Tips to Prevent and Remove Grass Stains

How to Remove Grass Stains From Clothes

The Spruce / Madelyn Goodnight

It never seems to fail that kids manage to get grass stains on a new outfit within minutes of putting it on. Anyone who has ever tried to remove a grass stain from fabric or upholstery knows it can be tricky. Dried grass stains are much more difficult to remove than fresh grass stains. But there are a few ways you can prevent grass stains on your nicest clothes and a few tricks to try to get them out if they do manage to appear.

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

Prevent Grass Stains

If you are hoping for some magic formula to prevent grass stains from happening, sorry to disappoint. The only real way to prevent them is to avoid them. For parents, this can be a challenge. If this is a continual uphill battle, you can try designating play clothes that are stained or worn enough that you will not care what happens to them.

These are the clothes your kids will be expected to wear when they go outside, to the park, or for general playing. Teaching children the difference between play clothes, school clothes, "Sunday best" clothes, and other outfits will help them make better choices about which clothes they should choose to wear. Some parents like to keep a change of play clothes with them just in case an opportunity to play comes along.

The only other way to prevent permanent grass stains is to treat them right away. A fresh grass stain has less of an opportunity to dye the fabric, making it easier to remove. Start treating the stain as quickly as possible, and you will have a better chance of removing it completely.

Remove Grass Stains

If the clothing is dry clean only, you will need to take it to your favorite magician of a dry cleaner and point the stain out. If the fabric is machine washable, there are a few things you can try. First, pre-treat the stain with your favorite liquid laundry detergent. Many of the best liquid laundry detergents have enzymes that will begin to break down the proteins in the stain. Rinse the clothing completely and then soak the clothing in warm water and a capful of all-fabric bleach. Let this soak for an hour. Rinse the clothing completely. Repeat until no stain remains.

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. It is a good idea to let the clothing air dry the first time until you are sure the stain is gone. Dryer heat will further set the grass stain.

Using isopropyl alcohol on grass stains

The Spruce / Michelle Becker