How to Remove Butter Stains

Learn how to remove butter stains because the rules of physics dictate that bread will fall butter-side down, leaving butter stains you will need to remove from your table, clothes, upholstery or floor. 

Remove Butter Stains

Butter is considered an oil-based stain. Fabric, wood, marble and other porous surfaces absorb the oil quickly. Immediate action helps successfully remove butter stains from most materials. When left untreated, the oils can set and become difficult to remove.

Remove Butter Stains from Washable Fabrics

Removing butter stains from clothing, linens and other washable fabrics is a simple task. Most household detergents contain ingredients specially designed to dissolve oils and grease.

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent

Apply a generous amount of undiluted, heavy-duty laundry detergent to the butter stain. lay the stained fabric aside and allow the detergent to penetrate the stain for up to 30 minutes. Wash the fabric using the amount of laundry detergent suggested for the load size and the hottest water safe for the fabric. Inspect carefully before drying, as heat can further set oil-based stains. If the stain remains, repeat the treatment process.

Remove Butter Stains from Wool

Wool can quickly absorb the oils from butter, but the majority of wool fabrics cannot be washed in a washing machine. Some wools can be washed by hand and laid flat to dry. These wools can be pretreated with heavy-duty laundry detergent to remove butter stains, and then washed by hand in cold water and laundry detergent. Non-washable wool fabric requires special treatment to avoid damaging the texture of the fabric.

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Dry cleaning solvent
  • Clean, white towels

Place a folded towel underneath the stained area of the fabric. This prevents the dry cleaning solvent from running through the fabric onto other surfaces. Saturate an area of a towel with dry cleaning solvent and blot over the butter stain. Continue to apply more solvent and blot until the stain is removed. No rinsing is required. This method may also be used on carpet and upholstery.

Remove Butter Stains from Natural Stone

Natural stone surfaces, such as marble, can absorb the oils from butter and draw them below the surface of the stone. When butter drops, spills or splashes on natural stone, grab a few items from your pantry to quickly remove it. 

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Paper towel
  • Corn starch
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Stiff brush
  • Ammonia
  • Clean, white cloths
  1. Gently lift any excess butter from the surface of the stone using a paper towel. Use caution not to spread the butter.
  2. Apply a thick layer of cornstarch to the area. The corn starch will help draw the oil out of the stone. 
  3. Allow to stand for 24 hours. If the corn starch becomes caked during this time, brush off and reapply. It is simply absorbing the oil.
  4. Scrub the stained area with a solution of hot water and dishwashing liquid. Dishwashing liquid contains ingredients specially formulated for the removal of grease.
  5. Rinse with water and wipe dry.
  6. If the stain remains, wipe with a cloth saturated with ammonia. Rinse well with hot water and dry with a clean cloth.

Removing Butter Stains from Wood

When butter falls onto wood flooring or furniture, it can leave a dark stain. With a few simple kitchen items, you can effectively remove butter stains from wood. 

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Paper towels
  • Corn starch
  • Clean, white towels
  • White vinegar
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  1. Quickly remove any excess butter from the surface of the wood using a slightly damp paper towel. Avoid pressing down on the butter or using a wiping motion, as this will spread the stain over a larger surface area. 
  2. Heavily dust the stained area with corn starch to absorb the oil from the wood. Allow to remain on the wood up to 24 hours.
  3. Combine equal parts of vinegar and warm water.
  4. Dampen a towel with the vinegar solution. Gently wipe over the stain in a circular motion.
  5. Repeat the wiping until the stain is removed.
  6. Use a dry towel to thoroughly dry the wood.

If the stain remains, combine 1 tablespoon of mild dishwashing liquid with 2 cups warm water. Apply it to the butter stain using a circular motion. Allow to penetrate the wood for up to five mintues. Whipe off with a circular motion. Repeat until the stain is removed. After the stain is eliminated, rinse with a clean, damp towel  and then dry thoroughly. 

Removing butter stains successfully from fabric and hard surfaces may require several repeat cleaning using detergents. The detergent breaks down the oils for easy removal from fabric and porous surfaces.