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How to Remove Grass Stains from Clothing

It’s common to get grass stains on our clothing. With sporting events, children playing outside, it is a rare occasion to be completely stain-free. But why are grass stains so prevalent on cotton t-shirts and jeans? Why do grass stains seem to really “stick” to cotton and stain so deeply?

What is a grass stain?

In short, cotton is really good at binding dyes and colors into the fabric. At the same time, grass is essentially made of organic pigments. The pigments in grass bind to the cotton at the molecular level – making them difficult to remove. Purex® shares way to remove grass stains from your clothing & other fabrics.

How to Remove Grass Stains:

Treat the Stain with a Stain Remover

Unlike the colors on our tie-dyed shirt, the pigments and dyes in grass are not welcome! Treating grass stains with a stain remover that contains enzymes will help breakdown the structure of the grass stain at the molecular level. If you don’t have a stain remover with you, we recommend mixing Purex® liquid detergent and water to treat the stain. Treat the grass stain for at least five minutes before placing it in the washer.

Launder as Usual

After pre-treating the stain, wash as normal by checking the instructions of the clothing care tag to remove the grass stain. We recommend using Purex® Advanced Oxi + Coldwater Power liquid laundry detergent. This detergent contains enzymes & is a powerful stain removing detergent at an affordable price.

If the clothing item is a sports uniform, you may want to include Purex® Crystals in the washer before you start the cycle. These in-wash scent boosters keep your clothes fresh for up to 12 weeks and the laundry crystals help to eliminate tough odors. After washing the clothing item, check to make sure the grass stain is completely gone before placing it in the dryer or the stain could set.

How to Handle Severe Grass Stains

On occasion the grass stain can be quite severe and then may require additional help in the form of a hydrogen peroxide containing product, such as a color safe bleach. The peroxide reacts with any of the stain that might be left behind from the treatment with the pre-treater and will cause it to “release” the shirt or clothing item.

Pre-Treat the Grass Stain with Color Safe Bleach

The fresher the grass stain, the easier it is to remove, so try to pre-treat and wash as soon as possible! When using color safe bleach, the best way is to apply a little bit to the stain, gently rub it, and let it sit for five minutes. Then wash at the warmest setting that the clothing item will allow with either Purex® scented liquid detergent or Purex® Pacs.

If this is a new product for you on a shirt that you’ve never pre-treated before, please test the product on the inside, such as on the hem.

The Science Behind Grass Stains

Molecular Make-up of Grass Stains:

Cotton is a polysaccharide made up of glucose units, with three hydroxyl (-OH) groups on each unit – meaning there are multiple sites for hydrogen bonding for the polar groups in dyes. Grass is made up of carotenoids, such as xanthophylls, which are organic pigments or dyes.

Grass contains pigments that transfer to clothes, especially cotton, very well when they come in contact. This phenomenon is similar to making a tie-dye shirt where the dyes affix to a cotton shirt.  At a molecular level, cotton sees grass as just another dye allowing the grass to create hydrogen bonds for the polar groups in dyes.

Discover Purex® Products

Purex® offers an array of great products, all at an affordable price. Discover Purex® liquid laundry detergentsPacs, and Purex® Crystals. Purex® products will keep your clothes smelling fresh in a variety of scents while keeping them looking brand new.

Author: Purex® Stain Lab

We understand that life gets messy and want to make laundry as easy as possible for you. With quality & value continuing to be at the core of our product development, we continue to create highly effective laundry detergent & supplies. We tested some of the toughest stains to keep your clothing looking brand new. View our Stain Lab for our best recommendations to get life's toughest stains out of your clothing.

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