They are inevitable. They happen when you least expect them. Your mother spent far too much time warning you about them when you were a child (and it doesn’t even matter that you were so careful about where you were sitting during that picnic). Grass stains are simply an understood part of summer that we, as clothing care professionals, can’t ignore on this blog any longer. It’s time to say “Goodbye” once and for all to grass stains.
We’ve all been there before. You’re out for the day, whether at a picnic or a concert in the park, and as you look for a place to sit, you realize that you’ve somehow forgotten the blanket and you just know that a grass stain is bound to happen.
Why are grass stains so bad?
The biggest problem is that a grass stain is basically a dye stain. Unless you were looking for a natural green dye, this probably isn’t the news you were hoping for – as you glance over at your kids’ post-picnic knees. The stain is a mix of protein, organic matter and the grasses’ juices, which contain chlorophyll and other pigmented compounds (xanthophylls and carotenoids). The chlorophyll, xanthophylls and carotenoids pigments are so similar to natural fibers like cotton, that when the stain connects with the fabric, it actually bonds – not to mention that most grass stains also include a little dash of dirt, making it a dreaded combination stain. It makes sense that grass stains are so hard to remove, right?
There are some at-home techniques you can try to soften or remove grass stains once they occur, but always be careful and test on a hidden area first.
Two ways to help remove grass stains:
Water & Alcohol: Using a sponge or cloth, rub the stain with rubbing alcohol and then let the garment air dry. After it has dried completely, rinse under cold water and apply a liquid laundry detergent. Work the detergent into the grass stain and then rinse again with cold water. Let the garment air dry again and wash in your next regular load of laundry according to the garment’s care instructions.
Water & Vinegar: Using warm water and plain white vinegar, rub the mixture directly into the grass stain and then wash the garment in a normal load according the garment’s care instructions.
It is also important to note that there are certain products and solutions to stay as far away from as possible when treating grass stains! Keep away from ammonia, alkaline detergents, and degreasers. These will all make the stain worse, by setting it into the fabric permanently.
It seems silly to mention this, but we have to: if your garment states that it is dry clean only on the tag, please leave the grass stain removal to the professionals. With delicate fabrics or dry clean only fabrics, don’t try to treat the stains yourself. Bring your clothing to us or set up a pick-up with our delivery service and we will make sure that those pesky grass stains are treated properly. That way, a simple grass stain doesn’t have to ruin your day, or your favourite pair of jeans, ever again.