Textile Engineer's Secret Trick to Remove Grass Stains
Time to read: 5 min
Search for tips on how to remove grass stains, and you'll find plenty of home recipes that claims to be effective. Problem? Far from all of them actually work. We know what's working but also what tips you can ignore.
Grass stains will ruin your garment forever if you don’t remove them with the proper method. You will achieve the results using alcohol or stain remover containing hydrogen peroxide or gel made with bile soap and sunflower oil. Do like this:
Soak the stain with alcohol or stain remover
Leave in for 15 minutes
Fresh spot: Wash in a regular spin cycle on low temperature
Old spot: Wash in as warm water, as hot as possible without harming the garment
We know our Stain Bible
Back in the day it was common practice to use different home recipes to remove stains. Today, most of us don't have the same ingredients at hand. Besides, the house wife tricks often demand a lot of manual labor. The wrong treatment might actually make the stain worse, and then you have the problem with two stains in one. That’s a scenario where even a professional dry cleaner might not be able to help. Risky and unpractical when science has provided us with safer methods.
We know our Stain Bible. We have our own textile engineer who knows everything (and more) about stain removal. If we already don’t know the answer, we’ll call our chemists and ask (we have them on speed dial). You can trust that we tried almost everything.
What Is a Grass Stain, and What Makes it Special?
Grass stains are easily recognized by their green color. They’re extra easy to spot on white and light-colored fabrics. The green stains come from the chlorophyll in the grass. The moist from the grass along with the chlorophyll penetrates the textile fibers – and if you’re unlucky and don’t know the right tricks – the stain will become permanent. Grass stains are among the most stubborn spots and they require special treatment.
Fresh stains: Spot treat immediately with your choice of stain removal and rinse with cold water in the sink. Hot water might make the stain permanent.
Old stains: Old stains must be pre-treated with a stain remover and then washed in the machine, on as high temperature as possible without ruining the garment. Hot water helps dissolve the stain.
What actually works
Yes, actually. Alcohol will dissolve the grass stain. As with any other stain removal treatment, it’s most efficient when using it on fresh stains. Choose a colorless alcohol, for instance; vodka, gin, hand sanitizer or rectified spirits (if you can access it).
Worth mentioning: Alcohol will not dissolve dirt stains. If you have a combined grass-and spoil spot we recommend you using a chemical stain remover instead.
Soak the stain with alcohol. Pour from the outside of the garment
Leave in for 15 minutes
Machine wash on a regular spin cycle
Chemical Stain Remover
The most efficient and easiest way is to use an environmentally friendly stain remover. We recommend Oxi Spray (added hydro peroxide) or gel made of bile soap and sunflower oil. The stain removers will remove even stains that are left in, but also remove dirt stains (if it happens to be a combination stain, which it almost always is). There also easy to work with compare to using home recipes.
It’s important you choose a stain remover that is nice to the environment and is biologically degradable.
Pre-treat the stain before washing:
Oxi Spray:Spray the stain and leave in for a maximum of 5 minutes (longer and you're at risk making the stain permanent)
Stain remover with bile soap and sunflower oil: soak the stain
Leave in for 5-15 minutes (max 5 minutes for oxi spray)
Rub the stain gently
Fresh stains: wash on low temperatures
Old stains: Wash the garment on high temperature
Alternative (but Fuzzy) home recipes
Washing up liquid
Soak the garment with a few drops of washing up-liquid. Preferably the garment should soak in the solution overnight and then washed in the machine. The result is pretty satisfying, but it’s a bit complicated since you have to have the garment lying in water for many hours. Besides: The most common washing up-liquids contains surfactants that are dangerous to aquatic creatures. Those brands should be avoided for environmental reasons..
White Distilled Vinegar
White distilled vinegar will resolve the grass stain as long as the spot in fairly fresh. Mix 50/50 white distilled vinegar and water. Let the garment soak in the solution for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. Then wash the garment on a regular spin cycle. Won’t remove the soil in combined grass-and soil stains, nor will it be effective on old grass stains.
Home Recipes for Grass Stains that (Unfortunately) Won’t Work
White toothpaste (not gel) is said to be effective in removing grass stains. It’s not. No matter how much you rub the stain using a regular toothbrush – or electric one – the stain won’t come off. On old stains toothpaste is basically useless. On the contrary, you’re actually at risk destroying the fabric with this harsh treatment. Don’t bother trying!