Kids + Summer = Grass Stains
When I started looking online for an easy, homemade stain remover to get rid of grass stains, I found so many other moms looking for the same thing. There were message boards with recipe after recipe of "tried-and-true" stain treatments, with each person swearing up and down that THIS was the one that would get those tough stains out!
So I decided to put a few of these recipes to the test to see if I could find one that really works. I cut up an old pair of jeans and headed outside and rubbed each swatch in the dirt and grass (my 4-year-old had fun helping out with this part :). After allowing the stains to set for about ten minutes, I rinsed them off in hot tap water to get out the top layer of dirt and grass, and then placed each swatch into five different concoctions. I let them soak for a good 10 minutes and then took an old toothbrush and scrubbed at the stains. Then I let them sit for another 10 minutes and did one final scrub with the toothbrush.
You can click through the slideshow above to see the recipes I tried and what the swatches looked like after I treated them with the stain removers. They are in order from most effective to least effective.
The stain treatment that worked best was a combination of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, which almost completely removed the stain. I suspect a little more elbow grease would have removed the last faint ghost of the stain. Coming in at a close second was a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and hot water. Since both of my winners used hydrogen peroxide, my guess is that that is the magic ingredient for removing grass stains. Light corn syrup was an interesting stain treatment that I had never heard of before, but it popped up time after time as I was researching recipes. It didn't remove the stain completely, but performed much better than I thought it would. A combination of vinegar and baking soda was surprisingly ineffective, and using only very hot water left an obvious stain.
Stain Removal Tips!
Try to treat grass stains as soon as possible. If they are allowed to dry and set for a long time, they become much harder to remove. Also keep in mind that none of these swatches went through the laundry. After pre-treating the grass stains with one of these recipes and getting most of the stain out, a good run in the washing machine should finish the job. Just be sure to check the stain before you put it in the dryer. The heat will set most stains, making them nearly impossible to remove. If the stain hasn't come out after running through the washing machine, treat it again with your stain treatment of choice and then launder again.
Then send the kids outside and do it all over again tomorrow!