Remove Black Grease Stains from Automotive and Bicycle

Finding auto grease stains can be disheartening. The dark color and sticky nature of automotive grease makes removal seem impossible.

Fortunately, you can remove grease stains from a variety of household items and surfaces using common household products.

Whether the stain in on clothing, concrete, carpet or upholstery, take comfort in knowing that the stain does not have to be permanent.

automotive and bicycle stains

Remove Auto Grease Stains

Scoop up as much of the grease as possible with a plastic spoon. Do this carefully so the grease is not further pushed into the fabric. Blot the grease stain with a thick stack of paper towels.

Switch to clean portions of the paper towels frequently and continue blotting until no more grease lifts from the clothing. Sprinkle cornstarch or baby powder onto the grease stain.

Let it sit for at least 10 minutes to absorb the grease. Hold the clothing over a garbage can or take it outside to brush off the powder with a dry paper towel.

Apply 2 to 3 drops of grease-cutting dish soap onto the stain. Add a couple of drops of water and work the soapy water into the stain with your fingers. Rub the stain with a toothbrush to further remove the auto grease.

Use the toothbrush in a circular motion and rinse the item in water often while scrubbing. Scrub both sides of the garment with the toothbrush.

Remove Bicycle Grease Stains

Bicycle grease does not consist of the light liquid oil, but rather a gummy paste, according to Sheldon Brown’s Bicycle Glossary. For most areas of the bike use grease marketed as either automotive or bicycle grease.

Curious fingers poke gears and bearings, and then use shirts to wipe off the sticky mess. Grease from bearings and bike chains can stain pant legs.

Check your cyclist’s clothing thoroughly before washing to prevent heavy grease from transferring to the rest of the wash. Scrape thick clumps of grease from the fabric, but don’t spread the stain.

Use a plastic knife or spoon. Spray a pretreatment product directly onto the stain or pour an extra-strength detergent on problem areas. Mix your own pretreatment paste in the absence of a commercial product.

Sprinkle powder detergent onto the stain and add water in small increments. Work the detergent into a paste with your fingers or by rubbing the surrounding fabric together. Launder the garment in hot water.

If the manufacturer’s instructions discourage high temperatures, launder the garment in the warmest temperature the fabric can withstand. Inspect the garment after the wash cycle. If the stain persists, launder the clothing a second time.

Remove Black Grease Stains

Black grease from bike chains and grimy engine parts tends to leave stubborn oil stains on clothes. It might take some hard work to get out grease marks, but you don’t have to discard the soiled clothing.

Attack the stains as soon as possible with a solvent strong enough to break through the grease and cause it to release from the fabric. Keep your laundry free of black grease stains with a multilevel attack that doesn’t quit until they are gone for good.

Remove Black Grease Stains

Fold a 3 to 5 inch index card in half and scrape the surface of the fabric to remove any grease that is resting above the surface.

Reducing the overall quantity of grease will make it easier for the cleaners to get to where the grease bonds to the fabric. Drip a few drops of mineral spirits into the middle of each grease mark and use a folded paper towel to dab the stain, starting in the center and moving out.

Move to a clean part of your folded paper towel after each dab to suck up mineral spirits and grease. Cover the entire stained area on both sides of the fabric in a grease cutting, heavy duty liquid dish washing detergent such as Dawn or Palmolive.

Use your index finger to swirl the detergent around and press it into the stain. Throw your pretreated fabric in the washing machine for a hot cycle with a strong stain-fighting washing-machine detergent such as Tide or Surf.

The solvents from your pretreatment will trap grease and carry it away into the hot wash water then out the drain. Allow your washed fabric to air-dry before holding it under a bright light to look for residual dark marks.

Retreat any spots that remain with more mineral spirits and dish-washing detergent, and then wash the item along with your next full load of laundry.

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