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How to Get the Smell of WD40 Out of Fabric

Updated February 21, 2017

Removing pervasive and strong smells, such as the smell of WD-40, from materials can be difficult, but it is possible. Luckily, there are a few options available. Cleansers available in department stores can remove odours. There are also many household essentials that you probably already have on hand that can remove strong odours from fabrics. One of the easiest options is to place your fabric outside in the sun. Simply airing the material out can remove most, if not all, of the smelly odours.

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  1. Purchase a cleanser that uses enzymes to break up the proteins left by different compounds. Examples of such cleansers include Sporicidin and Ultrazyme.

  2. Check to ensure that the product will not cause damage to the fabric that is affected by the smell.

  3. Pour detergent-based enzymatic cleanser in the washing machine, according to the directions on the label for the type of fabric you are cleaning. Wash the fabric as you normally would.

  4. Use dryer sheets when drying the fabric. This acts as a twofold punch to the odour when paired with the cleanser.

  5. Place unbrewed coffee grounds in a sachet with fabric, or sprinkle them on top of the affected area. Make the sachet by folding a piece of cheesecloth and tying the top with string, a twist tie or a rubber band.

  6. Allow the coffee grounds several hours to absorb the smell of the WD-40.

  7. Remove the sachet or coffee grounds from the fabric by shaking them into a dustbin or vacuuming them up. Repeat if the scent is persistent.

  8. Tip

    Often, strong smells need multiple treatments. It may take several tries of either method to rid your fabric of the scent. Other chemical-free methods, like vinegar, work well to remove odours.


    Be sure the cleanser you choose does not cause damage to the fabric. Detergent-based cleansers will state on the package what fabrics or materials, if any, they may cause damage to. Cleansers can be toxic to humans and pets. Keep in a secure area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Detergent-based enzymatic cleaning product
  • Unbrewed coffee grounds
  • Vacuum (optional)

About the Author

Baird Daily is an English instructor. She is published in the "World Literary Review" and has written about music and arts for the "Daily Athenaeum." She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Western Virginia University and is a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky.

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