How to Get Grease Out of Paper


Paper is used to wrap and protect greasy foods from fat spattering during cooking. It is also called oil paper. Grease papers are available in rolls; they can be cut to size with scissors or a knife. Most commercially available grease papers have perforations between each sheet, so individual sheets may be torn off without tearing the whole roll.

This makes it possible for small pieces (e.g., spatula-size) to be ripped off easily when needed but prevents them from being accidentally discarded with other trash (which would make the product expensive). In this article, I will discuss how to get grease out of paper. So let us get started.

How to Get Grease Out of Paper

Stepwise Guide on How to Get Grease Out of Paper:

Grease stains on paper reduce the value of your document or manuscript. There are numerous ways to get grease out of paper, and you can choose from any method, as long as it is effective.

Step 1: Use Cold Water –

The cold water will wash off the oil quickly, and there will be no residual smudge after drying.

You should pour some cold tap water into a bowl; do not use warm or hot water as it may set the oil stain instead of removing it. Then squeeze some dishwashing detergent in the water so that its suds rise to the surface, increasing its capability to wash away stains. Next, submerge the greasy part of your paper first into the soapy solution and let it soak for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Use Heat –  

The heat from the hairdryer will help remove the grease from the paper. You should use a low heat setting so you don’t burn the paper.

Instead, you should direct the hot air at the greasy part of your paper, moving it around so that all parts absorb this heat equally while brushing gently with a soft brush to separate any glued dirt particles.  Heat is effective as it does not react with ink, thereby safeguarding the legibility of your manuscripts.

However, use cold water to wash away the detergent after using heat because the high temperature and the detergent are not safe for your documents.

Step 3: Use a Paper Strengthening Solution  –  

The solution has wonderful grease-removing power, but it is slightly strong for your paper. It may even damage its fibers permanently if you fail to carry out the process properly. It would help to wet some absorbent cotton balls with this solution after using cold water in step 1 or heat in step 2.

Then rub away the stain gently with these dry cotton balls; make sure you do not apply too much pressure when doing so. After that, squeeze out excess liquid from the cotton ball such that no trace of the liquid remains on the paper fibers. Finally, use hot water to rinse off all traces of this solution from your paper.

Step 4: Use Rubbing Alcohol –

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent grease remover. Like the solution in step 3, it is also a strong solvent, but you will use much less because of its concentration. Like step 3, wet some absorbent cotton balls with rubbing alcohol; bear in mind to squeeze out excess liquid first, so no traces remain on your paper after wiping away the oil stain.

  Remember to dab off the extra liquid before using hot water to rinse off both solutions thoroughly from your papers as both are quite harsh for them and may cause damage if left behind; do not let any trace stay on them.

Use Rubbing Alcohol

Step 5: Remove Grease Stains from Newspaper –  

If you are using newspaper for wrapping food, do not put grease directly on it as the grease will soak right through. Instead, place a paper towel underneath your greasy hand before taking out the meal. This will keep your newspaper grease-free and usable again.

Step 6: Identify the Type of Oil or Grease.

By identifying what kind of oil or grease is making your document/manuscript dirty, you can know how to get it out most effectively without damaging them in progress. For instance; vegetable oil, animal fat, or butter has a thicker consistency than other oils and thus requires a different strategy to remove it; this means that if you use hot water which does not have enough detergent (as in step 1 ) to soak up the grease, you will end up with a stain worse than that of the initial one.

Step 7: Apply Heat and Grease Removing Product –  

If you have identified your grease or oil as vegetable oil or animal fat (as found on fast food wrappers), try using heat first. A hairdryer is commonly used for this purpose and is very effective in making the grease rise off its paper surface, and then it can be scraped clean with a knife or something similar.

After heating and scraping most of the stain, try applying some soap-based washing agent to help remove traces left by the hot air; let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with cold water.

Step 8: Use White Vinegar  –  

If you have identified your grease as butter or margarine, use white vinegar after heating (as in step 7 ). This smell-rich but safe product is renowned for its ability to soothe greasy marks from documents and manuscripts with minimal effort, although it takes longer than the heat/soap method.

Soak some cotton balls with white vinegar and place them on each stain before leaving them overnight; in the morning, rub off the stain with clean water. Note that if you do not mind mildew stains (also known as ‘mold’), you can use this technique directly without going through heating first.

Use White Vinegar  –

Precautions While Getting Grease Out of Paper:

Grease stains are unsightly and difficult but not impossible to remove. However, before you rush off and try all the various methods that promise a grease stain out of your paper in one easy step, you need to consider a couple of things.

First, when dealing with old books or magazines made from acidic paper (i.e., newspaper), you risk greatly increasing the damage by using chemicals designed for modern alkaline papers, so be sure to check what kind of paper you use’re dealing with first.

Next, wet cleaning is almost always preferable to solvent cleaning, considering that water-safe solvents are available for special situations where only they will work. Third, if this was an item you really valued, you probably want to try the non-solvent cleaning methods first since solvents can damage textiles and plastics. So, those are the precautions. Now for some methods to get rid of that grease stain.


Hopefully, you’ve found this article on how to get grease out of paper quite informative and useful. Please feel free to share it with your friends and family who might need one or more of the solutions I have provided here. If you think they will benefit from them, please don’t hesitate to share.

Please note: if the stain is so bad that you can’t clean yourself at home, take the document or manuscript to a professional dry cleaner; they should be able to handle most greasy stains in no time because their job requires them to be experts in removing oil stains in papers.

You may also read – How to Fix Water Damaged Paper

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is a creative writer and digital editor based in the United States. She has a passion for the arts and crafts, which she developed from a young age. Elizabeth has always loved experimenting with new mediums and sharing her work with others. When she started blogging, she knew that DIYquickly would be the perfect platform to share her tutorials and tips. She's been writing for the blog from the beginning, and her readers love her helpful advice and easy-to-follow instructions. When she's not writing or editing, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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