13 Ways To Get Bike Grease Out Of Clothes

If you’re anything like me, it’s a rare day of bike commuting that doesn’t add a small dot of road grime or bike grease on your khaki pants, white shirt, etc.

Grease is tough to remove, but not impossible.

You can definitely salvage your threads without settling for a grease spot for the next 20 wash cycles.

The following techniques vary wildly in both materials used and toxicity. I’ll say upfront that grease-busting dishwashing liquid has worked for me, as has “Shout” brand prewash junk. Be wary of letting any stuff sit on the grease for too long, or next you’ll be dealing with a new stain or discoloration on your clothes (experience talking here). Onward.

In rough order of toxicity (and for the record, I wouldn’t touch those last three, but maybe your neck is redder than mine)

13 Ways To Get Bike Grease Out Of Clothes

  1. Sprinkle cornstarch on freshly greased clothes. Let it soak up the grease for a while, then shake it out, slop some dishwashing liquid on there and wash as usual
  2. On fresh grease: a dot of laundry detergent, rub, wash as usual
  3. Onset grease: sprinkle some baby powder, let it sit awhile, shake out, wash as usual
  4. Rub some Dawn dishwashing detergent into the spot, then wash
  5. Make a paste of Ajax dish soap and baking powder, then rub it into the stain using an old toothbrush. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before washing as usual
  6. Dribble a little bit of your shampoo (brand-agnostic) on the stain, rub and wash as usual
  7. Use Simple Green on stains, wash as usual
  8. Throw some PineSol or Simple Green in with your laundry
  9. Use Goo-Gone on stains, wash as usual
  10. Get the stain out with Goof-Off, then get out the Goof-Off residue with Goop hand cleaner before washing as usual
  11. Use oven cleaner on the stain, wash as usual
  12. Use tire cleaner on the stain, wash as usual
  13. Use brake parts cleaner on the stain, wash as usual

BONUS SOLUTION (only works in the northern hemisphere during the winter months)

  • Find some doll clothes that have been discarded by a thrift store. Don’t buy them, you must find them in the trash. (I’m not sure why this is important…something about lingering sorrow).
  • Once you’ve got the clothes, rent them. If you don’t know how to rent clothes, re-read the Old Testament, preferably King James Version, until you receive understanding.
  • Got the rent clothes? Refashion these textiles into a circle that cannot be broken. In a pinch, that sideways figure eight infinity thingy will do, too. Use your imagination–this is more art than science, people. Stay with me here, the hard part is coming up.
  • Using the thumb and forefinger of your left hand pull your greased garment cleanly through the circle that cannot be broken. With a single motion, as you pull the garment through the circle, fling it into the washing machine, closing the door before any excess cleaning power can escape (this technique simply does not work with hand washing, sorry). Wash as usual.
  • If you’ve run out of options and the grease still isn’t coming out, you can always store them in garage containers. You never know when you might need a pair of throwaway clothes!
  • This technique should remove any grease present, as well as provide a lasting preternatural shield that prevents all future stains as well. Let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

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