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How to get bike and car oil out of your clothes

Read on to discover how to remove engine oil from clothes with our top two super simple methods.


By Cleanipedia Team

car oil stains on a pair of jeans
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Key steps

  • Use talcum powder or cornflour to loosen set-in stains.

  • Create a paste from washing-up liquid and baking soda.

  • Try using laundry detergent like Persil as a pre-treatment.

  • Don’t use detergent on delicate materials like wool.

  • Always follow care label instructions to wash your clothes.

Coming into contact with bike or car oil can leave ugly, dark oil stains on clothes. These are not always easy to get out, but don’t panic; it’s not impossible. Here we’ll provide top tips for how to get bike oil out of clothes (and car oil, too)! Plus, get equipped with essentials for your bike cleaning kit.

Heat will set stains into clothing; only use cold water to rinse the area, directing water flow from behind the stain to the front.

How to get car oil out of clothes using washing-up liquid

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Working on cars and motorcycles can be a messy job. Whether you’ve worked on the engine or simply been cleaning it up, and want to know how to get engine oil out of clothes, washing-up liquid is a great choice. This method works well on fresh grease stains.

  1. Make a paste from washing-up liquid and baking soda to increase their grease-busting properties. You can use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain with the paste. Avoid using too much washing-up liquid: you only need a drop to break down any oil and grease.

  2. Rinse the stain using cool water, running the water from the back of the stain out to prevent pushing the stain further into the fibres. 

  3. Follow the care label instructions to wash your clothes as normal.

  4. Leave the garment to air-dry, as air-drying allows you to keep an eye on the area to see if the stain reappears. Heat will also set any stains in the fabric, so it’s best to avoid the tumble dryer.

  5. Use a little talcum powder or cornflour for a dried-in grease or oil stain. Leave it for around five minutes to absorb excess grease, then brush it off.

How to get car grease out of clothes using laundry detergent

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  1. When you have car or bike grease and oil on your clothes, laundry detergent can also work. Here is our simple guide for how to remove engine oil from clothes with detergent. This method works on fresh or dry stains.

  2. Apply detergent like Persil Bio liquid as a pre-treatment for the stain.

  3. Rub the detergent into the stain using the detergent’s dosing ball and leave it for 5-10 minutes.

  4. For pre-treatment, avoid using hot water, as this could set in the stain. Rinse using cold water, running it from the back of the stain to the front.

  5. Wash as usual, using the care label instruction and leave to air-dry.

  6. Don’t use this method on delicate materials such as silk or wool.

  With these top tips, we’ve shown you how to get bike grease out of clothes as well as oil from cars, too! Now you have everything you need to know to keep your clothes in tip-top condition.

Originally published