Whether you’re unfortunate enough to have your bike chain come off during a Sunday ride, or you’re just tinkering around as part of some routine maintenance, there’s no denying that bike grease can cause some rather ugly stains. Once your clothes are marked, thorough bike grease stain removal is your only option – but just what do you need to do to learn how to remove grease stains from clothes? And is it as difficult as it sounds?
How to get rid of grease stains: things you can try
First things first, bike grease stain removal isn’t impossible. Just follow the simple steps below to get your clothing looking as good as new.
The first tip is to act fast. The quicker you deal with the stain, the easier it’ll be to get out. Next, remember to check your clothes’ care label before trying any stain removal techniques. Check for things like whether the item can be machine washed and test any remedies on a small area first in case it reacts in a way you don’t expect.
How to remove grease stains with dishwashing liquid
Best for: fresh grease stains on cotton and synthetic fabrics.
Rub a little dishwashing liquid into the stain gently. Dishwashing detergent makes a great grease remover on clothes because it's designed to cut through grease and fat on dirty dishes. You can also try to remove grease stains with a paste made from dishwashing detergent and baking soda; scrubbing gently with an old toothbrush.
Flush the stain well with cool water. Let water run from the back of the stain to try and push as much of the grease out of the fabric as possible.
Wash the garment as usual, following the instructions on the label. Hang it outside to dry if possible – if any of the stain is still visible then it will be much easier to work on if you haven't applied the heat of a tumble dryer or iron to it.
As this method works best on fresh grease stains, you might need to add an extra step for dried stains. Try sprinkling a little talcum powder or cornflour onto the stain and leaving it for a few minutes before following the steps above.
How to remove grease stains from clothes with biological detergent
Best for: fresh and dried stains on synthetic fabrics.
Pre-treat the stain with Persil liquid. Rub a little detergent into the stain (or work it in with a soft, old toothbrush), and leave for a few minutes. Read the pack for further instructions.
Flush with cool water, then wash as usual. You can either hand wash the item, or use your washing machine according to the instructions on the care label.
Warning: This method is not suitable for wool, silk, and other delicate fabrics. Always check the label first if you're not sure.
How to get rid of grease stains with baking soda
Best for: fresh and dried stains on delicate fabrics, such as silk and wool
Sprinkle baking soda onto the stain. You could also use talcum powder. These powders are a great bike grease stain removal option for delicate fabrics because they draw grease and oil out of the material without damaging the fibres.
Leave the powder overnight. Brush it off the next morning and it should have absorbed most of the bicycle grease.
Wash your clothes according to the instructions on the clothing label. For delicate fabrics, you could try a hand wash or delicates cycle with a gentle detergent like Persil Silk & Wool (read the pack for dosage instructions). If you're not sure that this method will be suitable for your garment, consult a professional dry cleaner as it may require specialist care.
There you have it – bike grease stain removal made simple! Now that you know how to remove grease stains from clothes, you and your family can cycle with confidence.
For more information, check out our guide to removing oil stains from other fabrics, too.