Back Button

How to Clean Antifreeze out of Clothes

Sal Marco

Antifreeze is an engine coolant used by car owners to prevent engine damage when the engine cools and water turns to ice. Antifreeze is a mixture of base alcohol, buffering agents and dye. Accidental spills or splashes can leave stains on clothing because antifreeze manufacturers add dye to the mixture.


Treat antifreeze while it's fresh to prevent stains from setting and becoming hard to remove.


Don't put stained clothing in the dryer because the heat will permanently set the stain. Take dry-clean-only fabrics to a dry cleaners and explain the type of stain.

Depending on the type of antifreeze splashed on clothing, stain colors typically include green, blue or red. Act quickly to treat and remove antifreeze stains to preserve your clothing.

  1. Stretch the clothing across a bucket with the stain facing down.

  2. Pour the hottest water safe for the fabric onto the stain to push the stain out of the fibers.

  3. Apply liquid laundry detergent directly onto the antifreeze stain. Wet a clean, white rag and work the laundry detergent into the stain.

  4. Pour the hottest water safe for the fabric onto the stain to rinse the laundry detergent.

  5. Dilute oxygenated bleach with water as directed on the manufacturer's directions if the antifreeze stain remains on the fabric. You can also spray on a laundry pretreatment product that contains oxygenated bleach. Let the oxygenated bleach remain on the antifreeze stain for five to 10 minutes.

  6. Fill a washing machine with the hottest water safe for the fabric. Add laundry detergent and oxygenated bleach to the washing machine.

  7. Place the clothing in the washing machine and let the washer run through a cycle.

  8. Remove the clothing from the washing machine and examine it for stains. If no stain remains, dry the clothing according to the clothing manufacturer's directions. If the antifreeze stain remains, repeat the process until the stain disappears.