How to get grass stains out of jeans

It’s bound to happen eventually – you’re outside enjoying a sunny day when you decide to lounge or play in the grass. Before you know it, you have large green stains on the knees or backside of your favorite jeans. Grass stains can be frustrating, but you don’t have to toss your jeans out just yet. With the right techniques, you can get grass stains out of denim.

Such stains cannot always be treated with ordinary laundry detergent. Before the main wash, it is necessary to remove the stains and take measures to prevent them from setting in. Let’s look at the main ways to remove grass stains from jeans.

What Causes Grass Stains on Jeans

Grass releases a green pigment called chlorophyll when the blades are crushed or damaged. This pigment is what causes the characteristic greenish-yellow stains. Grass stains can be difficult to remove because chlorophyll binds strongly to fabric fibers like cotton and denim. The sooner you treat a grass stain, the easier it will be to remove it so it doesn’t have time to set.

Act Quickly to Treat Grass Stains

When you first notice a grass stain on your jeans, take action right away:

Rinse with Cold Water

Rinsing the stain under cold running water can help flush out some of the chlorophyll before it bonds to the denim. Avoid hot water as this can set the stain.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste. Gently scrub this mixture onto the stain using a toothbrush or small brush. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. The alkaline baking soda helps lift the green pigment.

Use Dish Soap

Dish soap is formulated to cut through grease and food stains. Squirt a small amount directly onto the grass stain and rub it in. Rinse thoroughly. The soap will help break down the chlorophyll.

Try Laundry Detergent

For a freshly soiled item, apply a pre-wash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or detergent to stick directly to the stain before laundering it in the washing machine. This can help loosen the stain so it washes clean.

Use Oxygen Bleach

An oxygen bleach product uses the cleaning power of hydrogen peroxide to lift stains and whiten fabrics. Check the product label and ensure it’s safe for use on colored clothing. Spray it onto the grass stain and allow it to sit for up to 8 hours before washing.

Remove Fresh Grass Stains

Removing Dried or Stubborn Grass Stains

If a grass stain has already dried or persisted through your early cleaning attempts, it calls for more aggressive stain removal methods.

Pre-treat with Stain Remover

A commercial liquid stain remover can help tackle set-in grass stains on jeans. Apply it directly to the stain for up to 15 minutes before washing.

Make a Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and spray or sponge the mixture onto the stain. The acid in vinegar will help break down the stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes before washing.

Use Meat Tenderizer

The enzymes in unseasoned meat tenderizer can help break down chlorophyll stains on denim. Make a thick paste with tenderizer and water and apply it to the stain for 30 minutes before washing.

Try Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice contains citric and ascorbic acids that can naturally help remove grass stains, especially when combined with sunlight. Squeeze lemon juice onto the stain and place the jeans in direct sunlight for up to 2 hours before washing. The sun’s UV rays activate the lemon juice.

Tips for Preventing Grass Stains

While it may be impossible to avoid grass stains completely, you can take steps to minimize stains on your jeans:

  • Wear light-colored jeans when planning to lounge in the grass or play outdoor sports. Dark denim will show grass stains more noticeably.
  • Apply a stain-repelling spray to jeans before wearing them for an added barrier against grass stains.
  • Brush off any grass debris or dirt before it can become embedded in the fabric.
  • Avoid drying grass-stained jeans in an automatic dryer as the heat can set the stain. Air dry stained items first.


Grass stains don’t have to ruin your favorite jeans. By acting quickly and using everyday household products, you can generally remove fresh grass stains from denim without too much hassle. For dried or stubborn stains, stronger chemical stain removers or natural agents like vinegar and lemon juice can get the job done. With the right techniques, you can keep your jeans looking and feeling like new.


How can I get rid of yellow staining on my jeans after removing a grass stain?

Sometimes grass stains can leave behind stubborn yellow discoloration after the green is removed. For this type of staining, try soaking the jeans in a dilute bleach solution for 30 minutes before washing or drying them in the sun to naturally brighten and whiten.

Is there a grass stain remover product I can buy?

Yes, there are commercial grass stain removers and pre-wash sprays available like OxiClean, Spray’n Wash, and Shout that are specifically formulated to target tough grass and chlorophyll stains. Always check the product label that it’s safe for use on your particular fabric.

What temperature water should be used on grass stains?

Always use cold water when rinsing or pre-treating a fresh grass stain. Warm or hot water can set the stain. Wash jeans in cool or lukewarm water once the stain has been treated. Avoid hot water.

Can I dry my jeans in the dryer if they have a grass stain?

It’s best to avoid drying grass-stained jeans in a hot dryer until the stain has been successfully removed, as the heat can set and bond the stain into the denim. If the stain persists after washing, air dry the jeans first before putting them in the dryer.

How do I get rid of grass stains on my jeans if I already put them in the dryer?

If a grass stain went through the dryer, re-wet the stain with water and vinegar and scrub with a stain remover stick or toothbrush. Let it soak for 15-30 minutes and then launder again using detergent and oxygen bleach. The stain will be more stubborn to remove but this method should lift most of it.

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As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.