How To Get Grass Stains Out Of Shoes

England is known for its beautiful green pastures – and while this is a beautiful setting and excellent to go for walks, it can also come with some real headaches. 

Of course, the biggest headache is when your new shoes get grass stained! There’s nothing worse than realising this when you get home. You try over and over again with different cleaning methods to get rid of them, but to no avail.

So what are you meant to do about it? Luckily, we’ve looked into it and found some excellent tips for how you can get these annoying stains out of your shoes.

Briefly speaking, you can remove most grass stains from most shoes using vinegar and laundry detergent – but it’s much more complex than that.

Our guide below has all the answers you need. So, to find out more – read on!


Before we look at how to get rid of grass stains on your shoes, we should talk about the absolute best method – prevention.

If you can prevent your shoes from getting grass stains on them to begin with, you won’t need to struggle with the methods we will look at soon.

There are a couple of things you can do to try to prevent grass stains on your shoes. These are:

Wear Appropriate Footwear

When you’re out hiking in the beautiful grass wilderness, it’s a good idea to look at shoes that are built specifically for the terrain. While this might seem obvious to some of you, it’s surprisingly easy to overlook.

For example, many people might be unaware that most suede shoes should not get wet. Suede shoes can often change colour and consistency when they are exposed to too much water – and this is even worse in snowy conditions.

The same applies to grass stains. Consider wearing mountain boots or wellies when you can, which are designed to be used in conditions like this, including walking over fields!

Cover Your Shoes

As an absolute last resort you could wear protective shoe covers, which are available in some shops online depending on the type of shoes you are wearing. By all means search the web for these, but we will not actively promote this option! Failing that, if you can’t these, you could even cover your shoes with bin bags. (If you really want to look like a muppet.)

While this might not look the best – it’s far more protective than not having them, and will certainly reduce the risk of getting grass stains on your favourite creps.

What You Will Need

Before you start cleaning your shoes, you’re going to need the following items:

  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar 
  • Baking soda 
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Dry cloth 
  • Toothbrush x2
  • Pencil rubber or suede brush**
  • Leather cleaner**

** these items are not always needed for certain shoes 

Method For Cleaning Most Shoes

With the right tools and the right items, you can get rid of grass stains out of the majority of shoes. It can be a little challenging and time consuming though – so be aware of that.

We’ll start by looking at the method for cleaning most types of shoes, then we will look at some different materials that might require something different.

[1] Remove Laces And Insoles

This is a very overlooked step but it makes cleaning your shoes so much easier. Just remove these and clean them separately by hand later. If you have got grass stains on your laces, you will need to take extra care with them individually anyway. 

[2] Treat With White Vinegar First 

Before you put any other cleaning solution on your shoes, treat them using white vinegar. Use a ratio of 1:1, with one part water and one part vinegar. 

Using your dry cloth, gently dab the grass stain and let it sit and soak for about half an hour. After this, get your toothbrush and gently start to scrub the stain. Critically, you should scrub in the direction of the material. 

[3] Brush Using Laundry Detergent

Using your second toothbrush, dip it into a solution mix of laundry detergent and warm (not boiling) water. As with the last step, add the solution gently to the affected area and brush in the direction of the material. 

[4] Stain Still Present? Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Some grass stains can be extremely stubborn, so you’re going to bring in the big guns by using hydrogen peroxide.

Simply make your own solution with a tablespoon of baking soda and slowly add hydrogen peroxide until the solution becomes a paste consistency.

Now, cover the grass stain with this paste and wait for a further half an hour. Dip your toothbrush into cold water and scrub again in the direction of the material. Continue this step until all the grass stain has been removed! 

Method For Cleaning Leather Shoes

Leather shoes should be much easier to clean and won’t need as many steps as most other materials. All you need to do is use some rubbing alcohol (the same stuff as hand gel) or you can use leather cleaner – use a cotton ball to clean the area.

If the stain is too stubborn, you can soak the stain in vinegar for half an hour and brush it off using a toothbrush.

Method For Cleaning Suede Shoes

As we mentioned earlier, suede is very delicate and can stain very easily. You need to be careful with the amount of cleaner you use to avoid further stains or damage. 

You will need to use a suede brush in the direction of the material and then add a small amount of vinegar. Swab the area with a cotton ball and dip it now and again in clean micellar water. 

Final Thoughts

Grass stains can be extremely stubborn and it can be a real pain to try to get them out. After using some of these tips, consider trying to prevent the problem from arising the next time, saving you time, money and hassle by selecting the right pair of kicks for the conditions!