Remove Mud Stains From Clothes With An Unlikely Kitchen Ingredient

Spring showers bring May flowers, but they also bring mud and the inevitable mud stains. Whether you were the unfortunate victim of a dirty puddle or have a little one who is a magnet for dirt, removing tough stains can be frustrating. And, the longer they sit, the less likely you are to ever get rid of them. Luckily, there's an unlikely stain-fighting solution, and it's probably already in your kitchen. Raw potatoes contain acids that cleanse and brighten stains. These same compounds are found in cleaning agents, and you can use them to tackle the dark stains left behind by mud.

Substituting potatoes for harsher chemical agents like bleach or other spot cleaners eliminates the risk of adverse health reactions. It will also smell better, which is a blessing for people who have allergies or merely dislike the scent of store-bought stain solutions. Additionally, because so many people already have potatoes on hand, it's a quick fix when other products are unavailable. And when it comes to stains, time is of the essence. 

Banish mud stains with a raw potato

Potatoes are an all-natural substitute for stain removers. Using a raw potato to cleanse your mud-stained clothes is simple. You'll need the potato, a knife for cutting, cold water, and your typical laundry detergent. First, try to remove as much of the mud as possible. Rinse wet mud from that garment, or use a soft-bristled brush or your fingers to gently scrape away any dried mud. Then, cut an uncooked potato so that the inside is exposed. Rub that open side over the mud stain. Ensure that you are applying enough pressure to expel the potato's juices. Make circular motions with the potato and cover the entire stain.

Let the potato sit on the stain for about 15 minutes. This will allow the acids in the potato to have enough time to cause a chemical reaction. It is those reactions that will break down bacteria and lift the stain. Afterward, rinse the garment in cold water. Finish the process by washing it as you typically would with respect to the garment instructions or fabric type.

How can an uncooked potato treat mud stains?

Potatoes may not taste acidic, but they do contain a number of acids that aid in cleaning. Two of the acids, oxalic acid and citric acid, are often used in commercially available products. Citric acid is great for sanitizing and breaking down microbial elements. So it will eliminate any germs that may have been lingering in the dirt. 

On the other hand, oxalic acid will combat oxidized stains. On its own, the concentrated acid may break down cotton fibers. However, the amount in potatoes is not enough to damage your linens. That's why it's a safer and gentler solution for your mud stains. It works similarly to bleach and lightens stains back to the original fabric color. Woodworkers have even used it in their practice to brighten wood stains. The combination of these two acids will cleanse your clothing of mud and eliminate any dark stains left behind, be they brown like typical dirt or orange-like red clay.