by Amy Gordon
(last updated February 20, 2009)
Grass stains are an important part of summer. Grass covered knees represent hours spent playing outdoors and having fun, or a nice picnic lunch, or a soccer game in the morning. They are fairly common stains, so there are a lot of products available to remove them, as well as different methods to try to get them out.
If you want to just throw your grass-stained pants into the wash, pre-treat them first by wetting them with warm water, then using a clean cloth to dab at the stain with rubbing alcohol. Wash them as you normally would. You can also pre-treat with a stain removal product—there are many available for grass stains. Be careful not to put the stained garment in the dryer or iron the stain—heat will set the stain.
If you want to wash the stain out by hand, or if your washing machine does not get the stain out completely, dab it with peroxide. Rub the peroxide on the stain until the stain disappears. If you do not have peroxide, white vinegar should also work to remove the grass stain. Dilute the white vinegar with water and sponge the diluted vinegar onto the stained area. You could also dab with diluted ammonia—this may cause the color of fabric to fade a bit. If fading occurs, rinse, then dab a drop of white vinegar onto the faded area.
If you do not have hard water, rub a wet bar of Fels Naptha soap onto the grass mark. Other suggestions are to try putting a bit of molasses syrup onto the stain before washing it.
A grass stain is an organic stain, so it will also respond to an enzyme pre-treatment product. Apply the enzyme product onto the stained area(s), let it set according to the instructions on the product, and put the garment into the wash. If you do not have an enzyme product, a few drops of liquid laundry detergent can serve as a good substitute.
Another technique you could try is to spray window cleaner onto the stain. Window cleaners are mostly ammonia, so this may lighten your fabric. Test first the window cleaner on an inconspicuous area of garment to see if it will damage it.
You can try sponging alcohol onto the stain from the back. First rinse the garment well, then sponge rubbing alcohol onto the back of the stained area. Once you have dabbed it well, wait 20 minutes to see results.
A last method you can use, if your garment is colorfast, is to rinse the garment well and apply bleach to the stain before washing your garment. Colorfast bleaches are also available if the garment is not white or colorfast itself.
Grass stains happen easily and often to most children's or outdoor athlete's clothing, so it is good to have an arsenal of methods to attack the stains. Do not forget to test stain removers in an inconspicuous place before using any product on your garment—you do not need extra marks or stains on your clothes.
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