A kitchen backsplash serves both decorative and functional purposes. Located on the wall behind countertops, sinks, and ranges, it protects the walls from grease splatter, water, heat, and stains. Over time, grease buildup on tile or other backsplash materials can start to look dirty. Removing grease keeps your backsplash looking its best. With the right cleaning methods and products, you can get your backsplash sparkling clean.
Supplies Needed to Remove Grease from Backsplash
Removing grease from backsplash requires having the proper supplies on hand. Here are the recommended cleaning items to have before tackling a greasy backsplash:
- Dish soap – An effective grease-cutting dish soap is essential. Look for ones specially formulated for grease removal. Dawn is a popular brand.
- Sponges – You’ll need sponges for scrubbing the soiled areas. Cellulose sponges work better than foam.
- Nylon scrub brush – For textured backsplash materials, a brush helps work the cleaner into the grooves. Choose one with sturdy nylon bristles.
- Cleaning rags – Have plenty of clean cloths or microfiber towels on hand. You’ll need them for cleaning and drying.
- Gloves – Wearing waterproof gloves keeps hands protected during heavy scrubbing. Latex or rubber gloves work best.
- Eye protection – Grease-cutting cleaners can splash, so safety glasses or goggles are a smart precaution.
- Baking soda – For extra cleaning power, baking soda helps remove stubborn grease and freshens the backsplash.
- White vinegar – The acidic vinegar helps dissolve grease and removes odors. Mix it with baking soda for bubbly cleaning action.
- Commercial degreaser – For excessive grease buildup, a degreaser formula can cut through the oily grime.
- Sealant – Applying a grout or stone sealer after cleaning will help repel future stains.
With these supplies ready, you can tackle a greasy backsplash for a sparkling clean result.
Cleaning Grease from Tile Backsplash
Tile is one of the most popular backsplash choices because it’s affordable, durable, and comes in endless style options. The grout between tiles can attract grime though. Follow these steps to clean grease from a tile backsplash:
Remove Surface Grime
- Start by using a sponge or dishcloth to remove any loose crumbs or debris from the backsplash tile and grout.
- Mix a strong solution of hot water and dish soap in a bucket.
- Dip a sponge into the soapy water and wring it out well. Apply the soapy sponge to the tile and grout and scrub to remove surface grease and soils.
- Work in small sections across the entire backsplash. Use a nylon brush to scrub grout if needed.
- As the backsplash tile is cleaned, re-wet the sponge and keep rinsing until water runs clear.
deep Clean with Baking Soda
- For deeper cleaning power, make a paste of baking soda and water.
- Wearing gloves, apply the baking soda paste to greasy areas using a stiff scrub brush.
- Let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing again. The baking soda will fizz and lift grease from the tile and grout.
- Scrub and rinse until all traces of grease and baking soda are gone.
Disinfect with Vinegar
- For extra disinfecting, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Mist the solution over the entire backsplash and let sit for 10 minutes. This will kill bacteria and remove odors.
- Wipe the backsplash clean with microfiber cloths until all vinegar smell is gone.
- Once the tile and grout are squeaky clean, apply a penetrating grout sealer using a small paintbrush.
- Allow the sealer to soak in and cure according to package directions. This will protect the grout from future stains and mildew.
With some elbow grease, everyday dish soap, and natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar, you can get a grungy tile backsplash looking like new again.
Cleaning Grease Off Glass Backsplash
Glass tile provides a gorgeous, shiny backsplash that reflects light beautifully. Grease can cloud the brilliance of glass though. Follow these tips for cleaning greasy glass backsplash tile:
- Start by mixing a spray bottle of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray the greasy glass tile and let it soak for 5 minutes.
- Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe the glass. Avoid abrasive scrubbing which could scratch the delicate tile surface.
- For streak-free results, wipe in small circles and rinse the cloth frequently.
- If greasy spots remain, spray a little vinegar and wipe again with a clean cloth.
- Buff the glass tile completely dry with a fresh towel. This prevents water spots from forming as it air dries.
- A squeegee tool works great to clear all moisture off glass backsplash tile. Wipe edge to edge from top to bottom.
- Avoid harsh chemical cleaners which can damage the glass coating. Never use scrub brushes or abrasive pads either.
With the proper gentle cleaning method, a glass backsplash can maintain its beautiful shine. Prevent grease buildup by wiping spills right away before they have a chance to congeal.
Cleaning Grease from Stainless Steel Backsplash
Modern stainless steel backsplashes make a sleek statement in contemporary kitchens. Their shiny finish looks fantastic when kept clean. But greasy buildup can make them appear dull and dirty. Here are tips for cleaning grease from stainless steel backsplashes:
Remove Loose Grime
- First, wipe down the stainless steel with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any surface debris or crumbs.
- Fill a spray bottle with warm water and a pH-neutral dish soap. Avoid soap with added moisturizers or lotion which may leave residue.
- Mist the soapy water over the backsplash and let it soak for 2-3 minutes. This helps loosen greasy grime.
Wash and Disinfect
- Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring out well. Gently wash the stainless steel using small circular motions.
- Don’t use abrasive scrubbers or steel wool pads which can scratch the finish. Nylon scrub brushes are safe if needed for textured surfaces.
- Rinse thoroughly with clear water and pat dry with a soft towel. Vinegar works well for an added disinfecting boost.
Polish Away Water Spots
- Hard water spots may remain after washing stainless steel. Remove them by spraying a small amount of vinegar and wiping with a microfiber cloth.
- For added shine, use a stainless steel polish or olive oil applied with a soft cloth. Rub lightly in the direction of the grain.
- Buff with a clean dry towel until the backsplash gleams. Frequent polishing helps maintain the protective chrome oxide layer.
With proper care, a stainless steel backsplash can stay beautiful and ward off new grease buildup. Be sure to blot spills right away before grease has a chance to interact with the metal.
Cleaning Greasy Natural Stone Backsplash
Granite, marble, slate, and travertine create a high-end backsplash with natural texture and tones. But their porous structure also makes them prone to grease absorption. Here is how to clean oily buildup from natural stone:
Mix Grease-Cutting Cleaner
- Combine 2-3 drops of dish soap per cup of warm water in a spray bottle. For heavy grease, use a concentrated degreasing cleaner instead.
- For a do-it-yourself degreaser, mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part water to make a thick paste.
Apply and Let Soak
- Spray or spoon the degreasing cleaner directly onto the oily stone backsplash.
- Allow it to penetrate for 5-10 minutes so it can start breaking down the greasy grime.
Scrub and Rinse
- Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the stone. Avoid abrasive pads or steel wool.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water several times to remove all traces of cleaner and grime.
- Dry the backsplash well with microfiber cloths to prevent mineral deposits from the water.
Seal and Protect
- Once the stone is fully clean and dry, use a fresh cloth to apply a natural stone sealer.
- Choose a water-based sealer for easy cleanup. Apply a thin, even layer and allow it to soak in fully.
- Buff off any excess sealer. This will help prevent future oil stains by sealing the stone pores.
With the proper safe cleaners and gentle scrubbing, natural stone backsplashes can be restored from greasy to gorgeous again. Be sure to wipe up spills quickly in the future to minimize staining.
Cleaning Grease Off Painted Backsplash
Painted backsplashes offer affordable color that’s easy to clean. But grease can still take a toll over time, yellowing the paint and creating a grungy film. Restore grease-coated painted backsplashes with these steps:
Mix Warm Soapy Water
- Fill a bucket with warm water and add 1-2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. For heavily soiled areas, use a degreasing dish soap.
- Alternatively, mix 2 teaspoons dish soap with 2 cups water in a spray bottle for easy application.
- Dip a soft sponge into the soapy solution and wring out excess water.
- Gently scrub the painted backsplash using small circular motions. Avoid abrasive scrubbers.
- For textured surfaces, use a soft bristle brush dipped in the warm soapy water.
- Keep rinsing the sponge and reapplying soapy water until the paint is cleaned.
Rinse and Dry
- Once grease is removed, rinse the backsplash thoroughly with plain water.
- Blot dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid rubbing vigorously which can affect the paint finish.
- Allow to fully air dry. Check for any remaining greasy spots and repeat cleaning if needed.
Freshen with Vinegar
- For freshening and added antibacterial cleaning, mix 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water.
- Wipe this over the entire backsplash with a clean cloth.
- Rinse once more and dry. The vinegar smell will quickly dissipate.
With the proper dish soap and gentle scrubbing, painted backsplashes can be restored to their original color and shine. Be sure to wipe up spills quickly to prevent grease penetration.
How to Prevent Grease Buildup on Backsplash
While thorough cleaning can remove grease from backsplashes, prevention is the best policy for keeping them pristine long-term. Here are tips to prevent greasy buildup:
- Wipe up cooking splatters, drips, and spills as they happen before grease has a chance to congeal.
- Use splatter screens when pan frying to minimize grease landing on surrounding surfaces.
- Avoid letting greasy pots or utensils touch the backsplash when moving them around the kitchen.
- Clean the backsplash frequently with hot soapy water to prevent grease accumulation over time.
- Apply a bead of sealing product like grout sealer regularly to shield against stains.
- Consider applying a wallpaper border or extra tile trim at the top of the backsplash to protect the wall above from splatters.
- When cleaning greasy pots and pans, fill with water and detergent to soak rather than letting greasy residue accumulate on stove and counters.
- Use commercial degreasing cleaners regularly on heavy oil-prone areas around stoves and ovens.
With vigilant cleaning habits and protective measures, backsplash surfaces can stay cleaner and minimize grease buildup over time.
Common Questions About Removing Grease from Backsplash
Grease cleaning can seem daunting for a heavily soiled backsplash. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is the fastest way to remove grease from backsplash?
For quick grease removal, use the abrasive power of baking soda. Make a thick baking soda paste with just enough water to scrub onto the backsplash. Let it set for 5-10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing clean. The baking soda dissolves grease on contact.
What is the best homemade cleaner for greasy backsplash?
An effective homemade degreaser can be made by mixing 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup dish soap and enough water to make a thick paste. Apply and let sit before scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly. The baking soda dissolves grease while the soap cuts through oily buildup.
What should you not use to clean greasy backsplash?
Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbers which can damage many backsplash surfaces. Chlorine bleach and ammonia are also not recommended as they can react with grease and discolor tiles. Avoid vinegar on stone backsplashes which can etch the surface.
How do you maintain a backsplash after deep cleaning?
Once you’ve completed intensive grease removal, be diligent about ongoing maintenance. Immediately wipe up new spills and splatter. Apply grout sealer annually. Use hot, soapy water for regular wipe downs. Establishing new kitchen habits will help keep a restored backsplash clean long-term.
Why does my backsplash get so greasy so fast?
Frequent grease buildup points to underlying habits. Using high heat while cooking, choosing greasy cooking methods like frying, letting splatters accumulate, and improperly venting from the stovetop can all contribute to rapid grease deposits. Addressing these habits can help keep backsplashes cleaner.
Greasy backsplashes are a common predicament in home kitchens. Addressing the issue promptly preserves the appearance and function of this important decorative kitchen element. With the right supplies and techniques for the specific backsplash material, you can eliminate greasy buildup. Use the power of dish soap, baking soda, vinegar and some thorough scrubbing. Once restored to clean, be diligent about ongoing maintenance to keep your backsplash grease-free long-term. With a little diligence, your backsplash can maintain its sparkling good looks.