You’re out on your favorite Sunday ride with your favorite set of clothes. Suddenly, your chain comes off, and you start repairing your bike. You have fixed your bike. But as nothing comes for free, you’ve ended up with a grease-stained t-shirt. It is not the first time. So, let’s learn how to get bike grease out of clothes.
It has happened earlier, too, and you know it will be a hard time to take those memories off. You are cursing yourself for ruining your favorite t-shirt. Take a moment to realize and feel this situation. I know you have been there. We all have been there. How about I help you to remove the dirty grease stain from your clothes?
There are several ways to remove stains from clothes. From silk to synthetic, you can use different methods. Instead of entirely focusing on stain removers, I have tried to use household ingredients.
So, you can save money and easily remove the stain. But before that, let’s learn more about why grease sticks to clothes. Then we will discover how to get grease out of your clothes.
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- Why Do Grease Stains Stick to Clothes?
- Getting Grease Out of Clothes with Chemicals
- Removing Grease Stains with Natural Products
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Grease Stains Stick to Clothes?
Grease is mainly made from soap emulsified with vegetable or mineral oil. This semi-solid lubricant has a high viscosity. When applied to a solid surface, grease forms a layer that protects the solid from water. It has a higher coefficient of friction than most solids.
Leaving the chemistry behind, grease has water repellent properties. So if you get your clothes dirty, water alone is not going to fix it. In fact, it would take something more than water to remove those stains. They won’t even be removed by average washing cycles. You need pre-treatment.
I’ve tried several methods of removing bike grease from clothing and found some to be effective. Let’s learn more about them.
Getting Grease Out of Clothes with Chemicals
There are different types of fabrics. Depending on the fabric of your clothing, you may want to consider some of the methods described here. There are also alternative methods. But first and foremost, we ask that you stick to the basics. That way, you won’t damage your fabric. You can check the care label on your garment for more information.
Another critical point is to clean as soon as possible. You can even use the degreaser right away and get your fresh T-shirt back. But as time goes on, you won’t have too many options.
To be on the safe side, if you have a similar piece of extra fabric, try removing the stain from it first. That way, you will know which method works better on your fabric. Finally, wear protective rubber gloves if you have sensitive skin.
This method of bike grease stain removal is mainly for synthetic fabrics. It can clean both dry and fresh grease. The process is as follows:
- Sprinkle and rub in laundry detergent: Laundry detergents, especially those designed to deal with grease like Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy 10X Duty, is a great form of degreaser. You can sprinkle it on your grease stains. Then, slowly rub the detergent with a brush or squeegee.
- Wash with cold water: Place the garment under the faucet and turn on the water. Then run cold water through the cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Regular Wash: Use your regular laundry detergent to wash the wipe. You can follow the instructions on the fabric care label. Finally, let the garment air dry.
A great way to clean bike chain grease on clothes is to use dishwashing liquid. It is mainly applicable to synthetic and cotton clothing. The method is as follows:
- Sprinkle talcum or cornmeal: If you have a dried grease stain, you can sprinkle a little cornfmeal or talcum on the stain and wait for five minutes. Talcum and cornmeal will absorb some of the grease, which can then be brushed off.
- Apply dishwashing liquid: Can you tell us another place where you see a lot of grease? That’s cookware and dishes. Dishwashing liquid has the ability to remove grease and oil from dishes. It can also remove grease from clothing. A tiny drop should do the trick. If you think that’s too sticky, mix dishwashing liquid with baking soda. You can use an old toothbrush to scrub this mixture into the stain.
- Rinse with water: Wait two minutes after applying the dishwashing liquid. Then run it under cold running water for about five minutes. Hold the stained area upside down. Running water will wash out the grease.
- Regular Wash: Then wash your garment in the washing machine and air dry. Do not use an iron if there is still a stain. It will only make the stain more permanent.
If the stain doesn’t come out, try the same method several times. Read the care label for detailed instructions. If necessary, consult a professional fabric cleaner.
Soap or Shampoo
If you have a fresh grease stain on your clothes, you can use this method. This cleaning hack is very useful and quick. You can clean your clothes with bar soap or shampoo by following these steps.
- Cover the stain with soap or shampoo: Pour shampoo or rub soap onto the stained area. You can use body soap, but it is better to use laundry soap for stubborn grease stains. Then soak the cloth in water or ammonia. Rub it with the soap until you see foam. You can also grate the soap and sprinkle the powder onto the liquid solution. Laundry bars are very effective on fresh grease stains.
- Rinse the cloth: Now, you need to make a mixture of vinegar and water in a 1:2 ratio. Vinegar is an aqueous solution of acetic acid. This weak acid reacts with the soap and removes its alkalinity. So now you are going to dip the stained part of the cloth in this mixture. This will remove the soap along with the stain.
- Wash the cloth: Finally, wash the cloth with laundry detergent to remove any remaining stains. Let it air dry. Avoid mechanical dryers as they will leave a permanent mark on your fabrics.
Hot Water and Stain Remover
If you regularly get bicycle chain lube on your fabric, you may want to keep a stain remover handy. These are special stain removers that can remove stains from almost any type of fabric. The way it works is also simple and effective:
Warning – hot water can damage some types of clothing and hurt you if you are not careful.
- Spray the stain remover: After unpacking, spray the stain remover onto the stained area. Then use a toothbrush to remove the stain. Keep the cloth while you prepare for the next step.
- Boil and pour hot water: Heat water to boiling point. Then place your cloth in a container or sink. Pour the boiling water from a height. As it falls, it will convert its energy into kinetic energy. This kinetic energy will force the fat. The force will be greater if you make the drop point higher. So it is better to pour water from the chest or hip level. Take extra precautions when pouring hot water. You don’t want to end up with burnt skin.
- Repeat: Now take the cloth and turn it inside out. Then pour hot water similar to step 2. Continue several times.
- Wash and dry the cloth: Follow the instructions on the care label and wash the wipe. You can use your regular laundry detergent. Finally, let it dry in the natural air.
Removing Grease Stains with Natural Products
I have met many people who avoid using chemicals on their clothes. Especially some of you may not want to harm the environment.
In such cases, you can use natural products. These are some examples of how you can use organic products to remove oil stains:
Vinegar and Lemon
Vinegar and lemon both have a weak acidic nature. When mixed, they use their acidic nature to remove grease. All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
- Mix vinegar and lemon together in a 1:1 ratio (or get cleaning vinegar with orange or lemon)
- Then rub the mixture onto the grease stain.
- Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Then wash it off with water.
- You can also use grease removal powder in equal parts to increase its power.
Vegetable Oil and Soap
Almost every household has these common items – mild or bar soaps and vegetable oils. You can use them to clean grease stains. The process is as follows
- Mix the soap and oil together. You can try caster soaps or mild soaps that are made from organic vegetable oils. You can also use coconut oil.
- Then rub the mixture onto the grease stain with a soft brush.
- Wash the stained area with warm water.
- You can also add a few drops of lemon, lavender, or orange for a refreshing essence.
- Finally, clean the cloth according to the care label and air dry.
Before you read this part, let me warn you that borax is a corrosive natural compound. It is toxic and can be fatal if ingested. So make sure you don’t have children around while you’re working. Now, let’s discuss the process.
- Mix borax with lemon juice to make a paste.
- Apply this paste over the stain.
- Allow the paste to work for a few minutes.
- Then clean it with water. Borax has a more corrosive reaction than baking soda.
- Finally, clean your entire garment and allow it to dry.
Baking Soda Method #1
Neither of the above methods will work on wool or silk. Baking soda works well for these fabrics. The baking soda method can be used on both dry and fresh, delicate garments.
Baking soda is mainly sodium bicarbonate, which is a natural compound. Unlike borax, it is non-toxic. You can find baking soda in any regular supermarket. The process is very simple:
- Mix oil-based soap with baking soda in a 1:1 ratio.
- Rub this onto the grease stain.
- Let it sit.
- Then wash the garment as usual.
Baking Soda Method #2
The second method is as follows:
- Sprinkle with baking soda: Take a small amount of baking soda and sprinkle it on the grease stain. It will draw out the grease without damaging your fabric.
- Store overnight: Leave the cloth in a safe, dry place overnight. In the morning, you will find that much of the grease has been absorbed by the baking soda.
- Wash the cloth: Now clean your cloth according to the care label. If it is a delicate fabric, hand wash it with detergent. If necessary, contact a professional dry cleaner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use baby powder to remove bike grease from your clothes?
I have not used the baby powder method so I can not comment if it is an effective method to deal with bicycle grease.
Bicycle grease is one of the hardest things to deal with. When it gets on your clothes, you really need to act fast. The quicker you act, the quicker you get the stain out. Dry stains can even damage your fabric forever. The best choice would be to look for suitable materials from the above list near your hands and clean your fabric.
But you also need to choose a suitable method that supports your fabric. So, read the care label carefully. Dishwashing detergents are suitable for synthetic fabrics. Wool and silk need more care. Baking soda and detergents are more suitable for such a process.
You can use natural organic methods for almost all types of fabrics. Now, I would suggest you contact professionals if you are confused. Once you ruin your fabric, there’s no going back. Take proper precautions and make the best decision to save your fabric.