Cleaning Guides

How to Remove Grease Stains From Painted Kitchen Walls

Painted walls can look great in your kitchen. They add personality and an aesthetic appeal to the room. Until grease stains start appearing. Those unsightly splatters all around the walls drag down the appearance of your kitchen and, in most cases, are extremely hard to remove. But it’s not entirely impossible.

So, if you:

  • Have noticed grease like spots on your kitchen walls;
  • Wish to know how to get grease off painted walls;
  • Are searching for a home-made wall cleaning product,

Then this article is for you. Keep on reading to find out how to remove grease and oil stains from your kitchen walls.

How do you remove grease stains from painted walls?

Tip #1

The key to the successful removal of grease stains on the walls is to act fast. If left for a long time, oil stains solidify into a sticky mess and become hard to remove. 

Wall paint, due to its porous nature, absorbs stains like a sponge, allowing the grease to enter the material and ingrain the surface. Because of this reason, old grease stains can remain visible, even if you remove all the surface grime.

Tip #2

The next trick to grease stains removal from the painted walls is to use the correct cleaning agents. Oil and grease stains are organic; therefore, they are better removed with alkaline cleaners. But what does this actually mean? 

All cleaning chemicals are divided into three categories, depending on their pH (hydrogen ion concentration) levels. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with lower pH levels cleaners being more acidic and the cleaners with higher pH being more alkaline. The solutions around 7 on the pH scale are considered neutral. 

Organic soils are best removed with alkaline cleaners because they are more suitable for breaking down fats and grease usually found in kitchens. Usually, the labels of such cleaners mention that they have a degreasing property or break down fats. 

If the walls are lightly-soiled, the treatment might not require a degreaser and can be easily cleaned with a neutral or a mildly alkaline solution, like dishwashing soap.

Cleaning grease stains from walls with common household solutions

Commercial wall cleaners will most certainly do the job, but what if you don’t have any cleaning products on you? Or maybe, you simply prefer to green clean? Either way, these cleaning methods will help you clean your painted walls with items you might already have at home. 

The following cleaning methods are best applied on walls with glossy and semigloss finishes. Before performing any cleaning on other finishes, do a test on an inconspicuous area of your wall to ensure that it won’t wash off the colour or damage the paint. 

Baking soda

The uses of baking soda extend far beyond cooking. This household staple can be irreplaceable when dealing with tough organic stains, like blood or milk and neutralising bad odours. Due to its alkaline nature, soda bicarbonate serves as a great cleaning agent that breaks down oil and grease. 

To remove grease stains from painted walls with soda bicarbonate, you need to:

  1. Mix three tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of warm water into a paste;
  2. With the help of a soft toothbrush or a cleaning rag, work the paste into the grease stain but don’t scrub the stains too hard;
  3. Once the stain disappears, wipe the area with a clean damp rag.

Dish soap

Dish soap can remove stains not only from your plates but from the walls too. The pH levels of some dish soaps vary between 8 and 9, meaning that it’s perfect for cleaning mild grease spots on your walls.

Here is how you clean oil stains from painted walls:

  1. Mix a moderate amount of dish soap in a bucket of water and soak a cloth in the solution;
  2. Squeeze the excess water out well and gently wash the surface in a circular motion;
  3. For stubborn stains, use the above baking soda solution;
  4. Rinse the wall with a clean wet cloth.

Ammonia-based cleaners

Diluted ammonia solution also has alkaline properties. Once mixed with water, the molecules of pure ammonia and water form into ammonium hydroxide – a powerful degreasing solution suitable for domestic cleaning.

Ammonium hydroxide can be found in various multisurface cleaners. If you happen to have a household ammonia solution in your house, you can use it to clean grease stains from the walls too. However, before applying the solution to your walls, make sure to check the labels to see if it’s suitable for wall cleaning.

Depending on the concentration of your ammonium cleaner, the recommendations for application might vary. Therefore, always read the instructions and directions for use.

Magic eraser

Magic eraser is a cleaning pad that is known for its effectiveness in removing even the most stubborn and ingrained stains from matte walls. It doesn’t require any detergents or cleaning solutions, only water.

Note: This sponge, however, isn’t recommended for use on varnished, high-gloss or semi-gloss finishes, as it can damage the finish and leave it looking dull. 

The “magic” behind the cleaning properties of the sponge lies in the material that it’s made of. Melamine foam is slightly abrasive and denser than your regular sponge, which allows it to lift the stains up the painted wall without removing too much paint.

To get the grease stains off your kitchen walls with a magic eraser, all you need to do is to dampen the sponge in water and gently rub the stain with it. Once you see that the stain is gone – stop scrubbing, as it can start lifting the paint off the walls.

Can you paint over grease stains?

Sometimes, the damage can be beyond repair and cleaning doesn’t work anymore. In that situation, you might decide that it’s the right time to retouch your walls. 

However, a fresh coating will not eradicate grease stains completely. The spots can reappear, soaking through the new layer of paint. Therefore, it is not recommended to paint over grease stains. Only after preparing the surface and treating the stains, you can repaint your walls. 

The stains that aren’t too deep can be removed with a mix of a mild detergent and warm water or by lightly sanding the affected area.

If the stains don’t come off, you might need to seal the grease with a stain-blocking primer prior to painting. The primer will prevent the stains from bleeding through the newly applied layers of paint. Once it dries, you can paint over it without any hesitation.

For more in-depth wall painting tips, check our helpful blog article – “How to Clean Walls Before Painting”.

Hire a professional to do the job for you

Unfortunately, when your walls suffer from hard-to-remove staining, homemade cleaning remedies might not be enough. However, painting can be quite tricky and requires expertise, otherwise, you risk having your walls painted unevenly. In that case, why not get your walls decorated by professionals?

Instead of spending hours doing the dirty work yourself, let Fantastic Services take care of it instead! The skilled painting experts we work with can help you decorate the walls according to your likings and even leave your place looking spotless afterwards. Simply use our online booking form to get your painting and decorating service today! 

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  • If you notice oil and grease stains on your walls, try to clean them as soon as possible;
  • Greasy stains are best dissolved and cleaned with alkaline cleaners like baking soda, dishwashing soap and diluted ammonia;
  • If you are afraid to ruin your walls with cleaning products, try removing grease stains on your kitchen walls with a magic eraser;
  • Painting over grease stains isn’t recommended until you get rid of them completely. However, it is still recommended to use a primer prior to painting. 


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Image source: Shutterstock / Prostock-studio

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