Remove Mud and Soil Stains with a Potato

Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated October 23, 2023)

It's inevitable that you'll suffer the inconvenience of a mud or soil stain. It just happens with life as you go about your daily activities. You'll fall on the way to class, the bus will splash up dirty slush on your jeans, you'll play with your kids outside and inevitably you get dirty. Alas, some of the hardest stains to remove are those made by mud and soil. They contain certain minerals and other "earthy" materials that will undoubtedly set into your clothes. How can you get them out?

You should always try basic stain removers and stain removal techniques first. You always want to try the orthodox before attempting a new remedy (especially one involving a potato). Try your standby spot removers, baking soda, vinegar, and a few washings, and if all else fails here is something you can try: the potato technique.

Slice a potato in half and rub it on the mud and soil stains. Keep rubbing the potato on the spot and make sure to really work the potato into the fabric that has the stain. Press hard and you'll start to notice that the stain is coming out of the fabric and showing up in the white of the potato. You may have to try a few times before ultimate success, but it's definitely worth a few tries.

Who knows why this works? Is it the potato juice? Is it the nature of the stain itself? Is the naturalness, outdoor-sy quality of the mud and soil stains finding affinity with the organic potato? Is the potato a "stain sponge?" Who really knows? Regardless of its mechanics, the potato stain-removal method is one you should definitely try if what you're already trying doesn't work. It may seem a bit odd and you your clothes might smell like a garden (until you wash them), but if the stain is gone then what else matters?

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

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