We looked at how to get bike grease out of clothing, with some great and low-cost methods on how to do so, but there’s another place grease can easily end up: the carpet.
Whether you rent your home and need to know how to get the grease out before the landlord sees it or you own your home and have to get the grease out before your partner/family sees it, or you just don’t want grease all over your floor, it’s important to know some solid methods to get bike grease out of the carpet.
One of the main issues with grease is that it’s stubborn, hard to get out of fabrics, and can cause an even bigger mess when it’s cleaned incorrectly. So how can you get bike grease out of the carpet?
There are a few methods you can use to get bike grease cleaned out of your carpets:
- Baking soda and dishwashing soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Nail polish remover
- Dry Cleaning grease remover
- WD-40 and dish soap
- White vinegar
With bike grease, it’s also important to take a few preliminary steps before cleaning to make your job as easy as possible and increase the chances of getting the grease out:
- A butter knife or a spoon can be used to scoop up any blobs of grease
- Use some paper towels to blot up as much as possible
- Work from the outer edge, in to prevent the stain from spreading
- Use an up down motion to blot, don’t rub it or the stain will spread and embed!
- If the stain is dried, put some ice cubes in a bag and hold it to the stain until it freezes and then remove as much as you can
- If your carpet is made of wool or silk, you’ll have to check on the manufacturer’s instructions as these other methods can easily damage these fabrics.
Once you’ve prepared the scene as best you can, choose your cleaning weapon!
A quick note about safety. If you have sensitive skin, pets, or you’re working with strong chemicals, you should always make sure you use things like gloves, a facial mask, and keep pets and small children away from the cleaning site for everyone’s protection. You should also keep in mind any allergies so that everything can be cleaned both effectively and safely.
And another quick note: before trying any sort of cleaning product or solution, test it out on a small section of the carpet that no one will see. This allows you to make sure that the product won’t do anything strange to your carpet such as bleach out the color, stain it, or damage it in any other way.
You should also avoid using bleach or ammonia on natural fibres such as wool or raw silk as these things will thoroughly damage natural fabrics.
In this primer, we are going to look at how to do each of these affordable methods of getting bike grease out of your carpets so that you can choose the one that best works for you. Try out a few methods if you can, just so that you really do know what will work best.
Baking Soda and Dish Soap
Baking soda and dish soap is a great way to clean bike grease out of the carpet because you probably already have these things on hand, and they are nontoxic.
If you don’t have them on hand, you can usually find them at any Dollar Store, so you can pick them up cheap. You’ll also need a vacuum cleaner.
- Prepare the area to clean by pulling up as much of the grease as possible with a dull knife.
- Put a generous amount of baking soda on the stain and let it sit for one hour. Baking soda needs this time to absorb as much of the grease as possible. In order to work the baking soda into the carpet, dab it rather than rubbing it.
- Vacuum up the baking soda.
- Spread a small amount of dish soap to the stain using a soft-bristled brush. Scrub the spot to get the soap deep in.
- Rinse the stain with water and blot.
- You can use a hair-dryer on the stained area to dry it as well, but only dry it for about ten to fifteen minutes and leave the rest to air dry.
- If there are any traces of grease in the morning, repeat.
This method works well with smaller stains, though it’s worth trying with any stain because you really have nothing to lose.
An alternative to using baking soda is to use vinegar. This means that you don’t need to let anything sit (you just pour a good amount of vinegar on the grease stain and then blot it up).
However, your carpet will smell like vinegar for a little while, and you’ll have to pay extra attention to careful drying.
Rubbing alcohol is a good all-around cleaner for a lot of stains. It’s non-toxic (generally), fairly strong, and is safe on common fabrics. It’s also easy to use as a cleaner!
All you have to do is scrub the stain with a dull knife and then pour rubbing alcohol on the stain. Blot it all up until your paper towel comes out clean. It works because rubbing alcohol is a good solvent, dissolving the stain so that it can be separated from the carpet fibers.
Rubbing alcohol can also be combined with salt to make a pretty easy grease stain remover. To do this, combine four tablespoons of salt with one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol until it forms a paste. Rub the paste gently into the carpet and then allow it to dry and vacuum up the residue.
Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover is also known as acetone and it’s a pretty potent way to remove grease and stains from fabrics. In fact, it’s potent enough that you want to make sure you don’t use it on natural fibres as it can cause them to be utterly ruined!
Nail polish remover (and lighter fluid since it’s made from similar chemical compounds) is best used on synthetic carpets.
Using nail polish remover to remove grease stains works the same way as rubbing alcohol. Scrub the stain with a dull knife and then pour the nail polish remover on the stain. Then with a paper towel, blot it up until the paper towel comes clean.
Like rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover works because it breaks down the grease and allows you to lift it off the carpet. Just be mindful of how strong acetone is and be careful working with it around pets and young children as the fumes can be slightly toxic.
Dry Cleaning Fluid
There are plenty of dry-cleaning fluids on the market that you can use to remove grease. For example, the Grease Eater Carpet Prespray allows you to prepare the area for cleaning and is geared for getting rid of grease. (For synthetic carpets).
Ecosin also has a general power wash foam that works well on grease, oil, and other liquids on things like carpets, couches, and curtains. (It has no reviews on Amazon though, so buyer beware).
Keep in mind that these sorts of cleaners can be hard to find, expensive, and of course, are full of chemicals. They should only be used on synthetic carpets and well away from children and animals. You should also spot test the cleaner before applying it to the stain to make sure it won’t cause damage to your floors.
WD-40 and Dish Soap
If you have a tougher dark stain, you can borrow a trick from auto grease cleaning and use a combination of WD-40 and dish soap. This is an easy way to clean up stains since all you have to do is spray the area with the WD-40, let it sit for a few minutes and then clean it up with warm soapy water.
Once it has dried, vacuum it and repeat if necessary. This is another popular way to deal with all kinds of vehicle grease as WD-40 is easy to find and fairly safe to use.
Getting Grease Stains out of Natural Carpets
Most of these solutions are geared for synthetic carpets. Synthetic ones tend to be able to withstand things like bleach and cleaning solutions better than something like wool or silk, so if you do have a natural fabric carpet, you’ll have to do something different to get the grease out. For natural fiber carpets, we would recommend using white vinegar and water, just at a different ratio than you would for synthetic rugs.
To use the vinegar and water solution, simply mix a quarter cup of white vinegar with a quarter cup of water and then put the mixture into your carpet cleaner or clean the rug by hand. Vinegar is mild enough anyway and this ratio is even gentler on natural fibres.
There are more harsh chemicals and cleaners you could use to clean bike grease out of your carpets, but keep in mind that they are more toxic, more expensive, and may cause other kinds of damage.
The methods we have outlined in this primer utilize things that you likely already have in your home, are safer to use around animals and children, and are effective on smaller stains. They also all leave your carpets fresh! After all, wouldn’t you rather spend your money and time on your gear, not so much on the clean-up?
What is your favorite way to clean bike grease out of carpets? Share your tips with us!