How To Remove Bike Oil Stains From Clothes | GCN Tech Cleaning Tips

Staining your beautiful street biking equipment with oil out of your chain, or grime from the street could be a horrible feeling! For many, disposing of those stains can appear difficult, and even inconceivable! But no concern, Conor is right here as of late to provide you with a lot of alternative ways to check out to take away that pesky stain!

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46 thoughts on “How To Remove Bike Oil Stains From Clothes | GCN Tech Cleaning Tips”

  1. Professional (ok, former professional) advice: Oil is a non-polar substance, compounded by extra grit and dirt. So it's hard for aqueous solvents (i.e. water) to dissolve and remove very oily substances.
    Detergent helps by creating micelles that actually can remove and suspend the dirt in the water, but you can "help" by making the solvent (i.e. the wash) more similar to the thing you're trying to dissolve. So the no-brainer cleaners of choice are the degreasing agents, especially if they are also soluble in water such as the limonene in something like citrus degreaser. Other strong solvents will also work (e.g. goo-gone)- but may eat your kit. I've never had a problem with citrus degreaser. Apply, remove as much of the stain as you can, then laundry again.
    Source: former employee on the heavy duty powder detergent and hard surface cleaning divisions on a major multinational consumer goods corporation.

  2. A number of possible solution, but no idea of what will work.
    Anyway, vinegar, lemon juice and other acids will definitely damage your Lycra for good.
    Everybody knows that acids and conditioner will damage lycra clothes.

  3. One trick of the trade is that acids mixed with bases neutralize each other. So lemon juice (acid) neutralizes baking soda (alkaline).
    A lot of people figure that the fizzing is the solution "working". Well, no, that's just the carbon dioxide from the baking soda being released by the acid in the lemon juice.
    The trick of the trade is that if you see baking soda being mixed with an acid, that is a lousy cleaning solution. It works great in cakes (see baking powder), but not for cleaning.
    A better idea would be to use baking soda and water to make an alkaline solution. This works great to break down fats.

    For oils, use a soap, which has a oleophilic end (loves oil) and a hydrophilic end (loves water) to the molecule. Rub that in and the molecules will bind to the oils, then wash and they will bind to the water, and wash the oils away. See Fairy liquid, hand soap, stain remover.

    And don't iron or use the dryer on your clothes. To set dyes in clothing they use acids and heat.

  4. When I was in the service and we would get lube stains on our uniform we would stain the whole garment. Like magic, the stain dissappears. It may not be the same color, but it is all uniform in color..

  5. Idea for a future GCN Tech Show – Explore the Pros/Cons of internal geared rear hub versus the cassette/derailleur setup. Especially with the single chain ring gaining in popularity due to it's simplicity, I think the time is right for internal gears to get some respect.

  6. Do NOT use heavy duty hand cleaner on your good bike clothes! They're an abrasive, they work on your hands by peeling the dirty outer layer of your skin! You do not want to sand down your expensive bike clothes, do you?
    Personally I haven't had a stain that withstood Beckmann and the usual wash cycle, but any degreasing agent (dishwashing liquid also does count as one) + detergent should do the trick.

  7. Your experiment is mixing base with relatively high pH; acid with relatively low pH, and water with pH nearly balance as basically the solvent. The result is a solution with (relatively) close to neutral pH similar to drinking water, CO2 (that fizz), and some solids/salt, depending on the balance of the mixture. So that dirt you have might go away with only water from the beginning.

    May want to experiment 1st with soluble baking soda. Then 2nd with acid solution (lemon etc). Then 3rd continued with just water with pH balanced. Different type of dirt and material will react (soluble) differently with each high, low, or neutral pH solution.

    Some dirt will just be layers of different materials require different pH to clean them. For example stain from chain is made from grease, road dirt, sweat, etc. The 1st wash will may only get grease away. 2nd solution will kick road dirt..etc

  8. I studied theatre and for my degree had to do a costume class- my instructor said the first 24 hours of that stain life will dictate if you will be able to actually remove that stain from the fabric so do not put off cleaning that stain.
    Theatre school also made use figure out common stains that befall actors like coffee and chocolate so this is where this advice comes from. In addition to bike grease, make a cheat sheet of what fibre content your kit is from socks to base layer to jerseys then consider what potential stains you might have while wearing your kit. Ie coffee, blood, tea, grease, grass stains, chocolate, beer etc for each type of fibre – Lycra, wool, nylon, cotton etc
    For food and drink considering how these are made or how you take them will help you figure out how to best remove that stain- if you drink black coffee, you will just have to consider how to remove coffee but if you add milk and sugar, you need to consider those elements are removed from clothing. You might have to spend sometime googling on the internet and I recommend doing this before not mid panic!

    Don’t use oxy on protein based fibres like wool- it fixes stains by eating protein.

    Also read laundry labels on kits to find out how to care for them best!

    I do appreciate that Conner used more home remedies to remove stains that you can buy around the world rather just items found in England or Europe.

  9. Bike Hut chain degreaser from Halfords worked an absolute treat on my bright yellow soft-shell.

    Place a cloth under the material, dip a cotton bud into the degreaser, gently work into the stain, then dab dry with a piece of kitchen paper.

    It might take 3 or 4 cotton buds, but if you keep working it will eventually shift. Then just chuck it in the washing machine on a normal wash.

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