How To Remove Grass Stains

Grass stains often disappear with pre-soak products like Shout or Spray 'n Wash.  If they don't completely solve the problem, these steps will tackle the stain more thoroughly.  Make sure not to heat-set any stain, either by heat-drying or ironing it before the stain's removed (more golden rules in our Stain Removal 101).

First steps for both washables and non-washables:

  • Place a folded paper towel or piece of unbleached muslin on the mark.
  • Drip a small amount of dry cleaning fluid onto the spot from the underside of the fabric, allowing it to soak the pad.
  • Take another pad and dampen with dry cleaning fluid, then gently blot the stain, repeating when the fluid evaporates.
  • If stain remains, repeat this process except use a combination of 1 part mineral oil & 8 parts dry cleaning fluid. Then flush with dry cleaning fluid alone and allow to dry.

After this, for washables:

  • Place a clean paper towel or disposable muslin on the stain and turn over to expose the back of the fabric. Blot with water, and drip a small amount of liquid detergent and then ammonia from the back of the fabric. Replace the pad with a fresh one as stain is absorbed.
  • Rinse well.
  • If stain remains, use an enzyme soak (like Shout) for a maximum of 30 minutes, and rinse well.
  • More steps below...
After this, for nonwashables:
  • Mix 1/2 tsp enzyme soak (like Shout) with 1/2 cup water, and drip this onto stain enough to make damp.
  • Cover the stain with a clean pad that has also been dampened with the enzyme soak/water mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes, adding drops to keep moist but not wet, dabbing if necessary.
  • Flush with drops of water using eyedropper. Repeat if necessary.

After this, for both washables & nonwashables:

  • Place a clean absorbent paper towel or folded square of unbleached muslin on the stain, then blot with vinegar, dabbing from the back of the fabric. Change the pad as the spot is absorbed. If the fabric is very durable, use the back of a spoon to work the solvent into the fabric.
  • Flush with dry cleaning fluid, repeat if necessary.
  • Repeat the prior step of blotting & absorbing with alcohol instead of vinegar.
  • Flush with dry cleaning fluid, and repeat this sequence if necessary.
  • If stain remains, drip a small amount of acetone on the spot, and cover the stain with a clean absorbent pad damp with acetone. Let sit for 15 minutes, adding acetone in drops as it evaporates. Cover the area with an inverted bowl to minimize evaporation. Flush with dry cleaning fluid.
  • If stain remains, bleaches are an option if used with care.

Back To Vintage Clothing Collectors' Stain Guide