Grass Stain Buster! The Ultimate DIY Laundry Spot Remover

grass stain remover

My 18 year old son Kell has a job working as a greenskeeper at the local golf course this summer. When he comes home at the end of a long day of mowing, edging, raking, weed-whacking, etc, his pants look like the picture above. Almost completely covered in grass stains. For the most part I just wash them and don’t really worry about the stains because they are his “work pants” after all.  They’re just going to get the same abuse the next day.

Yesterday, however, I ran across a reader comment that I’ve saved for over a year now that I have been meaning to try. It was a DIY laundry spot remover and I thought Kell’s grass-stained pants would be a great test for it. To be honest, I didn’t think it stood a chance against the grass stains. About the only thing I have found harder to get out than grass stains are yellow armpit stains. I figured if I could conquer THOSE, I could conquer anything! :-)

It takes a lot to surprise me anymore….especially when it comes to homemade laundry solutions…but this one definitely did just that!  After one wash it completely removed the stains!

Here is the recipe that Karen W shared back on June 12, 2012! (Why oh why did I wait so long to try it??)

grass stain remover

My One Good Thing is a laundry spot remover that I have found to be very good at getting out tough stains. It is one cup of water, one cup of ammonia, one cup of Era laundry detergent, and one cup of vinegar. Put these into a spray bottle and shake it up to mix, then use it on those tough stains. It has even got out set in stains.  Just spray it on and rub it in or use a brush on it. I have used it for years!

grass stain remover

grass stain remover

I first mixed all the ingredients in a pitcher and then poured it into a spray bottle.  I sprayed the pants liberally with the mixture and rubbed the areas with the worst stains together a little bit. I waited about 10 minutes and then threw them in a regular load of clothes my my homemade powdered laundry detergent. I didn’t even soak them.

grass stain remover

grass stain remover

I think the results speak for themselves.  I can’t wait to try it out on more stains!

Here is the recipe again, in recipe form:


Grass Stain Buster Spot Remover

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup Era laundry detergent

(I have no idea if this recipe would work with another brand name, but I have a hunch that it would. Please let us know if any of you try it!)


My son’s “work pants” are now actually fit to be worn in respectable places! At least until after work tomorrow. :-)


grass stain remover



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  1. Telina says

    I wonder if this would work on the arm pit stains.

    If it did, it would eliminate one of our laundry busters. We could call it the “Super Spectacular Stain Stopper”.

    Jillee … I’ve looked high and low … did you get rid of your forum?

    • Rene S says

      I mix baking soda, dawn dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide together to make a paste. Apply to underarm area and let sit for an hour or more. This works great to remove pit stains!

      • Armelle PD says

        Rene, I agree. dawn+H2O2 is the best, that was Jillee’s original recipe. This new one has ammonia, which is not great for the environment…

      • Amy says

        I have one bottle w Dawn and vinegar – and a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. I have been using both to treat my son’s WHITE football uniform with success…and I also make my own detergent…. works fine without ammonia

      • Penny says

        Why do they make our sons’ uniforms white!?? LOL. Home games I have white pants and away games I have a white jersey. Oh and for practice it is ALL white. I have been using the Dawn//vinegar, but need to add the hydrogen peroxide to my laundery room as I have not yet. I also make my own detergent thanks to Jillee.

  2. Lauren says

    Do you think this would work on set in stains? I would love to try this on my son’s football practice pants!

    • Michael says

      Have you tried Oxygen Bleach? I think you’d be surprised…

      Small Rub ins of Dawn on the really bad spots, will also help.

    • says

      It would be worth a try! I have only tried it once on day old stains so I can’t say for sure but I’d love to know :)

  3. Kathy says

    Is it the ammonia that is removing the grass stains? When my son was smaller, he used to have issues with nose bleeds so I always had bloody clothes and sheets to try to clean. I was on a stain buster forum years ago and a lady stated the best tip she ever got was using ammonia to remove blood stains. I did not have any on hand but knew it was in the bottle of windex I had so i sprayed it on the blood stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then washed and the stains came right out. After this I bought a bottle of ammonia for the laundry room. I found a pillowcase that haf blood on it that had gotten somehow thrown in the back of his closet and I had missed it. It had been there for a while. I treated with the ammonia and let it sit for a while and laundered and it came right out after I added a small amount of additional ammonia to the wash and let it sit for about 30 minutes and then started it back. I think I have used on grass stains in the wash and they came out also.

    • says

      It sounds like it might be the ammonia! Since I tried it with all the ingredients mixed together I don’t know for sure but I might have to try it now with just ammonia. Thanks for the tip Kathy :)

      • Michael says

        Secret is, Fresh Blood stains can disappear before your very eyes, with Hydrogen Peroxide.

        Dried In, Set In stains however, can’t survive in the Alkaline Environment, caused by the Ammonia. So, they tend to slowly, lift away, and before you know it, the whole stain just is gone.

        Sorta like those old A-L-L commercials, from the 80’s.

  4. Brooke Mullins says

    If anyone tries this with homemade laundry detergent please post if it works! I don’t want to have to purchase a bottle of detergent if I don’t have to.

  5. Lisa says

    I do NOT believe this works with any detergent. ERA has enzymes which eat the grass stains (and other protein-based stains like food, blood, milk, body fluids) and I have used it diluted as a prewash without any other chemicals and it always takes out grass stains in 1 wash. There are some other detergents which are enzyme based and I suspect they would work too. ERA doesn’t do well in general laundry tests on Consumer reports so it must be weak in other types of stain removal, but its amazing for grass.

  6. says

    I’m curious if you could replicate this using natural ingredients? Have you tried subbing a natural laundry detergent for the Era, or anything less scary for the Ammonia? If so, what worked & what didn’t?

  7. says

    My girls are grown now, but they both played softball (white shorts and/or pants as they got older) – Used the “blue” Dawn Dish Detergent (pour some on, scrubbed in under running water – then tossed in washer). Grass and red clay/dirt came out – Don’t know if this would work on set-in stains as I always did this as soon as we got home (they usually had another game the next day and since I worked it was easier to get the job done as soon as possible. One bonus, no ammonia odor.

  8. Gwyn says

    This looks like something that could be VERY useful. Ha, you even foresaw my question (do you have to use Era), the recipe proportions are so easy I think I will cut it down and give it a try with the homemade first. I to need to ask Jillee, what did you change after yesterdays site discussion? I received 2 emails (both the same) yesterday afternoon, an odd time, that just listed this weeks postings. But I didn’t get anything for this (today’s) posting. It usually comes in the wee hours (around 2am) but there wasn’t anything this morning which I found very odd so I just went to the site and found it that way. But thought you should know no email came today (for me at least) and I sure didn’t “unsubscribe”! No doubt you are working on some of the site issues and no complaint just info in case you weren’t aware. Love this stain buster, I have very active guys, thanks Jillee! Noooo, now I’m “posting too quickly” hahaha

    • says

      Hi Gwyn! I’m so sorry about the multiple emails yesterday! We were implementing a new email template yesterday afternoon and apparently when you put in a new template on our email server it sends an email out to your whole list. I hope that wasn’t too annoying :)

      • Gwyn says

        Not even close to being annoying! An extra email once in a while is definitely something I can deal with, especially if it means updates to OGT.:)

  9. Gwyn says

    Ooop, email came through while I was commenting so disregard my previous.You obviously got rite on the issues people were expressing yesterday and whatever the outcome (or what you were able to do or not) thanks for being so attentive to everyone, as usual, Jillee.

    • says

      Oh good! We’re working on the pop-ups and mobile ads as well. So hopefully everything will be a little more user friendly from here on out ;)


  1. […] Whether it got on the carpet from the kiddos shoes or it’s all over their clothes, this stain remover will get rid of the chaos. One cup of water, one cup of ammonia, one cup of Era laundry detergent and one cup of vinegar will help to remove these awful nuisances.{found on site}. […]