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How to Get Sports Stains Out of Your Kids’ Laundry

Spring is the ideal time to “take to the field,” especially if you’re a kid. Whether your child plays soccer, tennis, baseball, or even croquet, getting stubborn sports stains out of their clothes can be a real bear. Add a desire to use less toxic, irritating laundry products and you may think cleaning your kids’ clothes is downright impossible.


Great news! There are actually plenty of ways to remove sports stains from children’s clothes, and you can steal some of the tips for your own clothes, too. As with any laundry-care suggestion, be sure to read the manufacturer’s label carefully and always test any new product on a small, inconspicuous part of the garment for discoloration or abrasion.

How to Remove Grass Stains
Grass stains are one of the most common – and hardest to remove – sports stains there is. For grass stains on clothing, soak the item in undiluted white distilled vinegar for 30 minutes, then wash as usual. Still stained? (Don’t put it in the dryer just yet!) Try a paste of baking soda and water rubbed on with a toothbrush, then another round of laundering.

How to Remove Dirt Stains
If your sports star gets tackled, tripped up, or otherwise slides into home plate, they’ve probably got some muddy, dirty sports clothes. Start by removing as much dry dirt as possible from the garment with your hands or a soft brush. Douse the stain itself with a mixture of 1 cup white distilled vinegar and 3 tablespoons of iodized salt. Allow to sit half-an-hour, then rinse. It’s important to get to the stain as quickly as possible for best results.

How to Remove Mildew Smells
Even the most conscientious sports mom or dad comes face-to-face with a long-forgotten sock or t-shirt from time to time. Be sure your kids bring home dirty clothes to be washed after every game or practice, and always try to keep their sports bag cleaned and as dry as possible. If the clothes are clean but smelly, simply pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar into the bleach dispenser of your washing machine, then launder as usual.

How to Remove Blood Stains
Scrapes and cuts happen on the sports field, but the key to keeping blood from ruining a uniform is getting to it fast. Always use COLD water on a blood stain; hot water will set the stain. Combine 1 cup of white distilled vinegar with a few tablespoons of iodized salt, then soak the offending area of the garment in the solution for up to an hour. Repeat as necessary to completely remove the stain, then launder as usual.

The great thing about sports gear is that it’s meant to get dirty! Don’t fret if your kid comes home with smelly, yucky sports clothing…you know what to do. And remember, most sports equipment and clothing shouldn’t be dried in the dryer. Spandex can lose its elasticity and identifying labels like numbers and team logo could become cracked.

Share pics of your grossest sports stains with us over on the VinegarTips Facebook page. We love a good before-and-after!