Home Remedies for Cleaning Dirt Stains

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Kids are not the only ones to come home with knees covered in mud – adults have their moments too, as they work on construction sites and perfect their gardens. You don’t have to worry about the stains ruining a favorite pair of jeans or tarnishing a white shirt when you act quickly. Home remedies for dirt stains can save time, money and energy when used in the proper manner.

About Dirt Stains

Dirt stains involve fresh proteins that require soaking, agitation, and rubbing friction in cold water to help loosen particles before stain removal and putting in the washer. The stain is comprised of a variety of ingredients, but protein is one of the elements that can leave behind a nasty stain. One of the things to remember when cleaning dirt-ridden clothes is to avoid hot water, which actually cooks the protein and makes the stain harder to remove.

Dirt Stain Home Remedies

Before working on a dirt stain, you’ll first need to remove dried or old crusts of mud. Typical home remedies for dirt stains may involve a cold water soak before using another treatment. Below you will find some of the different ways you can address dirt stains on your clothing, upholstery, furniture and other fabric belongings:

a) Liquid Hand Dishwashing Detergent:

Allow a dirt stain to dry on your upholstery and carpet before vacuuming as much of the mud as possible. Mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent with two cups of cool water. With a clean white cloth, sponge down the stain with the detergent solution. Blot the liquid until absorbed. Repeat the steps until the stain has disappeared. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.

b) Vinegar and Liquid Detergent:

If the dirt stain on your jeans is older and set in, pretreat with a solution comprised of three tablespoons of white vinegar, two tablespoons of liquid detergent, and one quart (1 liter) of warm water. Rub the solution into the stain, and then blot dry before tossing in the wash.

c) Cotton Swab:

Use the size of a Q-tip to treat small dirt stains that require accuracy to remove.

d) Toothbrush:

To treat stains that have reached the soft fibers of your clothing, use a soft-bristled nylon toothbrush to work your homemade stain remover into the fabric.

e) Eye Dropper:

Use an eye dropper to treat stains that only require a small amount of remover [1].

f) Soak the Stain:

An easy way to loosen caked on dirt stains is to soak the garment in cool water. It is suggested to keep soaking at least 30 minutes. The best results come when you soak the stain overnight.

g) Brush:

Allow a dirt stain to dry on your fabric belongings if it is wet, and then go over with a stiff brush, Apply a pretreatment to the stain, and then launder as usual.

h) Spray Bottle:

To quickly remove dirt and mud from clothing, have a spray bottle filled with your favorite homemade cleaning solution ready for laundry treatments.

i) Vinegar and Cornstarch:

Treat stubborn, ground-in dirt stains on your carpet by making a paste out of one tablespoon vinegar and one tablespoon cornstarch. Rub the mixture into the stain using a dry cloth. Allow it to sit for two days before vacuuming up the residue.

j) Paper Towel:

Use a white paper towel to remove wet mud from clothing before washing.

k) Butter Knife:

To get rid of caked-on mud, use a butter knife to scrape off excess grime.

l) White Towel:

After spraying a dirt stain with a home remedy, allow it to sit for around 10 minutes. As the stain solution soaks into the fabric, it will help loosen the dirt. Use a white towel to rub the stained area – making sure to use a circular motion to lift off the dirt. Rinse with cold water.

m) Potatoes:

To get rid of mud stains faster, cut a potato in half and rub the raw part over the dirt spots. The juices work to remove the mud stains. Leave on for about five minutes, and then toss in the washers as usual.


[1] Stain Rescue by Good Housekeeping Research Institute; pg. 39.