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View Full Version : How to clean bike grease out of clothes? Help!



KLizotte
02-07-2012, 05:34 PM
I was a good girl last weekend and cleaned and oiled my chain and wiped down my bike. Unfortunately, some of the bike grease got on my windbreaker and clothes. Neither laundry detergent, Goo Be Gone, or grease specific Carbona Stain Devil liquid was successful in getting the grease out (or is it more appropriately called oil?)

Has anybody found something that works and won't disolve high tech fabrics? I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem.

Many thanks!

jrenaut
02-07-2012, 05:52 PM
I fear the answer is, "don't wear clothes you care about to clean your chain". I have a couple permanently stained articles of clothing, so I certainly don't have a good solution for you.

eminva
02-07-2012, 06:52 PM
For technical fabrics, I use Nikwax Tech Wash. I rub a little directly into any stains before washing. For grease stains, it usually takes more than one washing for it to all come out, but it gets better with each successive washing.

Liz

Greenbelt
02-07-2012, 09:10 PM
Aren't clothes supposed to have bike grease on them?

KLizotte
02-07-2012, 09:28 PM
Aren't clothes supposed to have bike grease on them?

Well, I suppose they would help with establishing my biker chick credentials.

Dirt
02-07-2012, 10:11 PM
I use Simple Green on stuff like jeans. Spray it on and rub it in a bit, then wash. Repeat if needed.

For cycling clothes I use Penguin Sport Wash (though I don't think they actually use real penguins to make the stuff).

As for prevention of getting grease on things in the first place, I suggest doing all bicycle maintenance in the nude. ;) (Sorry. You kinda knew I was gonna say that.)

CCrew
02-07-2012, 10:18 PM
Another thing that will work is waterless hand cleaner of the type you can pick up at Autozone ( Not the foo foo stuff from Bath and Body Works :) ). Unfortunately though once the garment has been washed and dried it's about damn near impossible to get it out.

KLizotte
02-07-2012, 10:23 PM
As for prevention of getting grease on things in the first place, I suggest doing all bicycle maintenance in the nude. ;) (Sorry. You kinda knew I was gonna say that.)

I would but I think that would ruin my pedicure plus I don't want to risk getting some important bits caught in moving parts. Ouch!

Dirt
02-08-2012, 05:58 AM
I would but I think that would ruin my pedicure plus I don't want to risk getting some important bits caught in moving parts. Ouch!
Good point. I guess there's an advantage to only doing Swiss Army Pedicures.

Dirt
02-08-2012, 06:05 AM
It used to be the sign of a great mechanic/master frame builder that they could do most of their non-welding work wearing really nice clothing and it would stay clean all day. The Italian bike shops that also made bike frames with names like Masi, DeRosa and Colnago, as well as the less known names that aspired to greatness, were run by master mechanics/frame builders who would wear a pristine, white dress shirt to work and would arrive home with the shirt just as pristine. While I'm sure a lot of that is just myth, it is an ethic that my boss in an old, Italian bike shop located in Denver lived by EVERY DAY. He always looked perfect... even when working in the shop. His hands would get dirty, but almost never his shirt.

I learned to be a master mechanic from him, but I never learned to keep my shirts clean. Thus the Simple Green.

5555624
02-08-2012, 07:05 AM
Good point. I guess there's an advantage to only doing Swiss Army Pedicures.

Well, if it's a facncy pedicure, I'd suggest socks. Black socks.

consularrider
02-08-2012, 09:17 AM
So far the Spray-n-wash or Resolve pre-treatment seems to work reasonably well, but I think I've got an item or two with a permanent stain.

culimerc
02-08-2012, 10:38 AM
For jeans and the like, I hit it with spray and wash as soon as I can, than when I have some time I scrub it with a little "Dawn" dish washing detergent and a toothbrush.

pfunkallstar
02-08-2012, 11:49 AM
For jeans and the like, I hit it with spray and wash as soon as I can, than when I have some time I scrub it with a little "Dawn" dish washing detergent and a toothbrush.

I've found that liquid Lava soap or the equivalent is pretty amazing at getting that stuff off. When I was working in bike shops I would always leave a pair of dark jeans and a mechanics shirt at the shop and just change into them once I got there.

StopMeansStop
02-08-2012, 04:47 PM
Any sort of oil will work. I reccomend bacon grease

CCrew
02-09-2012, 08:28 AM
Someone say bacon???? :)

SteveTheTech
02-15-2012, 08:00 PM
I learned to be a master mechanic from him, but I never learned to keep my shirts clean. Thus the Simple Green.

Those silly Italians do the same thing with cars, always so much focus on appearance. Their cars are well known for leaking fluids yet the techs remain clean, in a low volume facility with a full time house cleaning staff you can achieve starch white perfection, IRL things are a bit different.

I find keeping greasy things a foot or two away from my chest and at chest height gives me the best angle to keep grease at bay. This holds true for replacing a front axle with grease everywhere or cleaning gunk from a rear derailleur where the majority of the mess is concealed until the cleaning begins.

Rubber gloves are my top recommendation as long as you get a size that fits properly.


Thanks for the tips I'm going to try some of these.