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How to remove oil from a 1953 jalopy racing cloth patch

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by toml24, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    I'm asking for advise and suggestions on how to remove oil and dirt from a 1953 cloth arm band patch from the California Jalopy Association. I want to try to clean it up and make it look perfect again. This is a patch of unknown materials but is traditional construction from about 1953. The patch is about 5 1/4 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches high. The colors are black and gold. Thanks in advance for the help.

    Attached Files:

  2. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Throw it in the washing machine with the regular laundry when the wife isn't looking :D
  3. Lestoil has taken some serious oil/dirt out of clothes I almost destroyed in the past. You will have to wash then a second time in regular detergent to get out the petroleum smell though.
  4. sport fury
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 593

    sport fury

    put in the pocket of something you are going to get dry cleaned. or shout it out

  5. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,269


    :) Something that has always worked for me,is to use a little Dawn(R)dish washing liquid and scrub it in GENTLY with an old tooth brush and let it set in the laundry basket until the next load of laundry is done.Has worked well for me.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  6. Brakleen , is a very similar mix to dry cleaning fluid . Spray it liberally with brakeleen .

  7. wombat barf
    Joined: May 1, 2011
    Posts: 366

    wombat barf
    from oklahoma

    pour some Dawn Ultra dish soap directly onto it and let it soak for a few hours. wash it alone in cold water. you will get a bunch of it out but probably not all of it. I trust Dawn Ultra more than other cleaners because I have never had it bleach out fabric like a lot of high powered "removes all stains from pecker tracks to Jalapeño KY Jelly!" have been known to do.
  8. Barsteel
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 726

    from Monroe, CT

    Waterless hand cleaner w/no grit. Works wonders on oil.
  9. Oxyclean...seriously. Pre-soak it then tie it up in a colorfast cloth bag and put it in the washer - small load, gentle cycle.
  10. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 752

    from Canada

    Brake cleen does wonders for removing oil/ grease stains. When I worked at a GM garage and on occasion if I or other techs got oil etc on a seat or carpet I would do the following.... Spray a bit of brake cleen onto the stain and immediately DAB it with a clean paper towel to soak up the oil, repeat as necessary. It ALWAYS worked.
  11. Barn Hunter
    Joined: Feb 15, 2012
    Posts: 1,460

    Barn Hunter

    Oxyclean...the only safe way.
  12. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,673

    Larry T

    I think I'd take it straight to the dry cleaners. If they say they can't get it out, then try the home remedies.
  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    You can dry clean at home by soaking in naptha gas or Coleman stove fuel for a half hour.
  14. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    The Dry Cleaners can do it for sure. They use Perclorethelyne (sp?) which will
    remove petroleum products without damaging the cloth.
  15. 1955IHC
    Joined: Aug 20, 2013
    Posts: 636


    Simple Green saturate a cloth a blot the stain. Works great on upholstery.

    Sent via Illinois Bell Telephone Company's Car Radiotelephone
  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,013


    I've used the Dawn dish liquid on some pretty nasty oil stains and come out pretty decent. I'd mix up some in a small container and soak the patch for a couple of hours and then scrub it and rinse it and see how it looks. Then soak it again and run it through the laundry.
  17. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    I very much appreciate all of the suggestions. I'm afraid to put it in the wash because of its age and the fear it will fade and shrink to the size of a postage stamp, but most of you seem to say it will hold up great.
  18. 5Wcoupe
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 306

    from L.A., Ca.

    My wife has worked miracles on stuff like this by using a mixture of blue dawn dishwashing liquid (20%) with hydrogen peroxide (80%) and a soft toothbrush.
    I think you'll be amazed. and if not, it won't look any worse.
    Mr. 48, you try it too.
  19. Let me begin by apologizing to all for the chemistry lesson.

    I would try soaking the patch in charcoal lighter fluid for a few hours. The old chemistry rule is true: "Like dissolves like."

    An "oil-like" non-polar solvent will solubilize an oily substance. Similarly, a polar solvent (water) will dissolve electrically-charged polar substances such as sugar or salt.

    If you choose to try lighter fluid, follow up with a mild detergent in lukewarm water.

    I use lighter fluid often — recently to remove a black tar-like stain from an expensive, light colored, living room carpet. Complete removal.

    Good luck.

    blah, blah, blah....

    Unfortumately, the oily part of the deposit may be removed only to leave behind the polar stain (many dyes), that's why modern detergents are complex mixtures. So in a way all the suggestions above are good for at least part of the "stain".

    5Wcoupe also suggested using a bleach, hydrogen peroxide, which does not remove the pigment (stain) but chemically alters the way the stain adsorbs visible light.

    More info? "Google "Hydrophobic effect" and click on the Wiki entry.
  20. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    After considering all of the options that I greatly appreciate, I took the patch to a professional dry cleaners establishment, a place I deem experienced in special cleaning jobs. If they can do anything it will be done this Friday and I will share the results. Their cost for this cleaning job, they quoted me:$1.00. We shall see if that price holds up when I pick it up.
  21. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    Here is the result of a professional dry cleaning job. I'm very happy with the results. They got most of the oil out and I'm not going to tempt fate by doing anymore my self. The materials on the front looks to be felt with a backing of perhaps silk, glued together with industrial clothing glue nearly 60 years ago and held additionally together with the embroidery. Here you see the before and after photos. Not bad for a $1.00 investment at the cleaners.

    Attached Files:

  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,013


    That looks pretty dog gone nice when it's cleaned up.
  23. But is it still Traditional ? :D

    Looks really good .

  24. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    I know I'm a little late to the party here, but here's my 2 cents anyway.

    I've had pretty good luck getting dirty grease and oil out of cloth by scrubbing it with that orange hand cleaner you get from Autozone. It does as good a job on the clothes as it does on my hands. Then I wash the orange cleaner out with soapy water or just throw it in the washer. It's worked on several jeans, my car seat, a dress shirt and a white t-shirt.

    By the way, cool patch!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  25. Dawn dish soap was mentioned before. Watkins degreaser works great as well.

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