How to get Bike Grease out of Clothes [Amazing Ways]

Grease stains are tough to remove, especially on clothes. Wiping off grease from a smooth surface with a bit of cleaner seems like child’s play compared to handling stains on fabric. Let us check out various ways on how to get bike grease out of clothes.

If you own a bike, you know just how annoying it can get to get grease stains off your jeans. Simple tasks such as routine maintenance, tire changing, or a quick chain adjustment can leave your clothes with grease marks.

Either you’re a mechanic, work at a racing car pit-stop, or you enjoy riding your bike. If you ride a bike regularly, grease stains on your shorts, jeans, or pants are nothing new to you.

Even engaging in small tasks such as changing your bike tire or carrying out routine maintenance can leave your clothes with dirty grease marks all over them.

To help you battle the tough grease stains, we have prepared a list of ways through which you can remove stubborn grease stains off your clothing without having to resort to expensive dry cleaning.

We agree that grease stains can be quite difficult, but you can get the job done like a pro with a few special market and household items!

We have prepared a list of ways of how you can remove stubborn bike grease stains off your clothes without having to pay hefty dry-cleaning bills. Although these stains can be quite difficult to scrub off, the items highlighted below will surely make the job easier and far from impossible. 

There are many commercial products available in the market that can tackle grease stains. However, if you do not have access to such products or aren’t giving you the results you desire, you can always try natural ingredients such as lemon and baking soda.

Commercial Grease Stain RemoversNatural Grease Stain Removers
Dishwashing LiquidVegetable Oil
Laundry DetergentLemon
Spot RemoverBaking Soda
Various ways to get bike grease out of clothes
How to get bike grease out of clothes
black bike grease

A word of advice before you begin

No matter what type of fabric gets stained, it is crucial that you get rid of the greasy stain as soon as possible. The longer you let it stay on your clothes, the tougher it’s going to get.

Additionally, you must understand that every fabric reacts differently to products and cleaning methods. The best option for removing grease stains from your clothes will depend on what material you have your stains on.

Here is a little chart to help you determine which product you should use for different materials. However, you should always refer to your garment label to look for the suggested stain removal method.

ProductClothing Type
Dishwashing LiquidCotton
Laundry DetergentSynthetic Fabrics
Baking SodaWool & Silk
way to get bike grease out of clothes

Read: Bike Chain Skips When Pedaling Hard – Here’s Why

Commercial Grease Stain Removal

Commercial products are meant to tackle bike grease stains and other tough stains on clothes and fabric products. These ready-to-use products are available at varying prices and can save you a lot of time.

These products include:

  • Dishwashing liquids
  • Shampoos
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Soaps
  • Spot Removers
  • Targeted Grease Stain Removers

Here are a few methods to try by using commercial cleaning products:

1. Dishwashing Liquid

Dishwasher liquid is known to break down oil and grease stains on your dishes or anything you want to wash with them. With this ability, they can also break down grease marks on your clothes

  1. Take a tiny drop of dishwashing fluid and place it directly on top of the grease stain. Dishwashing liquid can break down grease and oil stains on your dishes; hence, it can help with grease marks on your clothes too.
  2. If your stain is excessively stubborn, mix a little baking soda with dishwashing liquid and place the thick concoction on top of the stain.
  3. Use an old scrubbing brush or toothbrush to gently rub the product on the stain. This will help the cleaning liquid to go into the fibers of the cloth.
  4. After scrubbing, run the stain under some cold water for about two minutes with the stain side facing down. The idea is to have water running through the fabric so it can push the stain off the fibers.
  5. Wash your garment as you regularly would and allow it to air dry.
  6. Check if the stain is still there; if it is, repeat the same process again and make sure you do not tumble dry the fabric as it will make the stain permanent.
way to get bike grease out of clothes
Commercial cleaning products for bike grease stains

2. Laundry Detergent

Just like dishwashing liquid, laundry detergents are also meant to remove dirt, oil, grease, and other food stains.

  1. Take a small amount of laundry washing powder and apply it directly on top of the grease stain.
  2. Use your thumbs to slowly rub the product on top of the stain.
  3. Allow the stain to set for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the stain off with cold water and run the water through the fabric till the grease is eliminated.
  5. Wash the garment how you would regularly.
  6. Follow with an air-drying process.

3. Shampoo

Common hair shampoo helps us to remove oils and grease from our scalp. Therefore, these products have ingredients that can also work well with grease stains on the floor.

  1. Take a pea-size drop of shampoo and let it sit on the grease stain. Shampoo can easily remove body and hair oils which is why it works well for grease stains too.
  2. If you feel that the grease stain is stubborn, you can use a toothbrush to gently rub the product in. You can also use your thumb for this purpose.
  3. Take the stained section of the fabric and dip it in a mixture of 1:2 vinegar and water
  4. Try scrubbing the remaining stain off with a toothbrush or a scrubbing brush again.
  5. Rinse the stain and run it underwater to take off any access.
  6. Wash the clothing item with general laundry detergent like you normally would and put it out to air dry.
  7. Feel free to repeat the steps if the stain is not fully gone. Repeating the steps can give you a better result.

4. Bar Soap & Laundry Soap

Soap lather helps us remove oil and grease from our skin every time we take a bath. Similarly, the ingredients in a soap bar can help you remove stubborn grease stains from your clothing items.

  1. Cover the grease stain with soap lather (you can use your regular bar soap or laundry soap for more stubborn grease stains).
  2. If the stain is old and tough, dampen the fabric and rub the bar soap directly on the stain till it starts to foam.
  3. Use a scrubbing brush or toothbrush to scrub the grease stain with the help of the soap lather
  4. Rinse the garment to remove the soap and grease stain.
  5. Wash the clothing item like you regularly do and let it sit to air dry.
  6. Repeat the process if required.

5. Spot Remover

Spot removers are specialized products available in the market to remove the stains from clothing items or any other household things. They have special active ingredients that allow them to battle stubborn stains.

For this reason, spot removers may cost more than your ordinary commercial cleaning products.

  1. You can use any store-bought spot remover for removing grease stains.
  2. Spread the spot remover directly onto the grease stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a toothbrush to scrub the product on this team.
  4. Allow the spot remover to work. Meanwhile, boil a small pot of water.
  5. Place the clothing item in your sink or a tub and pour the hot water directly onto the fabric.
  6. It will be beneficial if you pour the hot water from a higher distance as the force will help in breaking down the grease stain.
  7. Repeat the hot water process after turning the garment inside out.
  8. Wash the garment in your regular way using laundry detergent and allow it to dry.

6. Targeted Grease Stain Removers

Most supermarkets will also sell targeted treatments for bike grease stains. These products may be a little more expensive than normal cleaning detergents, but most of them claim to get the job done pretty quickly and hassle-free.

If you are willing to buy a targeted treatment, it is crucial for you to follow the instructions at the back of the package for the best results.

Read: What is a Road Bike: Specifications, Top Picks, and more

Using Natural Ingredients For Bike Grease Stains

Natural stain removal methods are cheaper and environmentally friendly. These methods are also organic if that is something you prefer.

If you want to steer clear of commercial cleaning products, you can always use the following natural cleaning methods to remove tough grease stains from your clothing item:

Baking soda can remove grease stains
Baking soda can remove grease stains

Natural grease stain removers are household products similar to commercial grease stain removers and can help you naturally remove the grease stains from your clothes.

They are much safer to use as they do not have any chemicals or additives in them. Other than this, they are easily available in any shop or local store.

These products include:

  • Vegetable Oil Soaps
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Borax

You need to remember that whenever you come across a bike grease stain on your pants or any other clothing item, it is best to start cleaning it right away. The longer you let bike grease stain sit on your clothes, the tougher it is going to get to remove them.

Moreover, every fabric and clothing reacts differently to cleaning products, regardless of whether they are commercial or natural. Of course, if you get a grease stain on your silk clothing pieces, they will be much more difficult to clean rather than your average jeans.

Hence, the results of these grease cleaning products will also depend on what you are trying to clean.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent chemical alternative for extracting grease stains without damaging the clothing item.

  1. Cover it in grease stain with a small amount of baking soda. Baking soda is a great chemical alternative because it extracts grease without damaging the fabric. The amount of baking soda depends on how big the stain is. Just make sure it’s fully covered.
  2. After covering the stain, leave it overnight
  3. Brush off the baking soda in the morning when stop baking soda would have absorbed a significant amount of the grease from the stain
  4. Wash the garment with regular detergent, and check if the stain is still there
  5. If you feel the standstill exist, repeat the baking soda process, and let it sit for another day

You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vegetable oil by brushing it directly on top of the stain. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain with the mixture, and it should help remove the grease. What process you choose depends on the type of fabric you want to clean.

2. Lemon & Vinegar

Lemon and vinegar both have an acidic nature which helps to break down the alkaline grease stains. Other than this, the acid found in these natural ingredients can also lighten the stain on the fabric.

  1. Mix either vinegar or lemon with vegetable-based soap in a 1:1 ratio and apply directly to the stain.
  2. Scrub the mixture over the stain with a toothbrush
  3. Let the stain sit for a few minutes, do not leave it for too long because it may lighten the fabric around the stain
  4. Rinse through and wash regularly.

3. Borax

Just like baking soda, borax is another natural chemical replacement that you can use. It is generally used after being dissolved in water.

Borax is a natural component similar to baking soda. However, once dissolved in water, it is more corrosive in nature.

  1. Take equal parts of lemon juice and Borax to make a paste.
  2. Spread the paste on top of the grease stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Scrub the stain using a brush.
  4. Rinse it off and wash your garment.

4. Vegetable Oil Soap

Plant-based soaps are extracted from vegetable oil and other natural ingredients to get rid of grease stains. You can also use organic coconut oil if vegetable oil-based soap is not available.

  1. Wet the clothing area with the stain
  2. Rub the vegetable oil soap directly on top of the grease stain till it begins to foam
  3. You can also use a toothbrush to rub the lather on top of the stain
  4. Rinse the garment with what water
  5. Wash and let the garment air dry
way to get bike grease out of clothes
A greasy bike chain can stain clothes

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Can you avoid grease stains?

While these stain removal methods will make your job easier, it wouldn’t hurt to resort to some prevention methods.

  • Keep a spare set of clothing to wear for all bike maintenance purposes. This way, even if you do get a grease stain, you won’t have to worry.
  • Do not tumble-dry a clothing item with a grease stain, as it will make the stain permanent.
  • The majority of grease stains come from a dirty bike chain. Regularly clean your bike chain to prevent stains on your clothes every day.
  • Switch to a black cycling kit so that even if you get a grease stain, it is not visible.
  • Use a high-quality degreaser on your bike. This will decrease the frequency of grease stains on your clothing; hence, less scrubbing.
  • Wear shorts instead of pants. If you don’t prefer wearing shorts, try wearing something that isn’t below the knee. It is easier to get grease off your leg than your jeans.
  • Try not to wear silken or delicate materials while handling a bike because they have a higher chance of damage compared to other synthetic or cotton materials.

Can you remove grease stains after the entire washing and drying process?

Removing grease stains from clothing after washing and drying is not an ideal scenario. If your clothing item has been through a dry tumble process, the stain is now probably permanent.

The heat in a washing machine dryer cycle essentially makes the grease stain stick onto the fibers of the fabric. This also results in discoloration.

It is always better to treat grease stains before you wash and dry your garment. However, if this has already happened, you might need an enzyme-based cleaner to pre-treat your bike grease stain.

If that doesn’t work out, it may be time to head do a professional dry cleaner if you must get the stain out from your clothing item.

Can WD-40 remove bike grease stains?

WD-40 can help remove oil stains from clothes. It may help in extracting some parts of the grease stain, but it won’t get the whole job done. Even if it does manage to help remove small grease stain, it will leave its residue.

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The Bottom Line

With these removal methods, your grease stains no longer have to be impossible to handle. All of the methods mentioned above are easy and pretty inexpensive. You may have to repeat some steps to get the result you want – but if your garment is worth saving, then it’s also worth scrubbing!