11 Ways to Clean Kids' Baseball Uniforms

Parents of youth baseball players will tell you that just one slide will likely result in them spending a lot of time in the laundry room. Try one of these methods for taking the baseball diamond out of the uniform.

By: Jacquelyn McGilvray
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You’re happy they’re having fun, and you love watching their games, but holy-moly, the elbow grease it takes to get infield dirt out of baseball pants! Scrubbing white pants embedded with dirt, clay and grass literally hurts and takes a heck of a lot of time, especially if you have more than one kid playing ball. (And BTW, whoever thought white baseball pants for kids was a good idea? Really?) I live in Tennessee. Anybody who has ever put a shovel in Tennessee earth (or any earth in the Southeast) knows that it is usually pure clay. Yes, it is a pretty color, but a pain-in-the-neck to remove from polyester.

Over the years, I’ve had many conversations with other parents about how best to wash baseball uniforms. It’s a hot topic in the stands, we’re always comparing notes on which products, washer settings and scrubbing tools do the trick. I knew one mom who went to the extreme and took the pants to the self-serve car wash and used the high-powered hose on them. I thought about it, but never went that far.

I recently had this discussion with parents of players on my son’s high school team. The kids on this team have all been playing baseball for about 10 years, so their parents are veteran players when it comes to removing grass stains, clay and dirt. So, I decided to compile their well-tested methods and share them with other baseball parents.

No matter their technique, there is one thing these parents all agree on – DO NOT put the uniform in the dryer! It will set the stain permanently and you will never get that terra cotta tinge out.

Ian’s Mom (me): Rinse in the hottest water possible until the water runs sort of clear. Soak overnight in a mixture of hot water, Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Spray the stains with Grease Lighting and rub with a bar of Fels-Naptha soap. Scrub stains with a plastic brush. (The brush I use is a nail brush that came with a bottle of GoJo hand wash.) Then wash with detergent and borax on the heavy-duty setting.

Jake Thomas’ Mom: Soak the uniform in water and Iron Out Rust Stain Remover. (It’s made for real rust, not dirt that is the color of rust, but it works on that too.) Then wash with regular detergent.

Calvin’s Mom: Rub the dirt stains with Fels-Naptha soap then wash the uniform on the steam setting on the washer.

Roland’s Mom: Scrub the stains (especially the knee area) with Lava soap right away then wash on the presoak cycle.

Charles’ Mom: Soak the uniform in hot water with either Shout or Oxy-Clean and then wash with Iron Out.

Joseph’s Mom: Spray the uniform with Grease Lightening then soak in a bucket with White Brite Laundry Whitner and wash with regular detergent.

Jake’s Dad: Mix a scoop of Oxy-Clean with the hottest water you can handle and then soak it overnight. Spray with more Oxy-Clean, rub it in then wash with Tide in hot water.

Preston’s Mom: Soak in Tide and Iron Out then wash on the sanitize setting for like three hours.

Baker’s Mom: Do a quick rinse to remove surface dirt, soak in Iron Out then wash on the heavy-duty setting.

Logan’s Mom: Soak the uniform in a bucket overnight with Fels-Naptha and regular laundry detergent then wash with Iron Out on the bedding setting on the washer.

Jack’s Mom and Dad: Spray the uniform with Shout and let it sit for a few hours then wash with regular detergent.

Matt’s Mom: My husband owns a chain of dry cleaners, so he takes care of it.

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