Outside In The Air

dispatches from the great outdoors

How To Remove Grass Stains From White Shoes

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Image via Flickr creative commons from somegeekintn

If you have children or love to play sports outside, you will know all too well that being outdoors means grass and mud stains. No matter how hard to try to keep your clothes clean, they always seem to be covered in dirt by the time you’re finished your activities.

The same goes for women’s shoes. Those pristine white trainers that were so shiny and clean when you first bought them will be covered in dirt and grime before you know it.

And it’s not just trainers that suffer from being outdoors. How often have you been to a wedding or a garden party in a beautiful pair of white ballet flats or nude-coloured high heels only for them to finish the day covered in grass marks and with mud stuck to the heel?

But there is no need to worry, because with the right knowhow you will soon be able to get rid of these stains with the minimum of fuss and your shoes will look as good as new before you know it.

The type of solution you make to tackle the stain will depend on the material the shoe is made from.

Leather shoes require 2/3 of a cup of water to be mixed with a dash of dishwashing detergent, while canvas or nylon shoes can be cleaned with water mixed with a tablespoon of ammonia and a splash of dishwashing detergent.

Simply dip a brush with soft bristles into the mixture and very gently scrub at the stain until it disappears. You can then wash the shoes thoroughly – you will need to check the care instructions on the inside label before you do this as, like clothes, the way you wash shoes depends on the fabric they are made from.

If detergent doesn’t work, you can also try getting rid of the stain using vinegar. This method involves mixing 1/3 of a cup of water with 2/3 of a cup of water. Ensure it is white vinegar, not the kind of vinegar you put on your fish and chips. Pure alcohol will also work. Dab the mix carefully on to the grass stain and blot the stain with a soft cloth. Keep repeating the process until the stain is no longer visible and then wash the shoe.

It is important not to scrub at the shoe with the cloth, as this could mean you ingrain it even deeper into the material – this is a process that takes time and you need to be patient, scrubbing hard in the hope of removing the stain in a matter of seconds will just leave you worse off than when you started.

If you find that neither of these work or you do not have the right ingredients lying around your home, you can also try the baking soda method. Simply wet the bristles of an old toothbrush and dip them into the baking soda, before rubbing this into the grass stain. Rinse the baking soda off and then leave the shoes out in the sunshine to dry.

Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that some stains will never disappear, but if these methods don’t work then nothing will, so give them a go next time you get grass stains on your shoes.

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