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 1894, 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 soak–without aggravating the bucket–for 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.