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How to remove gardening stains


Photo by Matteo Badini from Pexels

Gardening, by nature, is a messy task to undertake. That, however, does not mean that your clothing has to be permanently stained by it. 

  • Grass
  • Mud
  • Pollen
  • Rust
  • Suncream 


Kneeling in the grass for a long period of time will leave you with a stubborn green stain. 

To remove grass stains you will need…

  • Cold water
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Hairspray (optional)

Begin the grass stain removal process by soaking your garment in cold water for 15 minutes. The cold water will soften the stain, and make it easier to lift. Make sure that your water is cold, as hot water will only set the stain further into your clothing. 

After 15 minutes, use your hands to rub laundry detergent directly onto your stain. You can use liquid detergent for this, however, powder detergent is particularly effective at removing stubborn outdoor stains.

Once you are satisfied that you have adequately rubbed your detergent into the stain, wash your item as you usually would. 

If your stain has not been completely lifted after washing, you may want to consider repeating the process or using rubbing alcohol or hairspray on your stain. The alcohol found in these products breaks down the green pigments in grass stains

If you are using rubbing alcohol, dab a small amount onto a clean cloth, and gently sponge it over your stain. When you see the colour lifting, rinse your garment in cold water and continue with the usual removal process. 

To use hairspray, spray a liberal amount over your stain and wait for it to completely dry. Once it has dried, used a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to scrub at your stain. When you notice the colour begin to fade, flush out the hairspray with cold water, and continue with the usual stain removal process. 


When it comes to gardening, mud is unavoidable. Luckily, mud stains can be easily removed. 

To remove mud stains you will need… 

  • Butter knife or spoon
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Liquid soap

Before beginning the removal process, first, check that the mud is completely dry. Do not attempt to remove wet or damp mud as your stain will only spread. 

When your mud has dried, use a butter knife or spoon to gently lift as much of the mud from your clothing as possible. Be careful when doing this as you don’t want to cause rips in your clothing, or set the mud deeper into the fibers of your garment. 

Once you are satisfied with the amount of mud that you have lifted, use a soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush, to gently rub your stain. This will help to loosen the mud that has set into your clothing. 

After carefully brushing your stain, pour a small amount of liquid dish soap over the stain, and rub it in using your fingers. Make sure that the soap completely covers your stain, and is well worked in. 

Add a small amount of water to your soap, just enough to make it damp, and use your soft-bristled brush to rub over it. Use a circular motion, and brush both sides of your item to ensure that you are adequately working the soap in. Be careful to not rub too hard, as this can cause damage to your garment. Repeat these steps as many times as is necessary for the stain to lighten in colour. 

Once you are satisfied that your stain has lightened in colour, wash your garment as you usually would. If, after washing, you notice that your stain has not been completely removed, repeat the process.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels


Flowers are a beautiful addition to any garden, but their pollen can easily stain clothing. 

To remove pollen stains you will need…

  • Masking tape 
  • Laundry stain remover
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Cold water

To begin removing your pollen stain, first shake off any lingering pollen. Make sure to do this outdoors and holding the stained area face-down. You don’t want to risk the pollen staining any other clothing. 

After removing any lingering pollen, take a long strip of masking tape and wrap it around your fingers, sticky side out. Gently press your tape-covered fingers on top of the pollen stain, and pull them back. As you lift your fingers, the pollen will stick to the tape and be removed from your clothing. You may need to repeat this step a few times to notice a significant difference. 

Once you are satisfied with the amount of pollen removed with the masking tape, hold your stained item under a cold running tap to flush-out the stain. Make sure that your tap is cold, as hot water will only set your stain further into your garment. When you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible, soak your stain in cold water for a further 30 minutes. Each time you flush and soak your clothing, more of the pollen is encouraged to detach so it is advised to repeat this step as many times as necessary. 

Next, cover your stain in a stain remover of your choice. This is the final step before washing and the stain remover will loosen any stubborn pollen particles. Leave your stain remover to penetrate your clothes fibres for 10 minutes, before washing your garment as you usually would. 

If your pollen stain persists after washing, repeat the process. 

Photo by Lukas from Pexels


Rust appears when iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture over a long period of time. It is not uncommon to find rust on garden furniture, plant pots, or gardening tools. 

To remove rust stains you will need…

  • A clean cloth
  • Table salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Cream of tartar (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)

When a rust stain occurs, the first thing you need to do is pre-treat the stain. There are several ways you can pre-treat your stain, the first of which is to use table salt and lemon juice. Begin by sprinkling salt directly on to your rust stain. Make sure that the whole stain is covered by the salt. Next, squeeze a liberal amount of fresh lemon juice over the salt. Finally, lay your garment on a flat surface, in direct sunlight. The rays from the sun will help speed up the chemical reaction of the salt and lemon juice, thus speeding up the pre-treatment of your stain. 

An alternative pre-treatment to salt and lemon juice is to create a paste from cream of tartar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. To make this paste, combine one teaspoon of cream of tartar, one teaspoon of baking soda, and a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Stir your ingredients together until a paste is formed. Once your paste has formed, apply it directly to the stain, making sure that it covers the entirety of it. Leave your paste for 30 minutes, before thoroughly rinsing it from your garment. 

Once you have pre-treated your rust stain using one of these two methods, wash your item as you usually would. If, after washing, you notice that your stain has not been removed, repeat the process, or try using the alternative pre-treatment method.

Photo by BedBible from Unsplash

Sun cream

When you are out in the garden for long periods of time, it’s important to regularly apply sun cream to prevent yourself from getting burnt. 

To remove suncream stains you will need…

  • Heavy-duty liquid detergent 
  • Soft-bristled brush

To begin removing your sun cream stain, apply heavy-duty liquid detergent directly on to your stain. Make sure that you use enough to cover the whole of your stain. 

Using a soft-bristled brush, or your fingers, work your liquid detergent into your stain. The detergent contains enzymes that will break down the oils in your sun cream, and make it easier to be removed from your fabric. After working in your detergent, allow your garment to sit and absorb the detergent for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, wash your clothing as you usually would. If you notice that your stain has not been lifted, repeat the process. 

Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels

If you’re struggling to remove stains from your clothing, book a Laundryheap service and let us remove them for you. To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 

5 thoughts on “How to remove gardening stains

  1. It’s so interesting the information you can find on Laundry!

  2. Interesting insights! Using a wet toothbrush and a few drops of water, scrub the detergent into the stain, scrubbing both sides of the fabric also helps. Adding a couple of tablespoons each of vinegar and laundry detergent to a bucket of water and soaking the garment overnight would be helpful if the stain persists.

  3. thank you so much. I appreciate it.

  4. thank you so much. I appreciate it.

  5. Gardening stains can be very messy and are pivotal to removal. In addition, different kinds of stains require different types of removal techniques.

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