How to get grass stains out of shoes

August 17, 2023

How to get grass stains out of shoes

Ah, summer! It's a time for picnics in the park, backyard soccer, and walks through lush, green grass. Summer is the time to step outside, take in the sunshine, and inevitably, get grass stains on your shoes. 

Grass stains are just going to happen during the warmer months, but they don’t have to be permanent. Fear not, we're here to guide you through the ins and outs of grass stain removal. By the end of this article, you'll be a master of clean, stain-free footwear.

What are grass stains?

Have you ever wondered why these tiny green stains are so persistent? Well, grass stains aren't your run-of-the-mill stains.

These sneaky spots are a mix of protein and other organic matter that's been finely ground into your shoe material. This protein is pigmented, which means it's like a dye. Yep, grass stains are like the tie-dye of the natural world. They're not just surface level dirt; they're actually dyed into the fabric of your shoes. No wonder they're so difficult to remove!

General guidelines for removing grass stains

Now that we know what we're up against, it's time to roll up our sleeves and dive into the solution. Before we start, remember the golden rule of stain removal: Act fast. The quicker you get working on the stain, the better your chances of getting rid of it will become. The moment you see a green smudge, it's time to get to work.

Another key point to keep in mind is to dab, not rub. Rubbing might seem like the best way to get rid of a stubborn stain, but this will only drive the stain deeper into the fabric. Instead, gently dab at the stain to lift it away.

Last but not least, always test your cleaning solution on a small, hidden part of the shoe first. That way, you can make sure it won't discolor or damage your shoe. After all, what's the point of getting rid of a grass stain if you're left with a discolored shoe?

Alright, now that we have our basics down, let's tackle those stains head-on. Different shoes require different tactics, so read on to discover the best approach for your grassy footwear woes.

Getting grass stains out of canvas shoes

If you've been sporting canvas shoes this summer, then grass stains might be a frequent foe. These casual shoes are great for almost any outing, but they’re also great at picking up stains. Not to worry! We have some tips for returning your canvas shoes to their pristine condition.

Start by brushing off any loose dirt from the shoe using a soft brush. Next, create a mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water. Using a cloth or a soft toothbrush, apply this solution to the stained area using a gentle dabbing motion. 

Once the stain is thoroughly soaked, let it sit for about 15 minutes. After that, rinse with warm water, and voila! Your canvas shoes should be looking much cleaner.

Dealing with grass stains on leather shoes

Leather shoes are in a league of their own when it comes to care and cleaning. The last thing you want is to ruin a good pair of leather shoes by scrubbing them down the wrong way. So, how do we combat grass stains on leather?

First, remove any loose dirt with a dry cloth. For these stains, we’re going to use rubbing alcohol. Dip a cloth into the alcohol and gently work it into the stain. Remember our golden rule: Dab, don't rub! 

Finish by using a specialized leather cleaner to maintain the leather's integrity and shine.

Removing grass stains from synthetic shoes

Synthetic shoes’ variety of materials and often vibrant colors can be a real challenge when it comes to stain removal. Thankfully, there's always a solution.

For synthetic shoes, a combination of detergent and warm water is usually the best option. Mix one teaspoon of dish soap with two cups of warm water. Apply the mixture to the stain with a cloth or sponge, dabbing gently. 

Leave it to sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. If the stain persists, repeating the process usually does the trick.

Nixing grass stains from suede shoes

Suede shoes are unique in their soft, fuzzy texture, but this very characteristic makes them particularly prone to absorbing stains. 

As with all shoes, the first step is to remove loose dirt. Use a specialized suede brush for this. If you don’t have one, a clean, dry toothbrush will do. However, be gentle to avoid damaging the suede's nap.

Next, we’ll reach for the vinegar or rubbing alcohol to address the stains themselves. Lightly dampen a cloth with your chosen substance, then dab at the grass stain. 

After treating the stain, let the shoes dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Once dry, re-fluff the nap of the suede by lightly brushing it with your suede brush or toothbrush. This process helps restore the suede's distinctive texture.

If the stain is stubborn and persists even after this process, consider getting a professional cleaning product designed for suede or consulting a professional shoe cleaner. Suede is a delicate material, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts.

Giving your Kiziks the VIP cleaning treatment

Cleaning up your Kiziks is easy and straightforward. First, remove the machine-washable insoles. Just toss them into the washer, and let the machine do its job. Once washed, remember to air-dry the insoles to maintain their shape and function.

As for the shoe itself, we recommend using a soft cloth or toothbrush paired with dishwashing liquid and water. This blend is gentle enough not to damage the material but effective in lifting off the grass stain. Apply the solution to the stained area using gentle dabbing motions, then rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Once you've tackled the grass stains, it's crucial to air dry your Kiziks. Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by putting them in the dryer. The heat can cause misshaping and potentially damage the hands-free mechanism.

By following these steps, you can keep your Kiziks as fresh and clean as the day you stepped into them, ready for whatever life throws your way.

Tips to keep shoes squeaky clean

Maintaining clean shoes is not just about removing dirt and stains but also about taking preventative measures. Here, we share our top 10 tips to keep your shoes in pristine condition, even during outdoor adventures:

Invest in high-quality shoes

High-quality shoes are crafted with durable materials, more resistant to stains, and easier to clean. The initial investment in a quality pair, like Kiziks, pays off in longevity and reduced maintenance effort.

Apply weather-proofing measures

Waterproofing sprays are the secret weapons of shoe care. These products establish a protective layer that repels dirt and water, significantly reducing cleaning time. 

Try shoe covers

Anticipating rain or muddy trails? Shoe covers could be your saving grace. These accessories guard your shoes against dirt and moisture, perfect for unpredictable weather conditions.

Clean immediately

As touched on previously, swift action is key when dealing with stains. The sooner you address the issue, the better your chances of preventing a permanent blemish. Once you spot a stain, get to work!

Establish a regular maintenance routine

Beyond dealing with stains, a regular cleaning schedule helps preserve the material of your shoes. Consistent maintenance enables your footwear to withstand daily wear and tear, keeping them fresh and clean.

Store shoes properly

The way you store your shoes impacts their cleanliness and longevity. Avoid damp or extremely hot areas. Instead, opt for a shoe rack and shoe trees to maintain their shape and prevent dirt accumulation.

Steer clear of harsh chemicals

Though some stains may be stubborn, avoid resorting to harsh chemicals for cleaning. These substances could damage the material and cause discoloration. Trust in gentle, shoe-friendly cleaning agents for best results.

Use a shoe brush

A shoe brush is an essential tool for any shoe owner. These brushes help dislodge dirt from the surface and crevices of your shoes without inflicting any damage.

Rotate your shoes

Give your shoes a break! Avoid wearing the same pair two days in a row to allow them to dry out and reduce the build-up of dirt and odor.

Be mindful of your environment

Be aware of where you're stepping. Avoid mud, wet grass, or dirty areas to minimize shoe cleaning. But remember, your Kizik shoes are always ready for a bit of adventure, no matter how dirty the path may be. Cleaning can be done later!

When it comes to keeping your shoes clean, a proactive approach works wonders. With these tips and your sturdy Kiziks, you're more than ready to enjoy every step of your journey.

The Kizik way: Shoes built for life

At Kizik, we believe that shoes should be designed for real life—and real life can be messy. Our shoes are built to withstand the challenges of your everyday adventures, from strolling in the park to hiking your favorite trail. That's why our range of footwear offers both style and functionality.

Our patented hands-free technology makes our shoes incredibly easy to put on and take off. This not only makes your life easier, but it also minimizes the wear and tear on your shoes, extending their lifespan. Kizik’s focus on durability and quality means our shoes are made to last.

A Final Word

There you have it: A comprehensive guide on tackling those pesky summer grass stains, no matter the shoe type. Remember, the key is promptness, gentle dabbing, and patience. 

Use these tips to tackle stubborn green marks on your favorite Kiziks. Adventure awaits.


How to Remove Summer Stains From Your Clothes | Consumer Reports

Stain Removal Guide | The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) 

How to Clean Leather and Suede Shoes | Reviews by Wirecutter 

Written By: Chris Fry

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