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Author Topic: Sorta OT - How do I get grease out of clothes?  (Read 4993 times)
belfert
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« on: November 27, 2006, 08:07:07 PM »

This kinda off topic, but here goes:

I have a pile of about a half dozen tshirts covered in grease from working on my bus.  These are from when I was working on/under the engine/tranny area.

Any ideas how I can get the majority of the grease out of these?  I normally use a cleaner called Lestoil on oil/grease spots, but these shirts are covered in oil/grease.  I have one tshirt that is so bad I won't bother washing it.  It will get used for super greasy jobs and eventually thrown away.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2006, 08:10:32 PM »

If it,s bus grease usually kerosene and a match is about the only thbing that will work !  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 09:15:09 PM »

Use either Simple Green or at Costco Oil Eater. Soak and wash 3 or 4 times without drying in between.  Did that with a pair of dress pants that I got Diesel fuel all over.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2006, 03:44:33 AM »

WD-40 I use it all the time on carpet and such, A car dealer put me on to this.
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Dallas
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2006, 03:51:40 AM »

Brian,

All of these have been excellent tips for oil and grease removal.

I'll add my wifes favorite here too:

Rub GOjo orage hand cleaner on the greaiest part and let it soak in for a while, then wash as per normal.

If it were just me, I wouldn't care, but Cat seems to frown on taking me places covered in grease. She says it drops real estate values!

Good luck!

Dallas
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2006, 04:27:35 AM »

Brian,

I may be wrong, But I get the feeling your not married.

If you were married you would probably have lots of shirts from distant relatives who had NO idea of your real tastes at Christmas. Wink

You let them age for about a year (just in case they visit) in the closet and then when needed, put one on to do a nasty job in the shop.

Dispose of immediatley after use. Grin

You could double its useful life by soaking in diesel when done to start a burn pile (not for you city guys) Tongue

Best of Luck,

Cliff

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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2006, 04:53:33 AM »

Well, I guess I don't get what all the fuss is about.  The great thing about laundry detergent is it's designed to cut through this grease and grime and pull it right off the clothes.

I have two types of clothes. Work clothes, which I wear to the job that pays me money to show up, and "REAL WORK CLOTHES", which I wear around the house. The great thing is they all start out as work clothes, and as they wear and fade, they become REAL WORK clothes! There's a fine line between the two, and sometimes I find I've grabbed a pair of work jeans instead of REAL WORK jeans and now they're covered in greasy grime. That's called early promotion and usually results in me buying a new pair of work jeans.

Eventually, they all become shop rags.

My wife washes everything in either Tide or Cheer. Not sure which. She's never had a problem getting the grime out, but of course there will always be a stain or two that remains. So what?  I don't get too uptight about my looks and going out in public wearing ragged and stained jeans and shirt has never really bothered me. I figure if someone don't like the way I look, they can take pity on me and buy me a meal  Cheesy

Only suggestion I have is to not wash your REAL WORK clothes together with your work clothes. If your REAL WORK clothes get real greasy, consider taking them to a laundraumat where they typically have a machine reserved for these types of clothes.
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2006, 05:44:57 AM »

Brian,

I may be wrong, But I get the feeling your not married.

If you were married you would probably have lots of shirts from distant relatives who had NO idea of your real tastes at Christmas. Wink

Nope, not married.  But, I do have tons of tshirts from working at the Minnesota State Fair every year for 19 fairs.  I have somewhere between 20 and 30 MSF shirts.  I don't have any real need for the dirty shirts.  It would just be nice to have them half way clean.

There are one or two people who gave me stupid Christmas gifts every year and I finally asked them to stop since they were spending money on junk that was worthless to me.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2006, 07:24:47 AM »

I recommend you do not wash them in your home washer. It tends to leave little grease rings around all the drain holes in the tub that then leaves little rings on other clothes you wash.

At least in this part of the country there are always a couple of Laundromat machines that are set aside for oil field clothes. And woe be to those who get caught putting oil field clothes in a regular washer. The manager will banish you from the Laundromat or charge a very hefty cleaning fee.
Richard
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2006, 07:42:27 AM »

A couple of the laundromat's here also have a couple machines set aside for greasy loads.  (also strongly enforces)

I always have good luck with liquid Tide.  If there is a particularly saturated spot, I rub straight Tide into the stain and let them sit for a day.  Then I do the load with a double dose of liquid Tide in warm water on the heavy duty cycle.  As Gumpy stated, there is usually a few minor stains remaining but they are fine for "real work clothes".
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2006, 09:31:39 AM »

Add a little Pine-Sol type cleaner to the washer. Makes REAL WORK CLOTHES smell better too.

HTH

Dale
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2006, 09:49:13 AM »

Another one to use is any lanolin based hand cleaners ( white jell like ) rub it into the soiled area and let it sit for a few days.

I also use Fast-Orange ( creamy version ) not the pumice version which seems to work fairly well.

I also have used the mineral oil based parts washer/cleaner fluid, It does work pretty good on grease then I do the other stuff
to finish the soaking/cleaning.
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2006, 10:13:51 AM »

Brian,

Since you're not married, I give you this advice.  My wife made me invest in a pair of coveralls, which were not allowed in the house.  Believe me, after about a week of use in the hot Mississippi summer, they would literally stand on their own.  When they became unbearable, I washed them (alone).  You will save many a T-shirt (and headache) with a good pair of coveralls. 

Jimmy
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2006, 12:48:52 PM »

Tyvek jump suits, get them dirty and throw them away...

Even available with hoods to protect your hair...

Now to remember to put them on when doing stuff. That's another problem that I haven't solved..

Dave...
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2006, 02:10:58 PM »

Oh yeah, I forgot, a little battery acid will take those grease spots right out! Roll Eyes

Jimmy
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2006, 03:33:42 PM »

Oh yeah, I forgot, a little battery acid will take those grease spots right out! Roll Eyes

Jimmy

That's another reason I have to promote my work clothes to REAL WORK clothes early. I run out of (literally) my REAL WORK clothes before they are worn out.  Cheesy

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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2006, 06:25:35 PM »

Do what I have done for years in working on diesel locomotives on the railroad. Visit your local Goodwill or Salvation Army Thrift Store and buy second hand work clothes.  Keep them in your shop or garage, or in a in a container in a bus bay, changing into them when you have a dirty job.  When they are good and greasy, ditch 'em and use fresh ones.   
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2006, 08:20:43 AM »

Brian -

My receipe is HOT water, 1 cup laundry detergent (usually Kirkland brand from Costco, but any of the majors will do), and 1/4 cup DAWN dishwashing liquid.  Set machine on small load, add soap, let fill and begin agitation.  Once agitation begins, reset water to large, and add clothes.  When agitation begins again, shut off machine and let everything soak for an hour.  After that hour, turn machine back on and let it finish it's cycle.  Repeat if necessary, but usually not needed.

Now, to avoid the problem that Richard mentioned, that of left-over oil contaminating the next load, I usually run the machine empty with HOT water, full load setting and 1/4 cup laundry detergent.  I know, "washing water" only is wasteful, but better than ruining good clothes.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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belfert
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2006, 08:26:26 AM »

Brian -

My receipe is HOT water, 1 cup laundry detergent (usually Kirkland brand from Costco, but any of the majors will do), and 1/4 cup DAWN dishwashing liquid.  Set machine on small load, add soap, let fill and begin agitation.  Once agitation begins, reset water to large, and add clothes.  When agitation begins again, shut off machine and let everything soak for an hour.  After that hour, turn machine back on and let it finish it's cycle.  Repeat if necessary, but usually not needed.

I wonder if this would work on a front loader.  There are no load size settings on a front loader.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2006, 08:29:14 AM »

Brian -

Use the same soap receipe, just add the clothes from the get-go.  Let agitate for awhile (3 - 4 minutes), then shut machine off for the hour soak, and restart.

Good luck!

 Wink
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2006, 08:35:44 AM »

Brian E, also cut Russ' soap receipe in half... since front loaders use half the water (and detergent) of the top loaders. Hate to see you have a "bubble experience"...  Grin

Brian B.
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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2006, 10:18:27 AM »

Brian -

My receipe is HOT water, 1 cup laundry detergent (usually Kirkland brand from Costco, but any of the majors will do), and 1/4 cup DAWN dishwashing liquid.  Set machine on small load, add soap, let fill and begin agitation.  Once agitation begins, reset water to large, and add clothes.  When agitation begins again, shut off machine and let everything soak for an hour.  After that hour, turn machine back on and let it finish it's cycle.  Repeat if necessary, but usually not needed.

I wonder if this would work on a front loader.  There are no load size settings on a front loader.

Brian Elfert

Our frontloader locks the door, until the final rinse is complete....YMMV

Jim
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2006, 04:58:15 PM »

Have clothes your OK having grease stain on and don't worry about it.

Buy some work coveralls and let them get grease stained.
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belfert
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2006, 05:48:50 PM »

Have clothes your OK having grease stain on and don't worry about it.

These aren't my Sunday best or something.  I would just like to get most (not all) of the grease stains out.  It isn't like I don't have a ton of these shirts.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2009, 10:38:06 AM »

This is the only old thread I could find in the archives.  I was wondering if there are there any improvements on the suggestions in this thread: wd-40, orange go-jo, kerosene, lanolin, toss when dirty, toss when stinky, buy used clothes-toss when stinky, tyvek overalls, overalls-toss when stinky, soak for an hour and what's the problem with a washed grease stain, is the last advice I can remember.

I've tried go-jo, soaking and tossing but it is starting to put a dent in my wardrobe.  I even asked at a couple of mechanics shops and the process is to give it to the wife or the service and it comes back clean. 

It seems if I stare too hard at the bus a grease just appears on my clothes.

Mike

PS It was interesting to read a 2006 thread.
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2009, 11:43:17 AM »

gotta put an ad in for Dawn as well.  It's what gets used on animals that have been caught in oil spills.  Works great on you and your clothes.  I just dump a bunch in with my regular tide.

Glenn
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2009, 11:57:40 AM »

Mean Green and a power washer works for me a little rough on the fabric but a better alternative than the wife and her washer.     good luck
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2009, 12:40:03 PM »

I have an easier way, if the stuff doesn't come out, wear them till they fall off and throw them away! Grin

I know it's not helpful but I've tried before and you know what, it doesn't work too well. Especially when you get black grease on them from a mixer gearbox, been there, done that!

Paul
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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2009, 12:47:08 PM »

I originally started this thread over two years ago. 

I ended using Dawn on my clothes, but by no means are they like new.  The Dawn lifted a lot of grease, but the grease spots are still evident.  I never expected the grease to totally go away.
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2009, 01:13:46 PM »

Laundromat-2AM...I've been kicked out of some of the best laundromats in the state.
Didn't hurt at all...Cable
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2009, 01:49:46 PM »

tyvek jusmpsuits......can cut the feet off  or legs to make shorts, sleeves to make short sleeves.  they take up very little space and can be reused.  but cheap enough to throw out.  always have a pair or two on my bus and in my truck...just in case.
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« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2009, 02:11:10 PM »

Tyvec jumpsuit idea sounds good.
Where do you get them?

AJ
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« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2009, 02:20:11 PM »

Gunk engine degreaser works really well. Just get a few cans and spray all your stuff, let it soak in for an hour or so and wash them in hot water, they will come real clean. The down side is it leaves an odor if you don't do a couple rinses.
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« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2009, 06:23:02 PM »

I rescued a good spring/fall jacket that I accidentally covered an arm and then the body side in grease pulling fifth wheel pins at a roadeo in the rain using the ether starting spray. Great tip from an old trucker.

Lighter fluid is also an old trick.

Be careful with your sources of ignition until it has been through the wash...

Pretty much nothing will get gear oil stains out, so plan ahead if you are going to mess with wheel ends or differentials.

I, the Mrs and my mother are all practitioners of RJ's start it and leave it soak strategy. Overnight if necessary.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2009, 08:21:43 PM »

Hi Folks,

Billy Mays here for Oxyclean....... ;DLol



Nick-
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« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2009, 01:08:19 PM »

Belfert,

Now you can "expect to get all the grease out".

For small localized spots:  Spray the spot with "easy Off Oven Cleaner".  Get the version that is nasty, contains LYE and you can't breath.  That "pleasantly scented" version is crap.  LYE: the mechanic's wife's friend.

For big spots or lots of clothes:  Fill the washer to its low level where the agitator paddles are just covered.  Add a cup of LYE, Plumbers or Red Devil, and let the machine agitate for just a few seconds to mix.  The mixing is to placate you into thinking you are being carefull.  You can also just drop in a small load, (that IS important), set the temp to HOT and dump in the LYE.  Now look, if that lye can eat thru a grease clogged drain in a Chinese restaurant in a new york minute or dissolve baked on grease on an oven, it can find and destroy motor oil on a shirt.  I know, I know, what does that do to the fabrick?  Not a thing.  Next nay sayer: but what does that do to the washer?  I must have used this in ten washers and nothing was ever damaged.  and the finale, but won't it leave a ring in the washer?  No evidence of that ever happening either.

For diff grease soaked rags I put them in a 5 gallon bucket and added 2 cups of LYE, poked at them with a stick for a few min and let them get acquainted over night.  Dumped that in the washer the next day and set it for HOT" , "NORMAL" and double rinse.  Wall Laaa, all better.

You will want to follow up with NOTHING ELSE BUT TIDE wash cycle.

Now you know that I wouldn't be this emphatic if I weren't absolutely sure.  Oh, and, don't drink even a little bit of that wash water. Grin

John the chemist wanna be
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