Fort Collins has more than 50 parks and countless lawns. It’s almost inevitable that kids (and sometimes active adults) will come home with grass stained clothing. In most cases, it’s not cause to panic: It’s typically easy to remove grass stains.

Grass stains are a mix of protein and chlorophyll or other pigments from plants. They often come side-by-side with mud stains, making stain removal tricky, though not impossible to treat.

Start Early
The best way to beat grass stains is to start treating them as soon as possible, so don’t let your kids stash stained clothes in the bottom of the hamper until laundry day. Pre-treat stains with a pre-treater like Shout to keep the dyes in the stain from setting. Many of these treatments have enzymes that immediately start breaking down the proteins in stains. After you pre-treat the stain, rinse it from the clothing.

Pre-Soak and Rinse
After pre-treatment, soak stained fabric in warm water with all-fabric bleach like OxiClean or Clorox 2 stain remover. Unless the clothing’s tag indicates it’s safe to bleach – usually represented by an empty triangle – don’t use traditional chlorine bleach. If the tag features a black triangle with an X through it, it’s not safe to use even all-fabric bleaches.

Let the stain soak for an hour or so, then rinse it. Repeat until the stain disappears.

Bleach Alternatives
If the stained clothing can’t be washed with all-fabric bleach, remove the grass stain with a 1:1 mix of isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water. Test the mixture on a inside of a seam before treating the stain: Alcohol can pull color from some fabrics. Move on to undiluted alcohol if the mixture doesn’t remove the stain.

Check Before Drying
After treating the garment, wash it as you normally would, but examine it before tossing it in the dryer. Like many other stains, grass stains are set by heat, so you’ll need to make sure you remove the stain before drying.

Struggling with laundry issue other than how to remove grass stains? Let The Laundry Basket help. Staff attends the laundry during all hours of operation and is ready to help self-service customers, and wash/dry/fold service is expert at getting tricky stains out.