You’re Outta Here! Strike Out Grass Stains for Good

Summer is here! Baseball season is in full swing – no pun intended – and millions of kids all over the country are heading outdoors. These little boys and girls of summer play their hearts out on Little League and t-ball diamonds, on soccer fields, and in backyards for friendly games of flag football. Soon, though, those dazzling white baseball pants and bright jerseys look like they’ve lost a round with the ground. How can you win against grass stains?

Grass and Dirt: A Powerful Opponent

Grass stains are formidable foes. They don’t slow kids down much, but parents tend to be a little more fastidious – and interested in preserving pricy sports gear as long as possible. When the next Mia Hamm tackles an opponent or the next Mike Trout makes a diving catch in the outfield, grass and dirt team up to create a tough stain. What’s happening?

The green streaks come from the grass, or more accurately, from the grass’s chlorophyll. It mixes with other organic matter, including dirt, proteins, carotenoids (colorful pigments in plants), and sweat. This organic sludge is very similar to the fibers in your kid’s cotton jersey. It is easy for it to penetrate and bond with the clothing, which is why these stains can stick around long after Labor Day.

Your Star Player: Enzymatic Cleaners

Grass, dirt, blood, sweat, and tears are all organic stains. The best way to combat them is with an enzymatic cleaner. Enzymes are nature’s cleaning agents: these proteins accelerate chemical reactions and break down organic materials.

When you choose an enzymatic product, look for one that contains Ordenone as well. This is a safe, nontoxic compound that encapsulates odors while the enzymes work on digesting the stains. Not only will clothing stay clean, eau de locker room won’t cling to your kid, car, or home. Enzymes and Ordenone: it’s like having a pitcher who can hit too!

Take Grass Stains Out of the Action

After the last out or final whistle, pre-treat your kid’s clothing with the enzymatic cleaner. Simply saturate the area and let the product sit for about 5 minutes. If the stain is old – in other words, your star 3rd baseman or goalie left her jersey balled up in her gym bag – let the product sit for about an hour. Pop in the washing machine and launder as usual.

If you have particularly stubborn stains or want to transform dingy and dirty loads into sparkling, good-as-new gear, use your enzymatic cleaner as a “laundry booster” in conjunction with your normal detergent. Just add a half-cup (or full cup for extra tough loads) and wash.

Grass stains are as much a part of summer as ball games and barbeques. But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with them! Add a good enzymatic cleaner to your post-game ritual, along with the celebratory ice cream or pizza. (And luckily, the cleaner will be able to remove those stains too!)