Add to GuideAsk a Question

Cleaning Dirty Construction Work Clothing

Category Clothing
At the end of the day manual labor jobs can leave you with very dirty clothes. This guide is about cleaning dirty construction work clothing.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
July 24, 2010

My boyfriend works construction (all kinds ). He sweats badly and his shirts and pants are terrible. Even after I wash them two or three times, it doesn't help. He wears t-shirts and jeans.

He gets paint, grease, you name it, it's on there. I would throw them away, but he's just going to get more fifty. It seems like I've tried every detergent out there. No help. Any ideas? Thank you for all answers!

By Rhoda Willis


July 25, 20102 found this helpful
Best Answer

I always use Simple Green spray for laundry like that. My husband drives a log truck, and has to do alot of his own maintenance on it. If they are bad enough, I will put them in a 5 gallon bucket on the porch after spraying the worst spots, fill it up with water, and add a little more, then let them sit for a day or two before washing.
Otherwise, I just spray with the Simple Green, using it like laundry spot remover, and it works well enough.
For seriously greasy spots, I have used the hand cleaner gels like Mojo, or other brands, and scrubbed into the spots, letting them set for a few hours before washing.

Reply Was this helpful? 2
July 28, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband works on small engines, lawn mowers, tillers, etc. Some of his tee shirts are badly stained with oil, grease, and dirt. I use a stain remover from the Dollar Tree Store. It comes in a 32 ounce spray bottle and is called Awesome Pre-Wash Laundry Stain Remover. When I sort his shirts from the hamper, I lay them front side up, lying open and flat on a pile. I place the pile in a ventilated area and Spray the stains on the front of the top shirt, around the neck, and then turn it over and spray the back if there are any stains there.


Most of the shirts are stained only on the front. I toss the first one in a basket, and continue the same procedure with each shirt. When all have been sprayed, I let them stand a few minutes and then throw them in the machine along with another cup of the stain remover, the appropriate amount of detergent, and 1/2 cup of soda.You can find soda in a
13.5 pound bag at Sam's Wholesale Club. I wash in warm water. Not every stain comes out every time, but in most cases they come very clean.
Harlean from Arkansas

Reply Was this helpful? 1
Answer this Question...

December 20, 20060 found this helpful

How can I remove construction dust from clothes left on site?

Linda from Cedarburg, WI


June 1, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

My husband operates machinery. He gets in the ditch with all the dust, dirt, flow fill, cement, and plenty of sweat. I spray his clothes with Shout then wash in very warm water with Persil That gets most everything out They don't look like new but they sure do smell good.


After all he not going to a beauty pageant but to work

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
June 22, 2019

I have heard that Mean Green gets stains out of work clothes. Do I add it with my detergent or just put a cup of Mean Green in the washer? I would really appreciate it if anyone knows.



June 22, 20190 found this helpful

You put it on the stain and leave it there 10-15 minutes and then rinse off.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

December 8, 20160 found this helpful

Ground in dirt on clothing often needs pretreatment to ensure that it is removed in the wash. This is a guide about cleaning jeans with ground in dirt.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 24, 20100 found this helpful

My husband often comes home with really dirty clothing. Especially when it rains, he works outside for much of the day. I am a stay at home parent since the birth of our first child. Basically a new homemaker. Any tips for cleaning really dirty clothing and having them look respectable again would be helpful.


Thank you, love this site!



Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

Go to your nearest "Dollar General" store and purchase a gallon of "Mean Green". It's $5 a galllon, but it lasts a long time. Just pour in 1 cup per load of laundry and it will clean the clothes every time. This stuff works great on a lot of stains. It cleans the Georgia clay from my husband's jeans, grease from his work clothes, etc. Try it! (04/16/2004)

By Jackolyn Smith

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

My dad was a truck mechanic for a logging company. Mom would start by adding at least 1 cup of ammonia to wash along with detergent. Let agitate for a few minutes and then turn off machine and just let soak for an hour or so. Turn machine back on and finish cycle. I'm pretty sure she used the "sudsy" ammonia. Sometimes his workclothes were so black with grease she'd follow up with another run through the machine. (04/16/2004)


By Charlie

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

If his pants are caked with mud and you don't want all that mud in your washer, let the pants dry, then beat them on the sidewalk until most of the mud falls off, then wash as usual. (04/16/2004)

By Marti

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

I've been a SAHM for awhile now, (5 years) and I'm always trying to save money.This is the stain remover I like best for my family's clothes.

  • 1/2 cup ammonia
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons dishwashing soap (I use AJAX)
  • 1 quart water

Mix well, and store in spray bottle. *Hint - Reuse your "Spray and Wash" bottle.

By Paula

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

To clean really dirty clothes; this one is for greasy ones. Use a can of Coke to one load. It has to be Coke no other cola product works as well. My husband is a airplane mechanic and this gets all the hydraulic fuel, oil, and all the other stuff that he gets into.


Kristen, Air Force wife and mother of three. (04/20/2004)

By ThriftyFun

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

An oldie, but goodie, Lestoil. Can be found in the cleaning product aisle of any large grocery. (04/20/2004)

By Karen

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

I use Dawn dish soap on my husband's greasy clothes. Dawn takes out many stains. If they're really dirty I put the Dawn on and put them in the washer with my laundry soap and let soak in warm water for 15 or twenty minutes. You can even add Borax to the laundry and that stuff works miracles. Good luck and congrats on staying home, it's a great choice. (04/23/2004)

By Kristi

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

The best thing for really dirty clothes: grease, grass, sweat, and all is mechanic's hand cleaner. You can usually find a tub of it for a dollar or two in the hardware section of any store. Slather it on, and use a scrub brush to lightly work it in. The other thing to remember is to not put heavily soiled clothes in the dryer unless you are sure they are clean. Hang-dry the item if you have any doubt, and re-wash if needed. (07/10/2004)

By guest

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

I use cheap laundry soap, add some borax, or washing soda and a good splash of Simple Green.

I buy Simple Green at Sam's and it keeps my husband's clothes clean and wearable for work, some come really clean and are decent, but as a welder on oil rigs, he gets into some really awful grease.

Hope this helps,

Tina (01/19/2007)

By Tina Brown

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

My staple is Shout. I use in on all grease. Wash clothes in hot water twice and this does the trick every time. My husband is as bad as the airplane mechanic. (08/10/2007)

By Vicki

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

I've been a machinist/auto mechanic and all around handyman for over 45 Yrs. For my "worst case", thought I'd never, ever get them clean, pants and shirts, my best result was to pre-treat the greasy areas (for me this always seems to be knee and thigh-fronts) with waterless cream-type hand cleaners.

These are always available at auto-parts stores under brand names like D&L, Go-Jo, and lately Goop (because it has less odor) make sure you get the style without "pumice". The pumice type is great for greasy hands etc., but too abrasive for clothing. Apply liberally, I usually scrub over the worst areas with small plastic scrub brush. Let it sit while filling the machine with warm or hot water and your normal detergent. I go for the longest cycle, and of course, wash these items separate from other clothes.

I'm always amazed that clothes so greasy and filthy can come out looking like they've never been touched by a drop of oil. P.S. If you already washed the items without some special attention, you've probably set the stain, and may never get it out completely. (04/26/2008)

By pixdan

Cleaning Dirty Work Clothing

To get grease out of clothes rub eucalyptus oil on the area and then stick it in your washing machine. You will find that your grease stains will be gone. (03/04/2010)

By jessica

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


June 1, 20180 found this helpful
Top Comment

My father used to be a head mechanic. He would use Lava soap on his hands and arms. One day my mom used the lava soap on stains and it worked Now I use the mojo or the lava on my husbands construction clothes along with persil. It works. Then I clean the washer before washing any other clothes.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Home and Garden Cleaning ClothingMay 28, 2013
Summer Ideas!
Pest Control
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.

Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2019 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Generated 2019/07/05 06:36:13 in 2 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!