How to Get Hydraulic Fluid Out of Clothes

Start by putting your fabric in a bowl filled with warm water. Next, use a reliable degreaser product meant for removing oil stains and follow the instructions on the bottle. Then, throw your clothes in your washing machine, and if the stain is still visible, repeat the process. 

Hydraulic fluid stains are common when you are a mechanic and are not always easy to remove. If you work with cars or any heavy machinery, it’s a good idea to have a game plan to get rid of these stains off your clothes. 

In laypeople’s terms, hydraulic fluid is simply called oil. It is a brown-colored fluid that greases and cools down the inner components of cars and industrial machines. If you fill the car parts with too much fluid or if there is an undetected crack in the vehicle, leakages occur. 

This leaked fluid splashes on your clothes or all over the floor. Removing them off any fabric is tricky and requires that you know what you are doing. In this guide, we’ll show you how to take care of these stains and what to do to avoid getting them on you in the first place. 

5 Methods to Get Hydraulic Fluid Out of Clothes

Below are 5 practical methods you can use to remove these stains from your clothing. The one you use depends on your preference and the materials you have available at home. 

Method 1: Use Oxygen Bleach

Oxygen bleach eliminates the most challenging stains. Our preferred brand is Oxiclean because it is highly rated and easy to buy. This product is strong enough to tackle hydraulic oil if you take action fast. 

This method works because it mixes oxygen bleach with the oil fluid stain decomposing it into tiny molecules you can quickly rinse off. This technique can be the most time-consuming but powerful. If this doesn’t work, nothing will. 

First, put oxygen bleach on the stain and ensure that every inch is covered until you can no longer see it. Give the bleach 20 to 30 minutes to settle into the oil before you are ready for the next step. 

Then, throw it in the washing machine using cold water and add 8 ounces of laundry detergent. Repeat these steps until the oil stain fades and your clothes are clean. 

Method 2: Apply Industrial Strength Laundry Detergent (Pretreatment)

Immediately after noticing your clothes have a hydraulic oil stain, you must act on the spot. 

Cover the entire stain using industrial-strength laundry detergent before doing your laundry. 

Make sure that the oil spot has so much detergent on it that you can no longer visibly see it, and wait 45 to 60 minutes for it to settle on your clothes. Next, hand wash your fabric with tepid water using a generous amount of detergent. 

Rinse it properly until no visible foam is left to wash on your garment. Then, continue doing all the steps above until you have accomplished your mission. 

Method 3: Use Isopropyl Alcohol

Most people think rubbing alcohol is only for disinfecting wounds or reducing fevers, but that is not the case. You can also use it to remove hydraulic oil stains from clothing. 

Start by soaking the stain with isopropyl alcohol without missing an inch and give it 15 to 30 minutes to settle before cleaning and starting the washing process. Next, use a microfiber towel to rub the stain off until it disappears. 

If it does not come out quickly, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and scrub with medium intensity. Lastly, let your fabric sit outside under the sun so it can air dry on its own and be ready to wear again. 

Method 4: Use Vinegar

Vinegar is an all-natural solution to help eliminate a variety of stubborn stains. The secret to its effectiveness is its acidic nature which assists in the decomposition of oils. This process makes washing stains easy to do. 

First, get started by soaking your stained clothes in a bowl filled with warm water and 8 ounces of vinegar. The rule of thumb is the more clothes you are working with, the more vinegar you will need to add. You can play it by ear and test it as you go along. 

Allow your clothes to sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. Lastly, wash off the vinegar with tepid water and let your clothes air dry outside until they are ready for use again. 

Method 5: Use Hydraulic Fluid Remover

If you are not a DIY person, we recommend buying a commercial hydraulic fluid remover. Its sole purpose is to eliminate oil stains, and it does so very efficiently. 

Pour the stain remover on the affected area and let it settle for 15 to 20 minutes. After this point, you can throw it in the washer when you do your laundry. 

How to Get Hydraulic Oil Scent Out of Clothes

Hydraulic oil gives off an unpleasant smell and will give you a headache if inhaled for long periods. The scent takes real work to remove, but we have some great tips below on how to go about doing it. 

Method 1: Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for its ability to absorb odors from your clothes and anywhere else that requires the removal of bad smells. Buying this product is not difficult since you can find it in any supermarket or small grocery store. 

First, clean your affected clothes with laundry detergent and hot water. Combine 4 ounces of baking soda with 16 ounces of water to create a thick paste. Next, use your fingers to rub the paste into the stain that smells like hydraulic oil. 

Give it 60 minutes to sit and clean the clothes with warm water until the scent disappears. 

Method 2: Use Febreze Spray

Febreze products are infamous for killing odors and making your home smell like a bed of roses. Their affordable sprays are effective and eliminate oil stain smells with little effort. 

All you need to do is spray the soiled fabric until it is drenched in the Febreze solution and leave it to air out until the morning. 

Method 3: Use Lemon Juice

There may be a few extra steps to try this method, but it is another excellent all-natural cleaner and does wonders with smelly oil stains. 

First, fill a bucket with 32 ounces of warm water that is large enough to fit the clothes you want to wash and 4 ounces of lemon juice. 

Combine it with a spoon until it starts to look acidic, and throw your clothes inside. Next, leave your hydraulic oil-scented clothing out until the morning or for at least 6 to 8 hours. Then, in the morning, you can wash your clothes like you usually would, and the scent will no longer be present. 

FAQs on How to Get Hydraulic Fluid Out of Clothes

Does hydraulic fluid stain clothes? 

Yes, it does stain your clothes and is challenging to clean. Despite being difficult to remove, you can get rid of these stains using essential supplies that you should already have stocked at home from the supermarket. 

Does Dawn remove hydraulic oil stains? 

Yes, you can use Dawn to get rid of these stains. All you need is a bowl with warm water and Dawn soap so you can wash it off with your hands. 

What should I wear when working with hydraulic fluid? 

It’s almost impossible not to get hydraulic oil on you when working with heavy machinery, no matter how skilled you are. So try to wear only used clothes you don’t care about to protect your skin. 

Scroll to Top