General degreasers attack grease, oil, tar, wax, resin, paste and inks, among other stains and soils. Some also deodorize and disinfect. Degreasers can be used in a number of common commercial cleaning applications, particularly in food service environments where oil and grease are prevalent.

Traditionally, solvents were administered to surfaces through a solution, applied with mops, or spray bottles and brush or cloth. Now, the degreasers are also available in pre-saturated disposable wipes, either packaged individually or in roll form, packaged in a canister. The canister option is more economical, but wipes have the convenience of being small and pocket-portable, which lends itself to spot cleaning as needed.