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There are a number of techniques which can be used to get grease out of clothing, as long as the clothing is washable and not made from delicate fibers. If the fabric must be dry cleaned, your dry cleaner may be able to get the grease stains out; explain the situation when you bring the clothing in and ask for suggestions. Delicate fibers can sometimes be treated for grease, although success is not guaranteed. In all cases, spot-test a degreasing solution on an area of the garment which will not be seen to check for colorfastness, as some cleaners can bleach or stain clothing.
One of the most effective ways to get grease out of clothing is to use a degreaser which has been specifically designed for this purpose. The laundry section of your market may carry some degreasers, most of which will need to be left on overnight to pre-treat the area before the clothing is washed. You can also check the auto parts aisle, as several companies make industrial degreasers for mechanics and other people who work with a lot of oil and grease, and many of these products are suitable for clothing. If you use an auto degreaser to get grease out of clothing, make sure to spot test it first!
You can also use dish detergent to get grease out of clothing. Look for a brand which is designed to cut through grease, like Dawn. Rub the detergent lightly into the grease stain to pretreat it, or simply run the clothing through the laundry with a few squirts of the dish detergent. Many massage therapists use dish detergents on their sheets to get rid of oil stains, as do restaurant workers and mechanics.
There are also a few more obscure tricks, which this wiseGEEK author has not personally tested. Baby powder is supposed to be effective if left on overnight, as are products like Goo-Gone®, Goof Off®, and Lestoil®. Some people swear by Cheese Whiz®, while others claim that a can of Coca Cola® or Pepsi® in the wash can remove grease stains. Shampoo has also been known to get grease out of clothing, especially shampoos designed for oily hair.
In all cases, you should wash greasy clothing separately from other clothing to avoid spreading the stain. This is also important when you have used something to pretreat the laundry, as the pretreatment may smell odd; many people wash greasy clothing once with the pretreatment and again on a regular cycle to get rid of the smell. You should also check the clothing to see if the grease stain has been removed before running it through the dryer, as the dryer can set the stain, making it impossible to remove.
Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a InfoBloom researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.
Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a InfoBloom researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.
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As a child, my mother used Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove automotive grease from the many pairs of pants I tried to ruin. I still use this strategy today if I get a rogue grease spot on something that isn’t work clothes.
Pretreating with Murphy’s then a quick hand scrub, along with a day long soak salvaged many clothing items in my lifetime. The most impressive by far was a large smear of roofing tar on a pair of good jeans — not a trace after the Murphy’s treatment. amypollick December 20, 2012
My go-to grease stain remover is the original blue Dawn dishwashing detergent. I can’t believe some of the stuff I’ve gotten out of fabric with it.
I had a small cup of oil-based dressing for fruit salad (mixed with red wine vinegar and sugar, of all things) spill on some ivory-colored fabric. It was really horrible. I saturated the fabric with Dawn. One washing got it nearly out (red color and all), and a second saturation and washing and you can’t tell anything ever happened to it. Amazing.
Most people probably know this, but I’ll add it anyway: *never* put anything stained in the dryer. The heat will set the stain in permanently. Hang the item up to dry to see if the stain came out. If so, you’re good. If not, do a second round with it, but don’t put it in the dryer!
This is, of course, for those items that are machine washable. If it’s a dry clean only item, take it in and show the spot to them so they can treat it with their solutions. greasygirl June 1, 2012
It possible to get grease out of your clothes girls! Just apply liquid detergent on them.That’s it. And wash it with hard spot remover products.
For fresh grease stains, it really helps to put some cornstarch or baby powder on them to soak up any extra oil first.
After it dries, carefully wipe it off, then pretreat and launder as usual. closerfan12 July 24, 2010
My go-to grease removal method has always been to work some face cleanser — one for oily skin, like Neutrogena or something — into the stain with a toothbrush, then to let it sit for a few minutes, then wash it out.
I found this method out randomly one day in college trying to remove a spot in a hurry, and it worked so well I’ve used it ever since! musicshaman July 24, 2010
My ex used to swear that the best way of removing grease stains from clothes was spraying them with WD-40.
Apparently what you’re supposed to do is spray the spot with a bunch of WD-40, then use Shout or another stain remover on top of that.
Afterwards you just wash and dry like normal, then repeat it a few times until the stain is completely gone.
Sounded weird to me, but she used to swear by it. googie98 July 22, 2010
I tend to get grease stains in my shirts from cooking quite often. I was watching Food Network one day and they had a special on spot removal from foods.
For grease stains, take a paper towel and blot the area to remove the bulk of the grease. Be sure to blot both sides of the fabric. Take a bar of Ivory soap and wet it slightly. Rub it across the stained area and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then, soak the garment in warm water for about 30 minutes. After it is done soaking, wash it as usual.
There’s not much worse than having to throw out a beloved piece of clothing due to a stain, and few substances are more difficult to get out than grease. However, not everything is lost! With the right ingredients, you can learn how to get old grease stains out of clothes with our helpful tips.
Commercial stain remover products and clothes degreasers are very useful, but they are not the cheapest. Additionally, sometimes you need to get stains out now and don’t have time to rush out to the store.
Luckily, many low-cost household ingredients are just as useful for removing grease stains. Our solutions contain natural ingredients that you probably already have at home.
- Getting Set-in Grease Stains Out of Clothes
- How to Remove Old Grease Stains from Clothes
- Household Clothes Degreasers
- How to Get Old Grease Out of Clothes after Washing and Drying
- Use WD-40 and Baking Soda
Getting Set-in Grease Stains Out of Clothes
If you want to removegreasy stains from your favorite shirts, your first instinct might be to head to the dry cleaner. However, it is possible to get rid of grease spots and stubborn stains in your own home.
While these stain removal tips work best if the stain is fresh, they can also work if it is older or if you let your items air dry in your laundry room the first time after washing. If you want to learn more of our laundering tips, then check out our guide on thebest way to wash whites.
How to Remove Old Grease Stains from Clothes
If you have time to run out to the store, you can use a dry cleaning solvent to remove stains. This commercial cleaning product is also the best way to clean carpet stains by hand. Otherwise, use the following methods of how to remove old grease stains from clothes using household items.
These methods work no matter what kind of grease stain you have. If it’s an old stain, then you probably don’t even remember what caused it; whether it’s cooking oil, salad dressing, or olive oil. These methods also work for more obvious messes, like lipstick stains or red wine spills.
Household Clothes Degreasers
Before you throw your clothes in the washing machine with some liquid laundry detergent and fabric softener, the first thing to do to remove oil stains is to pull out the grease. If the stain is fresh, the cleaning process is much easier, and you can dab the stain with a paper towel.
For getting oil out of clothes, pre-treat with liquid dish soap. Rub a small amount into the stain with your fingers or a soft-bristled toothbrush and then wash as usual.
If the stain is old, then you need a little extra help from a pre-treatment solution. If the degreaser is powder, sprinkle it on the stain and leave it for ten minutes before dusting it off and putting it in the washing machine with the hottest water. You can also turn the powder into a paste and scrub it on the stain first.
For liquid ingredients, apply directly to the stain and let it sit before rubbing it off with a cloth and warm water before washing. For smaller or fresher stains, put a cup of either liquid or powder ingredients straight into the washing machine with the stained clothes.
Household Clothes Degreasers
- Baking soda
- Powdered dishwashing detergent
- Talcum powder
- Liquid dish detergent
- Hydrogen peroxide
Many of these ingredients also work to remove ink stains from clothes and get other stains out, as well. Baking soda and lemons are quite effective to get smell out of clothes that grease sometimes leaves behind, too.
How to Get Old Grease Out of Clothes after Washing and Drying
If you didn’t notice the oil stains until after you washed and dried your clothing, then you’re going to need a heavy duty approach to get grease stain out of fabric. Once you’ve already put your greasy stains through a wash cycle with hot water and heat, the mark will be set deeply in the material.
This means you have to revive the oil in your t-shirt before following the washing instructions we’ve previously given for how to get old grease out of clothes.
Use WD-40 and Baking Soda
If might come as a surprise, but WD-40 is excellent for removing grease stains. To ensure you don’t create new stains, place a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the shirt, underneath the stains. Squirt the area with WD-40.
Sprinkle a pile of baking soda on top of the WD-40 and spread it into the stain using an old toothbrush. Continue scrubbing until the baking soda starts forming clumps. Wipe away the excess baking soda. Add more baking soda and rub it again. Continue doing this until no clumps form.
Next, pre-treat the stain. We recommend using Dawn dish soap and using a toothbrush again to scrub into the stain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Wash with a commercial or homemade HE laundry detergent that is in powder or liquid form, whether that means using hot, warm, or cold water. Either air dry or use the dryer on the setting that works best for the fabric.
There are many ingredients you can find outside of the laundry room that you can use to get rid of tough grease stains. Getting rid of oil stains is simply a matter of finding the right degreasing materials and applying a little elbow grease.
We hope you found these DIY stain removal instructions helpful! If you were able to learn how to get old grease stains out of clothes, then share this article about removing grease from clothing online with your friends and family.
Follow these step-by-step treatments to help you tackle grease stains based on fabric type.
The faster you treat a grease stain the easier it is to get out. But don’t worry–there are methods to remove old grease stains from clothes, even after they dry. Treating greasy food spills, splatters of cooking grease, ointment smears and even things like bike grease is very similar to treating oil stains.
Always check your clothing’s care tag before treating specialty fabrics like wool and delicates, which may require dry cleaning.
Help prevent the spread of a fresh grease stain
Place a piece of cardboard or an old towel in between the stain and the other side of the clothing, to help prevent grease from transferring or spreading to a clean section of fabric while you treat it.
HOW TO GET GREASE STAINS OUT OF COTTON AND SYNTHETIC FABRIC
- Scrape off excess grease with a butter knife, then blot gently with a clean, white paper towel or cloth to remove as much grease as possible. Using paper towels with printed patterns can cause a transfer of color onto your clothing.
Gently rub liquid dish soap (for handwashing), stain pretreatment or liquid enzyme detergent into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes. If using liquid dish soap for handwashing, be sure to fully remove the soap by rinsing thoroughly before placing the item in the washer.
Rinse or machine wash in the warmest water recommended on the care tag.
HOW TO REMOVE GREASE STAINS FROM WOOL, KNITS & OTHER DELICATES
- Scrape off excess grease with a knife if necessary, then blot gently with a clean, white paper towel or cloth to remove as much as possible.
Mix a mild detergent in the warmest water recommended on the care tag. You can also use liquid dish soap (for handwashing), stain pretreatment or liquid enzyme detergent.
Gently rub your cleaning solution into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes. If using liquid dish soap for handwashing, be sure to fully remove the soap by rinsing thoroughly before placing the item in the washer.
Rinse or machine wash with cold water or dry clean, depending on the care tag instructions.
Oil stains are tough, but we’ve got the solutions.
Nothing ruins the singular joy of a pizza topped with delicious toppings like having a bite slip down to your shirt or pants. Greasy, oily stains are the worst! Not only is oil attracted to synthetic fibers like polyester, but oil stains turn darker and get more noticeable over time. So the last thing you want to do when faced with an oil stain is make a serious laundry mistake. Luckily, if you need to know how to get oil stains out of clothes, you’re in the right place. We went to the laundry experts at Maytag to find out how to remove oil stains, even old oil stains, from your clothes.
How to Get New Oil Stains Out of Clothes
According to Rebeccah Buurstra, Maytag Brand Manager, the trick to getting oil out of clothes is acting as soon as possible. Here’s what she says to do:
- Before you start, check your clothing’s care label for any specific requirements. Some textiles, like silk or cashmere, may require special care.
- Scrape off the excess grease with a butter knife, then blot gently with a clean, white paper towel or cloth to remove as much grease as possible. Note: Buurstra says plain paper towels are best. Using paper towels with printed patterns can cause a transfer of color onto your clothing.
- Gently rub liquid dish soap into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes. Be sure to fully rinse away the residue.
- Machine wash with a concentrated laundry soap like Swash in the warmest water recommended on your clothing’s care tag.
- Line dry. Buurstra says you should never machine dry garments with grease or oil stains since the remaining particles could start a fire in your dryer if they get too hot. She also says that if any of the stain remains, the heat from the dryer will set it into the fabric.
- Repeat if necessary.
How to Get Old Oil Stains Out of Clothes
Oil stains are easier to get out of clothes if you address them as soon as possible but sometimes, that isn’t possible. “Don’t worry–there are methods to remove old grease stains from clothes, even after they dry,” Buurstra says. Here’s what she suggests:
- Scrape and blot liquid dish soap into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Soak in warm or hot water for at least 30 minutes. Dissolve some store-bought stain remover or laundry detergent into the water.
- Place in the washing machine with laundry detergent in the warmest water recommended on your care tag.
- Line dry. As mentioned above, never put an item with oil stains in your dryer.
How to Remove Set-In Oil Stains You’ve Already Washed
So what if you did all of the above and you’re still looking at an oil stain? Buurstra says there’s still hope!
Oil and grease contribute to the most stubborn stains known to mankind, and they look absolutely hideous. No matter how expensive or enzyme enriched your laundry detergent is, the marks do not completely disappear after several washes. While oil and grease are not quite noticeable on dark colored attire, they sure can render white and other light colored garments unusable. A clean and crisp appearance at work or school is compulsory for many of us. What would be more embarrassing than someone pointing out the unsightly yellowish blotch on your blouse? Saying that you consumed fried snacks the other day and failed to eat in a civil manner is not a dignified criminal defense indeed.
While grease and oil are rather difficult to get rid of once they’ve tarnished your clothes, nothing is impossible. Making a trip to the dry cleaners is a bit costly but convenient solution; the money is worth it if the outfit in question is a dear and lavish one. On the contrary, your everyday clothes can be taken care of by applying one or more of the following home remedies. The key to effectively removing oil and grease stains is to attend to them immediately; allowing them to dry up adds to their rigidity.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one those household ingredients that never cease to amaze us with their potential. It is a popular cleaning agent that lacks toxicity present in commercial chemical cleaners. Dampen the stained area on your garment with water and generously cover it up with the white powder; let it sit for a day or overnight. The alkalinity of baking soda allows it to dissolve grease and oil, thereby erasing the stain,
2. Corn Starch
If you don’t have baking soda lying around, corn starch is a another promising substitute to fend off greasy spots. The granular texture of the starch gives it abrasive properties and it is highly absorbent. Scrub the affected area with cornstarch, let it stand for about an hour, and witness the miracle.
3. Dishwashing Soap
Dishwashing soap is designed to dispel oil and grease from food on utensils, thus using it on cloth for the same purpose makes sense. Allow the stained part to soak in the soapy solution for 30 minutes, rub, and rinse.
Most of us oil our hair once in a while, and shampoo is certainly effective to wash it out afterwards. Shampoo is meant to dispel natural and artificial oils from the scalp and hair, which is why it can do the same for fabric.
5. Lemon or Vinegar
The acidity of lemon and vinegar is useful for digesting fatty compounds. Soak your stained clothes in diluted vinegar or lemon juice for several hours before loading them in the washing machine.
When any of the above fails, remember your professional dry cleaner has commercial-grade chemicals and advanced tools to remove those pesky oil stains without harming your delicate garments.
John Adams is a lifestyle blogger who creates content focused on food and fashion. He believes that wholesome cuisines and stylish dressing are the secrets to a happy life. He cannot stress enough that looking good translates to feeling good. John is rather adventurous for his love for food, always eager to try exotic dishes in strange places and then recreate them (with a twist) at home.
You could be at a dinner table and ‘Oops!’ – The Oil just felt over you. You might have this urge to panic loudly and leave the place with sheer fear that the stain will never leave your clothing. Fear not! We are here to assure you that not only can you remove the oil stains and grease stains from clothes but also you can do so very easily.
The Basics of How to remove oil stains from clothes
Some of the important things you must know whether you have an oil stain in your cloth or not are:
- The stain should be removed or at least taken measures against as soon as possible. The more time passes, the harder it will get to remove it.
- The detergent and/or soap must be high-quality. Otherwise, you will just end up damaging your clothes more and more.
- The best way to approach a cloth is gentle. Even more accurate is the approach where you first read about the safety measures or precautions or manuals of the cloth manufacturer.
- The use of a machine dryer will only increase the fear of the stain never ever leaving your cloth. The hot air of the dryer will act as the catalyst, in this case, so stay away from using those.
- The very first thing to do is to make the environment ready for the stain to go away. So, just try to loosen up the stain from the cloth with the help of a dish soap spot and soak up the excess oil by pressing both sides of the stain.
Once you have completed the basics, it is time for the actual fight.
How to Remove Oil Stains or Grease Stains using the best tools
Source and Full Credits: Glamrs YouTube Channel
The common clothes we use every day are called non-delicate clothing as their fibers are not high costly or delicate. In order to remove the Oil stains from such clothing, we have a number of great tools:
- Detergents are simply the best tool you can afford to remove a grease stain. Use any of the well-known laundry detergents and get your job done. The procedure is pretty simple – Use the detergent on the clothes, soak it for half an hour (30 minutes) straight, treat it under hot water, and use the washing machine accordingly.
- Dishwashing soaps or liquids are the second-best in terms of quality and efficiency. You can use hot water to make the stain weaker and rub the place soaked in soap with a brush gently.
- Hot water remains the last resort available. After doing all of those above, rinse the cloth with hot water.
- Wash the cloth using your Washing Machine as per the instructions.
Delicate fabrics are the main fibers in some of ours clothing. In such cases, one should use healthy measures like high-quality detergents, talcum/baby powder, cornstarch, and also to keep the cloth in a warm place for as long as possible.
Last but not the least, remember to soak the cloth using one of the absorbent powders mentioned before taking them to the dry cleaner .
Our Daily Garments deserve a bit more care from us than we deliver. Always be careful about your own clothing and treat them according to the care label before damaging their structure in any way.
Hope this step-by-step guide of removing oil stains from clothes helped you in doing that.
You may have a superb dinner with your special one, but your mood would not remain that breezy if you find any oil stain on your favorite dress. It’s not less than a nightmare, especially if you don’t know how to get rid of these oil stains. Well ladies! Don’t panic. You can easily remove oily or greasy stains from clothes, using ingredients available at your home.
Best homemade oil and grease stain remover
We mentioned many homemade stain removers, but here we tell you the simplest way to make stain remover at home. This DIY stain remover spray works amazing and surprisingly removes oil or grease stain. It works on so many things, like carpets, sofa, clothes and even removes stain from chairs. It easily removes stains of blood, vine, grease and oil. You can use this stain remover without any worries; it will never destroy the colour of clothes. This stain remover works very quickly on stains and also saves your money. Use this homemade stain remover, that we suggest it will never disappoint you.
How to make it?
- Add one cup of hydrogen peroxide and ½ cup of the dish Liquid into the clean spray bottle. The dish Liquid is the best stain remover for grease stain; it is up to you to use natural dish liquid or not.
- Before using this spray every time, mix it well. It is effortless and best stain remover spray.
- Use the spray on the stain and rub with your fingers properly.
- After some time, you can see that the stain removes instantly; it gives you unbelievable results.
Wash your clothes regularly without any doubt and quickly remove stains
Here are some home remedies for removing oil and grease stains from fabric.
Combine equal quantity of water and white vinegar. Damp a cloth in this solution. Wipe with this cloth, the oil or grease-stained cloth. It will remove the stains.
2. Talcum Powder/Baby Powder
Spread some talcum powder or baby powder on the stained part of the cloth. Leave it for 4-5 hours, so that it can absorb the grease or oil. Remove the stain with the help of a vacuum cleaner.
Mix salt and rubbing alcohol in 1:4 ratio. Rub it hard on the oil or grease stains. The stains will disappear quickly.
Take a soft cloth. Sprinkle some cornstarch on it. Rub it on the oil or grease stain, till it vanishes.
Rub chalk on the grease or oil spots of the cloth. Allow it to absorb the greasy or oily marks. Now, brush off the chalk. Rub the blots heavily with chalk, if they still remain after brushing. Finally, rinse the cloth.
6. Baking Soda
Wet the stained portion of the cloth. Sprinkle baking soda on the stains. After that, rub off with a damp towel or sponge.
7. Hair Spray
Sprinkle some hair spray, directly on the oil or grease stains. Then, rinse and air dry the cloth. It will instantly remove the marks, retaining the natural shine of the fabric.
8. Aloe Vera Gel
Soak the stained fabric in water for some time. Rub aloe vera gel on the oil or grease marks. Rinse the fabric, and dry it in the air. This will remove the stains.
Pour a little quantity of coke on the stains. Leave it for 1-2hours so that it gets soaked. Wash the cloth with warm water. This home remedy will completely remove the stains, without leaving any sign of coke.
Take a small amount of your usual shampoo. Rub on the stains. Rinse as directed.
11. Dishwashing Detergent
Rub dishwashing detergent on the stains. Let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse as usual.
Toothpaste easily removes oil and grease stains from the cotton fabrics. Apply toothpaste on the brush and gently rub it on the blots. Scrub the cloth, if necessary. Wash with water.
Whereas fried food may pose a significant risk to your health, cooking and vegetable oils combined with their greasy residues will pose a substantial hazard to your clothes.
Although the stains may not look like something serious since they aren’t bright, they tend to weaken the fabric making your clothes easy to tear. The key strategy when you have an oil spill accident on your clothes is to act as quickly as possible—ideally, as soon as the stain happens. Once it dries or sets, that annoying oil stain will be a lot harder to get out.
Grease, on the other hand, usually darkens the fabric in the specific areas that it stains. Both oils and grease stains can easily happen, and you don’t need to panic if your cloth is stained since there are several ways of getting rid of the stains. So if you’re hoping to get an oily stain out of your clothes—whether fresh or set-in— here you have everything you need to know, according to laundry experts. This article provides a step-by-step guide of how to remove grease or oil stains in clothes.
You will require the following things to clean the grease or oil stain from your cloth:
- Dish detergent
- Bar soap/Shampoo
Before we start, it’s important to say that It’s not a good idea to rinse your garment with water before you work on the stain. It’s much easier to work on a dry fabric because oil and water don’t mix. So when you wet the fabric, what happens is the water coats all the fabric around the oil so you don’t have anywhere to move the oil away.
Follow the following steps to clean the stains
STEP 1 : START BY COVERING THE ENTIRE OIL/GREASE SPOT WITH LIQUID DETERGENT
At this point, you may require the grease-fighting detergents but don’t worry if you can’t find them in your local store since the other detergents will also work fine. You can also use shampoo to cover the spot instead of detergent since shampoo is also designed for body oils so it should still work fine.
Alternatively, you can also use strong bar soap. Basically, any hand or body soap should work fine but make sure that the soap doesn’t have any additives that may hinder your cleaning. Try to work with bar soaps labeled laundry soap for better results.
STEP 2: DAMPEN THE STAIN WITH WATER/AMMONIA
Once you have covered the grease spot with detergent or shampoo, dampen with water. You can substitute water with ammonia if you want that extra grease removal power. Rub the bar soap onto the stain spot until sufficient soap has transferred to foam up easily.
You can grate the bar soap and carefully apply the resulting pieces /powder onto the stain spot after wetting. The grating is an incredible way you can use to accomplish this step if you want to avoid the intense rubbing.
If you are using a colored detergent, make sure that you dilute it thoroughly to avoid staining the cloth further.
A TIP FOR YOU
Consider using an old toothbrush for stubborn oil/ grease stains. The old toothbrush will help you weaken the stain better than you would do with your bare hands. You can also use old nail brushes as well as the typical small brushes that are always available for cleaning.
STEP 3: WORK SUFFICIENT FOAM FROM THE SOAP/DETERGENT/SHAMPOO INTO THE STAIN
Make sure that you see the foam dissolve. Typical laundry soaps and dish detergents are excellent at fighting stains since they contain special agents that fight the grease or oil. These oil/grease fighting agents are also found in shampoo.
STEP 4: RINSE THE STAIN SPOT WITH WATER FIRST THEN FOLLOW WITH A VINEGAR RINSE
Although vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that is usually used in different applications, it isn’t advisable to use it alongside soaps or detergents since it tends to reduce their alkalinity making them less effective. You can start by mixing one part vinegar with at least two parts water and then soak the stained cloth in the mixture of water and vinegar. Be sure to rinse out the vinegar thoroughly.
A mechanic’s job is a dirty one that includes working with tools and auto parts coated with gunk and grime.
Here are some shopworthy remedies for getting stubborn oil and grease stains out of automotive workwear. (Some may surprise you. Some may already be in your kitchen.)
These tips comes from real people who wash real mechanics’ shirts, pants, and coveralls. As you probably know from experience, what works for one person may or may not work for you. But these are worth a try. Effectiveness may depend on variables such as your water, your washer, and (of course) your stains.
Liquid dishwashing detergent
Dishwashing soap is formulated to cut through oil and grease found on dishes, pots and pans, so why not use it on your greasy and oily clothes? While it’s likely that most any grease-fighting dish detergent will work, the one most often recommended–especially for automotive workwear–is regular Dawn® liquid dish soap. Use it to pre-treat spots or soak entire garments. Treat, let sit for 5 to 15 minutes, then wash in hot water. (Be sure to check garment labels to see if washing in hot water is OK. Most Dickies garments can.)
This tip comes from a mechanic who does his own laundry. Put oily, greasy work clothes in a tub or bucket, add 2 to 4 liters of Coca-Cola®, fill with water until clothes are covered, let soak overnight. Wash the next morning with regular laundry soap.
A variation of this is to pour a can of Coke into the washer with your regular detergent and water. Then run the load through a normal wash cycle. People who use this technique say it even helps deodorize smelly clothes.
More Stain Removal Tips
Use Fels-Naptha® heavy duty laundry bar soap to treat oil and grease stains before washing. It’s cheap and has a good track record for getting out grease. Wet the stain, rub the wet bar of soap over it, then scrub with an old toothbrush. (As a side note, Fels-Naptha also removes poison ivy resin from clothing.)
Lestoil or Pine-Sol
Dab a grease stain with Lestoil®or Pine-Sol®, then launder as usual, remembering to pull the garment out of the wash to air dry before transferring the rest of the load to the dryer.
Cornstarch, another kitchen staple, removes stains–especially older set-in stains. Lay the garment flat, pile cornstarch on top of the stain, then leave it for an hour. Brush off the cornstarch and remove any residue with a damp rag. If there’s still a trace of the stain, treat with a grease-cutting liquid dish soap such as Dawn® or Palmolive®.
One last bit of advice from Tom and Ray, popular Car Talk radio show hosts. Be prepared for the occasional defeat. You won’t get out every stain, but your odds for success are best when you start degreasing as soon as possible. The longer a grease stain remains on your clothes,the harder it is to remove.
Look for Dickies mechanic pants and all other mechanic clothes with built-in stain release that won’t wash out.