What Are Grass Stains
Regardless of how the grass stain came to be on a garment, it's important to understand the makeup of a grass stain in order to remove it. A mixture of organic matter, proteins, grass juices and other pigment components form a grass stain. This combination adheres and binds with the natural fibers of the cloth. The grass stain binding with the natural fibers is what makes removing the stain frustrating and difficult.
White vinegar is a low-cost, effective method to removing grass stains in clothes. You can apply undiluted white vinegar directly to the stain and let it soak overnight. By morning, the grass stain should have lightened. Laundering the item as normal should remove the grass stain. An alternative is to make a solution of one part vinegar, one part rubbing alcohol and one part warm water. Pretreat the stain with this mixture, using a sponge to rub the mix into the stain. Allow the mixture to set on the stain for 10 or 15 minutes before laundering as usual. If the stain has not vanished after washing, repeat this method.
Products that contain enzymes work well in getting rid of grass stains because the enzymes attack the protein in the stain. Pretreating the stain with a detergent that contains enzymes, such as Tide Liquid, then washing as usual will, in most cases, remove the stain. Pour some of the enzyme detergent on the stain, or if you have the detergent in powdered form, mix it with warm water, forming a cake-batter-like consistency. Scrub the detergent into the stain with a clean sponge, then wait 15 minutes before washing the item. Again, if the grass stain has not disappeared after washing, repeat the presoaking. You may also use enzymes that are sold in health food stores, called digestive enzymes. Mix a paste using one teaspoon of digestive enzymes and some warm water. Work the paste into the stain with a sponge or toothbrush, then wait one hour before laundering the article of clothing.
Pretreat a grass stain with rubbing alcohol by first applying the rubbing alcohol directly on the stain and letting it dry. After the alcohol has dried, rinse the stain in cold water. Now work a little enzyme detergent into the stain, then rinse again with cold water. Allow the material to air dry before washing the garment in the normal manner.
What NOT to Use
A word of caution as far as what not to use in attempting to remove grass stains from clothing. Using ammonia, degrease type or alkaline detergent products will permanently set the grass stain and should be avoided.