One of my favorite things about warmer weather is that I can ride my bicycle to and from work. One of the drawbacks to that, though, is grease stains. The other day, Mr. Domestique came home from riding the bike around town with a fairly large grease stain on his trousers from the bike chain. I know a lot of people would just put some sort of stain remover on this and call it a day, but I wanted to use a more natural option. Below you will find my step-by-step method of removing grease stains, using things you probably already have around the house and not having to go and buy an expensive stain remover that's full of nasty chemicals.
Ack! Grease stain!
1. Make a paste from 2 parts baking soda to one part water (I did 2 Tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of cold tap water). Using a dry, soft-bristled brush like a toothbrush, rub the paste into the stained area. Let it air dry completely. This step soaks up the "wetness" of the grease and makes it easier to get the stain out without spreading the stain around or setting it into the fibers of the fabric.
2. Remove the paste by using the soft-bristled brush again to brush the paste from your fabric. Sometimes the first step gets the stain out completely without having to do anything else. If that's the case, you are done and can just wash the item as normal! If not, there's a little more work to do before tossing the garment into the washing machine.
This stain was still there after the paste dried so I proceeded onto the next step.
3. Attack the stain with grease-fighting dish soap by rubbing dish soap into the stained spot using the same soft-bristled brush. You'll definitely want to test the soap on a part of the fabric that isn't seen if it is, say, blue dawn soap or something to make sure it won't stain the fabric. My dish soap is color-less so I didn't have to do this step. Once you have given the stain a good rub with the soap, rinse it off with cold tap water to see if the stain is gone.
If you rinse the soap off and the stain is gone, you are done and can wash the item as normal! If not, you'll want to re-apply the soap as outlined above, then fill your sink or bucket with 1 part borax to 4 parts cold tap water and let the stain soak for about 20 minutes. This should get the stain out completely and you will be able to wash the garment as normal now.
No more stain!
And voila! The stain is gone! The whole process took about 20 minutes of my time from start to finish, not counting drying time or soaking time. This method is chemical-free (as long as you are using a natural dish soap) and will extend the life of the garment since you're not breaking down the fibers of the fabric.
Now you can ride your bicycle all around town without worrying about getting grease stains on your clothes!