How to remove grass stains
As we enjoy summer’s sunny spells, and make the most of the warmer weather, it’s hard to avoid the odd outdoor stain. Grass stains are particularly common, whether on your jeans at a picnic in the park, or on your whitest, brightest tee while playing tennis on the lawn. They’re mainly a mixture of chlorophyll and proteins, and it’s the pigment in the chlorophyll that binds to clothing fibres and can be hard to lift (especially from delicate fabrics, like silk). But in five super simple steps, you can easily remove even the stubbornest of grass stains, without the enzymes or the bleach.
#1: Soak in cold water
Because grass is a protein and organic matter (like blood - see our ultimate stain removal guide for more), start by flushing the stain with cold water and leaving it to soak for 5-10 minutes before applying anything else. Avoid hot water at all costs - it’ll set the stain.
#2: Pre-treat with detergent
Add a little liquid detergent to the water, and leave to soak for a further 30 minutes. Avoid enzyme-based stain removers, especially ones containing proteases, as these can cause irreversible damage (especially to delicate natural protein fibres, like wool and silk). Instead, choose a gentle, non-biological formulation, like Kair. For delicates, use our Wool, Silk & Delicates Wash; otherwise use one of our Signature Clothing Washes.
#3: Use distilled white vinegar
After loosening the stain with water and detergent, generously blot the area with a solution of distilled white vinegar (1 part water : 1 part vinegar), using a damp cloth or toothbrush. The more you can work the solution into the fabric, the better the chances of getting the stain to separate from the garment’s fibres. The trick is to keep the stain moist throughout the process - otherwise it’ll set and become much more difficult to remove. Remember to spot-test the vinegar solution on a small unnoticeable area first, especially with delicates and coloured items. You can substitute the vinegar for rubbing alcohol, but steer clear of bleaching products - they’ll only degrade and destroy your garment’s fibres.
#4: Rinse and repeat
Rinse your garment with cold water, and repeat steps 1-3 as necessary. You may need to let it soak in the vinegar solution for up to 30 minutes to completely erase the grass stain.
#5: Dry naturally
Make sure the stain has completely lifted before letting your garment dry on a rack or washing line. If there’s even the slightest trace of a mark, the heat will set it permanently. If possible, dry your garment outside - whites in the naturally bleaching sunlight, brights and darks in the shade. Avoid tumble dryers and radiators, as well as dry cleaners.
Loaded with these five simple steps, you now know how to tackle even the toughest of grass stains from your outdoor clothes - no matter the fabric, and without harsh chemicals.
Cover image by Pro Housekeepers