soap (50:50 ratio) and place it on the stain. Let it sit for a while before washing it with standard detergent and one cup of ammonia.
Note that you should avoid using this method on delicate fabrics, such as silk and sateen.
Yes, you read that right! WD-40 — the substance that lubricates squeaky wheels and protects metal from rust and corrosion. More precisely, it’s the emulsifier in the cleanser that helps loosen and remove oil from fabrics.
Best of all, this substance also works on dried butter stains that have been overlooked for some time.
Note that if you have a really tough stain, you may need to try a few of these before you finally get rid of it.
Washing Tips for Removing Butter Stains
After you’ve pre-treated your garment, it’s time to put it in the washing machine. Here are a few useful tips to help you out:
- Opt for enzyme-powered laundry detergent. As previously mentioned, these types of detergents can dissolve the butter stain from the fabric, allowing you to wash it off.
- Use the hottest cycle available. Heat does an excellent job of dissolving grease, especially when coupled with a cleaning solution. Just be careful not to damage some of your finer fabrics, such as silk and sateen.
- Check for stains as soon as you pull the garment out of the washing machine. If it’s still there, repeat the cycle. If not, place it in your dryer.
That said, prevention is better than cure. So be extra careful when handling butter, especially if you use it for cooking.
Always use an apron along with some fine-quality induction cooktops to better regulate the temperature while cooking.
It’s not the end of the world if you stain your favorite shirt with butter; though, try to avoid it if you can help it. In case you do, try a few of these tips, and you’ll get rid of that nasty stain in no time!
Does butter permanently stain clothes?
No, butter does not permanently stain clothes. That said, it can be a snag remove, especially if you let it set in. The quicker you act, the more chance you have of removing the stain trouble-free.
How do you get old butter stains out of clothes?
In case you have an old butter stain, you probably have to pre-treat it first. Simply apply a small amount of liquid detergent and let it set in for a few minutes. After that, you can wash your piece of clothing as you normally would.
Will vinegar remove grease from clothes?
Yes, vinegar can remove grease from clothes. Pour equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle and mist the solution onto the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it with a clean cloth. For tougher stains, soak the cloth in dish soap and hot water. Repeat if necessary.
Does butter come out of clothes easily?
Although butter can be a difficult stain to remove, it’s not impossible. Use the right cleaning solutions, and you should be able to get the stain out of your clothes in no time.
Can you get butter out of clothes without washing them?
As a matter of fact, you can! Baking soda, cornstarch, talcum, and baby powder can help absorb the grease. Sprinkle some powder onto the stain and then scrub it in. Wait for at least half an hour before wiping it all off.
In case you’re dealing with a really persistent stain, use a cloth dampened in dishwashing soap and rinse it afterward with a cloth dampened in hot water. For more answers on how to get butter out of clothes, read our full guide!