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Get stains out of workout clothes

A person is looking into her sports bag

Discolored armpits, grass-stained knees, a dang-awful stink no matter how many times you’ve washed your workout wear…urgh, sports stains—but, yes, you can get rid of them!

Whether you are a dedicated gym bunny or a mom just trying to get your kid’s soccer gear clean, you’ve no doubt come up against some serious sports stains. And if you’ve just about lost all hope of ever removing them, don’t give up yet! We’ve got some tricks up our sleeve to share. Here’s how to get rid of sweat, mud, grass and sports drink stains.

How to remove sports stains from clothes

Removing sweat stains

Unsightly yellow armpits happen all too often on sports clothes (and shirts in the summer). Usually, it results from sweat mixing with deodorant when left to fester. The best course of action is to prevent it from happening altogether: Allow your deodorant to dry completely before putting on a top, and wash white and light-colored workout wear right after using them. But if those pesky yellow stains have already made their mark, there are ways to get rid of them.

  1. Before tackling sweat stains, read the care label on your garment.
  2. Spot clean the stain using a stain remover like Purex® Fels-Naptha® Laundry Bar. Or, you can also pre-treat using a stain-fighting detergent like Persil® ProClean®.Pour a small amount of the liquid onto the stain, work it in and leave it overnight.

Set your washer to the highest possible washing temperature according to the care label and wash with the same laundry detergent. 

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Removing mud stains

Feeling stuck in the mud about all those dirt stains on your sports gear? The good news is that you can make dirt disappear! The trick is to act fast.

  1. Rinse any excess mud off the garment. If the mud is dry, brush what you can off with an old toothbrush.
  2. Follow washing instructions according to the care label.
  3. Spot clean the mud by rubbing the stained area with a high-quality liquid detergent, like Persil® ProClean®. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Then, wash the garment in the washing machine (according to the care label) using your detergent as usual.

Removing grass stains

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. This was said first by a frustrated parent trying to remove grass stains from their kid’s white baseball uniform—*wink*. Thankfully, grass stains don’t have to last forever (anymore)

  1. Act fast! Don’t let the stain fester overnight—or for a few days.
  2. Pre-soak the garment with 20 Mule Team BoraxTM by filling a bucket with 1 gallon of water and mix in ½ cup of Borax into the water. Add your garment and let it soak for about 30 minutes. 
  3. You can also pre-treat grass stains with Persil® ProClean®. Apply a small amount of the laundry detergent to the wet fabric. Rub gently and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Then wash by hand or in the washing machine using your laundry detergent as usual. 
A group of people is playing soccer

Removing sports drink stains

It’s not just sweat stains you have to worry about at the gym—sports drinks might replenish your lost electrolytes, but their fluorescent color can leave some very obvious stains on your favorite workout gear. Follow these cleaning tips as soon as you can after the stain happens.

  1. Apply some Persil® liquid laundry detergent to the stain and let it soak for 10–15 minutes.
  2. Without rinsing, wash the garment as usual in the washing machine. We recommend washing at the warmest temperature the garment can handle—read the clothing label to find out.

There you have it: Sports-stain busting that is easier than busting out burpees!

For more sports-related cleaning tips and tricks, you may want to check out how to wash your sneakers.