Grease-stained walls are an intimidating problem homeowners often face. The unsightly blemishes not only drag down the appearance of your home, but in most cases are extremely hard to remove. While several home remedies as well as commercial products can cut through the stain, the amount of labor required to remove it depends mostly on the type of wall surface you are dealing with. Keep in mind that although it's possible to remove the stain completely, painting the spot or the entire wall may prove to be the best alternative to conceal the stain.
Where to Look
Due to cooking and preparing meals, the kitchen is the most common area around the home where grease stains occur. You might also find them in the garage or on the wall above the couch or other seating areas.
Common Household Remedies
The most common approach used by homeowners to remove grease stains from a wall is by mixing one part white vinegar with one part hot water. First, wipe away as much of the grease as you can using a rag. Then, use a spray bottle to apply the solution, allowing it to set for a minute or two and wiping the surface with a clean rag.
Baking soda and warm water is another tried and true home remedy. Mix about three tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of warm water and work the solution into the stain. Gently rub the area with a clean damp rag until the stain disappears.
Commercial Degreasers and Cleaners
TSP (Trisodium Phosphate)
Professional painters have used TSP for years as a wall cleaner and de-greaser to prepare walls before painting. Found in most hardware stores and home improvement centers (in a powder form), this powerful cleaner almost never fails. Because this is such a strong cleaner, gloves are a necessity and you must follow the manufacturer's directions and warnings carefully before mixing and using this product.
Mix two cups of ammonia with one gallon of hot water to clean grease-stained walls. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution and scrub with a soft bristle brush, sponge, or clean rag. As ammonia carries a very strong odor, use in well-ventilated areas and follow manufacturer's directions and warnings closely.
When All Else Fails
If you've exhausted the many cleaning methods used to remove grease stains from walls and the stain is still visible, you might consider painting. Most paint stores and home improvement centers can color-match existing paint colors. Although it's possible to paint just the stained area, you might need to paint the entire wall for optimum results. Keep in mind that the stained area will need a coat of oil-based primer or stain blocker such as Kilz before applying the finish Paint. If any grease should land on your clothing in the cleaning process here is our guide on how to remove grease from fabric.
Tips and Warnings
It's imperative to follow manufacturer's warnings and directions when using their products. Never mix cleaning products together as a toxic vapor could develop. It's wise to wear rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator when working with chemicals. Always work in well-ventilated areas and use a fan whenever possible to help eliminate strong fumes.