A couple years ago, baseball moms from Sheboygan to Seattle watched in amazement as a man used a car wash power sprayer to clean his son’s baseball pants that had been stained beyond recognition. In the wildly popular viral video, the dad magically and methodically erased five tournaments worth of red clay and grass stains, restoring the pants to their original bright white.
They weren’t just clean. They looked brand new! We moms were speechless. And a little taken aback that this simple, no nonsense fellow could outwit our collective decades of stain-fighting expertise.
Could this mean the end of scrubbing our fingers raw and engaging in chemical warfare with our players’ uniforms? Could it really be as simple as a few minutes at the car wash?
Being a Missourian Mythbuster at heart, I wanted proof…in the form of my own video.
“Well, if you were so gung-ho about this, why’d you take so long to get around to it?” you might ask.
Because still being new in town, it took me this long to find a self-service car wash even though there seemed to be a drive thru on every corner. Finally, last week, I stumbled upon 3 Dollar Car Wash hiding in plain sight less than a mile from our house.
ME: “Come on, Andrew. Get your baseball pants out of the hamper. We’re going to the car wash.”
ANDREW: “I’m not even gonna ask.”
Even if you’re not creating your own laundry myth busting video, the car wash is a super fun place to take your kid. Power sprayer wars are the absolute BEST!!! (Don’t wear your Sunday clothes…unless you played a tournament in them.)
Check out stain removal in action!
After spending $6, getting soaked from head to toe and inadvertently washing half of my car, here’s what I surmised.
1) Power spraying your kid’s baseball pants at very close range (like an inch) WILL remove tough stains. But unless you have an hour to spend, slowly and methodically going over every inch of the fabric, you’re still going to have to throw them in the washer. For pants stained in several different areas, the average five minute car wash cycle wont be nearly enough. So, bring several dollars worth of quarters if your car wash doesnt have card capabilities.
2) I should’ve brought a garbage bag to put the wet pants. Somehow it didn’t occur to me that after washing, I’d be driving home with a super soggy garment that would drip all over everything else in my backseat.
3) Could I have saved a few bucks and half an hour by scrubbing and soaking the pants in Iron Out like I’ve always done? Yes. Definitely. Will I continue with my old standard method? Yes. Unless we’re dealing with a ridiculously tough stain that won’t budge with Iron Out, I’ll be saving the car wash for my Explorer.
The good part. If you want to have a fun laundry date with your 13 year old, then take a field trip to your local self serve car wash. I didn’t uncover the holy grail of stain removal. But we created some great memories of laughter and acting crazy with power sprayers. And I wouldn’t trade those for all the stain fighting power in the world.
Pressure Wash Dirty Sports Gear to Make It Look Like New Again
If you or your kids play outdoor sports, you know how quickly uniforms can get covered in hard-to-remove dirt and grass stains. This trick can keep those uniforms looking their best.
Sometimes a regular washing machine just won’t cut it—even if you use a bunch of different detergents. All you really need is a pressure washer and you’ll be ready to slide into home with a pair of baseball pants that look brand spankin’ new. The same trick can be used for jerseys, soccer socks, shin guards, and more.
This YouTube video from Abram Butler and this GIF from redditor xian24 shows how easy it is.
Also, notice how that isn’t somebody’s garage. If you don’t own a pressure washer yourself, just take the dirtied sports gear with you the next time you go to wash your car. Hang the pants, shirts, or what have you up on the floor mat clips and spray them down on the rinse setting. They’ll be looking like their old bright-white selves again in no time. Don’t worry, sports gear is made to be more durable, so, just like you in an intense game, it can handle the pressure.
There’s a reason they call Baseball America’s Pastime. The green grass, the white chalk lines, and the brown dirt offer a delightful backdrop to a game of little league or a neighborhood exhibition. But when it comes to cleaning white baseball pants, that’s where the delight stops.
The secret to restoring baseball pants to their pristine white condition has eluded us for years. Luckily, we have discovered a no-nonsense, low-cost cleaning solution that will work for baseball lovers the world over and even on the tough stains from sliding into home in the best sliding shorts.
Step 1: Rinse
Once you’re off the field and have the dirty pants ready to clean, remove any excess debris and rinse the pants by hand under cold water. The easiest way to get rid of the dirt, mud, dried grass, and other particles on the surface is to use a bristle brush.
The goal with this first step is to remove the outermost layer of dust and grime before you move on to the deep clean. After all the easy-to-remove particles are gone, submerge the pants in a bucket of cold water. Use your hands to gently remove more dirt and mud.
Step 2: Spray
Now that the pants are damp and the mud is gone, you’ve gone a long way towards preventing stains from appearing later on. The next step is to apply the first layer of cleaning solution. Mix two parts hydrogen peroxide and one part dish soap in a spray bottle.
Don’t be afraid to coat the pants liberally with the peroxide mixture. You won’t damage the pants material no matter how much you use it. This step is critical if you want to halt the progress of dye stains like grass and clay, as well as mud and dirt protein stains.
Step 3: Scrub
After you apply the spray mixture and let it sit for a minute or so, it’s time to add some elbow grease to the equation. For the scrubbing step, we recommend using a laundry bar like Fels-Naptha. We swear by this product. It’s a portable, easy-to-use solution.
Find a stable surface (or your favorite laundry spot) and apply the Fels-Naptha bar to the pants with a sponge. Scrub the high-stain zones like the knees, rear pockets, and wherever your white pants are not so white anymore. You should see the stains lifting already.
Step 4: Wash
Finally, wash your pants. Baseball pants and uniforms should be washed alone. Regardless of the materials and elastics in sports clothing, you don’t want to risk staining other clothes.
Wash them in warm water, adding a heavy-duty detergent if you wish. Avoid using hot water.
You can potentially discolor any accents or stripes on the pants if you overheat the water. Once the cycle is done, hang them up on a clothesline. Don’t use the dryer because it could cause shrinkage and color fading.
Why Use Fels-Naptha?
This laundry bar has been around since , and for good reason: Fels-Naptha has been delivering excellent stain relief for ages. But don’t let its old-fashioned history fool you.
We find that this product is still the best, cheapest, and most functional way to target stains and knock them out even with all the fancy new brands to compete with it.
We’re confident that our step-by-step guide will help anyone looking for a simple way to clean white baseball pants. Yet, there are a few other methods we’ve researched and gotten excited about too. Below, we included three alternatives that just might work for you!
When nothing else is working to get those stubborn grass and dirt spots out, and there’s only an hour left before starting pitch, reach for bleach. If you’re in a pinch or didn’t have enough time to try our four-step process, it’s hard to go wrong with bleach.
Simply fill a two-gallon tub or bucket with one-gallon warm water and a half cup of bleach or bleach powder. Dunk the pants into the solution and let them soakwithout aggravating the bucketfor as long as 40 minutes. If you only have fifteen minutes, you should still get results.
Retrieve the pants from the solution, jostling them around at the end. Rinse them out and wash them alone in a warm cycle. After a short dry outside or on the line, you shouldn’t see a spot of dirt or grass anywhere. Colored accents may be discolored with bleach, so be warned.
Now, this is a solution out of left field. It might seem a little batty to visit a car wash to do your laundry, but when it comes to grass and dirt stains sometimes you need to get creative.
If you live nearby a DIY car wash center, it might be worthwhile to bring your white baseball pants along with you next time. These facilities have wands that extrude cold and warm water at high velocities, along with a series of soap mixtures that will blast out stains.
Simply put the pants on the ground or the hood of your car and select a washing option that isn’t too heavy-duty (you don’t want to damage the pants material!). Let the wand go. You might even watch the stain lift off before your very eyes. Just make sure you do a rinse cycle.
In the same vein as the car washing idea, we heard about some people using a pressure washer to get rid of caked-up buildup on their white baseball pants. Local grocery stores or hardware outlets stock and rent out pressure washers for cleaning decks and driveways.
Why not try the high-pressure hose on a pressure washer to remove stubborn baseball stains? The next time you’re considering renting a washer, why not give your pants a once-over? They can be pricey to buy, but a weekend rental is usually reasonable.
No one wants to show up to a baseball game with dingy white pants. That’s why it’s worthwhile going the extra mile to return your duds to their sparkling day one condition.
So, the next time you’re sliding into home on a long day playing America’s Pastime, don’t think twice. Go all in. No matter the stain, following this method, learning how to clean white baseball pants is easy as pie.
I've tried every product out there — here's the best one for removing stains
I have found the best way to clean white baseball pants, and I'm here to share my research.
Baseball begins anew every spring, just like the first bright crocus straining toward the sun after a weary winter, filling our souls with the promise of hopeful possibilities.
You know what else baseball promises? Dirt. So, so much dirt. I never knew clothing could get so dirty. By the end of weekend double-headers, my 9-year-old’s white baseball pants are basically black (or red, or brown, depending on the local soil composition — I’ve become quite the infield connoisseur).
I asked other baseball moms what they used to get their sons’ pants clean. “OxiClean,” one replied, eliciting nods from the group. “Works great!”
“Oh,” I replied, crestfallen. I’d tried OxiClean already. Then they looked out at my son who, while other kids rested and snacked between games, was sliding into bases, practicing his diving and making rolling catches just to ensure that all available surfaces on his body were coated in dirt. “Um,” my friend said, “I guess you might need something a little … extra.”
To the internet I went! I got many recommendations, tried them all, and this is what I found.
The Gateway Drugs
OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener + Stain Remover
Shout Triple-Acting Laundry Stain Remover
I consider Oxi (yeah, we’re on a first-name basis) and Shout the gateway drugs — try them before you hit the hard stuff, below. You can spray it, you can soak it, you can add it to the wash; I tried all the methods and none of them were strong enough for my son’s baseball pants. However, I use them all the time on other stains, and they work great. Depending on your dirt saturation level, this could be all you need. And if you have kids, you can never have too many stain-removal cleaners.
The Real Deal
Out White Brite Laundry Whitener
This is the real deal. I fill a bucket with half a cup of this powder and a gallon of water and let the pants soak for about minutes. After swishing them around a few times, I rinse them out and wash as usual. BAM. Disgustingly dirty to sparkling white pants, just like that. It works, and it doesn’t bleach out the blue stripes on the side of the pants or wear out the fabric.
The burning in your lungs lets you know it’s working! No, seriously, don’t inhale this or let it splash on you. I accidentally breathed in a little bit of the dust after pouring it into the bucket, and I coughed for 30 minutes. It’s possible that in a few years I’ll have some terrible coal-miner’s disease but in the meantime, my son’s baseball pants are bright enough to blind the baseball gods. I call that a Mom win!
The Old-School Method
Purex Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar & Stain Remover
A ton of folks on baseball parent message boards swear by this, so it must work for them. Me, I just swore at it. If you wish you were born in the s so you could spend hours scrubbing laundry by hand until your knuckles are raw, then this is the method for you. It’s cheap, so I figured I would try it, but it didn’t work for me.
The Car Wash Method
I live in an apartment in New York City, so I don’t have easy access to a DIY car wash or a reason to own a pressure washer. But if you do, definitely try this method because it sounds super fun. You lay the dirt-caked pants on the sidewalk or driveway and spray the heck out of them with the car-wash hose. Apparently, this is effective and doesn’t rip up the fabric. I have no idea if it will work for you, but it’s worth a try!
I don't own this pressure washer and can't vouch for it personally — and it's probably overkill to buy one just to wash baseball pants — but if you have a deck or driveway that also needs power-washing, maybe this bad boy is for you. It's an "Amazon's Choice" product with over 6, verified five-star reviews, so it could be worth the investment.
Sun Joe SPX Pressure Joe Electric Pressure Washer
I hope my hard-earned pants-washing wisdom helps some other baseball moms and dads. For the record, the moment I asked other women how they got their sons’ baseball pants so white, I died a little inside. No one dreams of growing up to be the mom in the laundry detergent commercial. But motherhood has a funny way of getting you to do things you thought you would never do, and actually, I don’t hate it. I love youth baseball. I love watching my son slide into third and pop up in a cloud of dust with a huge smile on his face. I love telling my boys to play hard, have fun and get dirty.
Just don’t come to me with bloodstains. Gross. Take that to your father.
Do you know a better method for cleaning baseball pants? Tell us about it on the TODAY Parents Facebook page!
One more reason why you need to get those baseball pants white: to impress during the all-important pre-game flossing competition. MLB, your move.
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Rebecca Dube is the Head of TODAY Parents, Digital, and a mom of two boys. Follow her on the TODAY Parenting Team and Twitter.
Pants baseball pressure washing
Pressure Washing Baseball Pants and Canvas Shoes
I’ve written before about how much I love my pressure washer. It’s so awesome for cleaning up outside – the house itself, the brick pavers, and the sidewalk all benefit from a good power wash every now and then.
(One note about power-washing brick pavers – use a wide spray and keep the nozzle pretty far away. Otherwise you’ll spray away the sand that levels them and possibly damage the surface, too.)
I recently found two more uses for this machine though, and it’s not what you think.
I washed clothes with it! Ok not like a normal load of clothes. But I used it successfully on two different things.
Pressure Washing a Baseball Uniform
My year-old plays a LOT of baseball. And, as you may know, baseball involves a lot of orange clay. It’s like the stuff you find in the Appalachian foothills. It’s bright orange and it sticks to everything. Even under normal conditions it stains clothing, so just imagine what it looks like after he slides into second base!
And, unless the uniform is the same color, it shows up. It’s visible on white, gray, green, and even black.
The pressure washer took it right out, though. Take a look at this before and after shot.
I didn’t use any cleaner – just the water from the garden hose was enough. Once we’d blown away all the visible dirt, then I ran it through the washing machine like I normally would.
Pressure Washing Vans and Other Canvas Shoes
All three of my kids own a pair of Vans canvas shoes. In white. It literally takes less than 24 hours at school before a new pair looks dingy. Or has marker from another kid drawing on them. Or extra dirt because another kid jumped on my kid’s feet. Things like that – both have literally happened. Point is, they never stay white for long.
The kids don’t like for them to be bright white like they are when new, but they don’t want them dirty either.
Although not quite as dramatic as the pants, here’s a photo showing one shoe after being washed, and another before.
I was really pleasantly surprised at how well both worked. I was afraid they might ruin the items, particularly the shoes. And maybe it will make them wear down faster, but right now I can’t say.
It certainly prevented my kids from asking me to buy replacements…for now.
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Filed Under: Home and GardenTagged With: baseball, cleaning, pressure washerSours: https://www.housefullofmonkeys.com/pressure-washing-for-shoes-and-baseball-uniforms/
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