How To Get Mud Out of Clothes – Guide to Removing Mud Stains

Roses are red, mud is brown, the stain has spread, rub it down. I promise I am better at sharing cleaning tips than I am at rhyming! If you enjoy being outdoors or playing with the kids, mud is your number one enemy and you may be wondering how to get mud out of clothes? However, this brown piece of dirt will not stop any of us from having fun! 

Remove mud stains from your clothes by following these 10 steps:

  1. Let the mud dry.
  2. Scrape off the mud.
  3. Identify the material.
  4. Check the care label.
  5. Soak in detergent.
  6. Rub the stain.
  7. Apply stain remover.
  8. Apply rubbing alcohol.
  9. Wash in warm water.
  10. Wash again before it dries.

Keep reading to learn more about the exact cleaning procedure of different types of fabrics. We will also discuss the best types of detergents and the safest application of cleaning agents.

1. How To Get Mud Out Of Clothes: Let the Mud Dry

You have arrived home all muddy and wet. Fight your urge to wash your clothes immediately. Let your clothes have a little moment for themselves. They’ve gone through a lot–literally.  

Now seriously, the mud on your clothes should be fully dry before attempting to wash them. That way, you will be able to remove a good portion of it before even starting the washing process.

If the mud is relatively wet, place the stained clothes on a clean, absorbent towel and gently blot the excess water. Then, let the remaining mud air-dry before proceeding to the next step.

2. Scrape Off the Mud

Once the mud is dry, take a hammer and smash the heck out of it.No, just kidding! We are going to be gentle with our clothes. If the mud is really hardened up, take a sharper object to scrape it off. 

If not, the best idea is to use the tip of some old silverware. The edge of the spoon works best because it is not too sharp to damage the fiber and not too dull to leave some mud behind. 

Another option is to use a vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner will get rid of the smallest particles of dirt. Just a heads up, hold onto your garment tightly as the vacuum cleaner can suck the fabric along with the excess dirt!

cleaning muddy clothes is a common occurence with sport loving kids

3. Identify the Material

You cannot properly care for or wash your clothes if you do not know their fiber properties. 

Washable materials are usually synthetics and cotton. On the other hand, leather, selected silks, and woolens require special care. 


You should brush off the dirt from your leather garment using a soft brush or an old toothbrush. Next, treat the muddy leather with dish soap and warm water. You may use twice as much water as you put in soap. 

Dip a cloth into the liquid and then dab it onto the leather. Make sure to wring the cloth. It should be damp and not dripping with water. Avoid putting excess water on leather and dry it thoroughly after cleaning.

If you have white leather shoes check out this article for detailed instructions.


The real question is, where did you end up in mud while wearing silk? My best guess is that it was an outdoor wedding on a rainy day. Anyway, it is none of my business. I’ll help you get rid of the mud nonetheless!  

Let’s get into some cleaning business. You can use some mild detergent with cold water to wash silk. Put it in the washing machine only if the care label allows it.

Another option is to try making a homemade stain remover. Mix some vinegar with lukewarm water in a 1:1 ratio. Dab the solution on the silk; never rub and rinse thoroughly.


Wool is delicate because of the interwoven fibers. They make stains dig deep into the fabric. The best treatment for a muddy stain on wool is to mix vinegar and water in a 1:8 ratio. Add a little bit of dish soap and dab the solution on with a clean cloth. 

Afterward, rinse well before putting the garment in the washing machine on a wool cycle. The wool cycle usually uses warm water and a more gentle tumble-wash.

4. Check the Care Label

The manufacturer knows best. They have written detailed instructions on how to wash the clothing item properly. These instructions are usually stamped along the edges. You should follow the guidelines on temperature and the type of wash cycle.

If your stained clothes are not washable but labeled “dry clean only,” do not attempt to wash them at home. Take them to the professional. It will not only save you time and money but also your clothing item.

5. Soak in Detergent

To prevent permanent staining, you should pretreat the muddy spot with liquid detergent, dish soap, or powder detergent.

Liquid Detergent

The best choice to treat your stained clothes is a liquid detergent. It is already in a liquid form which makes it convenient to use. Moreover, it is more concentrated than other types of detergents and effectively removes stains.

Pour some liquid detergent directly on the stain. Let it soak for a few minutes. Afterward, rub the detergent gently. Make sure to rinse it before placing it in the washing machine.

Powdered Detergent

If you only have powdered detergent, mix it with water to create a thick paste. Use the paste the same way as the liquid detergent. 

Let it sit on the dirty spot for a couple of minutes. Afterward, rub it gently and rinse. Then, proceed with doing the laundry the traditional way.

Dish Soap

If your mud is also oily, you may choose dish soap. Dishwashing soap is perfect for removing oily stains. You may use it the same way as the liquid detergent.

Another way to use it is to make a water solution in warm water and soak the entire garment. Let the item soak for a few hours before rinsing it and proceeding with the laundry. 

6. Rub the Stain

You should always be gentle and careful when rubbing the stain. Fight the urge to be aggressive with the stain, as much as you want to see it gone. Remember, you are better than that. Sometimes, excessive rubbing can drive the stain further down the fiber or damage the fiber creating damage and removing color. 

Rub inward and in a circular motion to prevent the stain from spreading. Moreover, do not start rubbing until you put some absorbent fabric under the stain. If not, you risk smudging the clean side of the garment.

7. Apply Stain Remover

Stain removers have detailed instructions which should be carefully read. Please read the instructions. Do not forget to study the instructions well. I think you get the idea.

Stain removers generally work best on synthetic fabrics. It is always wise to first test the stain remover on a small chunk of the item to check how the fiber reacts to the chemical. If the fiber appears intact and the color does not change, you can use it on the stain.

Apply the stain remover directly to the dry fabric and rinse it before placing the garment in the washing machine.

8. Apply Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an alternative to other expensive stain removers. It is convenient as it is usually found lying around the house. A 70 or 90 percent concentration is the most effective for dissolving stains. 

You should use it as carefully as the stain remover. Test it before smearing it all over your clothes so the color doesn’t fade away.

Spray or sponge some alcohol on the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Rinse and toss in the washing machine.

9. Wash in Warm Water

Choose a wash cycle with warm or hot water, depending on the instructions. However, you might wish to wash mud-stained clothes in warm water because stain release in warm water is more effective. 

Some fabrics washed in cold water may come out “dirtier” because cold water does not kill microbes. This is especially true for soil-based stains such as dirt and mud. You would not want to leave bacteria on your clothes as it will look bad and smell bad too.

10. Wash Again Before It Dries

Always check the freshly washed clothes for stains. Before proceeding with the drying process, you should make sure that no stain is visible.

If there is some leftover stain, repeat the alcohol procedure or just launder one more time. Drying will only set the stain and make it impossible to remove. Wash at least twice before calling it quits.

Final Thoughts On How To Get Mud Out Of Clothes

Some sticky mud should not stop you from having fun in the sun. Just make sure to follow the procedure and the steps closely and to always be more stubborn than the stain. 

You have the freedom to choose either a store-bought detergent or to make one yourself with baking soda. Be patient while waiting for the mud to dry and reading the instructions. Do not skip any of the steps.

In the end, the cleaning will pay off. With good cleaning advice like this, you cannot help but enjoy staining your clothes over and over again!

Joe Carrow

Reno addict, keen gardener, and baker. I  started blogging in 2012 and have been hooked ever since!

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