How to get hydraulic fluid out of clothes can be an essential concern of many workers, especially engineers who have to be in contact directly with the hydraulic system.
Although you have overalls covering your clothes, you can’t avoid the hydraulic fluid leaking to the inner garments. If you don’t take any actions to treat that stain, your clothes will no longer be usable. Thus, this article will provide different methods to remove these stains.
You don’t have time to waste, so scroll down right now!
First and foremost, you have to know what the hydraulic fluid is. Hydraulic fluid is a type of liquid that provides energy transfer for various components of hydraulic machines. Some popular hydraulic machines are excavator, backhoe, bulldozer, loader, etc.(1)
The question is, where is the hydraulic fluid stored? The answer is the hydraulic reservoir. If you want to check or fill the hydraulic fluid, you have to identify the hydraulic reservoir in your machine.
On the other hand, until now, you may think that the hydraulic fluid or hydraulic oil is totally the same, right? However, these substances have minor differences. Do you know this? Keep reading, and there’s a big surprise for you!
Many interesting things about hydraulic fluid are waiting for you to learn:
Indeed, two terms, “hydraulic fluid” and “hydraulic oil,” are transposable so that some people can mention “hydraulic fluid” at the beginning and flexibly change to “hydraulic oil” at the end. It’s everyday usage, but some specific circumstances require you to make a distinction.
First, hydraulic fluid is an energy supplier for the hydraulic machine’s operation. Besides the primary function, hydraulic energy can protect components, antioxidants, and corrosion resistance. In addition, this substance can suffer from various temperature conditions.
Unlike hydraulic fluid, hydraulic oil is combustible when being pressured under high temperatures. That’s why it’s not available in easy-to-burn places.
Before discovering how hydraulic fluid leaks, I will provide some common symptoms of this issue. The first sign you can clearly see is that your machine is suddenly hot or has a strange noise. Moreover, you can observe the fluid leak by the fluid gauges on the device.
The break between the tube and connection points is the main reason leading to the fluid leak in most systems. On the other hand, the fluid can come from the broken pipes in the hydraulic machines.
These factors will cause some sudden accidents, and one of them is the hydraulic fluid stain on your clothes. So how can you tackle these stains and prevent future leaks? Let’s move to the next section and discover by yourself!
If hydraulic fluid stains take you hours to find the solution to treat it on your own, you need only 10-15 minutes to read the following guideline to remove the nasty stains. At first, you can start with a general direction to get the main cleaning ideas.
You must be confused with hydraulic fluid on your clothes, although you have protected your garment with safety gear. Calm down first and check the status of fluid leak on your body.
If the hydraulic fluid spreads to your skin, you have to solve the fluid on your skin first by using soap and water. Try to remove as much fluid as possible because some hydraulic fluid’s ingredients can irritate your skin. (2)
If your skin has any strange symptoms, you have to ask the doctor for help. If everything is alright, you can take care of your clothes with my instructions now.
Tools and Supplies
- Oxygen bleach
- Pretreatment spray (optional)
Step 1: Treat the hydraulic fluid on your garment as soon as possible. If you let the fluid dry, the process to clean will be more complicated and challenging. To pretreat it, you should rinse your garment under running water or use a pretreatment spray if available.
Step 2: You use a degreaser with a powerful effect on the oily area and follow the instructions on the product package.
Step 3: Wash your clothes with water. In this step, you need to read the care tag on your garment and choose the suitable water temperature according to that tag.
Step 4: After washing, you take the clothes out of the washer and hang them to dry. Remember not to put the garment in the dryer if the stains are still there.
regularly check the hydraulic systems’ status
Step 5: Repeat these steps above if needed.
Note: If you don’t see the hydraulic fluid dissolved, you can soak your clothes into the mixture of oxygen bleach and 2 tbsp detergent overnight. Then you can launder as usual.
Dish soap is an essential item in most houses, and you can use it for multipurpose besides dishwashing, such as cleaning stains. With the stains caused by hydraulic fluid, you can apply the dish soap with the step-by-step guidelines below.
Tools and Supplies
- Dish soap
- Soft cloth
- Old towel/ cardboard
Step 1: Spread out your clothes.
Step 2: Put an old towel/cardboard beneath the stained area
Step 3: Pour dish soap on the stained area and ensure that no affected area excesses.
Step 4: Rub the affected area with a soft cloth.
Step 5: Let your clothes sit for 5 minutes and then launder the garment as usual.
Coke? Yes, Coke is not only a favorable drink but also effective stain removal. Getting hydraulic fluid may need the help of Coke and 20 Mule Team Borax, a standard item in the laundry process or used as a household cleaner.
Tools and Supplies
- 20 Mule Team Borax
- Dish soap
Step 1: Try to pretreat a stain with dish soap and water. You can also learn how to clean with dish soap in the previous section.
Step 2: Mix ½ amount of laundry detergent with ¾ cup 20 Mule Team Borax and 1 can Coke.
Step 3: Launder your garment with that liquid in the washing machine
Step 4: Check the stain on your clothes. If this technique works, you can hang your clothes up to dry.
Note: Don’t forget to consider the notices on your clothes before washing the garment.
Why don’t you find out the usage of Coke in this video?
You may not know that iron can help remove hydraulic stains from your clothes, thanks to its heat feature. Moreover, this method also needs the help of baking soda to make your cleaning work effectively.
Tools and Supplies
- Baking soda
- Cornstarch (optional)
- Ironing board and iron
Step 1: Place the rag on the ironing board
Step 2: Strew an appropriate quantity of baking soda/cornstarch on the rag, which will cover the stained area completely.
Step 3: Place your clothes on the rag with the surface containing stains faced down.
Step 4: Use the iron at hot temperature to iron the other side of the garment.
Step 5: You need to do step 2 and step 4 several times until you see the stains disappear. Remember to change a new rag every time you repeat steps.
Although there are different ways to treat the hydraulic fluid on clothes, it would be better to avoid similar situations in the future instead of suffering the depressed feeling every time you clean stains. These following tricks will help you escape this fear:
- Check The Hydraulic Systems’ Status Regularly: Because the fluid leak can originate from careless maintenance, you must periodically check the hydraulic systems’ status to prevent these accidents.
- Wear Old Clothes: I suggest you wear old clothes while working with hydraulic systems because dealing with hydraulic fluid is unavoidable so that it is not recommended to wear new clothes in these works.
If you want to find more information about removing hydraulic fluid from clothes, this section will be a wonderful place for you. Do you have some questions related to this topic? Try to find your answer below!
Expectation Vs Reality
At first, when I go home with various fluid stains on my shirt, as usual, I am very confident that removing these stains entirely doesn’t take me much time because I have had experiences before. However, in fact, these stains take me 5 hours to wash.
Maybe it’s my fault not to treat it in time. Therefore, whether you have cleaning experience or not, you need to be careful and patient in any circumstances.
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1. Wwwn.cdc.gov. 2021. Hydraulic Fluids | Public Health Statement | ATSDR.
2. Poison.org. 2021. Hydraulic Fluids are Potentially Dangerous.