Skip to Content

How to Remove Gravy Stains From Clothes

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

Gravy is essential in every meal, whether on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, or simply on a Sunday roast. However, while the gravy is great for your taste buds, it is not something you want on your shirt. Gravy spills leave pesky stains that can easily ruin your lovely clothing. 

But worry not. Because in this article, we share ways you can remove gravy stains and restore your clothing to its original condition, frequently asked questions, and more.

To remove gravy stains from clothes, first, scrape off the excess material from the stain with a blunt knife or a spoon. Next, make a solution of 1 tablespoon dishwashing soap in two cups of warm water. Dip a piece of white cloth in this solution, wring off the excess solution, and continuously blot the gravy stain until it is removed.

How to Remove Gravy Stains From Clothes Using Different Methods

Other than using dishwashing soap, there are several ways you can remove gravy stains from clothes. Take a look at a few of them below.

Using White Vinegar

White vinegar is a common household substance that has a wide variety of uses. For that reason, it is readily available, and you can use it to remove gravy stains. Plus, it easily breaks down the oily stains found in gravy due to its acidic composition. 

Before using vinegar, you want to remove as much gravy material as much as possible, to avoid making the stain messier. To do this, you will need a butter knife or a spoon to scrape from the edges of the stain to the center while removing the excess matter and placing it separately on a paper towel.

Next, pour some white vinegar on the stain and wait for 20 minutes before blotting the stain several times until the stain is removed. If the stain is no longer visible, you can wash the clothing in a hot water cycle with a strong detergent, rinse and dry.

Using Commercial Stain Removers

Commercial types of stain removers are a fantastic option too, and they’re readily available in the detergent aisle of your favorite convenience store. Some of the well-known brands include Persil and Tide. 

The thing with most commercial stain removers is they are formulated for certain types of stains. For example, some contain surfactants and enzymes that easily break down oils, colorants, and other proteinous components found in the gravy. 

To use this method, place the garment on a flat surface, and remove some of the loose parts of the stain. Next, spray some enzyme stain remover on the stain and wait for 10 minutes for the stain to lift. Afterward, you can launder with any strong enzyme-based stain remover.

You can buy a stain remover on Amazon (paid link).

Using Bleach

Bleach is a well-known cleaning agent for removing stains. That is why you can effectively use it to remove gravy stains. Before starting, be sure of the kind of bleach you want to use on your fabric. 

You can either opt to use chlorine bleaches or oxygen bleaches. Chlorine bleaches not only remove the stains but the color as well. Definitely, this is not the bleach you want for your floral dress, although it is perfect for a white shirt. 

On the other hand, you can use oxygen bleach to safely remove gravy stains on colored clothes. Depending on the garment color, measure ¼ a cup of bleach, add to 4 liters of water, and soak the clothing for a minimum of 1 hour. Afterward, wash with an enzyme-based detergent soap, then rinse as usual.


Ammonia removes gravy stains making whites whiter and colored brighter. But the downside with ammonia is it reacts with a few other cleaning agents creating toxic fumes. Specifically, you want to keep it off chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. 

Also, for best results, stick to clear ammonia, to avoid potential color stains of other ammonia varieties. Additionally, ammonia doesn’t work well with all fabric types. You need to be especially cautious when treating gravy stains on silk and wool. This is because Ammonia reacts with the proteinous component of these fabrics and may ruin them. 

But other than the few downsides, you can remove gravy stains in compatible clothes. To do this, make a solution of ¼ cup of ammonia into 1liter cool water. Next, soak the stain with a clean white cloth or sponge and wait for 1 hour before you scrub with a toothbrush and launder with a hot water setting.


Also known as Sodium Borate, Borax is a widely used cleaning agent for a variety of purposes. More so, borax is a detergent booster due to its stain-removing power. It is especially effective against greasy stains, which is why it makes short work of gravy stains. 

To use it as a stain remover, make a solution of ¼ a cup of borax to 2 liters of water, and soak the gravy stain for 1 hour before washing with an enzyme-based detergent.

I also wrote a guide on how to remove yellow food stains from white clothes that may interest you.

Cleaning Gravy Stains on Carpets and Upholstery

Whether you’re cleaning gravy spills on the carpet or on the upholstery, the following procedure will be effective on both. For starters, if you spill the gravy on any of those two surfaces, avoid the panicky and instinctive rush to wipe it off. 

Doing so will only sink the stain deeper and make it harder to clean. However, gently scoop as much loose gravy matter from the surface of the stain. For this purpose, you can use a spoon, a butter knife, or even a flat piece of stick that will scrape the material off the carpet.

Next, spread baking soda or starch over the stain until it is fully covered to absorb the oils residues from the stain. To ensure it is reaching the inner part of the carpet, you can use a brush to lightly brush the carpet’s bristles. 

Then you can let it sit for a minimum of two hours or more for the absorption to fully happen before vacuuming the powder.

To fully clean off the stain, make a solution of 1 each tablespoon of dish soap and ammonia in ½ liter of warm water. Then using a white cloth, dip it into the solution and dab the stain several times, or until the stain is removed.

Finally, rinse the stain spot with a clean wet cloth to ensure any residue of oil or detergent doesn’t attract more dirt on the spot, making it messier. If the stain is removed, you can air dry to prevent the spot from becoming moldy.

Next, you can check out my article on how to remove egg stains from clothes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Stain Is Gravy Stain?

Gravy stains contain protein, starch, and colorant ingredients. To remove gravy stains, pretreat it in either homemade or commercial stain removers for some time, depending on the stain remover and the stained fabric. Then launder, rinse and dry.

Do Gravy Stains Come From Clothes?

Gravy stains come out of clothes by using stain removers. However, this also depends on whether it is a fresh stain or an old set stain. Some of the common stain removers include commercial stain removers, ammonia, and bleach, among others.

How Do I Remove Gravy Stains From Dry-Clean-Only Clothes?

To remove gravy stains, dry clean only items you can use, a dry cleaning kit if you have it, and follow the cleaning instructions. Otherwise, you can drop off your item to your dry cleaner and point out the gravy stains you want to be removed. 

Pin It on Pinterest