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How to get mud out of clothes

Rainy days can sadly lead to muddy stains. Don’t panic though! Fortunately getting mud out of clothes is simple. Read on for our guide for how to how to get mud out of clothes with ease in the comfort of your own home.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

A basket of laundry on top of a washing machine
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Thanks to the British weather, a simple walk outdoors can result in mud-covered clothes. Plus of course, many of us face caked-on mud that our active children can bring back after playing outdoors. While it may look daunting, you’ll be pleased to discover getting mud out of clothes is a surprisingly easy enterprise. Read on to discover our simple steps for how to get mud out of clothes, leaving your clothes looking as fresh as before.

Getting mud out of clothes will be easier if you let the stain dry before taking steps to treat it with a detergent. We know it's a very different strategy to most other types of stains, but trust us it works!
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You will need
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RequiredPersil Bio Liquid
Persil Bio Bottle
  • Knife or spoon
  • Laundry detergent
  • Washing machine
  • Old toothbrush
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How to get mud stains out of clothes: the basic steps

The strategy for how to remove mud stains from clothes requires a slightly different approach to most other types of stains. Simply follow these steps for how to remove mud stains with ease.

  1. First, check the garment care tags.

    Before you treat any stains, check to care label to make sure that the clothing is not labelled as delicate or dry-clean only. If they are, you will require a different method of stain removal to the steps below.

  2. Next, allow the mud stain to dry.

    This may seem counterintuitive, but strangely enough, mud stains are much easier to remove once they are dry. If you attempt to wash stains out while the mud is still wet, you’ll actually end up grinding the mud deeper into the fibres of the clothing.

  3. Once the mud is dry, remove as much dried mud from the surface as possible.

    If the mud is caked on, you should be able to gently shake or knock off clumps of it. You can also use a blunt knife or spoon, or a dry toothbrush or hard-bristled brush to sweep mud from the fabric surface.

  4. Next, saturate the stained fabric with liquid detergent.

    We recommend covering the stain with Persil Bio that removes stains first time. Rub the detergent into the stain and let it soak in for 15 minutes or more, taking care to follow any guidelines on the product label.

  5. Work away the stain with a wet toothbrush.

    Do not soak the entire garment in water, or the mud will dissolve and permeate all the fabric. Instead, wet a toothbrush with a few drops of water and rub the stain from both sides of the fabric in a circular motion. You should see the detergent loosen the mud from the fabric.

  6. Wash the garment on a normal machine wash cycle.

    When you feel the stain has been significantly lifted, wash the garment in the machine on a normal cycle following the guidance on the care label. You should wash muddy clothes separately from any other clothes. If the stain still remains, repeat steps 4-6 until all traces of the mud are gone.

  7. Allow the garment to air dry.

    You should avoid tumble drying as this could set any remaining stain further into the fabric. If you need help drying your clothing without a tumble dryer, we have a simple guide for how to dry clothes inside.

Top tip: If you need to know how to get mud out of white clothes, follow steps 1-5 above. Then, fill a basin with cold water and add 60ml of chlorine bleach. Place your white clothing inside and leave it to soak for 5 minutes. Finally follow steps 6-7 above. Always check the care label before using bleach, and aim to air dry in the sun if you can. UV can offer great natural stain removal for your white garments.

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With these tips, you now know how to get mud out of jeans, shorts, tops, and any other clothing that happens upon a muddy mishap. Even the worst stains from a wet football pitch or muddy day of hill walking can come off with enough time, patience, and a little know-how. To treat other stains, check out our comprehensive guide to stain removal.

Frequently asked questions on how to get mud out of clothes

What if I need to know how to remove set in mud stains from clothes?

If you’re wondering how to remove set in mud stains, follow the same steps for getting mud out of clothes found in our guide but apply hand sanitiser instead of liquid detergent and allow it to saturate the stain for a full hour. Always test this method on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure that it will not damage the fabric.

How do I remove mud stains from my shoes?

If you’re wondering how to remove mud stains from shoes, we’ve got you covered. First, use a soft-bristled brush to remove loose dry mud clumps. Next, dilute liquid detergent with water and use a clean cloth to rub the diluted solution over the surface of your shoes. If this doesn’t do the trick, repeat the steps using a baking powder paste instead of detergent solution.

How can I remove mud stains from my delicate and dry-clean only clothing?

If the garment is labelled delicate, dry-clean only, or is made from a fabric like silk or wool, you should take it to a professional cleaner to handle the stain. Trying to remove a mud stain yourself may permanently damage a delicate or dry-clean only piece of clothing. So, play it safe, and leave these garments to the professionals.

Originally published