Gadgets for humans

Dear messy desk eaters, here’s your emergency fix for grease stains (at work)

Now you can use your shirt as a napkin

stains shirt basics header image

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

These days, I eat in the presence of a digital device all the goddamn time. Whether it’s breakfast in front of my computer, lunch leant over a phone, or a Deliveroo’d dinner crouched above a Nintendo Switch, the technology revolution has changed my eating habits.

There’s nothing intrinsically bad about this habit (apart from it destroying my posture, I guess), but there’s one unintended consequence: grease dribbles.

Now, if you’re at home this annoying — especially if you’ve made a mess of a fancy new bit of gear. But what if you’re at work? Have a big meeting coming up? And are now covered in grease stains? What the hell do you do?

Shh, don’t worry, we’re gonna help you out.

Okay, I’ve spilt some oil on myself at work. What do I do?

Simple: use some washing up liquid (AKA dish shop). You know, this stuff:


Or, if you’re in the UK, Fairy Liquid.

Yes, old fashioned dish soap is all you need. So here’s what you do if you’ve spilt something greasy on your fashionable threads: head into your office kitchen, get some dish soap, and dab it onto the stains with a bit of water. This is much easier if you’re not wearing the clothing in question, by the way.

Wash all the soap out, then go to the bathroom, and put the clothing under the hand dryer. In not too long, you should have some stain free fabric!

And if I’m at home?

Much the same. When this happened to me, I rubbed some dish soap into the stains, let it sit for about five minutes, then put my jumper into the washing machine. Once the wash was done, my gorgeous threads was back to normal.

A quick disclaimer though for both methods though: there’s always the chance that your particular brand of washing up liquid/dish soap is going to discolor your clothes. To avoid this, you can try putting some of the cleaning fluid on a non-visible part of fabric to see what happens.

I didn’t actually do this and it turned fine, but I don’t like the idea of a screaming mob with splotchy clothing chasing me down the street. So, you know, take care.

There you have it! A quick, easy trick to help you get the grease stains out of your clothes, at home or work. Now, excuse me, I’ve got to order a Pho to eat in front of my MacBook.

If you want some dish soap, Amazon has a whole load of it. STAY CLEAN.

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Published July 9, 2019 — 13:25 UTC