How to remove bicycle grease stains

Written by christina riopelle
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How to remove bicycle grease stains
Curious fingers smear bicycle grease on clothing. (hluso/iStock/Getty Images)

Bicycle grease does not consist of a light liquid oil, but rather a gummy paste. For most areas of the bike use grease marketed as either automotive or bicycle grease. Curious fingers poke gears and bearings, then use shirts to wipe off the sticky mess. Grease from bearings and bike chains can stain trousers. Check your cyclist's clothing thoroughly before washing to prevent heavy grease from transferring to the rest of the wash.

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Things you need

  • Plastic knife
  • Laundry pretreatment spray
  • Washing powder
  • Extra-strength liquid detergent

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  1. 1

    Scrape thick clumps of grease from the fabric, but don't spread the stain. Use a plastic knife or spoon.

    How to remove bicycle grease stains
    Scrape excess grease from the fabric with a plastic knife. (plastic knife fork and spoon image by Steve Johnson from
  2. 2

    Spray a pretreatment product directly onto the stain or pour an extra-strength detergent on problem areas.

    How to remove bicycle grease stains
    Apply a pretreatment spray. (spray image by dinostock from
  3. 3

    Mix your own pretreatment paste in the absence of a commercial product. Sprinkle washing powder onto the stain and add water in small increments. Work the powder into a paste with your fingers or by rubbing the surrounding fabric together.

    How to remove bicycle grease stains
    Powder detergent and hot water form a paste. (faucet image by Laura Dynan from
  4. 4

    Launder the clothing in hot water. If the manufacturer's instructions discourage high temperatures, launder the clothing in the warmest temperature the fabric can withstand.

    How to remove bicycle grease stains
    Launder in hot water. (laundry image by timur1970 from
  5. 5

    Inspect the clothing after the wash cycle. If the stain persists, launder the clothing a second time.

    How to remove bicycle grease stains
    Inspect the garment before drying. (Laundry image by Fenia from

Tips and warnings

  • Do not dry clothing unless the stain has disappeared to your satisfaction because heat sets stains.

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