There are many ways in which you can get rid of bike grease stains. From the traditional methods of using detergent, dishwashing liquid, or soap to more unconventional forms like applying baking soda, baby powder, or chalk, there will undoubtedly be one that will work for you.
I’ve stained my pants more times than I’d like to admit, which led me to test out most of these techniques. Some of them work better than others. Personally, I’ve had my fair bit of luck using dishwashing liquid and baking soda but I was still surprised by the efficacy of some of the least-known hacks.
In this article, we’ll be covering the most effective techniques, so that you know exactly how to get bike grease out of clothes. Here are the 7 most effective ways I've found to eradicate even the most stubborn grease stains.
Table of Contents
As mentioned, there are many techniques out there to wash out a black grease stain.
Firstly, you'll need an acidic product that's able to penetrate the stain without hindering the fabric of the garment. This could be from:
Whichever product you go for, you'll need a utensil to scrape the stained area (a scrub or a toothbrush should do the trick), patience, and of course, a washer to finish the job.
Now, all that's left to do is to choose your method and follow our step-by-step tutorial to remove grease stains once and for all.
One of the most effective ways to remove a grease stain on your pants or shirt consists of using a mix of dishwashing liquid and clean water. The great thing about dishwashing liquid is that it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. There is no risk of damage to your favorite clothes!
After all, dishwashing liquid has been made specifically to destroy the grease from foods. Bike grease isn’t that different. To remove grease stains using dishwashing liquid you’ll need to:
Note that the sooner you apply this technique, the greater your chances of getting rid of grease stains completely.
Bar soaps have been used to hand-wash clothes since they were invented by the Babylonians in 2800 B.C. Nowadays, they’re mainly used to pretreat stains before washing them.
Bar soap is an ideal way to remove bike grease stains. Simply put, here’s how to use it optimally:
Your clothing is ready to go into the machine. Ideally, wash the garment using the air dry cycle.
White vinegar has some surprising properties. As it is a mix of acetic acid and water, it's commonly used to deeply clean the kitchen or the bathroom. However, it also has hidden power when it interacts with clothing. Indeed, its acidic properties are very effective on bike grease stains.
White vinegar works just as well on fresh stains as older ones. To maximize its effectiveness, follow these 3 steps:
If the stain is particularly stubborn, you can couple white vinegar with soap or dishwashing liquid to maximize the efficacy of the active agent of the water-vinegar solution.
Laundry detergent is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you need to eliminate a dark grease patch. It is a good solution if you haven’t had time to take care of a stain if it was still fresh.
Make sure not to put on too much detergent. The product by itself can leave marks on clothing if used improperly. This is especially true of delicate fabrics such as satin or silk.
Baking soda has proved its efficacy many times for cleaning dirty spots around the house. It is also potent when it comes to removing grease stains. In fact, there are two ways you can use baking soda to do so.
The first method combines the use of baking soda and shampoo. It is the better of the two to remove stains on delicate material:
The second method consists of covering the spot with a thick layer of baking soda while dabbing the area with a clean garment before putting it in the washing machine.
Both techniques work better on old bike grease stains. No matter whether they are light stains or tough grease stains, baking soda should do the trick for you.
Surprisingly enough, baby powder is one of the most effective ways to make grease stains vanish. Talcum powder is thin enough to penetrate the fiber of most types of clothes and absorb the grease altogether.
Baby powder is a powerful method to remove fresh stains from clothes. The trick is to cover the greasy spot as soon as you can, ideally, 30 minutes top after the incident.
Just like baby powder or baking soda, chalk can be used to get rid of oil stains. It might be the ultimate way of getting rid of old grease stains that refuse to go away.
Chalk has the property to absorb any kind of greasy matter. Applied on delicate fabrics, it can reduce the density of fresh grease stains.
To do this, you want to saturate the dirty area as best you can until you see a small white powder covering the stain. Then, leave it for 15 minutes before soaking it in clean, cold water.
Finally, the cloth is ready to be machine-washed. If the stain subsists after a first wash cycle, repeat the process.
Now that you’ve learned the most effective methods for removing bike grease from your clothes, you may want to apply these tips to avoid staining your outfit the next time you go out riding.
Always check the greasy parts of your bike before going on a ride. Ideally, you need to clean it regularly. If you ride your bike on a daily basis, once a week is a great starting point.
For this, you can use various products such as:
Keep in mind that polishing your bike chain isn’t full-proof but it will greatly reduce the risk of you spoiling your brand new pair of pants while going to work.
More often than not, grease stains will appear when you rub your pants on the chain. This can be extremely problematic when riding your bike to commute to work or go on a date.
The simplest hack to avoid this issue altogether is to invest in a chain guard. This way, you won’t have to worry about staining your legs. You’ll even be able to wear baggy pants without second-guessing yourself.
As an added bonus, your bike chain won't ever come off when shifting gears. Neither will your trousers nor laces end up getting caught in it. It's a win-win situation if you aren't put off by the aesthetic.
Another option to avoid worrying about staining your clothes is to simply wear dedicated gear when riding your bike.
It may not be the best solution if you use your bicycle to go to work. However, it saves a lot of trouble if you mainly ride MTB or BMX bikes, especially if you aren't the type to clean your bike on a daily basis.
I hope this article helped you get rid of the toughest grease stains.
Keep in mind that bicycles get very greasy without proper maintenance. In some cases, you might not be able to fully wash your clothes. Hence, you should never ride a bike wearing your favorite trousers.
The bike grease stain removal will also greatly vary depending on the type of clothing you're trying to clean up. Removing bike grease from synthetic fabrics will be a lot easier to clean as they're more resistant and can be washed at 95°C and higher.