Commercial Cleaning Challenges: Grease Spots and Stains

When we think of grease as a cleaning challenge, we typically think of the restaurant environment. For those businesses who aren’t normally faced with this quandary you should contact your favorite local cleaning company. Knowing the best way to confront a greasy mess can help avoid costly damage. Grease is a tenacious beast, clinging to surfaces with a vengeance and defying our best efforts at removal.

In the typical commercial business environment, greasy or oily messes can occur in relation to malfunctioning office equipment, dollies or hand trucks, or even come in on the shoes of an unwitting employee or customer. While attacking grease spots or stains is always better left to a professional office cleaning service, there are steps that facilities personnel can take in the meantime to mitigate permanent damage.

girl holding detergent with pistol pump against green background

For grease stains on carpet or other non-washable fabric, the first step is to apply an absorbent substance such as cornstarch, cornmeal, or baking soda, then allow it to sit (overnight if possible). Work a stiff-bristled brush through the stain gently, then vacuum up the residue. If this is insufficient to remove the stain, apply a tough-on-grease liquid dish soap or, in extreme cases, a spot lifting product (such as Bissell or K2r) may be used according to the package directions. Place several layers of paper towel or other absorbent pad on the spot and gently blot for as long as the stain continues to release. Wipe with a lightly dampened sponge (use cold water) and blot again to dry. Once the spot is totally dry, vacuum the area thoroughly. As an alternative, adding a few drops of white vinegar to the liquid dish soap will increase its grease-dissolving ability.

Please note that it is never a good idea to soak carpet or other soft surfaces with water, as permanent staining or even mold or mildew could result. If the surface becomes wet, point a fan directly at the surface and allow it to run for several hours.

On solid surfaces, grease becomes much easier to clean. Flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, or baking soda sprinkled on a wet grease or oil spot should absorb the grease and allow you to wipe it up easily with a paper towel. Follow with a quick spritz of an all-purpose cleaner (verify that whatever product you use is safe for the surface in question), and wipe dry. Dried-on grease stains can be cleaned from solid surfaces using a paste of baking soda and water, applied in a circular motion with a sponge. Again, follow with a quick spritz and wipe dry.

Remember to bring your greasy situation to the attention of your commercial cleaning service at the earliest possible time. Your professional janitorial service has the right tools and experience to tackle grease and other stains quickly and efficiently, without causing damage to the surface.