Whether you prefer the comfort of your own backyard, the parks and woods nearby or a full-on trek into the outback, Ask Team Clean has your back when it comes to stain removal tips. That is, your clean back – because as much as we love nature and outdoor activities, they can seriously stain your clothes. Our general advice is to choose clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty too much, but that doesn’t mean they need to be ruined! Below we’ve addressed the most common stains and how you can get rid of them.
Grass stains can be really tricky to remove. If you’re working in your backyard or sitting on the grass in your local park then you’ll probably need to know how to remove grass stains from clothes. The best course of action is to pre-treat the stain with an enzyme-based stain remover or heavy-duty liquid detergent. This will break apart the stains before you throw it in the washing machine. Rub in the stain remover with your fingers or a soft-bristle brush and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Wash the item as usual, following the care instructions on the label. Check the stains. If they're still visible, try soaking the item in a solution of warm water and all-fabric non-chlorine bleach for an hour or even overnight. Then wash again.
Tree sap is sticky, gooey and will cling to the fibres of your clothes before you even notice. It can also be a very tricky stain to remove. When you notice a tree sap stain, it's important to remember to not rub the stain, because that will push the sap deeper into the fabric.
If there are large globs of tree sap, you can try this trick: put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and place it on the stained area. This should help to harden the sap so that you can lift it off. Then, wet the stain with hot water (as hot as the label allows). Apply heavy-duty detergent and work it in with an old toothbrush or soft-bristle brush. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Rinse the stained area with hot water again and retreat the stain with detergent. Wash it on the hottest washing cycle that is safe for your item. Finally, inspect the area carefully and repeat the step if needed before drying. Tree sap is best removed in layers, so don’t give up!
Mud is basically wet dirt, but so, so much harder to remove from your clothes. The water that’s mixed into the dirt helps push the soil deeper into the fibres. Since soil is made of organic matter, mud should be treated as a protein stain.
If the stain is dried or old, the best way to get started is by using a spoon to carefully scrape or brush off any crust. Next, soak the stain in cold water and gently rub it with your hands or a soft-bristle brush. Don’t use hot water at first, because it will cook the protein into the fibres and make it harder to remove. Pre-soak for about half an hour and wash in warm water with detergent. If the stain remains, soak for an additional hour or overnight in a solution of detergent and water, then rewash.
Flowers are lovely – lovely to look at and lovely to pick – but that yellow pollen is extremely tough to remove from your clothes. First, it's very important that you don’t rub the pollen with your hand or a cloth. That will only push the die deeper into the fabric. It’s better to take the item outside and shake off the pollen. The trick is to prevent the pollen from penetrating the fibres.
If the item is washable, soak it in a solution of cold water and oxygen-based bleach for at least 30 minutes and up to eight hours. Follow the directions on the package to find out how much product you should use. If the stain is still visible, you can repeat the process with a fresh batch of oxygen bleach and water. Wash the fabric as recommended on the label. Make sure not to dry the fabric until the stain is completely removed.
You’re on your way to a meeting or a fancy dinner and there it is. Out of nowhere. A bird dropping! It's happened to you and everyone around you. Don't panic, Ask Team Clean knows just how to remove bird poop stains.
If you can, remove the garment and rinse the area from the back of the fabric with cold water. Do not use hot water, because that will cause the protein in the droppings to cling to the fibres even more. If you can't remove your clothes, and it doesn’t bother you too much, let the bird droppings stain dry. Rubbing the area while the droppings are still wet will only push them deeper into the fabric.
Once it is dry, you can use a dull knife or spoon to scrape off the droppings. Blot with a white cloth dipped in plain water. Then, as soon as possible, wash it as usual by following the directions on the label, or head to a dry cleaner, because most bird droppings are highly acidic and can discolour your fabric.
Most sun cream stains can be easily removed by pre-treating the stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent or with a DIY paste made using powdered detergent and water. Let this work into the fabric for at least half an hour or overnight. Then wash as usual. Check the stain before drying. If it's still visible, repeat the process. Remember that sunscreen stains will be harder to remove in areas where the water has a high iron content (hard water).
Time to go out and get dirty.