Banish grass stains! Photo: Flickr, wili_hybrid
Summer means light-colored clothing and plenty of time spent outdoors. It also means a resurgence of one of the most difficult stains to remove -- grass stains. Whether you're diving to catch a Frisbee or simply kneeling down to retrieve a dropped object, grass stains are inevitable. But, they don't have to be a death sentence for your favorite outfit.
Grass stains are caused by the chlorophyll in the plant combined with proteins and other organic matter. Follow the steps below and your clothes will be clean in no time.
1. Be sure to treat the stain as soon as possible. If you allow the stain to dry into the clothing, it will be much more difficult to remove.
2. Determine the type of fabric that you'll be cleaning. If the material is dry-clean only, your best bet is to take the garment to the cleaners as soon as possible and identify the stains.
3. If the fabric is washable, apply a pretreatment product. Spray 'n Wash or OxiClean work well. For a DIY pre-wash, try mixing one part white vinegar with two parts water. Let the the mixture sit and soak into the fabric, then scrub it lightly with an old toothbrush. If you need to remove the stain from a dry-clean only garment yourself, you can use the white vinegar and water mixture but be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area.
4. As an alternative pre-wash, break open two or three digestive enzyme capsules or tablets and mix them with cold water until a paste the consistency of toothpaste forms. Let the paste sit on the stain for at least an hour.
5. Launder the clothing with like colors (or by itself, if possible). You do not need to remove the pre-wash. If you did not use the enzyme capsules, be sure to use an enzyme-based detergent like Wisk or Tide because they'll break up the proteins in the grass stains, making them easier to remove.
6. If the stain still remains, do not put it in the dryer because that will set the stain. For colored clothing, try washing again with oxygen bleach (like OxyClean). For white clothing, use a chlorine bleach (like Clorox).
Check out Real Simple for a quick and easy do-it-yourself stain removal video. Now, get outside and fear those grass stains no more!