How to Remove Grass Stains from Clothing


My kids love to run and play in the grass and I can’t stop that. But the result is that grass stains are the most common type of stain I find on my kids clothing.

Thomas sliding to home plate means that the grass will find its way into his pants and cause a nice, green streak down the leg.

You may not be able to stop your kids from getting grass stains on their clothes either, but you can get this type of stain out of clothing and other fabrics.

No matter how it got there, don’t worry because I’ve cleaned up many green colored knees and pant legs, and I’ve got a few helpful cleaning tips to help you to remove those green grass stains fast.

Are you ready? Let’s get busy cleaning!

The Problem with Grass Stains

Grass stains are one of the worst stains to remove. I’ve ruined many a garment back in my younger days trying to remove the stain completely.

Grass stains are so hard because grass causes a protein stain and those need special treatment to remove them completely. Grass also acts like a dye stain AND the chlorophyll has a special affinity for natural fibers like cotton, so it binds very tightly to the fabric.

Chlorophyll will set into fabric quickly, so the sooner you can treat the effected clothing the better chance you will have of removing it.

If the stain does set, unfortunately it will be much harder to remove, so early intervention is best if possible.

Grass stains are often made up of more than just grass. Sometimes they can have mud and other particles in them.

When this happens, you need to treat the stains separately. Always treat the grass stain first as it is the most likely to be permanent.

Before You Start

I’m focusing on just the grass part of the stain.

If you have dirt, mud, or other debris on the garment let it dry and then brush the bulk of it away before you start working on removing the grass stain. Mud and dirt can get in the way of successful stain treatment.

  • Always allow stained garments to air dry to make sure the stain is gone before placing the item in a dryer.
  • The heat from a dryer will set a grass stain permanently.
  • If your fabric is marked “dry clean only” or is a delicate fabric (such as wool, satin, or silk), take it to a professional dry cleaner.

For all other clothing you can try the home remedies below for removing grass stains.

Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer (such as Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer ®) digests and breaks up protein using enzymes from fruit; bromelain from pineapple and papain which comes from papaya.

These natural stain removers are a nontoxic and effective way to remove protein stains without using harsh chemicals.

  • Get some meat tenderizer or enzyme pretreater
  • Run the stained fabric under cool water to dampen
  • Sprinkle the meat tenderizer on the fabric
  • Allow the meat tenderizer to work on the stain for one hour
  • Wash the fabric in as hot water as the fabric can stand
  • Remove the item from the washer and allow it to air dry
  • Repeat if necessary to insure that the stain was completely removed.

Enzyme Stain Remover Solutions

Enzyme pretreaters like Wisk ® or Zout ® are effective in removing protein stains.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions if specified for your clothing type.

  • Rinse the stain from the back to the front under cold running water.
  • Take the enzyme pretreater and apply that to the area of the stain.
  • Allow it to sit for 30-60 minutes. Do not allow the stain remover to dry on the fabric.
  • Wash as you normally would.

Rubbing Alcohol & Laundry Detergent

Rubbing alcohol is a solvent and is a very effective way to remove grass stains.

Full strength laundry detergent is a great pretreater and stain fighter.

Both of these cleaning solutions used together can remove grass stains quickly.

  • Rinse the stain under cold water to remove any remaining solids.
  • Place the stained area of fabric over an absorbent towel. Put the stain side DOWN.
  • Use a clean white rag and dab the rubbing alcohol onto the back of the grass stained fabric.
  • Continue dabbing at the stain forcing the green chlorophyll from the fabric into the towel beneath it.
  • When much of the stain has been removed, flip the fabric over so the stain is facing up
  • Pour a tablespoon of straight laundry detergent onto the stain
  • Allow the laundry detergent to sit for 30-60 minutes.
  • Wash as you normally would.

Goodbye Grass Stains

Great job! Before, stained clothing was sent to the trash can or designated as “play clothes”. Grass stains don’t mean that your clothing is ruined any longer.

Now you have the tricks and tips to keep your kid’s clothes looking great and stain free. So send those kids outside to play for a while, you deserve a break


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