The 6 Best Secret Tips: How to Wash Mechanic Rags!

Don’t throw in the Mechanic Rags! Here’s your guide about how to wash mechanic rags. The 6 secret tips of making your rags clean and last longer than you expect is here.

Mechanic rags are of great importance for automotive technicians. They usually use them to wipe off the grease, where some cleaning is required after repairing the parts. The mechanic rags efficiently clean the oil and dirt.

Mechanics also clean their hands with these oily rag. But who would clean the mechanic rag then? If you are looking for answers on ”how to wash mechanic rags?”, we’re here to help you!

Our complete guide contains the best methods for washing mechanic rags. As mechanic rags are made of cloth and give a shop towel-like look, they require a lot of effort to clean once dirty.

So, let’s take a look at some ways of cleaning a mechanic rag.

How to Wash Mechanic Rags

The 6 Easy tricks about how to wash mechanic rags:

Tips No.01: Wash them with detergent

Washing the mechanic rag with a detergent is a practical tip if it isn’t too dirty with grease or oil stains.

We recommend using the waterless mechanic’s detergent for this purpose. It is a detergent in powder form. Almost every mechanic uses it to clean oil from their hands.

Unfortunately, you will have to put a lot of labor into it because the oil stains are stubborn and won’t go away with a single wash.

We don’t recommend washing the mechanic rags in a washing machine because the oily residue will ruin the internal parts of the machine and make it unusable.

Wash them with detergent

So, here are the steps you can follow to wash a mechanic rag with detergent:

  • Take a bucket with lukewarm water.
  • Put some detergent inside and stir with your hands to form some foam.
  • Then, put the mechanic rags in the bucket and leave them for a few minutes.
  • Come back and rub the grease and oil from the rag.
  • Once cleaned, wash it with clean water and let dry.

This technique will be helpful if the mechanic rag doesn’t have too many stubborn stains.

Tips No.02: Use Lestoil

Lestoil is one of the most commonly used multi-purpose cleaners. It efficiently removes the toughest stains, including oils and grease, on clothes.

So, why not give it a try on the mechanic rags too?

Wash them with Lestoil

Here’s the technique:

  • Pour some Lestoil on the greasy mechanic rag.
  • Keep it soaked for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Then, you can wash it with laundry detergent like other clothes. If all the stains are gone, you can also wash the rag in the washing machine.

As Lestoil is powerful, it removes the grease in the first wash. If not, you can repeat the process or use other alternatives mentioned in this guide. However, make sure to avoid the strong smell of Lestoil.

Related Reads:
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Tips No.03: Use liquid dish soap and vinegar:

If you don’t have Lestoil with you, we’re sure you’ll have a liquid dish soap!

Liquid dish soaps have grease-cutting properties. They perform the same on dirty mechanic rags as they do on the dishes.

Use liquid dish soap and vinegar

So, a few easy steps using liquid dish soap and vinegar will help you get rid of tough stains on your mechanic rag.

  • Dilute the liquid dish soap in a small amount of water and form foam.
  • Soak the mechanic rag in the mixture for a few minutes.
  • Rub the mechanic rag with your fingers or an old toothbrush for removing tough stains.
  • Then, rinse it with clean water.
  • Prepare a mixture of two parts water and one part vinegar.
  • Gently rinse the mechanic rag in the solution.
  • Then, wash it with your regular laundry soap.

Tips No.04: Make use of mineral spirits:

Mineral spirits is a petroleum-based product with excellent grease and oil cutting powers. It is perfect to use if your mechanic rag is filled with grease and stubborn oil stains.

However, we recommend wearing gloves as the chemicals in mineral spirits can irritate the skin.

Make use of mineral spirits

Mineral spirits can also discolor the fabric. If you don’t want to change the color of your mechanic rag, it is better to do a patch test first.

  • Dip the mechanic rag in the mineral spirits.
  • Use an old toothbrush or your hands (with gloves on) to remove the oil and grease stains.
  • Perform this step for a few minutes.
  • Then, let them dry.
  • Once the mechanic rag is completely dry, wash it with your regular laundry soap.

Tips No.05: Use a spot remover spray:

Almost everyone uses spot remover sprays to remove stubborn grease and grime from their clothing.

Use a spot remover spray

The process is relatively simple but requires special care while performing.

  • Spray the spot remover on the dirty rug. Pay attention to the area with excess grease.
  • Gently scrub it with a toothbrush to lighten the tough stains.
  • Let the spot remover rest on the rag. During this time, boil some water in a pot.
  • Put the rag in an empty bucket and pour the boiling water over it.
  • Please avoid letting the boiling water come back to you.
  • Also, make sure to lift the water pot as high as possible while pouring water on the rag. When the water hits the stains with some force, it will remove them faster.
  • Then, wash the mechanic rag with your laundry soap.

This step requires special care as you are dealing with hot water. Also, avoid standing too close to the bucket. The water splashes may hurt you.

Tips No.06: Use some soda:

Using soda or Coca-Cola is one of the easiest and effective ways of washing dirty mechanic rags. It is also an inexpensive method.

Use some soda

As dirty mechanic rags have set-in stains, the exceptional cleaning qualities of cola can dissolve them in a few hours.

  • Fill a small bucket with coke.
  • Dip the mechanic rag in the coke.
  • Leave it for one or two hours.
  • After that, rub the rag with your hands to remove tough stains.
  • Wash it with detergent and air-dry.

If the stains don’t go away in the first wash, you can repeat the process for better results.

Mechanics Rags

Final words

Although mechanic rags are inexpensive, it is better to wash them instead of throwing them away. A few simple steps can make those rage go well for years.

Our different and practical steps on how to wash mechanic rags will help you get rid of stubborn grease and oil stains.


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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