How To Remove Grass Stains From Clothing

Whether you're a home gardener or a football player, you've probably experienced hard-to-remove grass stains on your clothes. Grass stains can be frustrating, especially when the stains won't lift from your clothing. According to Good Housekeeping, grass stains are hard to clean because the chlorophyll making them up is packed with pigment. For this reason, it's best to pre-treat the stain before it settles or it's thrown in the wash. Otherwise, the stain can become permanent and ruin your clothes forever.

Fortunately, there are various ways to lift grass stains and make them go away –- many of which require only a few common materials you may already have at home. Some examples include vinegar, dish soap, bleach, and rubbing alcohol. If you don't have these items, you may need to take a quick trip to the store. Before we begin, keep in mind that especially stubborn stains will require more elbow grease and time to lift than new ones.

Soak in vinegar

Vinegar is a common household product that's used for several cleaning tasks–and for a good reason! White vinegar laundry hacks are incredibly popular because they work. Plus, vinegar is a natural cleaning agent, allowing you to avoid harsh chemicals. According to Stitch Fix, the acidity of vinegar works to effectively dissolve stubborn grass stains. And since grass isn't able to thrive in acidic soil, this method makes sense.

For this cleaning method, you'll need distilled white vinegar, a clean cloth, a bucket, and water. First, fill your bucket with one part vinegar and one part cold water. Then, grab your article of clothing and place it into the bucket. Next, soak for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes are up, remove the jeans and gently rub the stain with a cloth. If the stain has lifted enough, throw them in the wash. Otherwise, you can repeat the vinegar soak.

Mix hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

According to Reader's Digest, removing grass stains with hydrogen peroxide works because it's an oxidizing agent. So, what role does baking soda play? Baking soda has the power to whiten and remove moisture, and it's especially helpful when used to pre-treat stains (per the Spruce). Just like distilled white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are inexpensive household cleaning agents you may already have at home. If you don't have these items at home, they're generally very affordable to purchase at the store.

To get started, you'll need hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, a small brush (think toothbrushes), and water. Once you have the necessary materials, mix your baking soda with the hydrogen peroxide. As for the measurements, you can do one part hydrogen peroxide to three parts water and some baking soda or a tablespoon of baking soda with a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide. The most important thing is to create a thick mixture that can cover your stain completely. You'll then wait 30 minutes and scrub the area.

Use rubbing alcohol

The materials you'll need for this cleaning method include rubbing alcohol and paper towels or a clean towel. You'll then add some rubbing alcohol to your paper towel or cloth and carefully blot the area to begin lifting the stain. Once the stain is light, rinse the area and throw the clothing item into the wash. However, it's important to be careful with this method. Reader's Digest recommends you use rubbing alcohol as a last resort if all else fails due to the risk of damage. Before using rubbing alcohol for grass stains, make sure to test it on a hidden area to ensure it won't damage or fade the material.

As another common, natural cleaning agent, rubbing alcohol is inexpensive to use for grass stains. So, how does it work? According to Wonder How To, rubbing alcohol acts as a degreaser, so it can effectively break down grass stains on articles of clothing.

Create a solution of oxygen bleach and warm water

Oxygen bleach goes by different brands, so grab your favorite one and some warm water. Then create a mixture and let it sit on the stain for one to six hours. When the time is up, throw the article of clothing in the wash as normal. Tougher stains that have already set may require more time to lift. The Spruce recommends not using oxygen bleach on silk or wool and ensuring the oxygen bleach is color-safe if you're using it on colored garments.

Oxygen bleach, also known as oxi and oxy, is a powerful cleaning agent for a reason. The Spruce states that oxygen bleach is all-fabric bleach, so it's much gentler and safer than traditional bleach. However, it acts more slowly, too. When using Oxiclean or other oxygen bleach products, make sure not to mix it with other household chemicals. If you do, you run the risk of creating a potentially toxic mixture. You may also want to wear gloves and other protective items like a face mask and eyewear.

Pre-treat the stain with powdered detergent

You can pre-treat stains with regular powdered detergent. Simply mix cold water and your preferred powdered detergent to create a paste. Then, apply your paste to the stain and let sit for an hour or more. Once this time is up, gently rub the paste under running water and put the article of clothing in the wash.

Whenever you have a stain, it's crucial that you pre-treat it as soon as possible before putting it in the washing machine. According to Better Homes and Gardens, not pre-treating your stains can make it more difficult to remove them in the first place. This is because the stain can set into the fabric, and the longer it's left untreated, the more likely the stain will become permanent. If stains don't lift after you pre-treat and wash them in a normal cycle, try treating the stain again before throwing the garment in the dryer.

Mix hydrogen peroxide and dish soap

Hydrogen peroxide and dish soap can effectively remove grass stains from your clothing. To create this stain remover, simply add a few drops of dish soap to a small bowl of hydrogen peroxide. Food52 states that there's no need for accurate measurements with this cleaning method. The most important thing is that it saturates the stain completely. Once the stain is covered, let the mixture of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide sit for 30 minutes or more. Then, scrub gently under cool water. If the stain still hasn't lifted, you can try repeating this method again.

As mentioned, hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleaning agent for various household messes, including stains on clothes. It's one of the many surprising ways to use hydrogen peroxide at home. Hydrogen peroxide works due to its chemical makeup, which consists of oxidizing molecules that break down stains. When using hydrogen peroxide, make sure to use gloves to avoid contact with your skin.

Avoid products that don't work

While there are several ways you can remove grass stains from your clothing, there are also certain products that you should avoid for this purpose. For example, ammonia, degreaser, and alkaline detergents can just make matters worse, according to the University of Illinois Extension. This is because these types of cleaning agents can cause the grass stain to set even further within the fabric, which is the last thing you want. If the stain is allowed to sit for too long, it can become permanent.

Fortunately, there are various alternatives in this list that can help you remove grass stains from your clothes. From oxygen bleach to baking soda, many of these products won't cause the stain to set and work to lift it instead. That said, ammonia, degreasers, and alkaline detergents can be beneficial for other cleaning tasks. Just make sure to read the product label first to ensure they're safe to use on a case-by-case basis.

Take clothing to a professional dry cleaner

If all else fails, it can be a good idea to take your stained clothes to a professional. Dry cleaners are more likely to have the necessary products and expertise to remove various stains. While this method can be pricier than the previous methods above, it may be worth the investment. This is especially true if the process will restore your clothes back to normal or if your stains are on an especially sensitive fabric, like silk.

If you're considering taking your grass-stained clothes to a professional dry cleaner, avoid trying to lift the stain yourself. According to the Spruce, you may incorrectly try to break down the stain and cause it to settle deeper instead. Once the stain reaches that point, a dry cleaner may not be able to do anything about it. Moreover, make sure to let the dry cleaner know there is a grass stain on the garment so that they can focus on removing it for you.