A modern kitchen with blue cookware on the stove, illustrating the importance of removing grease stains from walls and surfaces.

Raise your hand if this has happened to you – you’ve just finished cooking a delicious meal. You’ve made the whole thing from scratch with fresh ingredients, just like Anthony Bourdain ordained. Heck, Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t even scream at you. Yes, you did well. You take the dish out of the oven and turn around.

Suddenly, your smile turns into a frown as you take a look around the kitchen. Not only are there dirty pots everywhere (did you even know you had this many pots?) but the walls are greasier than that burger place down the street. So now instead of enjoying the delicious meal, you need to figure out how to remove grease stains from your walls.

OK, this hypothetical might be a bit specific, but it’s what happened to me yesterday. So after spending half a day scrubbing the walls (best day off ever…), I decided I had to share some tips with you so you don’t have to waste as much time as I did. Without further ado, let’s see how you can clean grease off your walls.

In this article:

  • Understanding the problem
  • Preparation before cleaning
    • Essential supplies
    • Safety precautions
  • How to get grease off walls
    • Step-by-step guide for each type of wall
  • How to prevent future grease stains
    • Regular maintenance tips
    • Protective measures for kitchen walls
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    • How to get grease off the wall without damaging the paint?
    • Can I use household cleaners to get rid of oil stains on walls?
    • What’s the best way to remove old grease stains?
  • Conclusion

Understanding the problem

Grease stains are particularly challenging to remove because grease repels water. If you want to see this in action, pour a bit of cooking oil into a glass of water. The oil and water don’t mix and the oil gets to the surface.

This makes oil stains resistant to standard water-based cleaning methods. To make matters worse, grease often binds to dirt and dust. This creates the sticky residue we’re all so fond of. But of course, oil stains are more or less unavoidable.

If you have a splashback, it’s definitely better but not all kitchens are equipped with one. So when you start cooking, through splatter or handling food with oily hands, grease stains will inevitably make their way to your walls.

The good news is that even though it’s not the easiest thing in the world to deal with, grease is not impossible to remove. All you need is a bit of preparation and know-how.

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Preparation before cleaning

Before diving into cleaning, it’s essential to gather all necessary supplies. As I always say, victory loves preparation so make sure you’re thorough. And take safety precautions – no one will make fun of you, I promise. Even though most of the things we’ll use are natural and safe ingredients, you still never know. Better safe than sorry and having a sad story.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Essential supplies

  • Microfibre cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Commercial degreasers (usually as a last resort)
  • Spray bottle
  • Warm water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrub brush or sponge
A basket of cleaning supplies, including spray bottles, gloves, and cloths, illustrating the essential preparation before cleaning grease stains from walls and surfaces.

Safety precautions

  1. Wear gloves to protect your hands from harsh chemicals (if you use commercial degreasers) and hot water.
  2. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or using exhaust fans. You want to avoid inhaling fumes from the commercial degreasers.
  3. Test cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure they don’t damage the wall surface.

How to get grease off walls

Cleaning grease stains effectively starts with identifying the type of wall surface you’re dealing with. Each wall type requires specific cleaning methods to ensure the stains are removed without causing damage. Otherwise, you might need to call someone for wall repairs and it’s going to be a lot more expensive than cleaning.

Step-by-step guide for each type of wall

Painted Walls

Painted walls are common in many homes and while they’re colourful and lively, they can be sensitive to harsh cleaning chemicals. But don’t worry – here’s how to clean grease stains from painted walls effectively.

Step-by-step cleaning grease off a painted wall:

  1. Dust and wipe:
    • Dust the wall to remove loose fragments or dust. You can use an old rag or a microfibre cloth for this.
    • Wipe the area with a dry microfiber cloth to remove surface grime.
  2. Prepare the cleaning solution:
    • Mix one part vinegar with two parts water in a spray bottle.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution:
    • Spray the vinegar solution on the grease stain.
    • Let it sit for a few minutes to break down the grease.
  4. Scrub the grease stain:
    • Use a soft sponge sprinkled with baking soda to scrub the area gently.
    • Be careful not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging the paint.
  5. Rinse and dry:
    • Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
    • Rinse with clean water and dry with a microfibre cloth to prevent water spots.

It may sound strange to use vinegar for an oil stain but it helps. When you later use the baking soda, it reacts with the vinegar and helps lift the grime.

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Wallpapered walls

Now this is going to be a real challenge. Wallpaper is popular as a wall decoration and can unfortunately be found in many kitchens (mine included). The problem is that it can be delicate and prone to tearing if not cleaned carefully. Follow these steps to clean grease stains from wallpapered walls.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Dust and wipe:
    • Very gently dust the wall to remove loose particles using a microfiber cloth.
  2. Prepare the cleaning solution:
    • Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water in a spray bottle.
  3. Apply the solution:
    • Lightly spray the soapy water solution on the grease stain. Avoid saturating the wallpaper to prevent damage.
  4. Blot the stain:
    • Blot the stain gently with a microfibre cloth or a soft sponge. Avoid rubbing to prevent tearing the wallpaper.
  5. Rinse and dry:
    • Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue.
    • Dry immediately with a microfibre cloth to avoid water damage to the wallpaper.
  6. For non-washable wallpaper: If the wallpaper is not washable, avoid water-based solutions. Instead, use a dry cleaning method such as wallpaper dough. Roll a small amount of the dough into a ball and gently press and roll it over the greasy area to lift the stain without damaging the wallpaper.

Tiled walls

Tiled walls are common in kitchens and bathrooms and are generally more resistant to cleaning. Here’s how to clean grease stains on tiled walls.

A clean and well-organized kitchen with tiled walls, illustrating the process of cleaning grease stains on tiled surfaces.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Dust and wipe:
    • Wipe the area with a dry microfibre cloth to remove surface grime.
  2. Prepare the cleaning solution:
    • Mix a stronger solution of dish soap and warm water.
    • Alternatively, use a commercial degreaser following the product instructions. Personally, I prefer the former method. This is what worked marvellously for the tiles in my kitchen. It did take a bit more elbow grease, though (pun intended).
  3. Apply the cleaning solution:
    • Apply the cleaning solution to the grease stain.
    • Let it sit for a few minutes to break down the grease.
  4. Scrub the tiles:
    • Use a scrub brush or sponge to scrub the area thoroughly. Careful not to scratch them, though.
    • Focus on grout lines where grease can accumulate. It’s usually the most painful part of the cleaning process.
  5. Rinse and dry:
    • Rinse the tiles with clean water to remove any residue.
    • Dry with a microfibre cloth to prevent water spots.

How to prevent future grease stains

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to spare yourself weekends lost in cleaning grease off of your kitchen walls is to ensure there’s no grease accumulation. Here’s how.

Regular maintenance tips

  1. Wipe down walls after cooking. Yes, every time.
  2. Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains from setting. Again, yes, every time.
  3. Use a mild detergent for regular cleaning.

Protective measures for kitchen walls

  1. Install splashback panels behind stoves and countertops. This is not the cheapest solution, but it will make cleaning so much easier.
  2. Use splatter guards when frying.
  3. Apply a grease-resistant coating to kitchen walls.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How to get grease off the wall without damaging the paint?

    Use mild solutions like vinegar and water or dish soap and water. Avoid abrasive scrubbers that can scratch the paint.

  2. Can I use household cleaners to get rid of oil stains on walls?

    Yes, many household cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap are effective for grease removal. Always test on a small area first.

  3. What’s the best way to remove old grease stains?

    For old stains, use a stronger solution like a commercial degreaser or a more concentrated mixture of dish soap and baking soda. Allow it to sit longer before scrubbing.

Conclusion

Removing grease stains from walls is a pain, but it’s not mission impossible. With the right methods and regular maintenance, it’s not that hard to keep your walls spotless. Always focus on prevention rather than cleaning to save yourself some time. And, as always, if you need us, we’re never more than a phone call away.

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.