How to Wash Grease Off a Dog

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Mike is working in the garage rebuilding his classic car. There are car parts and tools lying all over the place. Muffin, his daughter's snow white, very furry, American Eskimo dog, decides to investigate what's happening in the garage, and no one notices as she brushes up against several greasy engine parts. Now Muffin is covered in grease! This can be dangerous, because if Muffin tries to lick off the grease she could get very sick from toxic substances and grease may be flammable, making a grease and fur covered dog a walking fire hazard. 

Dogs can get into all kinds of trouble and get covered in all kinds of noxious substances present in their environment, including being covered in grease. Whether your dog picks up grease in your home or on an excursion somewhere, you will want to get it off fast. Not only is it unsightly, and your dog can transfer it to you and your property such as vehicle upholstery or household furniture, but it can present a health hazard. Fortunately,  there are several ways of de-greasing your furry friend.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog ingests grease, he can get sick, especially if the grease contains toxic substances. Although your dog may not care, grease can be uncomfortable if it sticks fur together and causes a mat or knot, trapping moisture at the skin and resulting in itching and eventually a sore spot.  If your dog was in an unexpected situation when he got “greased” and then got yelled at as his people ran around in widespread panic trying to protect personal belongs, your dog might be quite upset, so getting him to be calm so you can remove the grease can be a bit of a challenge. If your dog gets grease on him, be calm and move your dog somewhere you can clean him without irritating him and cleaning will go a lot smoother.

The Baking Soda Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Towel
Step
1
Make baking soda mixture
Mix baking soda and water in a small bowl. Baking soda absorbs grease.
Step
2
Apply paste
Smear paste over greasy spots and let the paste dry for several minutes. You will want to contain your dog so he does not contaminate surrounding with grease and baking soda as it dries.
Step
3
Brush off powder
Once baking soda paste has dried, brush it off with a stiff brush to remove as much baking soda as possible.
Step
4
Bathe with warm water
Put your dog in a bath full of warm water. Warm water breaks up grease, cold does not, it solidifies it, making it more difficult to remove.
Step
5
De-grease with dish soap
Apply a dish soap and let it sit on your dog's coat for about 5 minutes. Dawn dish soap is commonly used to degrease animals. Rinse and repeat shampooing if necessary. Pat dry with towel.
Recommend grooming method?

The Cornstarch and Baby Powder Method

Effective
2 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Towel
Step
1
Remove surface grease
Pat your dog down with a paper towel or other disposable absorbent cloths. Shop towels work as well.
Step
2
Check skin and fur
Examine your dog's fur to see if just fur or skin was contaminated by grease.
Step
3
Apply powder
Mix cornstarch and baby powder in equal parts and apply to contained fur and skin. Sprinkle right down to skin, parting hair if necessary. Let powder set for several minutes.
Step
4
Brush out
Brush out the powder, avoiding your dog's eyes, ears and mouth. If grease is still present, repeat the powder and brush process.
Step
5
Bathe
Bath your dog with warm water and de-greasing shampoo. Dish soap mixed in works well. Do not use industrial de-greaser soaps that can damage your dogs skin. Rinse and dry your dog. If grease remains, repeat the process.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Grease can be flammable. Keep your dog away from sources of ignition until grease is cleaned off.
  • Grease can contain toxic substances.  Make sure your dog does not lick or self-groom.
  • If your dog gets grease in his eyes, ears, nose, genitals or mouth or if he has ingested grease, consult a veterinarian, as medical care may be required.
  • If you are unable to get all the grease removed, take your dog to a professional groomer to make sure all residue is removed.
  • Make sure when brushing out grease-contaminated powder that your dog does not get powder in his eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use warm water to dissolve grease but not too hot so that your dog's skin is not burned

Conclusion

A grease-covered dog may seem like a cause for panic, especially if he is running through your pristine living room while covered in the icky substance. But don’t get too excited as you will only cause your dog to get excited, which will probably result in more grease getting transferred and an agitated dog that is hard to work with. Calmly apply a powder cleaner such as baking soda or cornstarch, brush out the dried cleaner, and bathe in warm water with dish soap to remove grease. You may need to repeat the process if necessary. Be sure to get all residue, as grease can be flammable or toxic. Check right down to your dog's skin by separating hair to ensure you have got all the grease out.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Coco
jermenseper husky bluehelr
1 Day
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Coco
jermenseper husky bluehelr
1 Day

dus she lock greasy. and haw to fix it .

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the picture of Coco. If her fur is naturally greasy looking, then there is no reason to change it - but if you know she has been into something, then you may want to clean her up. The methods mentioned in the article you have read are for actual grease. How is her skin? Is it normal or does it look dry and flaky? You may want to see the vet to rule out a skin condition before you try too many things. But, you can try the Oatmeal Clean Method here: https://wagwalking.com/grooming/bathe-a-dog-without-water. Good luck!

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Question
Bella
Bichon Frise
6 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Bella
Bichon Frise
6 Months

Baby oil got on my dogs head and ears and now her hair is not fluffy anymore could you help me and tell me a way to make her fluffy again I washed her with her dog shampoo and she still looking a greasy

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question about Bella. I imagine the baby oil will wear off eventually and because the oil is on the head, you have to be careful not to get anything in her eyes. You can try a dry oatmeal cleaning as described here: https://wagwalking.com/grooming/bathe-a-dog-with-oatmeal. Corn starch may absorb oil too, but don't put too many products on her fur and skin because it may become irritated. I wouldn't worry about it too much - she may look flat for a while but a daily brushing can help. Good luck!

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Question
Henry
Maltese
10 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Henry
Maltese
10 Years

Stayed with a friend for 2 weeks. got skin engrined with dirt by rubbing his bottom along the ground and also has black blobs around his anus and penis. Not sure what to use to get him clean.. He rolls around on dirty carpets too. So often gets grubby. he was adopted by us 3 years ago and is normal weight now but his hair is thin and we do give him hair vitamins etc. in his meals.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello Prof. Van Coops, your little Henry loves to roll - as most dogs do! First, you need to attend to the black blobs you describe on his hind end. Carefully cut the blobs off with scissors and then use a gentle veterinarian approved shampoo in the area, rinsing well. If Henry does not cooperate, I suggest enlisting the aid of a groomer who is used to working with small dogs. It sounds as though Henry may be the type of dog who needs a bath every few weeks so be sure to use a mild dog shampoo each time. And reward him with treats afterward for being a good boy!

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