Last Updated on 1 year by Susan Mayrich
If you’re an auto mechanic or work on heavy machinery, it’s a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve when it comes to cleaning hydraulic fluid stains out of clothes. Hydraulic fluid, also known as oil, is a dark brown liquid that lubricates and cools the internal workings of vehicles and machines.
Over time, this liquid can leak out of the machine and onto clothing. The most common way this happens is when the machine itself is overfilled with oil.
As oil leaks out onto clothing, it stains and leaves behind an oily residue that can be difficult to remove from fabrics.
If you’re looking for ways to get hydraulic fluid out of clothes, continue reading this.
Does Hydraulic Fluid Stain?
Hydraulic oil does stain and it can be difficult to remove all traces of the stain from your clothing, especially if you don’t act quickly enough after discovering the leak.
The good news is that hydraulic oil stains can be removed with a few simple steps and common household products like dish soap and detergent powder.
Can You Get Hydraulic Oil Out of Clothes?
You can get hydraulic oil out of clothes by using household products such as dish soap or laundry detergent along with warm water.
Try soaking the stained area in warm water for 30 minutes before washing it in your washing machine on a regular cycle without adding any additional detergents or bleach.
How to Get Hydraulic Fluid Out of Clothes
Hydraulic fluid tends to stain clothing, so if you get it on your clothes, follow these steps to remove the stain:
Use Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach is great for getting rid of oil stains, including hydraulic fluid stains. The oxygen bleach works by combining with the oil and breaking it down into smaller molecules that can be washed away. This method takes longer than other methods, but it also works well on more stubborn stains.
Apply the Oxygen Bleach Directly to the Stain
Before you put the garment in the washing machine, apply enough oxygen bleach to cover the stain completely. Let this sit for 30 minutes or so before washing as usual in cool water with mild detergent. If there are any leftovers after the first wash, repeat the process until no more traces remain on your clothes.
Pretreat the Stain with Heavy-Duty Liquid Detergent
If you notice a hydraulic fluid stain as soon as it happens, immediately pretreat the stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent before cleaning the rest of your clothes.
Pour enough detergent onto the stain to completely cover it and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then wash the fabric in warm water with plenty of detergents and rinse well until there are no suds left in the water. If any suds remain after rinsing, repeat this process until they’re gone.
Use Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an effective way to remove hydraulic fluid from clothing. The best way to use rubbing alcohol is to pour it directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing as usual.
Dip a clean rag into rubbing alcohol and blot the stain until it’s gone. For stubborn stains, use a toothbrush to scrub the area thoroughly. Allow your garment to air dry before wearing it again.
Vinegar is a great tool to remove stains. The acidity of vinegar helps break down the stain and dissolves the oil, which makes it easier to wash out.
To use vinegar to clean your clothes, simply soak them in warm water with 1 cup of vinegar added. If you have more than one item of clothing that needs cleaning, add more vinegar as needed. Let them soak for about 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with warm water and laying flat to dry.
Hydraulic Fluid Remover
If you have access to a commercial hydraulic fluid remover, use it. These products are designed specifically to remove oil stains from fabrics and include solvents that dissolve oil-based stains while neutralizing their smell.
Apply the product directly on the stain or spray it over the entire garment before laundering as usual.
How to Get Hydraulic Fluid Smell Out of Clothes
The smell of hydraulic fluid can be detected on your clothes after working with heavy machinery or driving a car that uses the fluid. Though it’s difficult to remove the smell, there are some things you can do to make it go away.
Use Baking Soda to Remove Hydraulic Fluid Smell
Baking soda is one of the best products for removing odors from clothing and other fabrics. It’s also easy to find and inexpensive. To use baking soda to remove hydraulic fluid odor:
Wash any clothing that has been contaminated by hydraulic oil stains using detergent and warm water.
Mix baking soda with water to make a paste, then rub this onto the area where you notice the smell. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before washing normally with warm water.
Use Febreze Spray
Febreze sprays are designed to eliminate odors and leave behind a pleasant scent. To use this method, spray the fabric until it is saturated with Febreze then let it dry overnight before washing as usual.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar is acidic and can neutralize the alkaline in the hydraulic fluid. Baking soda has absorbent properties that will help draw out any residual fluid from the fabric.
To use this method, mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda in a bowl and pour the mixture over both sides of the fabric. Let it sit for 20 minutes before washing as usual.
Use Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is an excellent natural cleaner that will help remove the hydraulic fluid smell from clothing.
- Place your clothes in a large bucket or container filled with warm water and 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Stir well so that all of the clothing gets thoroughly soaked with the lemon juice solution.
- Allow your clothing to sit in this mixture overnight or for at least six hours.
- Wash your clothing as usual after soaking them in lemon juice solution overnight or for six hours at least once more before wearing them again.
How to Remove Brake Fluid from Carpet
If you spill some brake fluid on your carpet, don’t panic. There are several steps you can take to remove it from your carpet safely and effectively. Here are some things that might help:
- Blot up any excess fluid with paper towels or absorbent cloths. Use a sponge dipped in warm water to soak up the remaining residue if necessary.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the stain (it will absorb moisture and neutralize odor).
- Let it sit overnight before vacuuming up the powder with an upright vacuum cleaner equipped with a brush attachment.
- Mix equal parts 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water in a small bowl until it has the consistency of milk, pour this mixture over the stain and blot until no more residue.
Sometimes accidents happen; the best you can hope for is to minimize the damage. In this case, even if the hydraulic fluid is spilled onto your clothes and hands, there are various measures you can take to improve the situation.