How to get grass stains out of shoes

During the spring and summer months, grass stains on shoes are an inevitable annoyance. Stepping on grass leaves behind greenish-brown stains that can be difficult to remove. While grass stains may seem stubborn, there are many DIY methods you can try to get your shoes looking clean again.

To remove grass stains from shoes, first, scrape off any excess debris with a butter knife or old toothbrush. Mix a solution of equal parts warm water and laundry detergent in a small bowl. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and gently scrub the stain, working from the outside in to avoid spreading it. Rinse the area thoroughly with water and repeat if necessary.

remove grass from shoes

Causes of Grass Stains on Shoes

There are a few common ways shoes get stained by grass:

Walking on Grass

Simply walking through grass can lead to stains on shoes due to moisture and chlorophyll transfer. The moisture allows the pigment to spread and bind to shoes.

Kids Playing Sports

Active kids often get green stains on their shoes from playing sports outside. Soccer, football, baseball, and other sports played on grass can leave shoes looking dirty.

Gardening and Yardwork

For avid gardeners and those doing yardwork, grass stains on shoes are inevitable. Digging and working in grassy areas leads to stains.

Grass Stain Removal Tips

Luckily, there are many home remedies you can try to remove grass stains:

Act Quickly

It’s important to treat grass stains as soon as possible. The longer the stain sets, the harder it’ll be to remove.

Use Dish Soap and Water

One of the simplest methods is scrubbing with dish soap and warm water. The soap helps break up the pigment.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

For tougher stains, mix baking soda and water into a paste. Rub it onto the stain using a toothbrush.

Try Vinegar or Lemon Juice

The high acidity of vinegar or lemon juice helps dissolve grass stains. Let it sit before rinsing.

Use Oxygen Bleach

An oxygen bleach solution is effective at lifting grass stains without fading color.

Try Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer contains enzymes that help break down grass stains. Make a paste to scrub stains.

Use Laundry Detergent and Wash

For removable shoe inserts and laces, soak and wash them with laundry detergent.

Spot Treat with Stain Remover

Look for stain removers specially formulated for grease, grass, and mud. Use sparingly.

Use a Toothbrush

Gently scrub stains with an old toothbrush for hard-to-reach spots.

Avoid Heat

Don’t put grass-stained shoes in the dryer. Heat can set stains permanently.

How to get grass stains out of shoes

Tips for Prevention

Stopping stains before they start is ideal. Here are some tips:

Wear Old Shoes in Grass

Save your new kicks for cleaner activities and wear older shoes to mow or play outside.

Spray Shoes with stain-repellent

Applying a stain repellent/protector helps prevent grass stain absorption.

Rinse Shoes After Exposure to Grass

Hose shoes off to immediately remove excess grass and moisture.

Blot Stains Immediately

If you notice a stain, use a clean cloth to blot lift it quickly. Avoid rubbing it in.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve tried every home remedy with no success, consider taking the shoes to a professional cleaner. They have commercial-grade cleaners and tools that may lift stubborn stains.


While grass stains can be annoying, don’t throw your favorite shoes away just yet. With some persistence and smart cleaning methods, you can often refresh grass-stained shoes. The key is to act fast before stains have time to set.


How do I get old dried grass stains out?

For older, set-in stains, try soaking shoes overnight in an oxygen bleach solution to help lift the stain from the fibers. Longer soaking times are key.

Can I put grass-stained shoes in the washer?

You can wash shoes made of leather or canvas in the washing machine using laundry detergent. Just be sure to air dry them after instead of machine drying them to avoid heat damage.

Will grass stains come out in the rain?

Unfortunately, rain won’t remove grass stains on its own. The pigment binds to the fibers even when wet. Manual cleaning is needed to lift stains.

Can I use chlorine bleach on grass stains?

It’s best to avoid chlorine bleach on colored shoes since it can cause fading or discoloration. Use an oxygen bleach instead.

What temperature water should I use?

Warm or hot water is best for grass stain removal. The heat helps dissolve and lift staining better than cold water.

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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.