How to Wash Greasy Work Clothes?

Greasy work clothes take our life to clean them!

But not anymore with some most effective tips that I am going to share with you in this article.

I have been through this tough time multiple times and have tried various ways to save my favorite workwear from the grease and oil stains. And in this journey I found some unique ingredients that helped me through these stubborn oil stains.

How to Wash Greasy Work Clothes

Baking soda is no doubt the most talked about ingredient in treating oil and grease stains on clothes and I do not deny that. But in my personal experience, some of the other effective ingredients that have helped me are pine oil, ammonia, vinegar, dishwash liquid, lemon and rubbing alcohol.

Read on to know how I used them for treating my oil stained clothes…

What takes grease out of work clothes?

My favorite way to take grease out of my work clothes is no doubt with the star ingredient baking soda.

But here I am going to share with you all the ways (with ingredients available to me from time to time) that worked equally well for me in removing oil and grease from my clothes:

1. Baking soda

I just take out the surface grease using a wet cloth dipped in soap water and then sprinkle baking soda over the greased area. Next, I have nothing to do but allow the baking soda to work its wonders overnight.

The next day, I take the cloth and scrub off the baking soda using a dry cloth. 

Baking soda to clean greasy clothes

The next part is thorough washing. For this, I use a bucket that is filled with soapy detergent water and I dip the greased cloth in it.

I give the cloth a good rub with my hands because I believe hands can do wonders that the washer cannot because a washer will not target the specific spotted area but will wash the overall cloth.

Lastly I sit back and relax while my washer does the rest of the job of giving the cloth the final and complete wash. 

2. Pine oil

Pine oil is a very effective degreaser and I have learnt about it from one of my mechanic friends who has to deal with motor oil stains forever.

He had advised me to soak the stained area in pine oil for a few minutes and then wash it normally in the washer.

3. White vinegar

Some of my friends had come over for lunch at my house and I remember wearing my brand new shirt and denim jeans and as I always do, I spilled some food on my shirt and was heartbroken.

Having no other degreaser at home then, I remembered watching a YouTube video where they used white vinegar as a spot treatment and then washed the cloth with hand using dishwasher soap. And it really worked in my case too and my favorite white shirt was saved!

Do you wash greasy clothes in hot or cold water?

Hot water, when poured directly over a stained area, tends to discolor the fabric. This I had learnt the harder way after damaging some of my favorite work wear.

I still remember 4 years ago I somehow stained my black work shirt with motor oil. One of my coworkers suggested rubbing the area with hot water and I went to the washroom, took out the shirt and put the stained area under running hot water.

Temporarily the oil was removed, but the stain persisted. So, after returning home, I again washed it with detergent in the washer. To my disappointment, when the shirt dried, the stained area of the black shirt faded. 

I thought it might be just due to the fabric of the cloth being poor, and again did the same thing with my dark green shirt when it got spilled with oil from food while eating my lunch. And this time too I had used hot water with detergent to wash the shirt and the area again turned lighter.

So, the best way to wash greased cloth is to first wash the stained area with cold water and then wash it in hot water and detergent using the hands or the washer as per your wish and comfort.

See also: 7 Ways to Get Grease Out of Safety Vest

How do you get oil and grease out of your mechanics’ clothes?

Being a mechanic you are always prone to getting oil and grease stains on your clothing and you probably are fed up of discarding your clothes one after the other, but not anymore with these fabulous hacks that I am going to share with you:

1. Removing grease and oil stains using talcum powder

Removing grease and oil stains using talcum powder

Yes, your everyday talcum powder is one very effective ingredient in treating grease and oil stains.

Just sprinkle a little amount of talcum powder on the greased area and let it soak the grease or oil for 1 hour (there is no time limit as such as talcum powder will not cause any discoloration of the cloth).

Then rub off the talcum powder using a brush or rag and then wash the cloth in the washer with a good detergent.

2. Removing grease and oil stains using a lemon

This might sound weird, but lemon has lactic acid in it which is a great ingredient to treat oil and grease stains. But be very careful with the application of lemon juice as it can cause discoloration of the cloth.

What you need to do is just squeeze a bit of lemon on the spot and let it work for 10 to 15 minutes. Rub the area with detergent in cold water and then put the cloth in the washer.

3. Removing grease and oil stains using baking soda

As I have mentioned earlier, baking soda is the king of ingredients in treating oil and grease stains.

All you need to do is sprinkle a little amount of baking soda on the greased spot and wait for half an hour to 1 hour (in case of light colored fabrics) and 15 to 20 minutes (in case of dark colored fabrics).

Then rub off the baking soda with a rag and wash the stained area using your hand with a mild detergent in hot water. 

4. Removing grease and oil stains using cornstarch

Cornstarch works in a similar way just as baking soda and the process of using it is also the same. Sprinkle some cornstarch on the affected area and wait for a few minutes.

Then rub off the starch using a brush or rag and then hand wash the cloth in cold water using a mild detergent.

5. Removing grease and oil stains using dishwasher soap

Just as a dishwash soap is expert in removing oil stains from utensils, it works the similar way for oil stained clothes as well. Rub the stained area using a cloth dipped in a mixture of dish wash soap liquid and water.

Wash it under cold running water. Soak the cloth in hot water for a few minutes and then put it in the washer for a complete clean up.

6. Removing oil and grease stains using rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is more likely to be used as a spot treatment. Remove the oil or grease using a cloth dipped in detergent.

Clean the area under water and then dry the cloth completely. Take rubbing alcohol in a cloth and rub the remaining stain with the rubbing alcohol.

7. Removing grease and oil stains using stain remover

Stain removers for fabrics are readily available on amazon.com. First wash the cloth in the washer or you can use your hands to target the specific area using a mild detergent. Then take the fabric stain remover and rub the stains with the help of a cloth and you are done.

See also: How to Get Motor Oil Out of Shoes?

And it’s a wrap!

I hope my tips help you to deal with those stubborn stains in your clothes. If you found this article helpful, do not forget to recommend us to your friends and family and come back to us for more such exciting tips on dealing with your workwear.

Till then, take care and have a great day ahead!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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