If you do your own maintenance or oil changes on your car, you will end up with grease or oil stains on your clothes at some point. If left untreated, these grease stains will quickly ruin your clothes. Learning how to get car grease out of clothes will enable you to salvage your clothes rather than throwing them away.
One secret on how to remove car grease from clothes is to treat them as soon as you notice the oil. The sooner you treat the grease stains, the better, as it gives the stain less time to set into your favorite shirt or pants. Understandably, when it comes to getting car grease out of your work clothes, you may not have the ability to treat the item right away.
For example, if you are in the middle of an oil change or a repair that will take you all day, you can’t just stop working to treat a stain. Another example is those who work in garages for extended periods. In those cases, grease stains cannot be promptly addressed and are left to soak into the fabric all day.
Tips to Get Grease Stains Out of Clothes
The good news is removing grease from fabric in these cases is possible, but it might take a little work. However, it is better than having to send items to the dry cleaners.
Getting Car Grease Out of Clothing with WD-40
One of the greatest things about this grease removal method is it can also remove wax from clothing, as WD-40 is a solvent used to break down tough things. This stain removal method works on fresh and hour old stains alike.
To get rid of oil or grease stains on your favorite clothes, lay some paper towels underneath the stain and generously spray the grease with WD-40 or Goo Gone. Allow the solvent to saturate the stain for 10 to 20 minutes. Using your fingertips, rub some dishwashing liquid onto the WD-40 saturated grease stain.
Work the soap in really well with your fingers and use a cleaning rag to blot the grease stain away. The grease should transfer to the cloth. Repeat until no grease lifts off onto the rag. Rinse with hot water and prepare to launder the clothing in your washing machine following the washing instructions found on the clothing label.
When washing dark colors, or even whites, use your regular laundry detergent, plus an additional ¼ cup of liquid dish soap. Dawn is a fantastic degreasing soap that works to break down the grease as you wash the clothes. Wash again using the same method if grease is still present after it goes through a cycle in the washing machine.
Once the grease is gone, dry the clothing as usual. Never dry clothing until the grease stain is gone, as the drying process sets the stain and makes it virtually permanent.
How to Remove Car Grease from Clothes with Baby Powder
Many people are surprised to discover that baby powder is effective at removing grease stains. Pre-treatment using laundry soap and a tub of cold water can help remove stubborn stains.
Begin by blotting up as much grease or oil from the fabric as you can with paper towels. Cover grease stain generously with baby powder, making sure the entire surface has a nice thick coating. You can also use cornstarch or salt if you don’t have any baby powder on hand, as they are all considered effective absorbents.
Use a spoon or paper towel to remove all of the talcum powder from the stain. Do not allow the absorbent to come into contact with any other parts of the fabric, however, as you risk transferring the stain to other parts of the fabric. Squirt a small amount of dishwashing soap directly onto the stain.
Using your thumb, work a small amount of water into the stain until soap begins to foam. Use an old toothbrush to rub the stain with the best homemade degreaser around. Make sure you are using circular motions and are working to remove stains from both sides of the fabric.
Wash in cold water, as this is the best way to wash clothes to prevent stains from setting in. The heat of the dryer can cause the stain to set into the fabric, so allow to air-dry once you no longer see the stain.
How to Get Car Grease Out of Clothes with Stain Remover
You can use a spot stain remover, such as Shout, to remove motor oil, cooking oil, or chocolate stains from your favorite t-shirt. Begin by spraying the grease spots until saturated with the spot remover. Work the stain remover into the grease with an old toothbrush.
Bring a pot of water to a hard, rolling boil while the stain remover is soaking into the stain. Place the shirt or other items into a tub or sink to prevent injuries from splashes, as you will be pouring the hottest water directly onto the stain from as high as possible.
The hot water aids in breaking down the stain and the height allows the water to hit the stain to help break it down forcefully. If the stain is still present, turn garment inside out and repeat the process.
Unfortunately, though, hot water can shrink your favorite clothes when you are trying to get rid of stains. Why do clothes shrink? The fabric fibers tighten and make the clothes seem smaller but there are remedies for this problem, too.
Removing Grease from Fabric with Shampoo, Bar Soap, or Dish Detergent
Bar soap, dish detergent, and shampoo are common household ingredients that are quite useful in laundering your clothes, as they make excellent stain removers. Not only do they work on grease, but these ingredients are also helpful in learning how to get rust out of clothes.
When it comes to dish detergent, grease-fighting properties may help but are not required. Shampoo works to remove grease stains as the product was designed for removing body oils. If using bar soap, opt for laundry bar soap for tougher grease stains, while bar soap with no extra additives will work on lighter stains.
Dampen the stain with water or ammonia (provides extra grease fighting abilities). Rub in bar soap, dish detergent, or shampoo until the cleaning agent begins to foam. Use an old toothbrush to work the foam into the stain until the stain starts to dissolve.
Once the stain is gone, rinse with warm water, followed by a vinegar rinse. Never mix vinegar with detergents or soaps as the vinegar makes them less effective. However, if you have mildew problems in addition to grease stains, remove mildew from clothes and get rid of the offending odor with vinegar.
Wash clothing following instructions on the care label exactly and allow to air dry. If the stain is still present, repeat the step above until stain is gone.
How to Remove Set in Grease Stains
Grease stains often show up out of nowhere, usually, after you have washed and dried the clothes. The good news is there are things you can use to remove tough grease stains without having to send the item in for dry cleaning.
Apply some undiluted washing up liquid, such as the Persil Brand, to the spot and rub just enough hot water on it to create some suds. Allow to sit overnight and then wash in cold water. If stain remains try using a different stain removal method.
Baking soda and vinegar may also work to remove tough stains. Sprinkle some baking soda directly on the stain, dip a toothbrush in some water and then rub the stain in circular motions. Next, spray a solution of equal parts white vinegar with water. You can also use Borax in place of the baking soda.
Thank you for reading about our tips for getting car grease out of clothing. If any of these grease removal tips helped you, please share with others on Facebook and Pinterest so others can learn how to get car grease out of clothes, too.