How to Get Bike Grease Stains Out of Clothes

Of all the annoying stains one regularly gets on their clothes, it is the black, tarry grease from a bike that is perhaps the worst. Especially if you’re an avid bike-rider, these stains will be difficult to avoid. Even the act of doing simple routine maintenance on your bike can make you a victim of these difficult-to-remove stains.

Happily, despite that they’re among the most challenging stains to remove, they are not impossible to remove. Indeed, we’ve compiled a few quick and easy steps below to remove those grease stains out of your clothes and get them looking as good as new.

The first thing to note is that the longer a stain is left on a piece of clothing, the more difficult it will be to remove, so we suggest that you start the removal process as soon as you notice the stain. If you wait too long, then you just might have to accept it as a permanent fixture of your garment.

Another thing is that you have to know the material your garment is made from. Naturally, some materials are easier to clean than others, and what might work on one kind of fabric might be damaging to another, so you need to know exactly what kind of fabric you’re dealing with. Of course, this won’t be difficult to do and is simply a matter of checking the garment’s label.


The Baking Soda Method

  • The good thing about baking soda is that, well, it works! It’s also natural, so it’s a good alternative to chemical-based cleaners if natural-based products are your thing.
  • Baking soda is particularly effective on fabrics that are, how shall we say, delicate. For silk or wool, for instance, your best bet is to use baking soda, because you can at least be moderately certain that it won’t damage the fabric. 
  • The first step is to simply put baking soda over the stain and make sure it is adequately covered. You want to leave the garment as it is for a few hours, preferably overnight. 
  • After a while—or on the following day—you’ll notice that the baking soda will have absorbed the grease (hopefully!). So all that remains to be done is to brush the grease off of the garment carefully. Once you’ve brushed the grease off, simply wash the garment again in accordance with its care label. This should be enough to remove any minuscule traces of the stain that remained.
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The Dishwashing Liquid Method

  • When it comes to stronger fabrics like synthetics or cotton, this method will be more appropriate. Don’t dispose of the baking soda just yet, since you will also be needing it for this method.
  • Simply mix dishwashing liquid with baking soda until you’ve got something with a paste-like consistency (like toothpaste). With an unused toothbrush, simply put the paste on the brush and scrub the stained area of the garment. 
  • Once you’ve covered the stain with the makeshift paste, you’ve just concocted, leave the garment to air out for about 5-7 minutes, then rinse the paste off, hopefully removing the stain along with it.
  • All you need to do is hang the garment to dry after. But if the stain didn’t come off, or there’s still some slight staining, then simply repeat the above process as needed.

The Laundry Detergent Method

  • This is a fast and simple method of removing stains, granted the stains are relatively fresh and weren’t left to sit idly on the garment for long. Before trying this method, however, you need to be sure that your fabric is not delicate. If it is wool or silk that you’re dealing with, then skip this method entirely since you’ll likely end up damaging the fabric.
  • Basically, just cover the stained area with the detergent of your choice and scrub the area with a soft sponge or dosing device. Next, allow the garment air out and rest for approximately 15 minutes.
  • The next thing to do is to rinse the stain, preferably running a cold tap on it while making sure the water passes through the fabric (and the stained area) thoroughly.
  • Wash the garment after like you normally would (and of course, in accordance with the care label) and allow it to dry. This will remove any remnants of the stain that remained.
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The Bar of Soap or Shampoo Method

  • Soap and shampoo do well to remove greasy stains, too. 
  • Simply wet the stained area a bit to loosen out any big particles.
  • Apply shampoo or soap to the area, and leave the garment to air out for a good 15 minutes.
  • Check the stain after, and if some grease still remains, you can try scrubbing it out with a sponge or a toothbrush. Just be careful that you don’t do it too rough, else you’ll damage the fabric.
  • Then wash the garment as usual, in accordance with the care label.


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By Marco

Marco is an avid cyclist and passionate blogger. He takes great pride in sharing his insights and experiences with the cycling community, hoping to inspire others to take up the sport and enjoy its many benefits. His words are an ode to the joys of cycling, and the exhilaration it brings.

1 comment

  1. I used to have quite a headache when I had to get rid of bike grease stains from my clothes every time I serviced my bike. I have read several tutorials for removing grease from clothes. It has solved all my problems. This process includes: using dishwashing liquid, using laundry detergent, baking soda, or stain remover. For dishwashing liquid, you should put a small amount of solution on the yellowed clothes and then brush them clean, then rinse with cold water. As for washing powder, it is the opposite. It is advisable to pre-treat the fabric and then add detergent to wash it.

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