How To Wash Greasy Work Clothes

Experiencing grease covered clothing is no walk in the park. Many different occupations out there are grease splash zones. Day in and day out getting coated in hard to clean stains. Whether you are a mechanic, factory worker, farmer, or any other position these stains are a disaster.

This is especially important when you’re required to wear specific uniforms. Lots of professions that deal with greasy stains need uniforms with fire retardancy or other such specialties. These types of shirts and pants don’t come cheap; which is why washing them is so important.

People have come up with a lot of different ways to fight grease. This article will go over how to wash your work clothing traditionally; it will also go over more unique ways of removing grease stains. Many of these tips and tricks are quickly done with things you already have on hand.

Traditional Cleaning Methods

Liquid Dishwashing Detergent

Many different dishwashing detergents are built to tackle greasy dishes, silverware, and pots or pans. This can be a perfect solution since it’s likely you’ll already have dishwashing detergent at the ready. Some brands work better than others, so you may want to buy a more expensive brand for the best results.

Many people and places suggest Dawn® liquid dish soap as a great go-to for tackling clothing stains. You can choose to target the specific area that needs a little more work with some hand washing before throwing it in the wash.

If you’re worried about the whole garment, you can soak it in soapy water in the sink for 5 to 15 minutes before rinsing it once the spot has been taken care of toss it in the wash for a full clean.

Dawn Dish Soap Platinum Dishwashing Liquid + Non-Scratch Sponges for Dishes, Refreshing Rain Scent, Includes 3x24oz + 2 Sponges (Packaging May Vary)
  • Contains 4X MORE Grease Cleaning Power (cleaning ingredients per drop vs. non-ultra Dawn)
  • Powers away 48-hour, stuck-on food in seconds
  • The Dawn Non-Scratch Premium Scrubber won’t scratch your non-stick cookware and sensitive surfaces
  • Cleansing Refreshing Rain scent
  • Packaging & sponge shape will vary

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Another go-to brand for getting out grease stains is Fels-Naptha®. If you haven’t heard of it, Fels-Naptha® is a heavy duty laundry bar soap that is known for removing poison ivy resin from clothing. Being a bar soup can help you pinpoint the areas of concern. One of the best things about it is the cost.

You won’t break the bank with this laundry bar soap. It has a great track record on hard to clean stains as well. Just wet the stain, rub the wet bar of soap over it, and scrub. We suggest using an old toothbrush, a great stain removing go to. The bristles are designed from removing pesky things from your teeth, so why wouldn’t it work on cloth. Once you’ve removed, the stain just throws it in with the rest of the washing.

Zout Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover, Tough Stain Removal, 5 Ounces
  • Purex Fels-Naptha is a powerful laundry bar that works overtime to remove greasy, oily stains, perspiration, and ring-around-the-collar
  • With over 100 years of removing America’s stains, you can rest assured that this laundry bar knows how to tackle your toughest stains
  • All you’ve got to do is rub the stain with a wet bar of Purex Fels-Naptha and let it sit for a few minutes. Formulation Type: Non-HE Formulated
  • Then wash your clothes as you normally would and say farewell to tough stains for good
  • For a stain boost to a wash load, finely grate half of the bar (use less for smaller or less soiled loads) into the washer, fill washer with water, and agitate for several minutes before adding clothing

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Similar to using dishwashing detergent, Pine-Sol® is another option you may have on hand. This can be a cost-effective solution. It’s suggested when trying to remove stains from fabric to use scentless Pine-Sol®. If you don’t have scentless Pine-Sol® on hand, no worries the scented versions work the same.

Start by using a sponge to scrub the Pine-Sol® into the mark. This can work on other types of stains outside grease as well. After scrubbing with the sponge, follow the care directions and wash the garment.

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Another option for using Pine-Sol® is to pour half a cup into your laundry load along with the regular laundry detergent. It can help brighten up lighter clothes and remove stains. If you use this method however make sure the load is white or colorfast.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to dry clothes with Pine-Sol® so hang the washed clothes up to dry after washing.

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Fast Orange

Using Fast Orange can be a great cost-effective choice. Fast Orange® originally made as hand wash and lotion is available as a detergent. This is a definite solution to consider if these stains often happen at your full-time job. Fast Orange® works the same as any other laundry detergent out there.

It boasts the ability to take out grease stains and remove odor. This detergent can be used with regular wash items as well and helps remove build up in your washer. You’ll save money by not having to rerun the washer after cleaning greasy work clothes.

When using Fast Orange® shake well before use and add a full cap of detergent to your warm water load. If you have stains that are extra troublesome directly apply to the area and hand wash lightly. Though it’s specifically designed with mechanics in mind, it will clean up stains from any occupation.

Fast Orange 22340 Grease X Mechanics Laundry Detergent For Oil, Grease, Automotive Stains And Odors, Eliminates Fuel, Oil, Grease And Exhaust Stains 40 fl. Oz
  • Removes and helps repel automotive stains and soils
  • Eliminates fuel, oil, and exhaust odors
  • Pretreat stained area by pouring a small amount of detergent directly
  • Keeps washer clean of grease and oil
  • Less than $0.40 per load

Last update on 2024-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Strange But Useful

Soda Pop

This one sounds strange, but many people swear by using soda. Most people state that Coca-Cola® is the one for the job. Coke among many other sodas has a low pH level. This is one of the traits it has in common with regular cleaners. The acid in coke is one of the best ways it helps toward removing grease.

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Though if you continuously deal with grease stains, Coca-Cola® might not be the most cost-effective choice. To remove stains, it’s suggested to put the clothing in a bucket or tub and add 2-4 liters of Coke. Once you’ve added the soda, then fill with water until covered, and let soak overnight. Give them a quick rinse in the morning before throwing them in with laundry detergent in the washing machine.   

Another method some people take is pouring a can of coke directly in your washing machine, with the regular laundry detergent. Then run the load just like any other normal cycle. Not only can this help with stains it also acts as a deodorizer! Be careful when washing greasy clothes as the residue may remain in the washer after the wash. To help simply run the machine empty with high heat to clean out the bowl.


One of the advantages of cornstarch over other methods is it can be used to treat old stains. Getting out stains that are long dried can be a disaster. This is especially the case for stains that are already difficult to remove when new, like grease stains. It also doesn’t require much work.

Plus, many people already have cornstarch on hand. Just place a layer of the cornstarch on the spot in question and leave it for an hour. Once the hour is up brush off the cornstarch and uses a damp rag to remove any remaining powder.

Sometimes you’ll need to do this a couple of times for a good result if you don’t want to do that try using the dishwashing detergent method after the cornstarch. Once the stain is gone, you can throw it in the wash. 

Baking Soda & Baby Powder

Both baking soda and baby powder work in the same ways for removing stains. These are both great solutions if you don’t want to dabble with liquids. Plus, most people already have baking soda on hand.

Or if you have a baby, then baby powder is easily accessible. Both of these powders are also great at odor removing as well. To start to place baby powder on the dry stain and rub it in well and let sit. The process for baking soda is the same though you’ll want to dampen the trouble spot.

Once they both sit, rinse them off and repeat if necessary. These methods can be built upon by finishing off with dishwashing detergent if the stain is still present.

Choose Your Battles

Keep in mind that even if you use a thousand methods, sometimes they still won’t work. Some stains are just here to stay, so don’t be disheartened when a technique doesn’t turn out. Just do the best you can! Many of these methods will work, but sometimes you need to pick your battles.

Don’t give up, though! The internet is a huge place full of resources and new washing methods to try. These are just a few ways to remove stains; there are more out there!