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10 Ways to Get Car Grease Out of Clothes (Step By Step Guide)

10 Ways to Get Car Grease Out of Clothes

10 Ways to Get Car Grease Out of Clothes

For every DIY car enthusiast, car grease is an everyday battle. Whether under the hood or just checking your oil, you know it’s all too easy for a little of that grease to end up on your clothes. And that splotch becomes a nightmare when you’re wearing your favorite jeans or the shirt your girlfriend gifted you.

But don’t worry—you can easily get that pesky grease off your clothes without ruining them! Ready to get rid of that grease and keep your clothes looking fresh? Here are 10 ways to get car grease out of clothes.

Preparation Before Cleaning

Preparation Before Cleaning

Grease is a thick, stubborn stain, and once it’s set into the fabric, it’s hard to make it go away. That’s why the first step is to take preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t spread or go deeper into the fabric.

  1. Scrape off as much of the grease as possible with a spoon or butter knife. Make sure to scrape gently, so you don’t damage the fabric.
  2. Place a folded paper towel, plastic sheet, or cardboard underneath the stain to absorb any excess grease that might come off during cleaning and to protect the other side of the fabric.
  3. Blot up any remaining grease with a dry paper towel, not rubbing it into the fabric.
  4. Do not fold or bunch the fabric, so the stain doesn’t transfer to other areas.
  5. Do not use hot water while cleaning, as it will loosen the grease and make it seep deeper into the fabric.
  6. Different types of fabric require different cleaning treatments, so check the care label on your clothes before proceeding with any of these steps. A delicate fabric like silk or cashmere requires special handling, so proceed cautiously.

1- Dish Soap and Water

Dish soaps are designed to cut through grease, and everyone has it at home, so this is one of the easiest and most accessible methods for removing car grease from clothes.

Although any regular dish soap will do the trick, the ones with degreasing agents like Dawn and Palmolive are the most effective.

Dish Soap and Water

What you need:

  • Dish soap
  • A sink or bowl filled with cold water
  • A brush (toothbrush preferably)
  • A towel/ plastic sheet/ cardboard


  1. Lay the garment flat, and place a cardboard or plastic sheet behind the stained area to protect the fabric under the stain.
  2. Apply a small amount of dish soap directly onto the grease stain.
  3. Dip the brush in cold water and lightly scrub the grease spot in circular motions.
  4. Add more soap and dilute it with water, and continue scrubbing until the stain is gone.
  5. Rinse the soap from the fabric.
  6. If the stain is still there, repeat it until it’s completely gone.
  7. Wash the fabric in the washing machine in the cold water setting.
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2- Talcum Powder/ Baby Powder

Stains like car grease penetrate deep into fabric fibers, so anything that can help draw it out can make the job easier. And talcum powder or baby powder is surprisingly effective at doing just that.

These powders contain absorbent minerals such as talc (magnesium, silica) and kaolin clay that attract moisture and bind to it. When applied to grease stain, the powder draws out the grease molecules in the fabric, making it easier to lift them away.

Talcum Powder/ Baby Powder

What you need:

  • Talcum powder or baby powder
  • Brush


  1. Generously sprinkle talcum powder or baby powder onto the grease stain. Make sure to cover the entire stain.
  2. Blot the powder in with a paper towel if necessary.
  3. Allow it to sit for half an hour or a few hours.
  4. Gently brush the powder with a dry brush in circular motions to lift off the grease molecules.
  5. Vacuum up any remaining powder.
  6. Repeat if necessary.
  7. You may still see the stain after multiple attempts, but it should be much lighter and easier to wash away.
  8. Wash the fabric in cold water with regular laundry detergent.

3- Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most cherished home remedies for almost every cleaning issue. It’s a natural deodorizer with mild abrasive properties that make it incredibly effective at removing tough stains. But the best part is it’s safe to use on almost anything, including delicate fabrics.

Baking Soda

What you need:

  • Baking soda
  • A bowl of cold water
  • A brush


  1. You can either make a baking soda and water paste or sprinkle baking soda directly on the grease stain. But we suggest making a paste.
  2. Mix three parts baking soda with 1 part cold water in a small bowl and stir until it looks like a thick paste.
  3. Apply the paste directly onto the grease stain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Gently scrub the area with a brush in a circular motion to lift the grease molecules.
  5. The powder will turn brownish-gray as it absorbs the grease.
  6. Rinse off the paste with cold water and dab away any remaining residue with a towel or paper towel.
  7. Repeat the process if necessary and follow up with a regular laundry cycle.

4- Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a natural solvent that can dissolve oils, including the ones found in car grease. To make it even more effective, you can mix it with salt, as it can act as an abrasive and help scrub off stubborn grease stains.

It’s an effective method but should be used cautiously, as alcohol can cause fading or discoloration in certain fabrics. So, make sure to test it on an inconspicuous spot first.

Rubbing Alcohol

What you need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Table salt
  • Clean rag/ towel


  1. Mix two parts rubbing alcohol and one part table salt in a small bowl.
  2. Dip a clean rag or towel in this solution and blot the stain.
  3. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes, then gently scrub the area with the cloth in a circular motion.
  4. Rinse the spot with cold water and follow up with a regular laundry wash.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

5- Mechanic Soap

Mechanic soaps are specifically designed to clean tough automotive grease from hands and clothes. They usually contain special absorbing and degreasing agents like bentonite clay, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Tridecyl Alcohol that can effectively dissolve and break down the molecules of car grease.

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But the best part is these soaps are also gentle enough not to damage the skin or mechanics, so you can trust them to clean your finer fabrics as well. So if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks, this is the best way to get car grease out of clothes.

Mechanic Soap

What you need:

  • Mechanic soap
  • A brush


  1. Mechanic soaps come in all forms; liquid, powder, or solid bars, so you’ll have to improvise depending on what you have.
  2. If you’re using liquid soap, apply a generous amount directly onto the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub the area with a brush in a circular motion.
  4. For solid bar soaps, create a lather by rubbing the soap directly onto the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub.
  5. For powder soaps, mix a small amount of it with water and make a paste; apply the paste directly onto the stain, scrub and then rinse off with cold water.
  6. You may have to repeat the process a few times, but it’s worth it.
  7. Rinse off the soap with cold water and follow up with a regular laundry cycle.

6- Heavy Duty Laundry Pre Treatment

If the grease stains have already set in, you may want to try a heavy-duty pre-treatment product such as Oxi Clean or Spray’ n Wash.

These products contain powerful enzymes and surfactants that can break down the molecules of the grease and dissolve them. Just make sure to use it as per the instructions on the packaging, as some treatments may contain bleach and can cause discoloration in certain fabrics.

Heavy Duty Laundry Pre Treatment

What you need:

  • Pre-treatment product


  1. Spray the pre-treatment product directly onto the grease stains.
  2. Leave it to sit for 20 minutes, then gently rub the area in a circular motion.
  3. Rinse off the product with cold water and repeat the process a few times if necessary.
  4. Follow up with a regular laundry cycle.

7- Dry Cleaning Solvent

As the name suggests, dry cleaning solvent is typically used to remove tough stains from clothes without using water. It comes in aerosol cans, so basically, it’s the specialty product to spot and treat stubborn stains.

It’s an incredible product that can vanish the most challenging stains in minutes without using water, so it’s the best method to remove stains from fabric you don’t often wash, like upholstery or curtains.

But we must warn you dry cleaning products are much more expensive than the other products and can be risky to use on delicate fabrics that may require special care.

Dry Cleaning Solvent

What you need:

  • Aerosol dry cleaning solvent


  1. Wear a mask to avoid inhaling the chemicals, and work in a well-ventilated area.
  2. Spray the dry cleaning solvent directly onto the stain and blot the spot with a paper towel.
  3. Leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. The stain should vanish along the aerosol fumes, so you won’t need a rinse cycle.
  5. You can repeat the process if necessary.

8- Commercial Laundry Degreaser

If your clothes are in serious need of a deep clean, you may want to try a commercial laundry degreaser. These products contain petroleum-based solvents that can effectively brake down oil paint, wax, grease, and other hard-to-remove stains. LESTOIL multi-purpose cleaner is an excellent example of a commercial degreaser that works like a charm.

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But there is a catch, most commercial degreasers stink and leave a strong petroleum smell behind. So you have to take some extra steps to eliminate the odor.

Commercial Laundry Degreaser

What you need:

  • LESTOIL multi-purpose cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent


  1. Pour a generous amount of the cleaner directly onto the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Gently rub the area in a circular motion or use a brush if necessary.
  3. Rinse off the cleaner with cold water.
  4. Apply a generous amount of laundry detergent to the stain and again rub the area to create a lather.
  5. Rinse off the detergent with cold water and follow up with a regular laundry cycle.
  6. You may still feel a faint petroleum smell in the fabric, but it will eventually disappear in a day or two.

9- WD-40 Degreaser

WD-40 is also a degreaser, mainly made to clean the engines, tools, and other mechanical parts. It can do the same job with clothes, but you must put in some extra effort.

First, Wd-40 can leave its own stain and smell behind, so you have to wash off the product with the appropriate detergent afterward. Secondly, it’s way more powerful than the other degreasers, so only use it on tough fabrics like jeans, canvas, or other hard surfaces.

WD-40 Degreaser

What you need:

  • WD-40 degreaser
  • Laundry Detergent


  1. Use the straw nozzle and precisely spray the WD-40 onto the stain. Make sure you don’t spread it around too much.
  2. You won’t need to rub the areas, so leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rinse off the product with cold water and apply laundry detergent or better dish soap directly onto the spot.
  4. Gently rub the area for a few minutes in a circular motion, then rinse off the detergent with cold water.
  5. If necessary, repeat the process one more time.
  6. Follow up with a regular laundry cycle.

10- Professional Cleaning Service

Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put in or what product you use, the stain doesn’t budge. In that case, it’s best to seek professional help. Professional cleaners have access to special products that are not available to you and can effectively remove the toughest stains.

Also, they know how to properly use those products and clean upholstery and other delicate fabrics without any damage. So if you don’t want to take any risk, it’s best to leave it up to the professionals.

Professional Cleaning Service


Car grease is a stubborn stain that can be hard to get out of fabric. But with the right products and techniques, you can easily get rid of the stain. From dish soap to commercial degreasers, you can try various products and methods to get rid of car grease from your clothes.

If nothing seems to work, it’s best to leave it up to professional cleaners who can easily remove such stubborn stains.

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