How to Remove Grease Stains from Paper

Everyone has gotten grease or oil on paper before. It is pretty inevitable. Many people are working from home, and it is easy for the line between work time and meal times to blur when you are in your home all day.

This can lead to greasy fingers getting all over your notebooks, documents, and calendars.

It seems like children love to touch things with their perpetually greasy hands, so if you have kids running around, you have to be on guard continually.

Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire way to avoid getting oil or grease on paper, but there are methods to remove stains after they happen.

If this sounds like something you have dealt with, keep reading to learn how to remove grease stains from paper. 

What You’ll Need

There are a few things you will need to remove grease stains from paper, but it is a relatively simple process, so you won’t need much.

All of these items are the most likely things you already have lying around the house. 

Paper Towels

Paper towels will do most of the heavy-duty cleaning and soaking up of excess grease, so make sure you get some heavy-duty and robust paper towels that will be able to soak up the grease or oil.

I found a great option here on Amazon because they provide a smaller tearing option and will last longer.

If you have run out of paper towels these microfiber cleaning cloths work wonders on any type of stain.

Heavy Books

These don’t have to be huge books, but the heavier, the better.

Textbooks work well to help get oil out of paper.

They will be used to dry out the paper and make sure it stays as flat as possible. 

Baking Soda

Baking soda will be used to soak up any excess grease or oil, and it is definitely a necessity to get oil out of paper.

You won’t need a ton, but the larger the stain, the more baking soda you will need. 

If you’ve run and need to order more, click here.

And that’s all you need!

You probably have most, if not all, of these everyday household products in your home already, bringing your cost to zero.

Keep reading for steps to learn how to remove grease stains from paper.

Step By Step Instructions for How to Remove Grease Stains from Paper

#1. Soak Up The Excess Grease.

The first step in getting oil or grease out of paper is to use the paper towels to soak up any excess grease.

This will certainly not remove all of the grease, but it will help get the process started.

Dab the paper until you have removed everything you can.

You may need to use a few paper towels to get this step done. 

#2. Place Paper Towels On The Front And Back Of The Paper

For each side of the paper, take two paper towels and fold them in half.

Place the first set of paper towels on the table or counter, then the paper, then more paper towels.

Make sure the paper and the paper towels are lying as flat as possible, without any folds or creases. 

#3. Put A Heavy Book On Top

Once you have the paper surrounded by the paper towels, place the heavy book, or books, on top of it.

Leave it to dry for at least 24 hours, but you will likely need longer than that for it to dry completely. 

#4. Check The Paper

After 24 hours have passed, check the paper to see if it is completely dry.

If it is not dry, leave it under the book for another 24 hours, and repeat this process until it is dry.

For heavily soaked paper, it may need up to 3-4 days to dry completely.

If the paper towels are soaked in grease, you can change them out for fresh ones. 

#5. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Once the paper is completely dry, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the grease stain.

Spread it around so that it completely covers the stain.

Baking soda is very absorbent and great for soaking up grease.

Leave the baking soda to work for 24-48 hours, and then brush it off.

At this point, you should see a significant difference in your paper.

The stain should be completely removed.

If it is not entirely removed, repeat the process with the baking soda as many times as needed to remove it altogether. 

Pro Tip:

Do not scrub the stain or the baking soda.

This increases the chance that the print or writing on the paper will be ruined.

Just brush it off as gently as possible to avoid smudging anything. 

And there you have it.

You are now a pro at removing grease stains from paper.

If you learn better by watching than reading, check out the video below.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use napkins instead of paper towels? 

Yes, napkins can be used in place of paper towels.

However, only use napkins that are white and free of any prints or patterns.

Colors and designs will transfer onto the paper and will be very difficult or maybe impossible to remove.

Napkins are also less absorbent than paper towels, so you may need to replace them more frequently. 

Can I use flour, baby powder, or corn starch instead of baking soda?  

Yes, you can use flour, baby powder, or corn starch instead of baking soda.

Corn starch and baby powder will work just as well as baking soda, but flour is not as absorbent.

If you decide to use flour, you will probably need to use more of it, and you will need to change it more frequently than baking soda or corn starch. 


I hope you enjoyed learning how to remove grease stains from paper.

Eating a meal while you work almost certainly means getting a grease stain on your documents, which can be a pain to remove.

If you have ever touched important documents with greasy fingers or had a child get their mess all over your work documents, you know the struggle of trying to get oil or grease stains out of paper.

It can seem hopeless, but with this article, you will be able to successfully remove grease stains from paper.

No more having to worry about losing information, documents, or memories due to oil and grease covering your papers.