How to Clean Grease off Backsplash

Having a beautiful, clean backsplash is key to making your kitchen look tidy and put-together. However, backsplashes can easily get coated in grease and grime over time, especially if located behind the stove. Grease on backsplashes not only looks unsightly, but it can also be unhygienic if left to build up. The good news is that with the right cleaning methods and products, you can get your backsplash looking sparkling clean again.

Why Grease Builds Up on Backsplashes

Backsplashes become coated in grease for a few key reasons:

  • Cooking releases airborne grease – Frying, sautéing, broiling, and other cooking methods send tiny grease particles into the air. These particles then land and build up on nearby surfaces like backsplashes.
  • Splattering – Hot oils and fats can splash or splatter out of pots/pans onto surrounding surfaces. Backsplashes directly behind stoves often get the brunt of this splattering grease.
  • Steam – As steam from boiling water or hot foods hits greasy buildup on surfaces, it liquefies the grease causing it to spread across the backsplash.
  • Lack of cleaning – If backsplashes aren’t cleaned regularly, grease is allowed to continuously build up to unhealthy levels over time.

How to Prevent Grease Buildup

Preventing excessive grease buildup in the first place will save you time and effort cleaning down the road. Here are some backsplash grease prevention tips:

  • Use stove ventilation – Turn on overhead range hoods, exhaust fans, or open windows when cooking to ventilate steam and grease particles.
  • Control splatters – Use lids on pots/pans or reduce heat to prevent splattering. Consider using a splatter screen.
  • Clean as you go – Quickly wipe any spatters after cooking while the backsplash is still warm so grease doesn’t have time to congeal.
  • Clean regularly – Make backsplash cleaning part of your weekly or monthly kitchen cleaning routine. Don’t allow grease layers to build up.
  • Use a backsplash protector – Consider applying a transparent, grease-resistant backsplash film to protect the surface without affecting aesthetics.

How to Remove Grease Buildup from Backsplash

If grease has already built up, don’t worry – it can still be removed with some elbow grease. Here are methods to clean a greasy backsplash:

Cleaning Mild Grease Buildup

For minor grease coating or light smears:

  • Mix warm water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray the greasy areas then wipe clean with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth. Rinse with clean water and dry with a towel.
  • Use a nylon scrub pad dampened with soapy water to gently scrub off any stubborn oil spots.
  • Undiluted white vinegar is also effective for mild grease; spray it on and let it soak for a few minutes before wiping.

Cleaning Heavy Grease Buildup

For thick, caked-on grease layers:

  • Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to heavily soiled areas. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing off with a stiff nylon bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly. The abrasiveness of baking soda will help lift off baked-on grease.
  • For extremely tough grease, make a paste with equal parts baking soda and dish detergent. The added cleaning power of the detergent will help combat heavy grease stains.
  • Boiling water can also help liquefy thick grease deposits. Carefully pour hot water on the backsplash and let it sit for a minute before wiping away grease residue with a towel.
  • Apply undiluted ammonia to greasy areas and let it soak in for several minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The strong alkaline ammonia helps cut through fatty grease. Work in a well-ventilated space and avoid combining ammonia with other cleaners.

Cleaning Grease off Specific Backsplash Materials

Certain backsplash materials may require special care when cleaning grease:

Ceramic tile – Use any of the above grease-cutting methods safely on ceramic tile backsplashes. Stay away from harsh abrasives that could scratch the glazed surface.

Stainless steel – Remove grease from stainless steel with a stainless steel cleaner or mild dish soap and water. Gently rub in direction of grain lines with a microfiber cloth or sponge.

Glass tile – Glass tile is prone to etching from harsh cleaners. Stick to gentle dish soap, vinegar, or ammonia. Avoid abrasive pads/brushes. Wipe in circles to avoid streaks.

Natural stone – Use mild soap and water only on natural stone like granite or marble. Acids like vinegar and ammonia can damage the surface. Avoid excessive scrubbing.

Painted drywall – Scrub painted drywall gently with warm, soapy water to avoid scraping off paint. Limit use of chemicals.

Wood – Dampen wood backsplash lightly then wipe excess moisture to avoid warping. Use mild dish soap only. Avoid ammonia, vinegar, abrasives.

Laminate – Clean laminate backsplashes with dish soap and water. Don’t use excessive moisture. Avoid abrasive pads or strong chemicals that could yellow or peel laminate.

Tough Grease Stain Removal Methods

For the most stubborn, caked-on grease stains that won’t budge, consider these heavy-duty removal tactics:

Baking Soda + Vinegar

The combination of baking soda’s abrasiveness and vinegar’s acetic acid makes a powerful grease-dissolving duo:

  1. Sprinkle baking soda generously on greasy area.
  2. Spray vinegar over the baking soda and let fizz/bubble for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Scrub with a stiff nylon brush or sponge then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Degreasing Dishwasher Tablets

For extremely dirty backsplashes, degreasing dishwasher tablets provide industrial-strength cleansing:

  1. Fill a bucket with hot water and add 2-3 dishwasher tablets. Stir to dissolve.
  2. Use a sponge or soft cloth dipped in the solution to wipe greasy areas of backsplash.
  3. Let solution sit for 5 minutes before rinsing backsplash. Repeat if needed for tough grease.

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)

TSP is an heavy-duty degreaser available at hardware stores. Follow safety precautions:

  1. Make a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of TSP per quart of warm water.
  2. Wearing gloves, apply TSP solution to backsplash grease stains with a sponge or towel.
  3. Let soak 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly.

Degreasing Spray Cleaners

Look for commercial degreasing sprays like Easy-Off Fume Free Grease Cleaner or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Kitchen Degreaser Spray. Check that they are safe for your backsplash material before using. Follow product instructions to tackle stubborn greasy messes.

How to Keep a Backsplash Grease-Free Long-Term

Once you’ve finally gotten your backsplash sparkling clean, keep it looking that way with these grease prevention maintenance tips:

  • Wipe up cooking messes as they happen before grease has time to congeal.
  • Give the backsplash a quick once-over after cooking with a microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water.
  • Clean the backsplash 1-2 times per week as part of your kitchen cleaning routine. Set a reminder if needed.
  • Apply a transparent backsplash protector to create a barrier that prevents grease adhesion while maintaining the backsplash’s look. Reapply protector every 6 months.
  • When deep cleaning the backsplash, use a degreasing cleaner like cuts through oil. Avoid abrasives that could wear down backsplash over time.
  • Consider professional backsplash cleaning services for a deep clean 1-2 times per year to remove all grease buildup.
  • Improve kitchen ventilation with range hoods, exhaust fans, or opening windows when cooking.
  • Adjust cooking techniques to prevent excessive splatter onto backsplash (lower heat, use lids, or splatter screens).

With consistent, thorough cleaning habits and grease prevention steps, you can keep your kitchen backsplash looking like new for years to come. Don’t let grease stains ruin the aesthetic of this important kitchen element.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Grease Off Backsplashes

How do I clean really old, built up grease off my backsplash?

For extremely stubborn, layered grease that has built up over time, you’ll need to use a heavy duty degreaser. Make a paste of baking soda and dish soap and let it sit on the grease for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing. You can also use trisodium phosphate (TSP) – but take safety precautions as it’s a harsh chemical. Wear gloves and work in a ventilated area.

What is the best homemade solution for cleaning greasy backsplashes?

One of the best homemade degreasers for backsplashes is a mix of 1 part baking soda and 2 parts warm water. The abrasiveness of the baking soda combined with the grease-cutting ability of water makes an effective grease remover. Spray or wipe the paste onto the backsplash and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean.

What should you not use to clean a greasy backsplash?

Avoid abrasive scrubbers or brushes on delicate backsplash materials like glass tile – they could scratch the surface. Don’t use chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach products as they can discolor or damage many backsplash materials over time with repeated use. Avoid vinegar or lemon juice on natural stone backsplashes as the acid can etch the surface.

What is the fastest way to clean grease off backsplash tiles?

For speedy grease removal, use hot water. Boil a kettle and carefully pour the hot water directly onto the greasy tile. Let it soak for 1-2 minutes to soften the grease. Then wipe away the grease residue with a microfiber towel while the tile is still warm. The heat will melt and lift away grease quickly.

Why does my backsplash get so greasy so fast after cleaning?

If your backsplash quickly gets greasy again after cleaning, the issue is likely inadequate kitchen ventilation. Without a range hood or other exhaust fan, airborne cooking grease has nowhere to go but onto the surfaces around your stove – like the backsplash. Improve ventilation with an overhead range hood, installing an exhaust fan, or simply opening windows while cooking.

How do I prevent grease buildup on my backsplash?

  • Wipe up cooking splatters right after they happen before grease has time to congeal.
  • Use range hoods, exhaust fans or open windows when cooking.
  • Apply a transparent backsplash protector to create a grease resistant barrier.
  • Clean the backsplash regularly as part of weekly kitchen cleaning. Don’t allow layers of grease to build up over time.
  • Adjust cooking techniques to minimize splattering onto the backsplash area.

How often should you clean backsplash grout?

Grout is porous and prone to trapping grease, grime and bacteria. Clean grout lines at least once per week using warm, soapy water and a grout brush. For a deeper clean, use a combination of baking soda and vinegar – make a paste with baking soda then spray vinegar and let bubble for 2-3 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

What is the best cleaner for ceramic tile backsplashes?

For ceramic backsplash tiles, use a mild dish soap and warm water for regular cleaning. To remove stubborn grease stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to greasy areas. Let sit then scrub with a nylon bristle brush. You can also use undiluted white vinegar to dissolve grease – spray on and let soak before wiping clean with a towel. Avoid harsh abrasives.


Cleaning grease off backsplashes is an important part of maintaining a hygienic, visually appealing kitchen. While greasy buildup can be frustrating, the right products and techniques can get backsplashes looking like new again. Focus on regularly cleaning using grease-dissolving solutions like baking soda, vinegar, or degreasing cleaners suited to your specific backsplash material. Implement preventative measures like better ventilation and cooking habits to keep grease from rapidly re-accumulating. With some elbow grease and the proper approach, you can bust through that greasy backsplash haze.