Home Blog How To Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes (6 Proven Methods)

How To Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes (6 Proven Methods)

by Wheels Surfer

Bike Grease! A very important substance that keeps your ride smooth as silk and ensures its long life. But as we ride our bikes, it becomes an enemy of our clothes creating nasty stains. It is an issue faced by cyclists all over the planet. But this doesn’t mean we stop riding or stop wearing clothes, do we? In this article, we will talk about some easy methods that’ll allow us to get rid of the toughest of bicycle grease stains out of our favorite clothing items.

Understanding Bike grease

Before we face our villains, we must understand how they work, how they are born.

The story of our antagonist starts in the petroleum fields as crude oil. Which means it is just another mineral oil like gasoline, diesel and the other members of the family. From crude oil, our humble bike grease is separated by various chemical methods at oil refineries. And upon getting mixed with a few other oily substances it becomes bike grease which is responsible for keeping our rides smooth. 

As we hit the roads and trails with our bicycles for sheer enjoyment, our humble bike grease comes in contact with the dust, dirt and mud from the road and trails. It also comes in contact with metal particles and rust from the very parts it was destined to protect. And long hours of service blackens it’s soul and ultimately itself. And thus our villain is born from a hero.     

The Attack on Clothes and Immediate measures 

Bike grease can get onto our clothes unsuspectedly while servicing or riding our bikes. When this happens it is wise to treat the stain immediately upon noticing because as time passes the grease sets more and more into the fabric resulting in a tougher stain. Below are some immediate measures you can take upon noticing a stain. Taking these steps may remove your stain instantly or make it easier to remove by the more elaborate methods that we will discuss afterwards.

  1. Blot up the oil with a paper towel or clean rag.
  2. Soak the stain with WD-40 (If available instantly) or water (preferably hot water).
  3. Give the soaked stain a rub.
  4. Give it a quick wash with soap.

6 Proven Methods On How To Get Bike Grease Out Of Clothes

It may not be possible to tend to the stains instantly, some may even go unnoticed given your circumstances. And some of them might be too tough to remove just by the primary measures alone. So now we shall discuss some serious methods of dealing with bike grease stains. These require minimum effort and can be carried out with easy to obtain chemicals, some of which are available in every household. 

1. The WD-40 Method

Those of you familiar with servicing bikes or other mechanical jobs are most probably aware of the “magical” properties of WD-40. Available at any hardware store, it is a solvent that can remove almost all sorts of dirt grime and rust from mechanical parts. And as you’ve guessed it, it’s also very effective in removing bike grease stains from clothes. It works by breaking down the oil of the grease and suspending the dirt and metal particles in a stain. The process is described below.

Things You’ll Need

  1. WD-40
  2. Liquid Dish Soap
  3. Paper Towels
  4. A Clean Rag
  5. Hot Water


  1. Lay some paper towels underneath the stain and spray a generous amount of WD-40 on the stain.
  2. Allow the WD-40 to saturate the stain for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Pour and Rub some dishwashing liquid onto the saturated stain.
  4. Give the stain a good rub and use a cleaning rag to blot the stain away. Repeat until the grease is completely transferred onto the rag.
  5. Rinse off with hot water and wash the clothing with regular laundry detergent.
  6. Repeat if necessary.


  • Make sure the clothing is dried only after the grease stain is gone for good.
  • Be careful while handling the hot water.

2. The Talcum Powder Method

Yes, you’ve read it right. Bike grease stains can be removed with talcum powder. The talc in the powder is great at absorbing the grease. The process is described below.

Things You’ll Need

  1. Talcum Powder, Cornstarch or Salt (also effective)
  2. Paper Towels
  3. Dishwashing Liquid 
  4. Old toothbrush
  5. Spoon


  1. Blot up as much grease as possible using paper towels.
  2. Cover the stain generously with talcum powder making a nice thick coat.
  3. After letting it sit for a while, use a spoon or paper towel to scrape off the layer of powder.
  4. Pour a small amount of dishwashing soap onto the stain and with a bit of water, work the stain until the soap begins to foam.
  5. Use an old toothbrush to give the stain a good rub.
  6. Rinse off with cold water.
  7. Wash the clothing with regular laundry detergent.
  8. Dry off once the stain is completely removed.


  • Do not allow the absorbent powder to come in contact with other parts of the fabric to avoid transferring of stain.
  • When using the toothbrush, make sure the stain is removed from both sides of the fabric.
  • Avoid using a dryer and hot water as the heat can cause the stain to set into the fabric.
  • Do not dry the fabric before stain is completely removed.

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

Baking soda and vinegar are two common items in our pantries that can become powerful stain removing agents if used properly. It can work magic on bike grease stains. The process is described below.

Things You’ll Need

  1. Baking Soda/Borax
  2. White Vinegar 
  3. Dish Soap
  4. Old Toothbrush
  5. Water


  1. Saturate the stain with white vinegar or stain remover and set aside for a few minutes.
  2. Give the stain a good rub and rinse off the excess vinegar. 
  3. Add a few drops of dish soap over the stain. Rub it all over the stain.
  4. Sprinkle some baking soda/Borax over the stain.
  5. Give the stain a good scrub with the toothbrush creating a paste and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Rinse off with water and launder as usual. 


  • Do not use soap or baking soda before rinsing off vinegar.
  • Make sure that the stain is completely removed before drying.

4. Stain Remover Method

Different brands of fabric stain removers are available in the market, and as their name suggests, their purpose is removing stains from clothes. These are really good for dealing with bike grease stains. Below is a guide to use them.

Things You’ll Need

  1. Fabric Stain Remover
  2. Old Toothbrush
  3. Boiling Water


  1. Pour/Spray the stain remover on the stain until saturated.
  2. Scrub the stain thoroughly with a toothbrush.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a full boil while the chemical is soaking into the stain.
  4. Place the clothing item in a sink and carefully pour the boiling water directly onto the stain from as high as possible.
  5. Repeat if necessary.


  • Handle hot water with extreme care to avoid injuries.
  • Certain fabrics like wool may shrink upon contact with hot water. So make sure to check the washing instructions label before carrying this process out.
  • Check the washing instructions in case your stain remover is a bleach based product. 

5. Glass Cleaner and Shampoo, Bar Soap or Dish Detergent Method

Common household items like Glass Cleaner, Dish Soap, Bar Soap and Shampoo are very effective stain removers. They are especially effective for use on more delicate fabric. Dish detergents are excellent for dealing with grease. Shampoo is designed to remove body oils and thus deals with grease really well. On the other hand, laundry bar soaps are good for dealing with tough stains and regular soap bars can work well on lighter stains. The ammonia in glass cleaner does a great job in breaking down grease. The process is as follows.

Things you’ll need

  1. Glass Cleaner
  2. Shampoo, Bar Soap or Dish Detergent
  3. Water
  4. Toothbrush
  5. Vinegar or Lemon/Lime Juice


  1. Dampen the stain with a generous amount of glass cleaner.
  2. Rub in Shampoo, Bar Soap or Dish Detergent until foam begins to form.
  3. Give the stain a good scrub with a toothbrush.
  4. Once the stain is gone, rinse with warm water followed by vinegar or lemon/lime juice.
  5. Wash the clothing item with regular laundry detergent and air dry.


  • Do not mix vinegar or lemon/lime juice with detergent or soap as doing so reduces the effectiveness of the chemicals.
  • Dry only after stain is removed.

6. Removing Set in Stains

Some of them sneaky stains often take a while before they are finally discovered. The longer they evade detection, the tougher they get. But even such tough stains are possible to deal with using a bit of time and elbow grease. The process is described below.

Things you’ll need

  1. Liquid laundry detergent.
  2. Hot water.
  3. Toothbrush


  1. Apply Some Liquid Detergent directly on both sides of the stain
  2. Pour and rub just enough hot water to make a bit of foam using a toothbrush.
  3. Let it sit overnight
  4. Wash it with cold water and air dry.

Special Tip!

If stain still remains, pair it up with the baking soda method for better results.


  • Handle Hot water very carefully.
  • Make Sure you get both sides of the stain.


Hopefully you found this article very useful. All these methods above are proven to be very effective against bike grease stains (And a bunch of other types as well!) on your favourite clothes. These can be carried out using common household items with minimum effort. So, best of luck kicking some bike grease butt!


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