how to get bike grease out of clothes

Do you often get your favorite pair of pants or shorts stained with the grease from your bike? The dilemma over how to get bike grease out of clothes can be quite stressful sometimes.

It can be frustrating, but you can’t simply throw away your trusty bike to keep your clothes away from those stubborn grease stains.

There has to be another way to keep both, and fortunately, there’s always a solution to every problem.

You don’t have to discard clothes because there are numerous methods for removing stains. Most of these approaches make use of natural ingredients or readily available products, so you won’t find a problem with following any.

How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes

Removing grease stains from your clothes can be intense.

To make the removal process easier, it is best to treat the stain at the earliest.

It will become harder to remove if it remains on the texture for a longer period.

It is also essential to check the care label on your clothes before deciding which method to consider for stain removal.

Below is a list of options for removing grease stains:

Dishwashing fluid

It works well in removing fresh grease stains on cotton and synthetic fabrics.

Baking soda/Borax ​

They work great in handling delicate fabrics like silk and wool.

Biological laundry detergent ​

It works well in removing fresh or dry stains on synthetic materials.

Corn starch ​

It is safe for all kinds of fabric.

Talcum powder

Similar to corn starch, it is also safe to use in any type of fabric.

Lemon/Vinegar ​

They work well on any kind of cloth, excluding rayon and acetate.

Degreaser wipes/Heavy-duty cleaners ​

It is best to avoid using these wipes on delicate fabrics.

How to Proceed

While it may be safe to say which ingredient works on which fabrics, extra precaution needs to be taken by checking the label of the specific garment.

Dishwashing fluid

Cautiously add a drop of dishwashing fluid on the stained spot. Your ordinary cleaning fluid can do more than just clean your dishes and, while you may not know it, it is incredible at removing any kind of grease.

Wash off the stain with running water after letting it sit for a few minutes. Let the piece of clothing dry, and if the stain doesn’t go away, then another round might help.

Some stains are more difficult to remove. In such cases, a higher strength of stain remover will be required in the form of a few drops of dishwashing liquid combined with a pinch of baking soda.

Rubbing the stain with your fingers or using an old toothbrush might also help by breaking downthe grease.

Baking soda/Borax

When it comes to handling delicate fabrics, baking soda does a beautiful job. Add a limited quantity of baking soda directly over the grease stain.

You can also use borax, which has similar properties with baking soda but is stronger. In place of baking soda, a small paste of borax with lemon juice will also work.

Set the clothe aside for some hours or preferably overnight and brush off the baking soda/borax paste, still sitting over the stain. The baking soda/borax takes out the grease from the fabric without actually harming the tissue.

After you see that the stain has been removed, you can wash the garment like you usually do and hang it to dry.

Biological laundry detergent

Apply a small quantity of the detergent powder on the stain and gradually rub the fabric.

Set it aside for around fifteen minutes and rinse it off with cold running water.

See if the stain has been removed and then wash the cloth as usual. Hang the fabric to dry.

Corn starch

Add a small amount of corn starch over the stain and set it aside for a couple of hours.

Check to see if the stain has gone away and then dust off the excess corn starch.

Wash off the garment as usual and allow it to dry.

Talcum powder

Dust some talcum powder over the grease stain and set it aside for a couple of minutes. It works in similar ways to corn starch but is lighter, so it may take a little more effort.

You can gently brush or rub the stain for a better outcome.

Check to see if the grease stain has faded away, and then dust off the excess.

You may need to repeat it a couple of times before the stain goes away totally.

After the stain finally disappears, wash the garment as usual.


Mix vinegar or squeeze in lemon juice of equivalent amount with a vegetable-based soap to boost the removal action of the soap.

Wash the cloth following the regular manner and dry it off. They help in lightening or removing the stains on clothes, even if not entirely.

Lemon and vinegar are both incredible ingredients that you can use for cleaning stains and many other purposes.

Degreaser wipes/Heavy-duty cleaners

Degreaser/heavy-duty cleaning wipes prove to be useful when it comes to handling grease stains at the initial stage before you can get home.

You can simply take out a wipe and test it on a tiny area of the stained garment.

Delicately wipe away the grease and give some time for the solution in the wipe to do its work.

After the stain seems to disappear, you can wash the garment as usual.

These cleaning wipes can also handle heavy grease stains quite efficiently. So, they can come in quite handy if you always carry around a stash of the wipes with you.

Why Do You Need to Apply Lubricants or Grease to Your Bike?

While you keep struggling with grease stains, on the other hand, your bike can’t do without lubricants or grease. And it can get quite confusing sometimes, as to which one goes to which part of the bike.

A little comprehensive guide to the three different types of bike lubricants will

help you understand them better.

  • Chain Lubricants
  • All-Purpose Lubricants
  • Grease

Chain Lubricants

There are the dry and wet variants of oils available anywhere in the market.

It is best to use dry lubricants under dry conditions and wet lubricants for wet conditions.

The dry lubricant initially goes onto the chain wet and then become waxy when it gets dried. It usually takes around a couple of hours for it to dry off.

If you weigh in the pros and cons of the dry and wet lubricant, both are equaly ideal for their respective weather conditions.

The dry lube does not gather much earth, ideal for riding in dry conditions while its drawback is that it easily washes off, requiring re-application after a ride in wet condition.

The wet lubrication stays wet even after application until scoured away by some other sources. It is thicker than the dry lube and adheres to the chain. It offers an exceptionally expanded protection from the downpour and is harder to wash away, making it ideal for wet conditions.

The drawback is it gathers earth, so it needs to be cleaned a lot more often than the dry lube.

Usually, go for the dry lube for most conditions and opt for the wet lube only when the weather is unfavorable.

The wet lube is ideal for the winter when the weather is harsh, even though it will require a little bit more cleaning.

All-Purpose Lubricants

The all-purpose lubricant is the ready-to-use lube that does the hard work and keeps the bike running. If you’re looking to invest in one, then any lube with waterproof quality will be your best bet.

Lubricants contained in spray cans are best for application in any part of the bike, especially the tight little corners. It is a multipurpose product that has several other uses besides bike maintenance.


Grease is a waterproof lubricant that is heavier than the normal lubes and is commonly utilized in the bike parts you don’t necessarily dismantle.

Grease is applied to have the critical parts of the bike running and also keeps the parts away from water. You will find it used in the moving parts of your bike, such as brakes, gears, wheel bearings, etc.

But you won’t any in areas that are exposed to the air because it attracts a lot of dirt very quickly. The static metal-to-metal connected areas also keep working with the help of grease.

It is applied to keep those parts from stopping or cold welding. The saddle posts and bolt threads require grease to be applied to them regularly to prevent them from seizing up.

Before fixing any connections on the bike, make sure to grease the bolts.

Irrespective of the type of lubricant you are using, removing the excess product from the bike parts after the application is important because it may get into unwanted areas and harm your bike.

How to Prevent Your Clothes From Getting Grease Stains

Video: How To Get A Perfectly Clean Chain

Perhaps the ideal approach to stay away from removing bike grease out of your garments is by maintaining your bicycle chain and keeping it clean.

You can clean your bicycle chain with a basic cloth or rag. This is the time where the trusty degreaser wipes also come in handy.

Use a cloth/wipe to clean off the grease from the chain, chainrings, and other greasy parts by applying a generous amount of bike cleaning solution.

You can use another clean cloth to wipe the chain parts clean and allow them to dry. A coat of lubricant needs to benapplied over the dried chain parts to protect them from rust and have them running well.

A great deal of bike chain repairing and grease stain removals can be avoided if you take time and invest in a good and decent bike cleaning kit. It will save you a significant amount of time, which you can now utilize in other activities.

Try to clean your bike and inspect the chain parts regularly. This way, you won’t have to stop in the middle of somewhere to work on your bike chain that has come off and get your clothes dirty.

Keeping your bike clean will make it last longer and run better, while also keeping your clothes and hands from getting dirty.

While these preventive tips might keep you safe from those stubborn grease stains, it cannot be guaranteed that you will never face any such situations.

It is equally important to know the various approaches for the grease stain removal so that you don’t have any reason to panic for when the deed is done.


Having equipped yourself with a bunch of stain removal tips, there are no more reasons to stress over getting your clothes dirty while riding around the neighborhood or commuting to work.

You now have the option to wipe out those terrible grease stains effortlessly with any of the removal methods or ingredients depending on your fabric.

Be careful in choosing the cleaning approach as different fabrics will require separate handling.

If you are a frequent rider, a good tip is to have those ingredients lying around in your house so that any of the methods given above will be at your disposal anytime you stain your clothes. 

You will often see most of these items already lying in your pantry. If not, they are easily available at any supermarket or departmental store.

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