These 2 Kitchen Staples Always Clean Up My Grease and Oil Spills and Stains

published Aug 5, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

I love trying all kinds of new cleaning products and tools, and I’ve discovered many favorites through the years, including Scrub Daddy sponges and Safely cleaning spray. And while I love a good single-use tool, as long as it provides value to our family, I’m always looking for home-keeping products that serve more than one purpose. 

Multipurpose cleaning products and tools reduce decision fatigue. When it’s time to clean a certain space, I like to put all my energy into completing the job and doing it efficiently. Not having to decide which products to use from a large selection of possibilities saves my limited resources for the actual job at hand. 

Additionally, curating a collection of cleaning supplies that serve many functions makes it easier to shop for, store, and organize them. Rather than being tempted by every new all-purpose spray in a new scent or another scouring paste that promises the shiniest pots and pans of your life, knowing that you have a solid arsenal of tried-and-true products saves time and money. When it comes to storage, keeping a few carefully selected items that can be applied in various circumstances saves storage space and simplifies organization. 

The ultimate type of multipurpose product can be used all over the home. Two of the top items in my cleaning stash are classic bases that go the distance: baking soda and dish soap. 

I buy baking soda in bulk from Costco. At $9.99 for a 13.5-pound bag, it’s a great value. I usually store it in the laundry room, ready for use all around the house. When it comes to dish soap, I always have a squeeze bottle of Dawn on hand in the laundry room as well as bottles of Dawn Powerwash in a few strategic spots around the house, such as under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. 

Baking soda and dish soap have so many applications, from absorbing odors in the fridge to making glass sparkle. But one of the best ways to use it is to address greasy spills and stains. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Clean Grease and Oil Spills with Baking Soda and Dish Soap

Greasy spills are some of the worst to clean up. If you’ve ever spilled a bottle of olive oil all over the counter or accidentally tipped a baking sheet full of bacon grease onto your kitchen floor mat, you know the challenges of sopping up a hydrophobic puddle. 

One of the best solutions is to sprinkle (or dump, as the case may be) baking soda on the spill. The baking soda absorbs the oil, allowing you to sweep or scoop it up without going through a huge pile of rags or paper towels. Once the majority of the mess is picked up, a spray of Dawn Powerwash is usually all that’s needed to penetrate the lingering film of oil so that the surface can be thoroughly cleaned. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

How to Clean Grease and Oil Stains with Baking Soda and Dish Soap

Baking soda and dish soap are also the best way to deal with grease splatters on clothing, which can be a common occurrence in the kitchen and even just while eating! Washing and drying clothing that’s stained with greasy marks can set the stain permanently, but knowing how to treat the stain before laundering can save your garments. 

Again, baking soda and dish soap save the day. A small sprinkle of baking soda rubbed gently into the fabric absorbs excess oil. Dish soap dabbed on afterward and, again, worked into the fabric gently with the fingers pulls residual oil from the fibers of the fabric. Sometimes jumping straight to the dish soap works sufficiently to get the grease splatters. Dot a bit on grease splatters and allow to sit for a few minutes before tossing in with the laundry. 

If my laundry room wasn’t adjacent to the kitchen, I’d keep another set of the powerhouse duo of baking soda and dish soap in the kitchen. So often, the simple, classic products are the best multipurpose products you can have around — and that’s the case with this grease-fighting pair.