How to Remove Grease from Tile Backsplash

Kitchen backsplashes see a lot of activity and can quickly become coated in a layer of grease and grime. Grease splatters from cooking, oils from food prep, and general dirt and dust in the air all conspire to make backsplashes dirty. Fortunately, with the right cleaning solutions and techniques, you can get your backsplash sparkling clean again.

Why Grease Builds Up on Tile Backsplashes

Tile backsplashes are prone to grease buildup for a few key reasons:

  • Cooking splatters – From frying foods to simply boiling water, cooking inevitably leads to grease splatters on surrounding surfaces. Backsplashes are prime targets thanks to their proximity to the stove. Even using a splatter guard cannot prevent all grease from escaping.
  • Food prep – Chopping, mixing, and preparing food leads to small bits of oil and grease accumulating on countertops and backsplashes. For example, cutting up chicken or bacon will release fat and juices that cling to surfaces.
  • Proximity to cooking surface – Backsplashes are designed to be right behind stovetops and ovens, meaning they bear the brunt of cooking byproducts. Their upward facing orientation also allows grease to pool and cake on.
  • Texture – The textured surface of many tile backsplashes gives grease, grime, and oils plenty of nooks and crannies to grab onto. Smooth backsplashes will resist buildup better.

Regular cleaning is essential to prevent grease stains from becoming permanent fixtures on your backsplash.

How to Remove Light Grease Buildup from Tile Backsplash

For light grease coating that has not had time to really cake on, a simple cleaning solution and cloth can remove the grime. Here’s how:

What You Need

  • Dish soap or other mild detergent
  • Clean cloths or sponges
  • Warm water
  • Optional: baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice

Step-by-Step Process

  1. Mix a few drops of dish soap into a bowl of warm water. Baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice can help boost cleaning power.
  2. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the water and wring out excess. It should be damp but not dripping.
  3. Wipe down the entire backsplash surface using broad circular motions. Apply light pressure.
  4. Rinse the sponge or cloth in clean water and wipe again to remove any soapy residue.
  5. Let the surface air dry or wipe down with a clean, dry towel.

For best results, clean the backsplash after each meal involving the stove or oven. This prevents heavy buildup.


  • Use a microfiber cloth to help lift more grease.
  • Try a citrus-scented soap for extra degreasing power.
  • Replace the cloth or rinse often so grease is not reapplied.
  • Work in small sections for thorough cleaning.

Removing Heavy Grease Buildup from Tile Backsplashes

Over time, splatters, drips, and cooking byproducts will leave a thick, sticky layer of grease on backsplashes. To tackle these tough stains, use a degreasing cleaner and non-abrasive scrubbing.

Supplies Needed

  • Protective gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Non-abrasive scrub sponge
  • Degreasing cleaner such as Formula 409 or Simple Green
  • Old toothbrush for grout
  • Clean cloths

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Sweep the backsplash first to remove any loose debris or crumbs. This prevents pushing grease further into grout lines.
  2. Apply a liberal amount of degreaser directly onto the backsplash surface. Check the product instructions for proper dilution if required.
  3. Let the degreaser soak for 2-5 minutes. This gives it time to break down the greasy grime. Set a timer to avoid letting it sit for too long.
  4. Scrub using a sponge or scrubbing pad in broad circular motions across the entire surface. Apply moderate pressure.
  5. Use an old toothbrush to help remove grime from grout lines. Take care not to scratch the tile.
  6. Rinse the backsplash thoroughly with clean water. Wipe with dry cloths until no degreaser residue remains.
  7. For stubborn deposits, repeat steps 2-6 as needed. Allow to fully dry.

Tips for Best Results

  • Work in sections for thorough scrubbing. Start high and move down.
  • Rinse sponges and replace cloths often to prevent redepositing grease.
  • Avoid abrasive scrubbers and metal brushes that could scratch tile.
  • Wear goggles and gloves to protect from chemicals. Ventilate the area.
  • For natural options, use baking soda paste or hydrogen peroxide cleaner.

Cleaning Porous Tile Backsplashes vs. Non-Porous Tile

The porosity of the tile material impacts how readily it absorbs and holds onto grease. Non-porous backsplash tiles generally resist staining better.

Non-Porous Tile Types

  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Glass
  • Metal like stainless steel
  • Solid surface materials

Non-porous tiles can be cleaned using mild detergents, warm water, and gentle scrubbing. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage protective coatings.

Porous Tile Types

  • Terracotta
  • Saltillo
  • Natural stone like marble, travertine, slate
  • Concrete

Porous tiles absorb spills and need special treatment to avoid deep-set staining. Use agents like baking soda or vinegar to help lift grease from pores.

Tips for Cleaning Porous Tiles

  • Rinse spills quickly before absorption
  • Use a tile sealer to help repel stains
  • Opt for cleaner made for natural stone
  • Avoid excessive water and steam

Test cleaners on inconspicuous spots first. Porous tiles require gentle care to avoid etching or erosion.

Using Baking Soda to Remove Grease from Grout

For an effective natural option to break down lingering grease in grout lines, turn to baking soda. The abrasive texture combined with naturally degreasing abilities makes it ideal for scrubbing.

What You Need

  • Baking soda
  • Old toothbrush or grout brush
  • Small bowl of water
  • Clean cloths

How to Apply

  1. Sprinkle baking soda liberally along the grout lines. Apply more to heavily soiled areas.
  2. Dip the toothbrush in water and scrub along grout lines to form a thick paste.
  3. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the baking soda time to penetrate and lift grease.
  4. Scrub again using a back-and-forth motion. Apply moderate pressure.
  5. Wipe away all remaining baking soda paste with a damp cloth.
  6. Follow with a clean, dry cloth to remove any residue.

Baking soda provides a non-toxic way to naturally clean and whiten discolored grout. When combined with vinegar, it creates a fizzing reaction that further helps lift grime.

Preventing Grease Stains from Returning

To save yourself frequent heavy scrubbing, take steps to prevent grease accumulation right from the start:

  • Use backsplash guard – A clear piece of acrylic mounted behind the stove catches splatters before they stick. Easy to remove and clean.
  • Clean up spills quickly – Don’t let food prep messes and splatters sit. Wipe up oils and grease promptly.
  • Use splatter screen – A metal or mesh screen over pans helps reduce grease escaping while cooking.
  • Turn on vent fan – Vents that exhaust out help capture airborne grease and food particles.
  • Limit moisture – Routinely wipe down backsplash and squeegee after sink use. Moisture helps grease cling.
  • Apply grout sealer – Sealant makes grout more stain resistant and easier to clean. Reapply annually.
  • Cook at lower heat – Food is less likely to pop and splatter if not cooked over high heat.

With diligent cleaning habits and protective steps, you can keep your backsplash looking like new for years to come.

Common Questions about Removing Grease from Tile Backsplashes

What is the fastest way to remove grease from backsplash tile?

Pour boiling water along the backsplash. The heat will help dissolve and loosen cooked-on grease deposits quickly so they can be wiped away easily using a cloth.

Does Windex remove grease from tile?

Yes, Windex contains ammonia which helps cut through grease and oil buildup. Spray Windex directly onto the backsplash and let sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping clean with a cloth. The cleaning agents in Windex will help remove layers of greasy grime.

What removes old grease stains from kitchen tiles?

Baking soda mixed with a little water into a spreadable paste can help lift out stubborn, older grease stains in tile and grout. Spread the paste onto grease-stained areas of the backsplash and let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The abrasiveness of the baking soda scours away set-in grease.

What is a homemade degreaser for kitchen tile?

Mix 1/2 cup warm water, 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and 5-10 drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto backsplash. Let sit briefly before wiping away grease with a sponge or cloth. The vinegar cuts grease while the baking soda scrubs.

What cleaning products should not be used on tile backsplash?

Avoid abrasive powders, scouring pads, or products containing bleach or ammonia which can etch and damage the tile over time. Never mix bleach and vinegar or ammonia; this creates toxic gases.


Greasy backsplashes are common in busy kitchens but thankfully removable with the proper cleaning techniques. Daily light cleaning paired with occasional deep scrubbing of tile and grout keeps the backsplash sparkling. The key is using non-abrasive methods and degreasing cleaners to break up layers of grimy buildup without damaging the tile. With some elbow grease and Grease-fighting ingredients like vinegar and baking soda, you can restore your backsplash to a clean, grease-free state.