How to Remove Grass Stains From Clothes and Carpet

How to Remove Grass Stains From Clothes

The Spruce / Bailey Mariner

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 - 9 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10 to 20

Grass stains are a common part of life. Kids playing outside often get them, as do athletes, gardeners, outdoor concert-goers, and more. Fortunately, the stains are fairly easy to remove most of the time. As with any stain, the sooner you remove grass stains, the better. Dried grass stains are much more difficult to remove than fresh grass stains. But before you toss a garment that's been stained into the dryer, confirm that the grass stain is completely gone or that stain can be "set" from the heat, making it harder to remove.

Read on to learn how to remove grass stains from clothing, carpets, and upholstery.

 Stain type  Grass
 Detergent type  Stain remover, standard
 Water temperature  Cool to warm
 Cycle type  Varies depending on the type of fabric

Grass Stains

Grass stains are a mixture of proteins, but mostly they are made of the chlorophyll from the plant. This chlorophyll is a dye stain. Dye stains are in many opinions the toughest stains to remove. To top it all off, a grass stain may also be accompanied by sweat stains, mud stains, juice stains, or all manner of other stain removal challenges. Grass is good at dyeing clothing; this is what makes it so tough to deal with.

closeup of grass stain

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

Before You Begin

Always check the care label on the garment to know how it should be laundered. If the garment is labeled dry clean only, bring it to a professional cleaner and make sure to point out and identify the stain. If you are using a home dry cleaning kit, treat the stain with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

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Click Play to Learn How to Remove Grass Stains From Clothing and Carpet

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • White cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Sponge (optional)
  • Small bowl
  • Vacuum

Materials

  • Stain remover spray or gel
  • Laundry detergent
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Liquid dishwashing soap (optional)

Instructions

How to Remove Grass Stains on Clothes

  1. Apply Stain Solution

    Treat the stained area with a stain remover as soon as possible. If you don't have a stain remover, apply a bit of laundry detergent to the stained area.

  2. Treat the Stained Area

    Work the stain remover or detergent in gently with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Allow the product to remain on the stain for at least 15 minutes before you toss the clothing into the washer. This will give the stain-lifting enzymes time to work on the grass stain and any soil that has been ground into the fabric.​​

  3. Check the Stained Area

    Before throwing the garment into the dryer, check the stained area. If there are still traces of a stain, do not put it in the dryer, move to the next step instead.

    Warning

    Before you put the clothing in the dryer, check that all the stains are gone. The high heat of the dryer will set any remaining stain and make it harder to remove. 

  4. Mix a Soaking Solution

    Mix a solution of warm water and all-fabric oxygen bleach following the label directions. Completely submerge the entire garment, and allow it to soak for at least one hour and up to eight hours. Wash it as usual. Check for any remaining stain. If any stain remains, do not put in the dryer, repeat the soaking step in a fresh batch of oxygen bleach and water, and then wash the item again.

    Tips

    Oxygen bleach is generally safe for all types of fabrics, except silk and wool. Make sure the product says it's color safe if your garment isn't white.

How to Remove Grass Stains on Carpet

If clumps of grass have been tracked onto a carpet, the sooner you remove them the better.

  1. Vacuum Up Loose Grass and Soil

    Start by vacuuming up as much loose grass and soil as possible.

    Tip

    Use a hose attachment, so the weight of the vacuum doesn't crush the grass into the carpet fibers.

  2. Mix the Cleaning Solution

    Mix a solution of 1 tablespoon dishwashing or laundry detergent with 2 cups of cool water.

  3. Treat the Stained Area

    • Dip a clean white cloth or cellulose sponge into the solution, and wring to remove excess liquid. Working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center, sponge the solution onto the stain, gently working it into the carpet fibers.
    • Allow it to work for 15 minutes.
    • Blot with a dry white cloth or paper towel until all of the liquid is absorbed.
    Grass stain on carpet being cleaned with cloth next to dishwashing liquid in glass bowl, paper towel roll, spray bottle and sponge

    The Spruce / Jesi Lee

  4. Rinse the Stained Area

    • Dip a clean, white cloth into a small bowl of plain water.
    • Rinse the stained area until no more suds are present.
    • Blot dry with a clean white cloth.

    Warning

    Don't skip this step. It is important to remove any soapy residue because it can actually attract and hold soil.

  5. Air-Dry the Carpet

    Allow the carpet to air dry, and then check for any remaining stains. If you still see stains, mix a solution of oxygen bleach (a variety that is safe for your carpet type) and water following the package directions. Repeat the cleaning steps with this solution until the stain is gone.

  6. Vacuum the Carpet

    After the carpet is completely dry, vacuum it well to lift the carpet fibers.

How to Remove Grass Stains on Upholstery

Outdoor upholstery is particularly prone to getting grass stains just because of where it's used. Follow the same steps as suggested for removing grass stains on carpet for upholstery.

A few things first: Take care not to saturate the fabric with the cleaning solution, which can damage the cushions and cause mold to form in them. If possible, remove the cushions before cleaning the fabric. If the fabric is machine-washable, toss it in the washer after treating the stain.

If the upholstery is vintage or silk, contact a professional upholstery cleaner for recommendations.

Grass stain on upholstery cleaned with cloth and dry cleaning fluid in glass bowl

The Spruce / Jesi Lee

Additional Tips on Handling Grass Stains

Clothing Tip

If the grass stain has been on the clothing for several days or weeks, use the oxygen-based bleach soaking method to remove it.

As a last resort, you can try sponging the stained area with isopropyl alcohol. Be careful because this might remove the color of the clothing. Test it on a hem first before you use it in an obvious spot where any discoloration would be easily seen. If the hidden area holds its color, you can sponge the alcohol onto the stained area and then blot it up with a clean white towel. Continue until no more of the grass stain comes up from the blotting. Rinse the clothing completely. Wash normally. Let the clothing air dry to make sure the stain is gone.

Using isopropyl alcohol on grass stains

The Spruce / Michelle Becker

Upholstery Tip

If the stains remain on the upholstery, you can use acetone (if you use nail polish remover make sure it doesn't have conditioning oils) or dry cleaning fluid to remove the stains. Always test these products in an inconspicuous area to make sure they don't remove color from the fabric.

  • Put the acetone on a clean white cloth and blot gently, working from the outside edges of the stain toward the center.
  • Dip a clean white cloth in plain water and blot the stained area gently to rinse it.
  • Allow the upholstery to air dry.