How to Get Grease Stains Out of Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets can become grease-stained over time simply because bodily oils secrete as you lie in bed.
Enjoy your crisp, clean cotton sheets after you remove the grease stains.
Lotion, makeup, hair spray and other personal-care products can also leave a greasy residue behind on your sheets. You can usually get grease stains out of cotton fabrics, provided you catch the stains before washing and drying the sheets. In the online publication "Getting Clothes Clean," Susan Wright, an extension specialist with New Mexico State University, recommends quick treatment for the best results. .

Step 1

Pretreat the grease stains on the cotton sheets with either heavy-duty laundry detergent or a specially formulated pretreatment laundry product. Rub the detergent into the stained areas and let it stand for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Launder the cotton sheets in hot water. Measure an appropriate amount of laundry detergent for the load size. You can wash the stained sheets with other linens, if desired.

Step 3

Inspect the stained areas before you dry the sheets in the dryer. Air dry them if you're not sure the stains came out; it may be hard to tell with wet sheets.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 as needed to fully remove the stains. During repeat washings, add bleach to the washer according to the product directions -- either chlorine or color-safe depending on the sheets.

Things You Will Need

  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry pretreatment product
  • Bleach


  • Read the care labels first to verify that hot water is safe for the sheets and other linens you are washing. Otherwise, use the warmest water setting possible.


  • Do not put the sheets in the dryer unless you're sure the stains are gone, or the grease sets in and become more difficult to remove.

About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.