How to Get Bike Grease out of Clothes?

Chain oil, suspension lube, road dirt, there are many things that can make your clothes dirty during a bike ride. While you can easily brush the dust off, grease marks are harder to remove. Fortunately, it’s not an impossible task. Keep reading this post to learn how to get bike grease out of clothes with little to no effort on your side.

1. Cornstarch

We’ll start with the most inoffensive and hassle-free method of removing bike grease from clothes. Cornstarch works wonders with a smeared t-shirt or jeans by drawing out the hideous grease from them. You don’t need to rub or scrub anything because cornflour has an impressive absorption power. Cover the messy spots with a generous amount of cornstarch. Let it sit for 5-6 hours. Shake it off the clothing item and toss into the washing machine.

2. Dishwashing detergent

Dishwashing liquid is one of the household cleaning products that can be used to get bike grime out of clothes. If your jeans get smeared by chain grease or suspension lube, a simple dish soap can salvage them. Add a few drops of detergent on the affected area of your clothing piece. Let them do their job for 5 minutes, then rinse the stain with cold water. If the grease spot has not fully disappeared, try a combination of dishwashing liquid and baking soda.

3. Biological laundry detergent

If the stained fabric is synthetic, you can clean it using biological laundry detergent. Add a pinch of detergent on the stain and gently massage it into the fabric. Let it sit for 15 minutes. If you deal with a stubborn stain, allow the detergent to sit for half an hour. Then place the garment backside up under the tap so that the water jet forces the grime out. Now that most of the grease is gone, run the clothing item through a regular washing cycle.

4. Baking soda

Baking soda is a time-tested cleaning agent that works well on almost every surface and fabric. Those wondering how to get bike grease out of clothes can rely on it to save their smeared garments. Unlike harsh chemicals, baking soda is friendly towards delicate fabrics. You can use it to remove stubborn grease stains without fearing that it can cause damage to your clothing piece. Apply a thin layer of baking soda on the messy area. Let it sit overnight so that it manages to suck up all grease. Next day, brush the powder off and wash the fabric as usual.

5. Vinegar

This method requires some effort on your side but it’s highly effective at combating bike grease due to vinegar’s acidity that breaks down grease bonds. Combine vinegar, cold water and vegetable-based soap and hand-wash the dirty shirt or shorts. Rub the fabric hard to guarantee that all grime comes off. Once the clothing piece is clean, run it through a washing machine cycle. It will help to remove the sharp vinegar smell. You can use lemon juice as an alternative to vinegar. It doesn’t have a pungent smell, so you can wear the shirt right after the hand-washing cycle.

6. Shampoo/bar soap

Shampoo is originally designed to remove body oils. Therefore it should deal with bike grease marks without much difficulty. Pour a few drops of shampoo on the stain and let it work wonders. If there is a significant amount of grease on the fabric, rub the spot with a toothbrush. It will help the shampoo’s active components to penetrate deep into the fabric and destroy all grease bonds. Rinse the dirt and shampoo off and wash the garment as you would usually do.

A great alternative to shampoo is bar soap. It features the same grease-fighting agents as shampoo does. There are two ways you can apply the bar soap on the greasy fabric. You can rub the soap against the wet garment until a rich foam forms. Or you can grate the bar soap and sprinkle the bits on the dirty spot. Use a toothbrush to rub the powder into the fabric and make it lighten as much grease as possible.

7. Talcum powder

Talcum powder works similarly to baking soda by sucking up the grease. But its absorption power is worse, so you have to put more effort. Apply a small amount of talcum on the stain and scrub it gently with an old toothbrush. Rinse off and check whether the stain has disappeared. If some oily marks are still visible, repeat the process over and over until the grease gets out completely.

8. Tire cleaner/oven cleaner

Such powerful agents as tire cleaner and oven cleaner are incredibly effective at getting grease out of clothes. But they have some disadvantages that can give you pause. First of all, these cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can harm skin, airways and eyes. You want to use them extremely carefully and wear protective equipment including gloves and mask. Goggles are not so important as long as you will take care not to touch your eyes while working with the harsh solutions.

Another drawback of tire cleaner and oven cleaner is that they can damage the fabric. Never apply these agents on delicate fabrics. As for other materials, make a test first in an inconspicuous area of the clothing piece. If it discolors, avoid using the cleaner. If the fabric remains intact, you can use it. Make sure, though, to wear safety equipment and apply only a small amount of cleaner on the stain.

Closing thoughts

If you are a bike owner, you have to know how to get bike grease out of clothes. For that you can use a variety of cleaning products such as dishwashing soap, biological laundry detergent and shampoo. You can also rely on such kitchen essentials as baking soda, vinegar and cornstarch. They do a great job of lifting away the bike grease from clothes. Be extremely careful when working with harsh chemicals including oven cleaner and tire cleaner. While they boast great cleaning power, they can harm your skin and eyes if you don’t wear protective equipment.