Dear Home Ec 101,
I was getting my car fixed today, and I managed to get oil on my pants, somehow. What can I use to get my pants clean?
When I used to work at an auto repair shop, I managed to get oil on myself constantly. I learned some tricks from the guys at the shop about getting oil off your clothing, hands, and shoes. Basically, you want to use products that are good at cutting grease. One of the guys who had the cleanest hands of any mechanic I have ever seen told me he washed dishes by hand with Dawn dishwashing liquid every night, and it caused his hands to be beautifully clean.
For stronger fabrics like denim and shoes, I spray Simple Green directly on the fabric. Then I rinse it until the fabric comes clean. Then, just wash as normal. You can also put Simple Green directly into the wash, but I don’t like to take chances with the stain not coming out. Once you dry an oil stained fabric, expect the stain to live there forever.
For fabrics that need special care, I use good old Dawn dishwashing liquid and hand wash the item in the sink.
And speaking of my mechanic buddies, I’ve got one that’s cracking me up. He tells me he has found the secret to getting better gas mileage. He never fills his car up more than a quarter of a tank at a time. See, liquid is heavy and a car that has a full gas tank weighs more than a car with very little gas in it. So he puts 3 gallons or so of gas in his car at a time and drives it until the gas light comes on.
With the way gas prices keep going up, I would think buying gas more frequently would negate the gas mileage savings. But he swears by it. So I pass this tidbit along to you, dear readers. Do with it what you will.
Send your domestic questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.