How To Get Mechanic Grease Smell Out Of Clothes

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How to get mechanic grease smell out of clothes – Mechanic grease, a common byproduct of automotive and industrial work, can leave behind a stubborn odor on clothes. This guide delves into effective methods for removing mechanic grease smell from clothing, empowering you to restore your garments to a fresh and clean state.

From exploring various laundering techniques to harnessing homemade solutions and commercial products, this comprehensive guide equips you with the knowledge and tools to tackle this greasy challenge.

Types of Mechanic Grease

Mechanic grease is a type of lubricant used to reduce friction and wear between moving parts in machinery. It is typically made from a base oil, such as petroleum or synthetic oil, and a thickener, such as soap or clay.

Mechanic grease is available in a variety of types, each with its own unique properties and applications.

Common Types of Mechanic Grease

Some of the most common types of mechanic grease include:

  • Lithium greaseis a general-purpose grease that is suitable for a wide range of applications. It is resistant to water and heat, and it has a long service life.
  • Calcium greaseis a heavy-duty grease that is designed for use in high-load applications. It is more resistant to wear than lithium grease, but it is also less resistant to water and heat.
  • Sodium greaseis a low-cost grease that is suitable for use in light-duty applications. It is not as resistant to wear as lithium or calcium grease, but it is more resistant to water.
  • Synthetic greaseis a type of grease that is made from synthetic oils and thickeners. Synthetic greases are more expensive than conventional greases, but they offer a number of advantages, such as higher performance, longer service life, and better resistance to water and heat.

Laundering Methods

How to get mechanic grease smell out of clothes

Removing mechanic grease from clothes requires specific laundering techniques to effectively dissolve and remove the stubborn stains. Different methods vary in their effectiveness, depending on the type of grease, fabric, and severity of the stain.

The following section discusses various laundering methods and provides step-by-step instructions for each, including pre-treatments, washing techniques, and drying procedures:


Pre-treating mechanic grease stains before laundering is crucial for enhancing the effectiveness of the cleaning process. Several effective pre-treatment methods include:

  • Dish Soap:Apply a small amount of dish soap directly to the stain and gently rub it in. Allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes before laundering.
  • Baking Soda Paste:Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Brush off the dried paste before laundering.
  • Commercial Degreasers:Apply a commercial degreaser specifically designed for fabric to the stain. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and dwell time.

Washing Techniques

Once the stain has been pre-treated, it’s time to launder the clothes using the following techniques:

  • Hot Water:Use the hottest water temperature that is safe for the fabric. Hot water helps dissolve grease and makes it easier to remove.
  • Heavy-Duty Detergent:Choose a heavy-duty detergent that is formulated to remove tough stains, such as grease and oil.
  • Extended Wash Cycle:Set the washing machine to an extended wash cycle to allow ample time for the detergent to break down and remove the grease.
  • Double Rinse:After the wash cycle is complete, run an additional rinse cycle to ensure all traces of detergent and grease are removed.

Drying Procedures

Proper drying techniques are essential to prevent the grease from setting permanently into the fabric:

  • Tumble Drying:Tumble dry the clothes on a low or medium heat setting. High heat can set the grease and make it more difficult to remove.
  • Air Drying:If possible, air dry the clothes instead of using a dryer. This will help prevent the grease from spreading and setting into the fabric.
  • Avoid Fabric Softener:Fabric softeners can coat the fabric and make it more difficult to remove grease.

Homemade Solutions

Homemade solutions offer cost-effective and readily available options for removing mechanic grease from clothes. These methods utilize common household items and rely on their natural cleaning properties.

The effectiveness of these solutions stems from their ability to dissolve or break down grease molecules. The chemical reactions involved vary depending on the solution used.

Dish Soap and Hot Water

  • Mix a generous amount of dish soap into a basin of hot water.
  • Submerge the grease-stained clothing and soak for several hours or overnight.
  • Agitate the clothing periodically to help loosen the grease.
  • Rinse thoroughly with cold water and launder as usual.

The surfactants in dish soap break down grease molecules, making them easier to remove with water.

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

  • Create a paste by mixing baking soda and lemon juice in equal parts.
  • Apply the paste to the grease stain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub the stain with a soft brush or sponge.
  • Rinse with cold water and launder as usual.

The alkaline nature of baking soda neutralizes grease acids, while the citric acid in lemon juice helps dissolve the grease.


  • Apply white vinegar directly to the grease stain.
  • Allow it to sit for 15-30 minutes.
  • Rinse with cold water and launder as usual.

Vinegar’s acidity helps break down grease molecules and remove them from the fabric.


  • Spray a small amount of WD-40 onto the grease stain.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  • Blot the stain with a clean cloth.
  • Rinse with cold water and launder as usual.

WD-40 is a lubricant that helps dissolve grease and make it easier to remove.

Commercial Products: How To Get Mechanic Grease Smell Out Of Clothes

Commercial products are specifically formulated to tackle tough stains like mechanic grease. They often contain powerful degreasers and enzymes that break down the grease and lift it from the fabric. Here’s a review of some popular commercial products:

Grease Lightning

  • A heavy-duty degreaser that effectively removes grease, oil, and other tough stains.
  • Contains a blend of surfactants and solvents that penetrate and dissolve grease.
  • Safe for use on most fabrics, but always test on an inconspicuous area first.

Shout Triple-Acting Spray

  • A multi-purpose stain remover that also works on grease stains.
  • Contains a combination of enzymes, surfactants, and solvents to break down and remove stains.
  • Can be used on both washable and dry-clean only fabrics.

OxiClean MaxForce Spray

  • A powerful stain remover that contains oxygen bleach.
  • The oxygen bleach helps to break down and lift stains, including grease.
  • Safe for use on most fabrics, but always test on an inconspicuous area first.

Pros of Commercial Products

  • Specifically designed to remove grease stains
  • Contain powerful degreasers and enzymes
  • Convenient and easy to use

Cons of Commercial Products

  • Can be expensive
  • May contain harsh chemicals
  • Not all commercial products are effective on all types of grease

Ultimately, the choice between commercial products and homemade solutions depends on your budget, preferences, and the severity of the grease stain.

Stain Prevention

How to get mechanic grease smell out of clothes

Preventing mechanic grease stains from setting in clothes is crucial for maintaining a clean and professional appearance. Implementing a few simple techniques can significantly reduce the risk of stains.

Wearing protective gear is essential when working with grease. Gloves, coveralls, and safety glasses help create a barrier between your clothes and grease. Additionally, taking precautions such as using rags or paper towels to wipe up spills and cleaning greasy tools and equipment regularly can minimize the chances of grease transfer.

Stain Repellents and Pre-Treatment

Stain repellents can be applied to fabrics to create a protective layer that repels grease and other liquids. These products are available in spray or liquid form and can be applied before exposure to grease. Pre-treating fabrics with a stain remover or enzyme-based detergent can also help break down grease molecules, making them easier to remove during laundering.

Additional Considerations

When dealing with mechanic grease stains, specific considerations must be made to ensure effective removal while preserving the integrity of the fabric. The type of grease, fabric, and water temperature all play crucial roles in the stain removal process.

For delicate fabrics, such as silk or lace, it is essential to use gentle methods and avoid harsh chemicals. Hand washing in lukewarm water with a mild detergent is recommended. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the stain, as this can damage the delicate fibers.

Heavily Soiled Garments

Heavily soiled garments may require more aggressive cleaning methods. Pre-treating the stain with a commercial stain remover or a homemade solution can help break down the grease before laundering. Soaking the garment in a solution of warm water and a degreasing agent, such as dish soap or laundry detergent, can also help loosen the stain.

Grease Type

The type of grease can affect the effectiveness of stain removal methods. Mineral oil-based grease, such as engine oil, is typically easier to remove than vegetable oil-based grease, such as cooking oil. Heavy-duty degreasers may be necessary for removing stubborn grease stains.

Fabric Type

The type of fabric can also influence the choice of stain removal method. Natural fibers, such as cotton and linen, are more absorbent and may require more aggressive cleaning methods. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, are less absorbent and may be more resistant to stains.

Water Temperature

Water temperature plays a role in the effectiveness of stain removal. Hot water can help dissolve grease, but it can also set stains on certain fabrics. Cold water is less effective at dissolving grease but is safer for delicate fabrics.

Professional Cleaning Services, How to get mechanic grease smell out of clothes

If home remedies and commercial products fail to remove the grease stain, professional cleaning services may be necessary. Dry cleaners have specialized equipment and cleaning agents that can effectively remove tough stains without damaging the fabric.