Keeping white baseball pants clean has been a constant battle for most baseball households - it's an issue encountered by every baseball mom, dad, and player alike. Baseball games are not known for their cleanliness with players sliding and diving all over the diamond. To make matters worse, baseball pants are most commonly white, and thus, easily stained. Regular encounters with grass stains, dirt, and in some cases red clay, are part of the game, but they don't do your white pants any favor.
So, what makes Bruce Bolt a trusted expert in this field? We live, eat, and breathe baseball. We have faced stains on our white baseball pants, tackled the dirt stains relentlessly, and learned through the process. So prepare to learn the secrets we have discovered from pre-treating stains to post-wash care.
Understanding the Dreaded Stains
It is said, "Know your enemy", and stains on white baseball pants are undoubtedly an enemy of every parent and player. These stubborn stains can take all forms - from traces of the baseball field's dirt to the green impressions of grass stains. Worse yet, they can leave a permanent mark on the players' pants even after a thorough round of washing and soaking.
Before you reach for any laundry detergent or stain remover, it's important to understand why these stains are particularly frustrating to remove from white pants.
Grass stains are home to a combination of proteins and organic matter, further complicated by the green pigment, chlorophyll. This makes them a major culprit, especially against the white fabric of baseball pants. As a baseball player, mom, or dad, these are adversaries you will constantly battle against.
Next up are the dirt stains, marks of honor from the baseball field, and a staple of the shortstop position and speedy baserunners. They typically comprise tiny particles of clay and silt. When a player slides back to a base or into home plate, these particles seep into the fabric of the white baseball pants making them hard to clean in a regular wash cycle.
Last but not least, we have red clay stains, which are unique to certain baseball diamonds. The reddish hue, a result of iron oxide or rust, can heavily stain white baseball pants, leaving a discolored mess that seems impossible to get rid of. Even for highly experienced parents, these stains can pose a formidable challenge.
A Step-by-step Guide to Cleaning White Baseball Pants
Before Washing: Pre-treatment
As we've established, some stains are stubborn, and dry sponges or regular detergents just won't cut it. This is where pre-treatment becomes critical. The perfect ally in this battle is Fels Naptha. This heavy-duty laundry bar works wonders against the toughest of stains. Simply take your baseball or softball pants and rub the Fels Naptha directly onto the stains. Make sure every dirty spot and stained area is well-covered. Then, let the pants sit for about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, Fels-Naptha soap can also be grated and used to soak the pants in warm water overnight.
Round 1: The Wash
Now, let's move on to the wash. Remember, hot water can set certain types of stains, particularly protein-based stains like grass. So, instead use cold water when washing. Stubborn stains like red clay and dirt might need more than just your average laundry detergent. Mixing one part laundry detergent with one part dish soap to provide an extra stain-fighting boost.
Rather than just dropping the pants into the washing machine, turn your pants inside out before washing. This can prevent further solidifying the stain into the fabric.
Round 2: Check and Repeat
After the first wash cycle, check on those stubborn stains. If they're still there, don’t worry! Patience is key when it comes to getting those white pants back to their best. Before the pants hit the dryer, apply more Fels Naptha on the stains and run another cycle.
Round 3: The Post-Wash
Once you receive satisfactory results, move the pants to the dryer. Ensure you’ve removed all visible stains before this step as the heat from the dryer is likely to set any lingering spots, making them nearly impossible to get out later.
Pro Strategy: If you’re up against extremely tough stains or older stains, consider soaking the dirty pants in a mixture of warm water and a scoop of oxygen-based bleach overnight. Then, follow the usual pre-treatment and washing process.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Handling Different Colored Pants
While our focus so far has been explicitly on how to clean white baseball pants, we understand that baseball uniforms can come in other colors. Grey pants are another popular choice as they show stains less readily than white, but they still require cleaning. While pre-treatment remains the same, you would be well-advised to opt for a color-safe bleach instead of the regular kind during your wash.
Black pants and pants with a blue stripe, are also common and can present their own unique challenges. Namely, detergent residue can show up significantly on black fabric. To avoid this, use less detergent than you usually would, or choose a detergent specifically designed for dark-colored clothing.
The Car Wash Trend
A growing trend amongst baseball enthusiasts involves utilizing the intense spray of a car wash pressure sprayer. By shooting a strong jet of water at the stained areas, much of the excess dirt and grime can be cleared off before you start the washing process. Best of all, it is quick and easy to do when you go for your routine car wash.
Hydrogen peroxide is another excellent tool to have in your baseball mom/dad arsenal. This mild bleach is great for treating stubborn stains on white baseball pants and has the added benefit of being gentler on fabric than chlorine bleach.
Dish Soap for Grease Stains
While most of the stains you'll deal with are dirt or grass-based, sometimes your post-game grub leads to grease stains making an unexpected entry. Dish soap is excellent for cutting through grease. A little applied directly to the stain can make the fabric ready for a regular wash.
How Bruce Bolt Can Help
Nobody said parenting or playing the great game of baseball was going to be easy, but that doesn't mean we can't have practical solutions in place to address the challenges we face. With this comprehensive guide, we have given you a one-stop resource to optimize the way you clean baseball pants, regardless of the stains and colors.
We hope that, as parents, players, and fans of the game, you apply these tips and see the difference. Just as we at Bruce Bolt strive to make the highest quality baseball and softball pants, our mission is to see you keep them looking fresh. That's why our commitment extends beyond just selling gear; we are with you every step of the way, even when it comes to tackling tough stains on your baseball pants.
Did you enjoy this blog? Come shop the extensive collection of baseball equipment at Bruce Bolt! Beyond pants, we also sell batting gloves, protective gear, compression sleeves, and bats & accessories. Join the Bruce Bolt family today!