How To Get Hydraulic Fluid Out Of Clothes
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How To Get Hydraulic Fluid Out Of Clothes

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!

Hydraulic Fluid Leaking
There’s nothing worse than finding the hydraulic fluid leaking.

What Do You Need To Know About Hydraulic Fluid

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:

Watch this video: What are the properties of Hydraulic Fluids?

Are Hydraulic Fluid And Hydraulic Oil The Same?

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.

What Causes Hydraulic Fluid Leak From Device?

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!

Hydraulic Tubes
The hydraulic tubes with manometers attached to control the fluid level.

The Ultimate Guideline For Getting Hydraulic Fluid Out Of Clothes

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.

General Method To Deal With Hydraulic Fluid Stain

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
  • Detergent
  • Degreaser
  • 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.

Hydraulic Fluid Stain Cleaning
Degreaser is undeniable to be a valuable item for cleaning stains.

Dealing The Hydraulic Fluid With Dish Soap

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.

Dealing The Hydraulic Fluid With Detergent, Borax, And Coke

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

  • Detergent
  • 20 Mule Team Borax
  • Coke
  • 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?

Watch this video: How To Clean Oily Clothes with Coca Cola

Dealing The Hydraulic Fluid With Iron

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)
  • Rag
  • 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.

Iron in Cleaning Stains
You must be surprised with the usage of iron in cleaning stains on clothes.

How To Prevent The Fluid Leak On Your Clothes

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!

What Should I Do To Remove Hydraulic Fluid From Concrete?

You can apply laundry detergent to deal with stains on concrete. Apply enough laundry detergent to the stained area on the concrete floor. Pour or spray water on the surface and use a brush to scrub. After a few minutes, you can wipe out the water.

How Can I Get Rid Of The Dried Stain From My Clothes?

With dried stains, you can use these methods: dish soap, borax, or Coke. On the other hand, you can go to the dry cleaner if the stains are difficult to remove.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Clean The Stain Completely?

If the methods above fail, you have to take it to the dry cleaner as soon as possible. They will take care of your clothes carefully.

Will Hydraulic Fluid Burn My Clothes?

No, it won’t. Hydraulic fluid is less flammable than other kinds of fluid. If you see the hydraulic fluid on your clothes, you don’t need to be worried because the cleaning expert can wash these stains safely.

What Should I Do To Get Rid Of The Smell Of Hydraulic Fluid?

The best way to treat it is laundry detergent or baking soda. First, you strew laundry powder or baking soda on the stained area, then apply sawdust or kitty litter to remove the fluid smell.

Can Hydraulic Fluid Come Off The Carpet?

Yes, you can. Dampen a rag with a citrus-based solvent and then blot the stained area with that rag until the stain is absorbed entirely. Next, soak a clean rag into a solution of ¼ dish soap and 1 cup of water.

After that, you can blot this new rag on the stained area to remove the remaining oil. Replace a new rag when you see a part of oil absorbed. Use a wet cloth dipped in cool water to wash off the detergent. Repeat the process if necessary.

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.

Is this article helpful for you? Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends!

How To Get Hydraulic Fluid Out Of Clothes


1. 2021. Hydraulic Fluids | Public Health Statement | ATSDR.

2. 2021. Hydraulic Fluids are Potentially Dangerous.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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