Sustainable living is all about leaving nothing behind. But what about the splatters, smears, and smudges that nature leaves behind on us? It’s true that after a long, cold winter, embarking into the fresh air and warm sunshine of the outdoors can work wonders for your body and spirit. But it can also be less than kind to your clothes. Whether flecks of grass from playing sports, splashes of mud from hiking, or blotches of dirt from working in the garden, these can be some of the toughest stains to tackle. But before you permanently retire that soiled shirt or blotted pair of jeans, read on for tips and tricks to get rid of stains like a pro and restore your clothes to their original glory.
General tips for getting rid of stains
The key to tackling tough outdoor stains is to address them quickly. The longer the stain sits, the harder it is to remove. As soon as you return home, make a beeline to the laundry room to tidy up those marks. If you’re going to be away from home for a while, try to blot the stain with a paper towel or cloth to prevent it from setting in.
Pre-treat the stain
Don’t try to remove stains from clothes by simply throwing them in the wash. First, pre-treat the stain with a stain remover. You can even quickly create one using SaltyLama laundry sheets. Just tear a sheet up and place the pieces into a bowl. Create a paste by adding a tablespoon of hot water. Once the paste is finished, delicately rub the concentrate into the fabric. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with cold water.
Don’t overload the washer
If you’re washing a large load of stained clothes, avoid overstuffing the washing machine. This can prevent clothes from getting clean and lead to more wrinkles. Instead, wash in smaller loads so each item has enough space to circulate.
Use the right detergent
Using a high-quality detergent is key to removing outdoor stains. You don’t want to damage your garments while trying to remove those pesky marks. That’s why the ultra-concentrated, plant-based formula of our laundry sheets is ideal. It provides a powerful clean while also being gentle to your clothes and the environment. If you’re concerned a laundry sheet can’t do the job a chemical-based liquid or powder can do, think again. Each sheet still contains stain-busting enzymes, which means it still binds to dirt and oil to dissolve and destroy grime. Better still, our laundry sheets are pre-measured to prevent overuse and messes. They dissolve quickly in hot or cold water without leaving a trace of residue on your clean clothes.
Don’t dry in the sun or your machine just yet
It may be tempting to hang your clothes in the sun to dry, but those rays can set the stain in more deeply. Instead, hang your clothes in a shaded area or dry them indoors. Once the clothes are dry, check to see if the stain is gone. If not, repeat the pre-treatment and washing process until the stain has disappeared. The same advice applies when you are using your dryer. Heat can set stains, so first ensure the stain has been removed thoroughly before loading your dryer.
How to get grass stains out of jeans
There are few stains worse than grass streaks on your favorite pair of jeans. Luckily, there are several ways to effectively remove grass stains and get your denim looking fresh. In addition to treating it with a stain remover made from our eco-friendly laundry sheets, here are a pair of techniques you can try:
First, you can try using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to remove grass stains from jeans. Start by dampening the stained area with water, then sprinkle baking soda onto the stain. Pour a small amount of white vinegar over the baking soda, and let the mixture sit for about five minutes. Then scrub the stain gently with a soft-bristled brush and rinse with cold water. Repeat the process if needed, and once the stain has been eliminated, wash your jeans as you normally would.
Another option is to use hydrogen peroxide. Simply soak the stained area with hydrogen peroxide, then let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, rinse the area with cold water, then wash your jeans as usual. This method is especially effective for tough grass stains but be sure to spot-test the peroxide on a small, inconspicuous area of your jeans first to ensure that it won’t damage the fabric. With these simple methods, you can kiss those grass stains goodbye.
How to get mud out of clothes
If you enjoy the outdoors or have kids who love to play outside, you know all about mud. Fortunately, removing mud stains from clothes is not as difficult as you might think. The first step is to allow the mud to dry completely. Once it has dried, gently brush off as much of the dirt as possible using a soft-bristled brush or a clean toothbrush.
Next, pre-treat with a stain remover. Just create a paste using one of our laundry sheets in a bowl with hot water, as outlined above. Once you have applied the paste directly onto the stain, allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then use a clean cloth to blot the stain, being careful not to rub it further into the fabric.
Finally, launder the garment as usual by following the instructions on the label. With a little bit of patience and the right technique, you can easily remove mud stains from your clothes, so they look as good as new.
How to get rid of sweat stains
Whether it’s because you just finished a hike or simply because the sun is blazing down on your brow, you will probably break into a sweat at some point. And we have the tips to follow to help you get rid of sweat stains on your clothes.
First, as with most stains, you don’t want to wait around. Too much time will cause the stain to set and become harder to remove. If you don’t have one of our laundry sheets handy, another effective way to remove sweat stains is to make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wash the garment in cold water. Another method is to use white vinegar. Soak the stained area in vinegar for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water and wash the garment as usual. You can then apply a stain removal paste of baking soda, salt, and hydrogen peroxide to further push out the yellowed mark.
By following these simple steps, you should be able to get rid of those annoying smears, smudges and splatters out of your beloved garments. Best of all, you won’t have to throw them out. And by continuing to mend and care for what we have, including the clothes we wear, we are taking steps toward a more sustainable future.