If you have kids who love to bathe in the mud, or you live in a muddy area, you’ll need to get mud out of your clothes every now and then. This can be quite difficult if you don’t know how to go about it, as mud might stain your clothes permanently when they linger.
Are Mud Stains Permanent?
Mud stains only become permanent when they are set. For this reason, cleaning experts recommend you treat the stain as soon as possible, allowing the mud to dry first before you work on it.
However, preventing mud from staining your clothes in the first place is better as it can be stressful removing it from your clothes.
How do you prevent mud from staining your clothes?
It might not be entirely possible to prevent mud from staining your clothes, but you can reduce the number of occurrences. Since it’s natural for kids to play around, you can try filling the holes that will likely get muddy around your house with stones.
This way, there’ll be no muddy places for your kids to bathe in during the wet seasons, thereby reducing the chances of mud staining their clothes.
Also, you can wear thick overalls on your clothes when it’s wet to prevent mud from splattering on them. You can avoid passing muddy places too. If you must get involved with mud, don’t wear your best wardrobe choices that period peradventure the mud stains refuses to go.
What do you need to get mud out of your clothes?
Beyond the knowledge, you need some tools to remove mud from your clothes.
- A butter knife: you need to scrape out the excess mud from the clothes before working on the stain. A butter knife will help you do this without damaging the clothes.
- Water: you’ll need water to either wash the fabrics once you’re done treating the stain or flush the stain if it’s a non-washable fabric. However, ensure you’re not using hard water as it makes the stain set, thereby making it difficult to get rid of it.
- Liquid detergent: you should use a liquid detergent because it penetrates the fibers of the clothes. You can opt for a dishwashing agent if you don’t have one, or turn your powder detergent into a thin paste and rub the spot with it.
- Solvent: ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, bleach, etc. Hydrogen peroxide works well for colored clothes, while bleach does for whites. Only use one of these as combining them might damage your clothes.
5 Things To Note When Getting Mud Out Of Your Clothes
While mud stains aren’t difficult to get out of your clothes, you must avoid taboos in the process. Below are some of them.
Washing mud-stained clothes with other clothes
It’s never advisable to wash mud-stained clothes with other clothes. You should sort your laundry first before washing.
Separate whites and clothes with bleeding dyes from your mud-stained clothes to prevent the mud from transferring to other clothes, color bleeding, snagging, etc. Try not to ruin the condition of any clothes when removing the mud.
Washing wet mud-stained clothes
Another taboo is to wash your mud-stained clothes when they are still wet. You should allow the mud to dry before you do anything to it.
Trying to get rid of wet mud from your clothes only makes the mud grind harder into the fibers, thereby increasing the efforts you’ve to put on when removing the stain and possibly ruining the clothes.
Treating all fabrics the same
It isn’t the same process you follow when removing mud from different fabrics. For example, it’s best to allow professional dry cleaners to handle delicate fabrics like silk and wool.
Besides, you shouldn’t disregard the instructions on the care label of each clothing piece. There are some fabrics you shouldn’t wash. As such, you’ll need another method asides washing to remove mud from such clothes.
Mixing different stain removers
You can get anxious when removing mud from your clothes, especially when they’re your best wardrobe choices, or it seems it’s taking an eternity for the stain to come off.
However, you shouldn’t mix or use different stain removers on the stain. Each stain remover is effective, and combining it with other unlikely ones can destroy the fibers of your clothes.
Leaving the stain
Leaving mud on your clothes isn’t fashionable. The stain might not come off at a go, especially if it has set, but giving up so soon won’t help matters either. Use the best stain removers for the fabric type and keep working on the stain until all the mud comes off.
If you can’t do it, you can outsource the work to professional dry cleaners.
A Step-by-step Guide To Removing Mud From Your Clothes
The first thing is to check if the clothes are washable or not. For non-washable clothes, washing isn’t an option. Here are steps to follow when dealing with washable clothes like cotton, wool, acrylic, polyester, etc.
- Allow the mud to dry: working on wet mud is never a good option. You’ll only be pushing the mud deeper into the clothes’ fibers. Let the mud dry; however, prevent it from spreading to other parts of the clothes.
- Scrape off the excess: use a blunt knife or flat edge to remove the excess mud. It’s important you do this, or else the excess will prevent the stain removers from working.
- Pre-treat the stain: you can do this by putting a few drops of liquid detergent on the stain and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes. You can also use stain removers like vinegar diluted with water, alcohol, etc.
- Launder the fabric: after pre-treating the stain, wash as you would normally. Ensure you check the care label to guide you in washing.
- Air-dry: it’s preferable to spread the clothes outside after washing. Sunlight is a good stain remover on its own.
When working on non-washables like leather, rayon, acetate, silk, etc., follow these steps :
- First, allow the mud to dry and a butter knife to scrape off the excess. Do this until the whole cake is gone. If the mud still lingers, dip a cotton pad in a solution of vinegar and water and use it to lightly stroke the stain until it’s gone.
- If the stain persists, dip another cotton pad into rubbing alcohol and use it to flush the stain. Opt for another liquid such as a solution of water and vinegar if the fabric is rayon or acetate. Allow the moist cotton pad to sit on the stain for as long as possible.
- Keep checking the pad to see if it picks up the stain. When it does, change it and repeat the process.
- At the final stage, when the stain is gone, soak a cotton pad into the solution you’re using and place it on the spot, then wring. Next, use little water to remove the residues from the spot and air-dry.
Tough Mud Stains On Your Clothes? Here’s How To Remove Them.
Tried all your best to get mud out of your clothes, but the stain refuses to leave? Don’t abandon the clothes; you can give them one more try. Below are some things you should do.
Use hydrogen peroxide
hydrogen peroxide is one of the strongest stain removers. Besides, it doesn’t fade your clothes or destroy the color in any way. Apply it on the stain as much as possible.
However, first, check if the clothes are colorfast by dipping a cotton pad in the solution and dabbing it on the spot. If the clothes’ color stains the pad, then the clothing item is colorfast and will likely bleed if you apply hydrogen peroxide.
Besides brightening colored clothes, hydrogen peroxide also helps disinfect your clothes. However, there are some precautionary measures you should observe when using this stain remover.
First, don’t mix it with vinegar or chlorine in the same container; it’s quite dangerous. Also, don’t transfer the liquid from the container it came in.
It loses its potency when it’s no longer in the dark-colored container it’s usually sold in. To test if it’s still effective, pour a little quantity into a bowl and check if it fizzes. If it doesn’t, it’s no longer useful.
Use bleach for whites
bleach works well for removing any stain from whites. You need to be careful with the type you use. Use only proven, high-quality brands.
While bleaching doesn’t damage your clothes, you should use the quantity recommended by the manufacturer. Besides, you should always dilute it before you use it. Only use bleach as a last resort, as too much of it is harsh on your clothes.
it’s not advisable to soak clothes with hydrogen peroxide overnight, but you can soak washable whites in a solution of bleach and water overnight. For non-whites, soak them in water and a dishwashing agent.
Wash the clothes in warm water and rinse thoroughly. Ensure the stain is no more before you air-dry or machine-dry.
For non-washables with stubborn mud stains, give them to a professional laundry company. Trying to get rid of the stain forcefully can destroy the fibers.
Mud stains shouldn’t ruin your clothes now that you know what to do. Use the method that best appeals to the nature of your clothes.
However, be careful when using stain removers as too much can destroy your clothes’ fibers. If you can’t get the mud out on your own, give the clothes to professional dry cleaners.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.