Cleaning Clothing

Getting Grass Stains off Jeans

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"Getting Grass Stains off Jeans"
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Cleaning grass stains from jeans can be extremely irritating and poses problems to most households. When you think that most dyes originally came from nature, it is easy to appreciate that grass stains become permanent on clothing, if not treated correctly. The dye that gives grass that vivid shade of green is called chlorophyll. Man-made fabrics are more resistant to dyeing though the natural fibers used in the production of jeans means they are susceptible to the coloration because of their tight natural fabric construction.

Jeans get dirty easily, since these are used so much for outdoor work by enthusiasts and for children in their play. There are many ways of tackling the problem, though this falls into different areas and the article is set out to deal with the different kinds of grass stains on jeans.

Small surface stains

Surface stains are the easiest to remove and a small amount of detergent in warm soapy water will usually be enough. This can be applied with a soft brush or sponge though, if using a brush, be careful not to give the jeans too much pressure as this may damage the surface of the fabric. If the stain appears more stubborn than it looks, there is a super easy solution. Put a dab of white toothpaste onto a soft bristled toothbrush and rub at the stain and even the most stubborn of surface stains will disappear.

Deeper staining

Often people fall and put pressure on the ground as they do so, making the contact with grass more severe. This tends to stain the jeans right through the fabric, and will need to be dealt with as soon as possible to alleviate the possibility of permanent damage. In this case, soak the stain in rubbing alcohol and leave it soaking for about three quarters of an hour. After this, using a sponge use a circular motion, putting a little pressure on the fabric to try and move the stain.

In the case of deep stains, be careful not to try to clean the stain through both layers of the jeans, since this could pass the stain onto the other side of the jeans and make matters worse. What is a great idea is to put a plastic bin bag between the layers before scrubbing. This provides a waterproof barrier. Rubbing alcohol doesn't damage jeans, though if working with brushed denim, you can dilute the alcohol with water (three measures of water to one of alcohol) as often this is sufficient.

Hardened stains

Stains which have been allowed to dry and harden are often more stubborn. Here, a solution of baking soda and water, followed by vinegar, will do the trick. Start by rubbing the surface with a paste made of baking soda and water. It is pretty harmless and you won't see the true action of this until adding vinegar. When you add the vinegar, this causes a fizz which lifts stains. Dab these off and rework the area until the stain is removed.

Another great product for this is Vanish stain remover. This is applied to the surface and left to soak for about ten minutes. Then put the stained area into a bowl of soapy water and the stain lifts quite easily.

Stains remaining after a machine wash

It's frustrating to find that stains remain even after washing, though it may not be too late. Here, take the jeans immediately and soak in a solution of baby nappy soak. When the jeans have been soaked. use the methods outlined for hardened stains.

Things to avoid 

Though many people suggest using hydrogen peroxide, unless you really do know what you are doing, avoid it. What happens with incorrect use is that, instead of having a grass stain, you end up with discolored areas on the jeans, which looks every bit as bad as the stain would have done.

Grass, as mentioned above, gets its color from chloriphyll. Natural dyes are fixed in the dyeing process by mordants and many of the items used in stain removal act in the same way. For example, instead of removing the stain, their action fixes the stain in place. Ammonia is one of the worst products to use and anything known to contain alkaline such as degreasers really will make that stain on your jeans permanent rather than helping you in the removal process.

For quick and easy removal of grass stains, treat them quickly, as stubborn stains take stubborn remedies. It's irritating to spend so much on kids' or even adult clothing to have them spoiled by something as simple as grass, though a quick inspection of the kids' knees when they come in from play may make their clothing last a little bit longer, and still look as good as new.


More about this author: Rachelle de Bretagne