8 Methods to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes

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Have you ever had a great bike ride, only to find out that your clothes are stained with bike grease? If you have, you’re not alone.

Bike grease is one of the most common and annoying stains that cyclists have to deal with. It is not like regular dirt or oil, because it is made of synthetic or mineral oils mixed with additives, such as graphite, molybdenum, or Teflon. These additives make bike grease more resistant to water and detergent, which means that it won’t come off easily with normal washing.

But don’t worry. In this article, I will show you how to get bike grease out of clothes using 8 different methods and products. I will also share some tips and tricks on how to prevent and treat bike grease stains in the future. Check them now.

Method 1: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Dishwashing Liquid

Dishwashing liquid is more than just for your dirty dishes. It’s a powerful grease-fighting agent that can cut through oil and grime on both dishes and clothes.

The secret lies in the surfactants present in dishwashing liquid. Surfactants are molecules that can attach to both water and oil, allowing the dishwashing liquid to lift the bike grease from the fabric and wash it away.

Now that you know why dishwashing liquid is the perfect tool for the job, let’s get into the step-by-step process of removing bike grease stains from your clothes.

Step 1: The first thing you’ll want to do is blot the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any excess bike grease. Be gentle and avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread the grease and make the stain worse.

Step 2: Next, apply a small amount of dishwashing liquid directly onto the stain. You can either use your fingers or a soft-bristled brush to gently rub the dishwashing liquid into the fabric. Make sure to cover the entire stain with the dishwashing liquid.

Step 3: After applying the dishwashing liquid, let it sit on the stain for at least 10 minutes. For tougher stains, you can leave it on for up to an hour. This will give the dishwashing liquid enough time to break down the grease and make it easier to remove.

Step 4: Once the dishwashing liquid has had time to work its magic, rinse the stained area with cold water. Check if the stain is gone. If not, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is completely removed.

Step 5: Once the stain is gone, you can wash the garment as usual in the washing machine with your regular detergent. This will help remove any remaining residue and ensure that your clothes are clean and fresh.

Tips and Warnings for Using Dishwashing Liquid to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

Here are a few tips and warnings to keep in mind when using dishwashing liquid to remove bike grease stains from clothes:

  1. Use a clear or white dishwashing liquid, as colored dishwashing liquids may leave a residue or stain on your clothes.
  2. For extra cleaning power, you can add some baking soda or vinegar to the dishwashing liquid. These household ingredients can help break down the grease even further.
  3. Avoid using dishwashing liquid on delicate fabrics, such as silk, wool, or leather, as it may damage them. In these cases, it’s best to take the garment to a professional cleaner.
  4. Do not use hot water or bleach on bike grease stains, as they may set the stain or make it worse. Stick to cold water and dishwashing liquid for the best results.

Method 2: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Baking Soda

Believe it or not, baking soda, this white, crystalline powder that is commonly used as a leavening agent in baking can also work wonders when it comes to removing bike grease from clothes.

baking soda

Step 1: Before diving into the baking soda method, it’s important to remove any excess bike grease from the stain. Take a paper towel or a clean cloth and gently blot the stain, being careful not to rub it further into the fabric.

Step 2: Next, it’s time to create a baking soda paste. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the stain, making sure to cover it completely. Then, add a few drops of water to the baking soda to form a paste. The water will activate the baking soda and help it work its magic on the grease stain.

Step 3: Using your fingers or a soft-bristled brush, gently rub the baking soda paste into the stain. Make sure to work the paste into the fabric, paying extra attention to the areas with the most grease. Once you’ve thoroughly rubbed in the paste, let it sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes. For tougher stains, you can leave the baking soda paste on overnight.

Step 4: After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, it’s time to remove it from the fabric. Take a brush, such as a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush, and brush off the dried baking soda. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric. Once you’ve removed the baking soda, wash the garment as usual. Check the fabric care instructions to determine the appropriate water temperature and wash cycle.

Tips and Warnings for Using Baking Soda to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

Baking soda has additional benefits beyond removing bike grease stains. You can also use it to brighten and deodorize your clothes. Simply add half a cup of baking soda to your regular laundry load to help eliminate odors and keep your clothes looking fresh.

Besides, it can also tackle other types of stains. From coffee and wine to blood stains, baking soda can be a versatile stain remover for your laundry needs.

While baking soda is a powerful stain remover, it’s important to note that it may cause color fading on colored clothes. To avoid this, stick to using baking soda on white or light-colored garments.

It’s also crucial to avoid mixing baking soda with vinegar or bleach. This combination can cause a chemical reaction that can damage your clothes or even produce harmful gasses. Stick to using baking soda on its own for best results.

Method 3: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Biological Laundry Detergent

Biological laundry detergent is a type of detergent that contains enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that can break down organic substances, such as grease, starch, or blood. In the case of bike grease stains, the enzymes in biological laundry detergent can digest the oil and additives in the grease, loosening them from the fabric.

Step 1: Start by blotting the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any excess bike grease. Be careful not to rub the stain, as it may spread the grease further.

Step 2: Next, apply a small amount of biological laundry detergent directly onto the stain. You can either use your fingers or a soft-bristled brush to gently rub the detergent into the fabric. Make sure to cover the entire stain with the detergent.

Step 3: Allow the biological laundry detergent to sit on the stain for at least 15 minutes. For tougher stains, you can leave it for up to an hour to give the enzymes more time to break down the grease.

Step 4: After the designated time has passed, rinse the stained area with cold water. Check if the stain has been completely removed. If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is gone.

Step 5: Once the stain is gone, wash the garment as you normally would in the washing machine, using your regular detergent. Follow the care instructions on the garment’s label to ensure proper washing.

Tips and Warnings for Using Biological Laundry Detergent to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

Here are some additional tips and warnings to keep in mind when using biological laundry detergent to remove bike grease stains:

  1. Use a biological laundry detergent that is suitable for your fabric type and color. Some detergents may be too harsh or too mild for certain fabrics or colors. It’s always a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before treating the entire stain.
  2. Biological laundry detergent can also be effective in removing other types of organic stains, such as sweat, grass, or chocolate. So, keep it in mind for future stain-fighting needs.
  3. Avoid using biological laundry detergent on delicate fabrics, such as silk, wool, or leather, as it may damage them. In these cases, it’s best to consult a professional cleaner or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for stain removal.
  4. If you or someone in your household has sensitive skin or allergies, it’s important to be cautious when using biological laundry detergent. Some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions to the enzymes present in the detergent. Consider using alternative stain removal methods or choose a detergent specifically formulated for sensitive skin.

Method 4: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Soap

Soap is a fantastic tool for removing bike grease from clothes because of its unique properties. It is made from fats and oils mixed with an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. These ingredients work together to create a substance that can emulsify oil and grease, making them soluble in water. When you apply soap to a bike grease stain, it helps break down the grease, allowing it to be easily washed away.

Step 1: Wet the stained area with cold water and rub a bar of soap over it until it lathers. Make sure to cover the entire stain with soap.

Step 2: Scrub the stain with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Apply gentle pressure and work the soap into the fabric, focusing on the grease-stained area. This will help loosen the grease from the fibers.

Step 3: Rinse the stained area with cold water and check if the stain is gone. If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 1 and 2 until the grease is completely removed. Be patient and persistent, as some grease stains may require multiple treatments.

Step 4: Once the stain is gone, wash the garment as usual in the washing machine with your regular detergent. This will help remove any remaining soap residue and leave your clothes fresh and clean.

Tips and Warnings for Using Soap to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

Here are some additional tips and warnings to keep in mind when using soap to remove bike grease from clothes:

  1. Use a soap that is clear or white in color, as colored soap may leave a residue or stain on your clothes.
  2. For extra cleaning power, you can add a tablespoon of baking soda or a cup of vinegar to the soap lather. These natural ingredients can help break down grease and eliminate odors.
  3. Use a mild and gentle soap, such as glycerin soap or castile soap. These types of soap are less likely to damage your clothes or irritate your skin.
  4. Soap can be a versatile stain remover. You can also use it to remove other types of stains, such as ink, lipstick, or paint. Simply follow the same steps outlined above.
  5. Avoid using soap on delicate fabrics such as silk, wool, or leather, as it may damage them. Instead, consider taking these garments to a professional cleaner for specialized treatment.
  6. Do not use hot water or bleach on bike grease stains, as they may set the stain or make it worse. Stick to cold water throughout the cleaning process.
  7. Do not use soap on fabrics that are not water-resistant, such as silk, wool, or leather, as it may shrink or discolor them. Always check the care label on your clothes before applying soap.
  8. Avoid using soap that contains dyes or additives, as they may leave a residue or stain on your clothes. Stick to plain, unscented soap for the best results.

Method 5: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Shampoo

Shampoo is not only great for cleaning hair, but it can also work wonders on removing bike grease from clothes. The shampoo’s formula is designed to dissolve and wash away oil and impurities, making it a powerful tool in your stain-fighting arsenal.

Step 1: Start by blotting the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any excess bike grease. Be careful not to rub the stain, as this can spread it further.

Step 2: Next, apply some shampoo directly onto the stain. You can use any shampoo you have on hand, but it’s best to choose a clear or white shampoo to avoid any potential residue or staining. Gently rub the shampoo into the stain using your fingers or a soft-bristled brush.

Step 3: Allow the shampoo to sit on the stain for at least 15 minutes. For tougher stains, you can leave it on for up to an hour. This will give the shampoo time to penetrate the fabric and break down the grease.

Step 4: After the designated time has passed, rinse the stained area with cold water. Check if the stain is completely gone. If not, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is removed. Be patient and persistent – some stains may require multiple treatments.

Step 5: Once the stain is gone, wash the garment as you normally would in the washing machine, using your regular detergent. This will help remove any remaining shampoo residue and leave your clothes fresh and clean.

Tips and Warnings for Using Shampoo to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

  1. Use a clear or white shampoo to avoid any potential residue or staining on your clothes.
  2. Shampoo can also be effective in removing other types of stains, such as makeup, blood, or wine. Keep this in mind for future stain-fighting endeavors.
  3. Avoid using shampoo on delicate fabrics like silk, wool, or leather, as it may damage them. Stick to using it on sturdy fabrics like cotton or polyester.
  4. Be mindful of the shampoo you use. Avoid shampoos that contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, or silicones, as they may harm your clothes or skin.

Method 6: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Baby Powder

Baby powder is a product that is typically used to prevent diaper rash and absorb moisture on babies’ skin. But did you know that it can also work wonders when it comes to removing bike grease from clothes? The secret lies in its absorbent properties. Baby powder can effectively absorb the oil from the grease stain and lift it from the fabric, making it easier to remove.

baby powder

Step 1: Start by blotting the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any excess bike grease. Be gentle and avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread the grease and make it more difficult to remove.

Step 2: Next, sprinkle a generous amount of baby powder directly onto the grease stain. You can use your fingers or a spoon to press the powder into the fabric, ensuring that it makes contact with the grease.

Step 3: Allow the baby powder to sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes. For tougher stains, you can leave it overnight. The longer the powder has to absorb the grease, the better the results will be.

Step 4: After the designated time has passed, gently brush off the baby powder from the fabric. You can use a soft-bristled brush or even your fingers to remove the powder. Once the powder is brushed off, wash the garment as you normally would. Be sure to follow the care instructions on the clothing label.

Tips and Warnings for Using Baby Powder to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

Here are a few additional tips and warnings to keep in mind when using baby powder to remove bike grease stains:

  1. You can use other powders that have similar properties to baby powder, such as talcum powder, cornstarch, baking soda, or flour, to remove bike grease from clothes.
  2. Baby powder can also be effective in removing other types of oil-based stains, such as sunscreen, lotion, or hair products.
  3. However, it’s important to note that you should not use baby powder on dark-colored clothes, as it may leave a white mark on them. Always test the powder on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the entire stain.
  4. Lastly, it’s crucial to avoid inhaling baby powder, as it may cause respiratory problems. Use caution and keep the powder away from your face while applying it to your clothing.

Method 7: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a fine, white powder that is made from corn. It’s commonly used as a thickener or binder in cooking and baking, but it also has surprising grease-absorbing properties. When applied to a bike grease stain, cornstarch acts as a natural absorbent, drawing the oil out of the fabric and lifting the stain away.

Step 1: Blot the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any excess bike grease. Be careful not to rub the stain, as this can push the grease further into the fabric.

Step 2: Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch over the stain. Using your fingers or a spoon, gently press the cornstarch into the fabric, ensuring that it covers the entire stain.

Step 3: Let the cornstarch sit on the stain for at least 30 minutes. For tougher stains, you can leave it overnight. During this time, the cornstarch will work its magic, absorbing the oil from the fabric.

Step 4: After the designated time has passed, brush off the cornstarch with your hand or a soft-bristled brush. You should notice that the stain has lightened or disappeared completely. If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 2 and 3 until it’s gone.

Step 5: Finally, wash the garment as usual in the washing machine with your regular detergent. Check the garment before drying to ensure that the stain is completely gone. If there are any remnants, repeat the process or try an alternative method.

Tips and Warnings for Using Cornstarch to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you can also use other powders that have similar properties, such as talcum powder, baby powder, baking soda, or flour. The key is to choose a powder that can absorb oil effectively.

Cornstarch can also be used to remove other types of oil-based stains, such as butter, mayonnaise, or salad dressing. It’s a versatile tool to have in your stain-fighting arsenal.

Avoid using cornstarch on wet or damp stains, as it may make them harder to remove. Make sure to blot away any excess moisture before applying the cornstarch.

It’s important to note that inhaling cornstarch can cause respiratory problems. Take precautions and use in a well-ventilated area.

Method 8: How to Get Bike Grease Out of Clothes Using WD-40

WD-40 is a versatile product that can lubricate, clean, protect, and loosen various items. It’s commonly used as a household lubricant, but did you know it can also help remove bike grease stains from clothes? WD-40 contains solvents that can dissolve and break down the oil and additives in the bike grease, making it easier to remove.

WD-40 products

Step 1: Start by blotting the bike grease stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth to remove any excess grease. Be careful not to rub the stain, as this can spread it further.

Step 2: Next, grab your trusty can of WD-40 and spray it directly onto the bike grease stain. Make sure to cover the entire stain with a generous amount of WD-40. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to allow the solvents to work their magic.

Step 3: After the WD-40 has had time to soak, take an old toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the stain. Use circular motions to work the WD-40 into the fabric and break down the grease. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the fabric.

Step 4: Once you’ve scrubbed the stain, rinse the area with cold water. Check if the stain is completely gone. If there are still remnants of the grease, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is removed. Patience is key!

Step 5: Once the stain is gone, wash the garment as usual in the washing machine with your regular detergent. This will help remove any remaining residue and leave your clothes fresh and clean.

Tips and Warnings for Using WD-40 to Remove Bike Grease from Clothes

  1. If you don’t have WD-40 on hand, you can also use other products that contain petroleum-based solvents, such as lighter fluid, kerosene, or mineral spirits, to remove bike grease from clothes. However, be cautious and use them in a well-ventilated area and away from any flames or sparks, as they are flammable and toxic.
  2. WD-40 can also be used to remove bike grease from other items, such as shoes, bags, or helmets. Just follow the same steps and be mindful of the material you’re working with.
  3. Avoid using WD-40 on delicate fabrics, such as silk, wool, or leather, as it may damage them. Always test a small, inconspicuous area before applying WD-40 to the entire stain.
  4. Remember to use WD-40 responsibly and avoid spraying it directly onto your skin or eyes, as it may cause irritation or injury. If contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.

Test the Cleaning Method Is Necessary

We have no idea of what kind of material your clothes are made of. And not all fabrics and colors react the same way to different cleaning methods and products. Some fabrics may be too delicate or sensitive for certain methods or products. Some colors may fade or bleed when exposed to certain methods or products. Therefore, it is important to test the cleaning method on a small area of the fabric before applying it to the whole stain to avoid damaging your clothes or making the stain worse.

Here are some steps and examples on how to test the cleaning method on a small area of the fabric before applying it to the whole stain:

Step 1: Choose a hidden or inconspicuous part of the garment, such as the inside seam, the hem, or the collar. This will ensure that any potential damage or discoloration is not visible when the garment is worn.

Step 2: Use a cotton swab or a corner of a cloth to dab a small amount of the cleaning agent onto the chosen area. Do not rub or spread the cleaning agent. This will help prevent the cleaning agent from spreading to other parts of the fabric and causing additional damage.

Step 3: Wait for a few minutes and check for any adverse reactions, such as color fading, bleeding, or damage. If you see any signs of damage, do not use the cleaning method on the stain. Instead, consider trying a different method or consult a professional cleaner. If you do not see any signs of damage, proceed to use the cleaning method on the stain.

By following these steps and testing the cleaning method on a small area of the fabric first, you can ensure that you are using a safe and effective method to remove bike grease stains from your clothes.

Also remember, different fabrics and colors may require different cleaning methods, so always read and follow the care instructions on your garments. If you are unsure about a particular fabric or stain, it is best to consult a professional cleaner for advice.

Avoid Some Common Mistakes That Can Make Bike Grease Stains Worse on Clothes

1: Avoid Spreading or Pushing the Stain Deeper

One common mistake when dealing with bike grease stains is rubbing the stain too hard. This can spread the grease or push it deeper into the fabric, making it even more challenging to remove.

Instead, take a gentle approach: Gently blot the stain with a paper towel or a clean cloth. This will help absorb the excess grease without spreading it further.

2: Use Cold Water Instead of Hot Water

Using hot water to remove bike grease stains may seem like a logical solution, but it can actually make the stain worse or more visible. Cold water is the way to go: Rinse the stained area with cold water as soon as possible. This will help prevent the grease from setting into the fabric.

3. Air Drying is Key

Using a dryer to speed up the drying process may seem convenient, but it can also set the stain permanently. Opt for air drying instead: After treating the stain, allow the garment to air dry. Do not put it in the dryer until you are sure the stain is completely gone.

4. Avoid Mixing Incompatible Cleaning Agents

Using multiple cleaning agents without proper knowledge can lead to chemical reactions that can damage your clothes or even pose a safety risk. Stick to one cleaning agent at a time: When using a specific cleaning agent, carefully read and follow the instructions on the product label. This will ensure you use it correctly and safely.

How to Remove Old or Dried Bike Grease Stains on Clothes

Old or dried bike grease stains are notoriously difficult to remove, because they have had more time to penetrate and bond with the fabric fibers. The longer the stain sits, the deeper it sets into the fabric, making it more challenging to remove. Additionally, the oil and additives in the bike grease may oxidize and change color over time, making the stain more visible and stubborn.

So this is why we recommend you deal with the grease stain as soon as possible. The quicker you try some solution above, the easier you can get it out of your clothes.

However, if there is one old and dried grease stain on your clothes, we still have some tips for you to minimize the loss.

1. Pre-Treat the Stain: Before tossing your garment in the wash, it’s crucial to pre-treat the stain. There are several pre-treatment products available that can help break down the grease and make it easier to remove. Look for a stain remover or an enzyme cleaner specifically designed for grease stains. Follow the instructions on the product label and test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t damage or discolor the garment.

2. Soak the Stain: Once you have your pre-treatment product, apply it directly to the stain and let it soak for the recommended amount of time. This will help the product penetrate the fabric and break down the grease. Gently rub the stain with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the grease particles.

3. Wash with Hot Water and Heavy-Duty Detergent: After pre-treating the stain, it’s time to wash the garment. Use hot water and a heavy-duty detergent, as the heat can help dissolve and remove the oil and additives in the bike grease. The heavy-duty detergent will provide extra cleaning power to remove any residue or odor. Wash the garment according to the care instructions, and do not dry it until you are sure the stain is completely gone.

4. Repeat if Necessary: If the stain is still visible after washing, don’t panic. Sometimes, old or dried grease stains require multiple treatments. Repeat the pre-treatment and washing steps until the stain is fully removed. Patience is key here!

How to Prevent Bike Grease Stains Left on Your Clothes

Considering the difficulty of removing bike grease stains, it’s always better to prevent bike grease stains in the first place. And here are some tips for you to choose.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

One of the easiest ways to prevent bike grease stains is by wearing protective clothing. Consider investing in a pair of cycling gloves, as they can provide a barrier between your hands and the grease on your bike. Additionally, you can wear an apron or overalls to protect your clothes from any potential grease splatters. If you don’t have any of these items on hand, you can simply cover your clothes with a plastic bag or a newspaper before touching your bike.

2. Use a Chain Guard or Chain Case

The chain is one of the main culprits when it comes to bike grease stains. To prevent the chain from touching your clothes or legs, install a chain guard or a chain case on your bike. These accessories act as a shield, keeping the grease contained and away from your clothing. They are easy to install and can save you from the hassle of dealing with grease stains later on.

3. Clean Your Bike Regularly

Regular bike maintenance is crucial not only for the performance of your bike but also for preventing grease stains. Make it a habit to clean your bike regularly and wipe off any excess grease from the chain, gears, and other parts. Use a degreaser and a brush to remove any built-up grease. By keeping your bike clean, you reduce the chances of grease transferring onto your clothes during rides.

4. Avoid Leaning Against Your Bike or Carrying it on Your Shoulder

Another common way grease stains end up on clothes is through direct contact with the bike. Avoid leaning against your bike or putting it on your shoulder when you carry it. Instead, find a stable surface to rest your bike against or use a bike stand. This simple step can help prevent any accidental contact with grease and keep your clothes clean.

What About Removing Bike Oil from Clothes

Bike oil and bike grease are both lubricants that help reduce friction and wear on bike parts, but they have different properties and applications.

Bike oil is a liquid that is thinner and more fluid than bike grease. It is suitable for lubricating moving parts that need to be fast and smooth, such as chains, cables, derailleurs, and shifters. Bike grease is a semi-solid that is thicker and more sticky than bike oil. It is suitable for lubricating parts that need to withstand high pressure and prevent water and dirt from entering, such as bearings, hubs, headsets, and bottom brackets.

Removing bike grease from clothes can be more difficult than removing bike oil from clothes, because grease is more resistant to water and tends to stick to fabrics. So if you want to get the bike oil stains out of your clothes, you can also follow the methods above to easily make it.

Conclusion

Bike grease can be a pesky stain to deal with, but it is not impossible to remove. You can use WD-40, cornstarch, dishwashing liquid, baking soda, biological laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, or baby powder to get bike grease out of clothes with some simple steps and tips.

These methods are effective, affordable, and easy to find in your home or local store, and fully covered above.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you have any other methods or tips on how to get bike grease out of clothes, I would love to hear them too. Happy cycling!

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AUTHOR

Randy Joycelyn

Randy is the founder and editor of Cycling Soigneur. He has been passionate about cycling since he was a kid. He has been riding bikes for over 10 years. Cycling has just become a part of life.

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