How To Rid Your Favorite Denim Of Annoying Grass Stains

Whether you are an avid outdoorsman or simply accident-prone — you know the pain that is grass stains. Huge green patches on your clothing are unappealing, but even worse, they are a hassle to remove. According to Purex, "grass contains pigments that transfer to clothes, especially cotton." These natural pigments bind to the fabric at a molecular level, which is similar to the process of dyeing clothing. This makes the large green stains almost impossible to remove.


While some may think they should just throw their grass-stained pieces away, there are easy remedies to salvage these items before they end up in a landfill. Detergent alone is often not enough, but there are household items that can save your favorite clothes. Denim especially takes the brunt of grass stains, and with most denim made of cotton, the stain is especially difficult to remove. If you get a grass stain on your favorite denim, no need to fear! We have curated four easy ways to rid your jeans of annoying grass stains.

Vinegar to the rescue

Nothing is worse than getting a grass stain and having nothing in the house to remove it immediately. The easiest time to get a stain out is as soon as it happens, so you want to treat it fast. Luckily, there is a household staple that makes for one of the best grass stain removers: white vinegar.


White vinegar contains acid that breaks down the pigments from the grass. Food52 showcased the results of an experiment to test several stain removal methods. Vinegar was the overall winner. They advise you to "Mix one part distilled white vinegar with one part water." Then, after completely lathering the stain, let the vinegar soak into the garment for up to half an hour. From there, you should "scrub" the stain and "rinse in cool water." Repeat as necessary.

In severe cases, if you feel vinegar alone isn't strong enough, you can mix it with baking soda to amp up the effects. With most small stains, though, the vinegar and water solution works without any added products.

Dawn dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda

The next way to remove grass stains involves mixing three powerful ingredients together to create one awesome stain-fighting potion. Dawn dish soap, the first ingredient, is known for washing dishes (of course), but can also be used to fight stains, wash grease-soaked items, and even fight fleas on animals. The other two ingredients — hydrogen peroxide and baking soda — create a paste to be combined with the dish soap.


"Baking soda is a miracle cleaning product — and non-toxic, too," Melissa Rodriguez, cleaning expert and founder of Bright Home Cleaning Services, told Reader's Digest when speaking on the stain-fighting mixture. Baking soda is an alkali that reacts with stains to help remove them with grit. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that helps break down pigments, such as those in grass. Finally, Dawn dish soap is added to break down the stain even further. Simply allow this solution to soak into the stain for a few hours before rinsing the jeans in cold water.

Color safe oxygen-based bleach

If you skimmed the grass while on a picnic during lunch but didn't get home until after dinner, your stains are probably well set in by the time you can treat them. For older stains that have already set, Mary Marlowe Leverette, laundry and housekeeping expert at The Spruce, tells NBC News that she recommends mixing "a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water" and then allowing the jeans to soak in the solution overnight and washing the next day. 


Cleanse Tec says that oxygen-based bleach removes stains "without any chlorine," therefore, it won't harm any garments or their colors. Even though oxygen-based bleach isn't as powerful for whitening as traditional chlorine-based bleach, it is a powerful stain remover that will not give your colorful clothing bleach spots. This makes it the perfect product to rid your denim of even the toughest of grass stains, no matter the color.

Good ol' liquid detergent

Perhaps the most common way to remove grass stains is by using liquid detergent, though this method is best for super-fresh stains. Older stains may require more extensive treatment. Since grass stains are an "enzymatic stain," according to senior scientist at Tide, Jennifer Ahoni, liquid detergents that contain enzymes are best "to break down the staining components of grass stains," she told Reader's Digest. An example of these stain-fighting detergents is Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy Duty 10x.


To treat the stains with detergent, use it like you usually would, ensuring that you wash the denim in the warmest water possible. When you remove the jeans from the washer, do not dry them until you are sure the stain is completely removed. Repeat the cleansing process if necessary. Drying the denim with the stain still visible will help the stain settle in further, making it even harder to remove