How To Get Oil Spots Out Of Pants

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?
Signed,
Oily Residude

Ivy says:

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.

how to get oil spots out of pants

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.

how to remove stains from clothes

Click the picture for more tips!

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 helpme@home-ec101.com.



5 Comments

  1. angelo's mom on May 28, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Oh, and I almost forgot. A couple of friends from work suggested Lestoil cleaner for grease and oil stains, even ones that have been washed and dried already. One of my coworkers used to work in a manufacturing plant where she got grease on her pants virtually every day, and she swears by it. If you can’t find it in a local cleaning aisle, a lot of hardware stores carry it.



  2. angelo's mom on May 28, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Omg, my husband just used that logic on me about his own gas tank a couple days ago. He gets gas just about every day or every other day, and it makes balancing the checkbook a pain in the butt. So I told him he should just fill it up, even if it cost a lot. Well he gave me the whole spiel about how he is really saving gas by filling up so little at a time due to the weight of the gas lol. I didn’t argue, as he is the mechanical one, but I’m not sure how much stock I put in that theory!



  3. Milehimama on May 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    A can of coke will get oil out of clothes. Add it after everything starts swishing and the soap dissolves.



  4. Pam on May 28, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Your mechanic friend is very creative. Let’s see… water weighs 8 lbs. per gallon. If you put no more than 3 gallons in your 12-gallon tank, you’re carrying 72 fewer lbs. around… IF gas weighs the same as water.
    But there’s another good reason to lose weight… better gas mileage!



  5. Fawn on May 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    According to a mommy friend who has a very spit-uppy baby, dishwashing detergent is also a good way to pre-treat clothes that have baby blurp on them. Even an exclusively breast-fed baby spit-up can be pretty good at staining clothes if it’s not dealt with right away, but dish detergent seems to cut through it right away.