Are there some restaurants that you visit where you always return home with all your clothes smelling like grease? Or perhaps you work at one of those restaurants and your work clothes always have an unpleasant smell?
Or maybe you work with engine oil and your clothes smell like that kind of grease or even have grease stains or oil stains on them?
How do you get that food smell out of your clothes?
Soak the Clothes for 30 Minutes Before Washing
If your clothes reek from the smell of grease, the first thing you should do is to try presoaking the clothes before washing them.
You can presoak them several different ways:
Dawn Dish Detergent
Mix ¼ cup Dawn dish soap with a couple of gallons of hot water in a pail. After soaking for 30 minutes, drain the water and add the garments to the washing machine.
Dawn will help break up the grease in the clothes.
Add 1 tablespoon Borax to 1-gallon of warm water and let it soak for 30 minutes. You can add both the clothing items and the Borax mixture to the washing machine when it's done.
Be careful handling Borax since it can burn your eyes or skin (or insides if you ingest it).
Borax is an alkaline, which helps neutralize the acidity of any stains.
If you have grease stains in addition to the greasy smell, you can pretreat the stains before adding your load to the washing machine. Some products to try for pretreating include:
GOJO Hand Cleaner
Mechanics often use GOJO hand cleaner to wash their hands at the end of the day. You can use it to pretreat any tough stains. Wash any items you pretreat separately from the rest of your laundry and then use baking soda instead of laundry detergent and distilled white vinegar instead of fabric softener to get the smell of GOJO out of your clothes.
Mix together a paste of liquid dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) and eucalyptus essential oils and rub it into any stains with an old toothbrush. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then wash.
Use a Heavy Duty Detergent
Be sure to use a heavy-duty detergent rather than just regular detergent to wash your clothes that smell like grease. This laundry soap usually contains enzymes, which help break down the oils and smells.
Wash Your Clothes in Hot Water
If you can, wash your clothes in the hottest water possible when you run the wash cycle.
Use a Laundry Additive
In addition to heavy-duty laundry detergent, there are lots of different products that you can add to your load of laundry to help get the grease smell out.
Try using one additive at a time until you find one that works well for you.
Can of Coke
Add a can of Coke to the water in your washing machine and then add your clothes. The acid in the Coke breaks down greasy particles.
Mule Team Borax
Add a half cup of borax to the load along with your laundry detergent.
Baking Soda and Distilled White Vinegar
Add 1 cup of baking soda to the load along with the laundry detergent, and then add 1 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle (using the fabric softener dispenser).
Add 1 scoop of Oxiclean to your washing machine and let it dissolve before adding clothes. If you plan on washing in cold water, dissolve the Oxiclean in warm water first before adding it to the load.
You can also try adding a cup of ammonia to your load of dirty laundry. It's also acidic, which helps break down oils.
However, NEVER use ammonia when you are also using bleach since will create toxic fumes. You should also use it in a well-ventilated area since ammonia fumes are very potent.
Dry Your Clothes Outside
There's nothing like the smell of clothes that are dried outside on the clothesline. The fresh air will help take any lingering odors out of your clothing with the airflow.