21 Uses For Elbow Grease (The Degreaser That Does It ALL!)

21 Uses For Elbow Grease (The Degreaser That Does It ALL!)

Are you familiar with Elbow Grease? You might know the expression, but Elbow Grease is actually a cleaning product - with a difference. 

Today we're sharing all you need to know about this popular cleaning spray, including all of the wonderful ways you can use it around the home. 

What is Elbow Grease? 

elbow grease

Elbow Grease is an all-purpose degreaser that claims to be "the only cleaner you'll ever need". The solvent-free spray is made by 151 Products Limited and part of its appeal is the cheap price tag - it retails for around £1! 

How to use Elbow Grease cleaner

The exact way to use Elbow Grease might vary from surface to surface, but most jobs will follow the same simple steps. Elbow Grease can be used on fabrics, metals, and plastics. 

Hard surfaces

  1. Spray Elbow Grease onto a sponge or cloth. You can also spray directly onto the surface you wish to treat.
  2. For maximum cleaning power, leave to sit for 2-5 minutes.
  3. If required, scrub the area with a bristle brush, cloth or sponge. 
  4. Clean the area with water. 
  5. Dry the surface with a cloth.


  1. Spray onto the stained fabric.
  2. Leave to sit for 2-5 minutes.
  3. Wash as normal.

Uses for Elbow Grease spray

1. Clean kids clothes

No more stains!

Baby clothes are notorious for getting stained. Much to the parent's dismay, lovely white bibs end up being thrown away because the stains get so unsightly. Bring them back to their former glory with a bit of Elbow Grease.

Simply spray onto the stains, leave for a minute or so and then pop in the washing machine on a standard cycle. 

2. Prep wood for upcycled furniture 

Although Elbow Grease shouldn't usually be used on wooden surfaces, it's great for prepping wood for upcycling. It'll help you to strip the wood of oils, paint, and residues. 

3. Clean suede

Suede shoes are tricky to take care of, but Elbow Grease does a fabulous job of removing grime. Spray Elbow Grease onto stained areas and gently buff with a bristle brush or an old toothbrush. Use a dry cloth to remove excess moisture and leave to dry fully. 

4. Clean dirty shirt collars


It can be a challenge to keep white shirts as white as the day you got them, but elbow grease can fix those mucky collars and cuffs. Just spray on and wash as normal to bring them back to life. 

5. Oven cleaner

Check this out!

You can give your oven a total clean using Elbow Grease. From the hob to the racks, glass and even the extractor fan. Just spray on, leave for a few minutes and watch all of that stubborn dirt wipe away with ease. 

TOP TIP: Be careful when cleaning around dials. The number decals come off very easily! 

6. Remove makeup from a dressing gown

If you've got a teenager who loves putting their makeup on in their dressing gown, you've probably faced an endless battle trying to remove black streaks from the sleeves. Elbow grease is great at stripping the products from the fabric. 

7. Engines & machinery

It's perfect for cleaning up car parts.

If you've got some car parts or machinery that needs sprucing up, Elbow Grease will be your best friend. Spray onto an old rag and use to scrub away any grease.

8. Kitchen appliances 

Give your kitchen appliances a thorough clean. When you're cooking, food on your hands can transfer to the appliances, leaving a greasy residue that can be hard to remove. 

9. Oil spots on paving 

If your car is leaking oil, you can easily get your paving looking as good as new with Elbow Grease. Spray onto the oil-covered slabs and leave to soak. Use a broom to brush the product in and then rinse off with a watering can or hose.

10. Mop floors

floor cleaning
You won't believe the difference!

Flooring can end up looking discoloured over time. Spray some Elbow Grease directly onto the floor and then use a mop to work it in. You'll wonder why you ever trusted your old floor cleaners

11. Remove chewing gum from clothes

Getting chewing gum out of fabric is a real nightmare. Just spray on a little Elbow Grease and watch it drop off before your eyes! 

12. Tiles

The backsplash in your kitchen can take quite a hit. If you clean it with Elbow Grease, you'll be shocked to see just how much grime has built up over time.

13. Transform muddy sports kits

sports kit
Tough on mud. 

Whether it's for motocross or football, sports kits can end up looking like they've been pulled through a hedge backwards. Remove any stubborn mud stains with a little bit of Elbow Grease. 

14. Rug & carpet stains 

Had an accident that's left your carpet stained? From red wine to nail polish, Elbow Grease is just what you need to remove all traces of your clumsy moment. Spray onto the stain, leave for a few minutes and then scrub well. 

TOP TIP: Test on an inconspicuous area first to ensure that the colour won't be stripped from your carpet. 

15. UPVC

From front doors to windows, easily remove marks and scuffs from uPVC with Elbow Grease. 

TOP TIP: Don't use Elbow Grease on painted or wooden doors. It could strip the finish. 

16. Greasy pans

Use Elbow Grease as a brilliant degreaser. It only takes a small amount to clean up your pots and pans. Remove burnt-on food - and more! 

17. Tumeric stains

It really leaves its mark. 

If you've ever spilt Tumeric on a surface, you'll know how difficult it can be to remove it. Tumeric is no match for Elbow Grease. Whether you've stained fabric or a hard surface, you can use the spray to get it right off. 

18. Kitchen cupboards

Has something spilt or leaked inside your food cupboards? Make light work of cleaning up sticky spills and removing stains with Elbow Grease. 

19. Fridge

Clean the plastic elements in your fridge with Elbow Grease. It's great for cleaning up any spills that might have been sitting there for a little bit longer than you'd realised. 

TOP TIP: Take care if you decide to clean your whole fridge with Elbow Grease - it has been known to strip the paint on some fridges. 

20. Remove stains from mugs

You might think your favourite mug is beyond saving, but you can get it looking like new again in a flash. Spray some Elbow Grease onto the stains and leave it to work its magic for a few minutes. Wash up as normal to see the results. 

21. Hubcaps

hub caps
Get them gleaming again. 

Hubcaps can end up covered in mud and who knows what else! Give them a clean every once in a while with Elbow Grease to make them really sparkle.  

Other cleaning products to try

Watch the video!

If you're a fan of Hinching, or just looking for some other new cleaning products to try, check these out next:



What are the ingredients in Elbow Grease?

The listed ingredients on the bottle are "Less than 5% Non-Ionic Surfactants, Cationic Surfactants, Phosphates, Perfume, Limonene".

Should I take any precautions when using Elbow Grease?

There have been some reports of adverse reactions to Elbow Grease. Be sure to use with caution and follow this advice: 

  • Do not inhale - only use in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. 
  • Avoid contact with your skin by wearing protective gloves. 
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Can cause serious eye damage - wear eye protection.

Is there anything I shouldn't use Elbow Grease on?

Elbow grease isn't suitable for use on:

  • Wood
  • Painted surfaces
  • Varnished surfaces
  • Plastiglass
  • Perspex
  • Visors

Some users have found that Elbow Grease can cause staining to approved surfaces such as kitchen countertops. Always patch test an inconspicuous area when using on a new surface. 

Where can you buy Elbow Grease?


 Do you know any other uses for Elbow Grease? Let us know in the comments belo


Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author watcher on January 30, 2019 at 9:08 am

    some of the picture and uses are not recommended in the ( don't use on advice)

    1. Author Joanne A on January 30, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Hi there! Could you please explain what you mean by this?

    2. Author Bill Lough on November 23, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Can you use Elbow Grease on bathroom tiles??

    3. Author Joanne A on November 25, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Bill! Elbow Grease is suitable on most tiled surfaces.

  2. Author Sandy H on February 12, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Hi Joanne - This sounds like a magic product and I want to try it. However, when I tried to buy some at my local Tesco's and Sainsbury's, they didn't have it. This was an online order so it was coming from a larger store. Do you know if it's available country-wide? Many thanks. Sandy

    1. Author Joanne A on February 12, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Hi Sandy! It's a really great product. I managed to find some in my local Poundland, so that might be worth a try if you have one near you. It was with all the DIY equipment, not the cleaning range. I've yet to see it anywhere else - probably because of its popularity - so you might need to source it online.

  3. Author Sylvia nolan on March 2, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    This stuff has completely ruined my work tops and I’m now going to have to replace them. Would not use or recommend it. Has cost me an absolute fortune and I’m stuck with my disgusting looking worktops until I can afford to replace

    1. Author Joanne A on March 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

      Hi Sylvia! I'm really sorry to hear that. What material are your worktops?

    2. Author Klara on March 5, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      I had a massive allergic reaction to this when using it for a deep clean of a tenanted house. Given its wealth of uses it seems like a benign substance, but it isn't. It is very toxic, someone says here that they used it for cleaning cupboards, as did I but it left me light headed and also gave me conjuctivitis. On closer reading of the back it said it should be used in a well ventilated area and could cause a skin reaction [I did wear gloves] but didn't wear protective glasses.

    3. Author Joanne A on March 6, 2019 at 11:46 am

      You wouldn't expect it to be so powerful, would you? I'm sorry you experienced such severe side effects.

    4. Author Tiddz on March 19, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      I love Elbow Grease BUT there's a downside to using it - you can't use bleach where you've used it! I use it on my kitchen worktops and have had no problems with it. I then used some bleach on a part of the counter top (a place where I hadn't used Elbow Grease for weeks) and got a pretty big deep orangey/brown stain. Something in Elbow Grease is absorbed into some surfaces that are already damaged, through wear and abrasion and will react with bleach and that's why her and my worktops are now visibly damaged. White vinegar will turn the stain a very pale yellowish (and that's the stage I'm up to now) and I'm trying to find something that will neutralise whatever is in the Elbow grease, but haven't found it yet. I'd be wary about using Elbow Grease on tile grout as that turns the grout a deep brown if you subsequently use bleach on it. I had to use white vinegar on the grout in my bathroom to remove the brown. It froths up and disolves the grout and can be wiped away but you'll need to refill the grout. It's a pity that photos can't be attached to comments!

    5. Author Joanne A on March 20, 2019 at 10:15 am

      Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention! 😨 As it's a fairly new product, there's not very much information out there yet. Have you contacted the manufacturer to find out why this might be the case? On a side note, having photos would be very useful to the comments section - I'll speak to our development team to see if that's a feature we can add. 😀

    6. Author Tiddz on March 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      It's most certainly not a fairly new product. I moved into where I currently live over 6 years ago and thought "I'll going to have to change that white enamel bath as it's not white". I knew I couldn't use Mr Muscle as it was enamel. Elbow Grease brought it up to new condition instantly. I knew to try using it as I'd been using it for about 6 years before then. It was previously sold in small independent shops (like most 151 products) but they've done a good job of marketing and it's now widely known about. I've contacted 151 about the browning problem and waiting for a response!

    7. Author Joanne A on March 20, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Tiddz! Yes, I meant "fairly new" in terms of being well-known. As it's only just becoming the popular cleaning product that it is, it's hard to find a lot of published information. Hope that clears up my meaning. Please do let us know if you receive a response - we'd be very interested to hear what they have to say!

    8. Author Sue on August 30, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      I seem to be getting very itchy skin after using this? It’s happened three times now. The itching is intense and is on my arms - even though the spray has been nowhere near my arms?

    9. Author Joanne A on September 2, 2019 at 10:30 am

      Hi Sue! That's very strange, but you're not the first to report a reaction to this product. I would contact the manufacturer and discontinue use of the spray for the time being.

  4. Author Joanna on March 23, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for this, some good tips!

    1. Author Joanne A on March 25, 2019 at 10:03 am

      You're welcome, Joanna!

  5. Author Laura Cragg on March 26, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Can I use to clean my leather sofa

    1. Author Joanne A on March 26, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Hi Laura! Elbow Grease should work on a leather sofa but take care. I would do a patch test on a hidden part of the sofa and wait a few hours to see if it alters the colour or texture. Elbow Grease can have a bleaching effect.

    2. Author Anne on July 3, 2021 at 6:07 pm

      It will take the colour out of the leather settee. This product has been around for many many many years . I have used it endlessly for years at least maybe 15 or more. But I ruined my sisters leather suite in the early days, when baby sitting. Cleaned of all the toddler handprints and yogurt spills. Thought I was doing a great job then realised the whole thing had changed colour and faded. No obvious dye came off on the cloth. Elbow grease is brilliant on all biological stains like blood and sweat, Yellow underarm marks on white. Just a spray putting into the machine and comes out white and bright better than vinegar. Spray on blood stains and leave a while, wash with cold water for biological stains . For really tough stains repeat. I have never used gloves or knew about ventilation. so will have to change that habit, but it has always been my go to cleaner for many many things . Spray on the grout on the kitchen floor leave an hour and then mop off. It will bring the grout back from being darkened to the original light grey cement colour that you see in the lower traffic areas of the room like corners. Been around in the pound shops for ever.

    3. Author Joanne A on July 5, 2021 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Anne!

  6. Author Michelle Davis on March 28, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Hi. I am in NZ and we do not have this product available here. Can you please tell me who the manufacturer or agent is? I want to try make contact to see if I can bring into NZ. Al of the screenshots are of the front of the bottle not the back. Thanks so much.

    1. Author Joanne A on April 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Michelle! The manufacturer is a company called 151 Products Ltd. Here's hoping you get your hands on some soon!

  7. Author Sheneil on March 30, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Don't use elbow grease if you're wanting to clean leather sofas! It's just took a layer off my sofa leaving the sofa all sticking and now patchy! Definitely won't reccom it for cleaning sofas or anything leather! 😂

    1. Author Joanne A on April 1, 2019 at 9:12 am

      Thanks for sharing, Sheneil!

  8. Author Anna May on April 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

    I bought it and will only use it on the greasy spots on tiles near cooker and on the pavement where our old car was leaking...good old fashioned scrubbing on everywhere else after reading the previous comments. Sounds like it is too strong for general daily cleaning

    1. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Yes, we're starting to think it might be a bit of a hazard! It is brilliant for especially stubborn stains though.

  9. Author Tracy Brown on April 19, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Is Elbow Grease tested on animals

    1. Author Joanne A on April 23, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Hi Tracy! I've looked everywhere I can online but can't find any information on this. I've contacted the manufacturer to try to find out, and I'll update the article once I have an answer.

  10. Author Tina on April 26, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Can i use this to clean the oven like inside the oven ?

    1. Author Joanne A on April 29, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Tina! You shouldn't have any problems cleaning inside the oven - just be sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water afterwards.

  11. Author Max on April 29, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Can it be used on glass and on baths?

    1. Author Joanne A on April 29, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Max! Elbow Grease can't be used on wood, painted surfaces, varnished surfaces, plastiglass, perspex or visors. Most other surfaces should be fine. I'd recommend doing a patch test first to be sure.

  12. Author Michele adams on May 9, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Hi, I used it on a microfibres sofa that had lots of stains, came up clean, also spilt some paint on my shoes was going to throw them away, sprayed them with elbow grease threw them in the washer came out like new, and it shifts makeup from my teenagers clothes before they would just get thrown away, tried lots of different stain removers for makeup But they all seem to leave a mark where the makeup had been. Been using elbow grease for a few years now as a household cleaner only realised a few months ago that it could be used on fabrics

    1. Author Joanne A on May 9, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Good stuff, Michele! It's brilliant with fabrics.

  13. Author Sue on June 2, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    It’s an excellent weed killer, I’ve recently heard this and thought I’d give it a go and it’s excellent, along with all the other things it does

    1. Author Joanne A on June 3, 2019 at 9:45 am

      That's a fab idea, Sue! Though we should be careful - cleaning products can be extremely dangerous to wildlife!

    2. Author Monica on February 7, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Yes I don't like when people spray dangerous chemicals on the weeds, because they are lazy enough to pull it out and then get excited how well it works. Unfortunately it affects not only the wildlife but our drinking water as well. It's easy to get a £1 bottle and spray it everywhere, but think about the consequences as well!

  14. Author Heather Miller on June 28, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Can I use on wool carpet to remove stains?

    1. Author Joanne A on July 1, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Heather! Elbow Grease is a fantastic stain remover. I'd take caution with carpet as it can't be rinsed easily. You might want to try it on a hidden area first to check if it removes or changes the pigmentation. Be sure to sponge it clean to remove any residue once you have used it.

  15. Author I.Coster on July 2, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Can it be used on Kitchen Hobs please

    1. Author Joanne A on July 2, 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Hi there! It should work well on kitchen hobs, but be sure to rinse the area clean after use.

  16. Author Catherine on August 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Can I use this in white trainers thay need bringing back to life

    1. Author Joanne A on August 5, 2019 at 10:15 am

      Hi Catherine! What kind of material are they? I have heard of people using it on trainers.

  17. Author Carl Purchase on August 4, 2019 at 7:23 am

    I have been using Elbow Grease for about a year now. Its fantastic spray to say the least. Pound Stretcher has it for 0.89p. I don't use it on the items stated in the description. It takes off Nicotine off all wooden furniture including fabric sofa etc. Its brilliant.

    1. Author Joanne A on August 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

      Thanks for sharing, Carl!

  18. Author Chris Judd on August 25, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Hi , been using it for year's from the kitchen to the garden , petrol mowers come up like new with a couple of applications then rinse with a pump up plant sprayer with hot water and a drop of washing up liquid in .Just rebuilt my Vauxhall z1.9dt diesel engine .Used the elbow grease to bring the whole engine and pistons up like new .I can literally watch the old oil and grime drip off whatever i use it on - Best cleaner ever invented .Found this article simply due to looking to see if anyone had used it to clean a diesel DPF filter before , going to get some and give it a go ....

    1. Author Joanne A on August 27, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Thanks for sharing, Chris!

  19. Author Sue on September 1, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Spent a fortune on goo remover off removing the floor adhesive under sticky tiles. Waste of money. Elbow grease is the best.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 2, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Thanks for sharing, Sue! It's surprisingly strong stuff!

  20. Author Linz on September 7, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Elbow grease is amazing. Cleans my pvc windows and doors a treat. They look like new. Removes curry, beetroot and wine stains from carpets (when rubbed with a damp cloth) and clothing when used prior to washing. I love it and so do all my friends who I have told to try it.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 9, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      Anything that removes a curry stain is good in our books!

  21. Author Ellie on September 27, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    It’s really not new at all by any stretch of the imagination. We used to sell this in the pound shop I worked at while I was at school. I left that job more than 14 years ago!!!

    1. Author Joanne A on September 30, 2019 at 9:41 am

      Wow, that is a long time! Thanks for letting us know, Ellie! It seems odd then that there isn't much information. It's definitely only grown in popularity in the last year or two.

  22. Author Jackalind on October 14, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Can I remove grease splatters off my emulsion wall before applying new paint?

    1. Author Joanne A on October 15, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Hi there! I think the best thing for this would be sugar soap, but elbow grease might work too.

  23. Author Birdy on December 31, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Also really old for cleaning the soot off fire glass!

    1. Author Joanne A on January 3, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      I can imagine it would be, Birdy!

  24. Author Paul on February 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Hi, Is it ok to use on the fabric roof headliners in cars?

    1. Author Joanne A on February 20, 2020 at 11:53 am

      Hi Paul! You could try it. My only concern would be that it's hard to rinse the product out afterwards.

  25. Author Allison Mileham on February 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Joanne, could I use it to clean a white vinyl ceiling in a caravan ? .

    1. Author Joanne A on February 26, 2020 at 11:24 am

      That sounds like a great use for it!

  26. Author Martin Richardson on February 28, 2020 at 5:52 am

    This is a fantastic cleaner. I've used it for many years for many different reasons. But be sensible with it.. at the end of the day it is meant to be a multi purpose DEGREASER. If you are trying it on a delicate surface, do a patch test in anew inconspicuous place first. DON'T rush in and spray it everywhere and then complain that it's ruined your particular item. This is the best item on the market. Definitely all you need for cleaning. I usually stock up and buy 4 or 5 at a time, although it's definitely more popular nowadays and can be found in more places. Poundland or other bargain stores are usually were to find it.

    1. Author Joanne A on February 28, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Very true, Martin! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  27. Author Michele Rutherford on April 26, 2020 at 4:30 am

    We have just started using Elbow Grease washing liquid. It comes in a large bottle at a very reasonable price.

    1. Author Joanne A on May 1, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      I've tried this - it's very cheap!

  28. Author patricia kelly on October 17, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    I use all the elbow grease products because the do work very well. I would say that they are the best cleaning products i have used to date. HOWEVER not looking for a problem I have found I have a concern. The scouring blocks crumble ,what I really mean the shrink or disappear . Where do those little pits of plastic disappear to . Into the water system into the rivers and seas. Has anybody found a way of stopping this happening , or has anybody found the same problem.If I had a worn out product at the end , I would not be concerned , but these tiny fragments of plastic clogging up the ecosystem is a frightening thought.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      That is frightening! Thanks for sharing.

  29. Author Susan Ganiebny on March 5, 2021 at 10:14 am

    I always dilute it before I use it! I use 1/3 concentrate in a trigger spray bottle and fill it with water. I have been using it for years and never had a problem, I even use it in the mop bucket or spray it on the floor and use a pad. I've not tried it on mugs actually but may try it.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 3:23 pm

      I didn't think about diluting it!


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