Less than a month ago, I posted about finding a solution for getting grease stains out of my boys’ clothes, and at the end of the blog, since I’ve also shared how I get dry erase marker out of my kindergartener’s jeans and how I found a simple way to remove silly putty from fabric, I said, “I wonder what new stain my little boys will find for me to become an expert on next…”
Well, it didn’t take long. In fact, I actually should have seen this one coming. I mean, I’m a mom of two active, energetic, outdoors-loving little boys.
With spring’s arrival, I should have known it was inevitable.
Bring on the grass stains.
Yep, no sooner had our grass turned from yucky dead brown to bright, newly-sprouted green, than those infamous streaks of green showed up on clothes all through my laundry baskets.
A couple of days after we set up the boys’ new-to-us wooden swing set, I had 5 pairs of grass-stained jeans to tackle.
Knowing that I was staring at my summer laundry nemesis that day, I went straight to two sources as I searched for help in heading off this stain epidemic:
Pinterest and my mother.
While I knew Pinterest holds all kinds of solutions for pretty much every household problem ever, I also knew that my mom had dealt with her share of grass stains, thanks to my two busy, athletic brothers, both of whom played football.
Pinterest’s solutions included using rubbing alcohol or hair spray as a solvent on the stain, and a lot of pre-treating, scrubbing, soaking, and rewashing. Hmmm.
Mom’s answer: “For the boys’ football pants, I just used laundry detergent to pre-treat, then scrubbed it well, and washed the clothes in cold water. If it didn’t come out, I washed it again. If it’s white, you can bleach it, also.”
(I imagine that if the clothing were white, you could also set it out in the sun, and let the sun help you bleach it out, too, if you wanted, like you do with cloth diapers.)
Thankfully, I don’t have boys ruining football pants, yet. I just have tumble-bumble boys sliding around the grass on the knees of their jeans. 🙂
So, I combined the answers and tried it out on those five pair of jeans, one of which had a grass stain that had *gasp & sigh* ALREADY GONE THROUGH THE DRYER! Ugh. Like all stains, grass stains are best taken care of as soon as possible!
I didn’t hold out much hope for that rogue pair of pants, but the other four, I could fix them, right?
I started out with my new standby solvent – hand sanitizer. It works for the dry erase marker & the silly putty, and some of the solutions I found for grass stains mentioned using alcohol, so I applied some of the gel and rather than scour it with my “cleaning toothbrush,” I used my fingernails to kind of scratch at the stain. I had read that you wanted to lift the stain out. Okay.
I sprayed each stain with Spray’N’Wash Pre-treater (you can use try whatever stain treater you have on hand) and scrubbed it in, lightly, with my cleaning toothbrush.
Each stain then also received a good dollop of laundry detergent. In my researching, it said to use detergent with enzymes. My detergent doesn’t have enzymes, but I used it anyway. I scrubbed that in.
I waited about 30 minutes or so before I washed the garments in cold water. I had some other jeans that needed stain treated for those lovely dry erase marker stains, so that’s what I spent some of my “waiting” time doing. Then I threw all the jeans into the washer.
DON’T PUT THEM IN THE DRYER!!!! I looked over the clothing to see if the stains were gone. I let them all air dry until I could really tell if there was any staining left. While they did look better, I wanted them completely stain-free.
If they aren’t clean enough, you can repeat all the steps over again. Or not. I just used a little more pre-treater and scrubbing, let it sit a few minutes, and washed them again in cold water. This time when they came out, I was happy. All of the pants, except the ones that I had put through the dryer accidentally, came out free of staining. The dried-in pair didn’t come out all the way, but it was much, much better.
So, there you go – my not-too-difficult way to get grass stains out of clothing.
Since my laundry stain repertoire seems to keep growing, stay tuned. I’m sure I’ll be adding to it soon.