How to Remove Set-In Mud Stains

How to Remove Set-In Mud Stains

Mud stains are inevitable when you have kids, a love of gardening, or dogs in your life!

You really won’t be able to get away from those mucky paws greeting you at the door, or the sludge smeared shirts that end up in the washing basket after they’ve endured a day at school.

What you can do is manage the slushy situation.

Here’s how you remove set-in mud stains, so you can govern the mud in your life.

Always Follow These Tips When Removing Mud Stains from Clothes

Tips When Removing Mud Stains from Clothes

  • Make sure that your items of clothing can be washed with water -Leather or dry clean only garments should be cleaned in a different way.
  • Don’t get the mud stain(s) wet – In fact, the dryer the stain is initially the easier it is to remove.
  • Treat stains before putting the clothes in the washing machine.
  • Don’t just throw the item of clothing into the washing machine – It must be treated beforehand.
  • Don’t assume that you can tumble dry the item(s) of clothing – Air drying is often the best option.


How to Remove Set-In Mud Stains

How to Remove Set-In Mud Stains

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you remove set-in mud stains: 

Tools you’ll need:

  • Blunt knife or spoon
  • Hoover – optional 
  • Flat surface
  • Paper towels
  • Liquid detergent – any brand of laundry detergent or stain remover will do, provided it’s suitable for the particular item of clothing you are cleaning
  • Washing machine 
  • Stain remover
  • Warm water
  • Soft toothbrush

Steps to follow:

  1. Take the mud-stained garment off and set it down somewhere so that the mud can dry. 
  2. Don’t rub or touch the mud as it’s drying – this will smudge the stain further into the fibres of your clothing and you’ll probably spread it over more of the material. 
  3. When the mud has dried completely you can start to scrape the mud off the item of clothing. Use a blunt knife or spoon to do this. Don’t be too rough or you’ll rip the material. 
  4. Optional: Hoover loose pieces of mud off the item of clothing.
  5. Place the item on a flat surface with some paper towels underneath it.
  6. Grab some liquid detergent and rub it gently into the stained areas. (Mix powdered detergent with water to make it more fluid-like). 
  7. Wait about 15-20 minutes. 
  8. Agitate the material during this time to help remove the stain. 
  9. The stain may be gone by this point. If so, rinse the garment under warm water and wash it as normal (check the clothing’s tag to see what temperature). If not, continue with this method. 
  10. Grab a stain remover, something like Dr. Beckmann Stain Devils Nature and Cosmetics, and spread it over the mud stains. 
  11. You may need to get a soft toothbrush to agitate the stain again while it’s covered in stain remover. 
  12. Wait about 5-10 minutes. 
  13. Rinse the item of clothing under a warm tap and check to see if the stain has gone. If it has, wash your clothing as normal (check the items’ label to see what temperature). If not, repeat the steps above again. 
  14. Pop the item out on the line to dry – try to avoid tumbling drying. 


  • For white clothes only, it is possible to pop them in some diluted bleach to remove mud stains. Try to keep in mind that bleaching clothes may damage them, so it’s worth doing a patch test first. And as mentioned before, this should only be done with white clothes as colourful clothes will be ruined by the chemical. 
  • For particularly stubborn stains that really don’t want to be removed, you can use hand sanitiser instead of liquid detergent in the steps above. Always test this out first on a hidden piece of material, just in case the sanitizer marks your item of clothing. 

Note: Try not to wash your mud-stained item of clothing until the mud stain has been removed. Don’t leave any little mud traces behind, make sure that they’re gone.   


How Do I Remove Mud Stains from Leather Clothes?

how to remove mud stains from leather clothes

Leather clothes, particularly jackets, are usually expensive to buy, so when it comes to cleaning these items it’s better to stick to the advice given by the manufacturers. 

If you’ve got mud on your leather clothes the best thing to do is to let it dry. Then get a very soft cloth and brush the dirt off. Keep doing this until the mud has completely gone, but don’t wet the cloth. 

Alternatively, you can invest in a leather cleaning kit, something like an Aniline and Nappa Leather Care and Cleaning Kit, to help you maintain your leather garments correctly. Always follow the instructions on the box! 


How Do I Remove Mud Stains from “Dry Clean Only” Items?

If you’ve checked the clothing label on your muddy item and it says “dry clean only”, then this is how the item should be cleaned. 

You can either take the item of clothing to a dry-cleaning shop in your area, or purchase a dry-cleaning kit, so you can dry clean your clothes at home. 

Don’t use the method above to clean the mud stains away if your item of clothing is “dry clean only”.


What Detergent Is Best for Removing Mud Stains from Clothes? 

Any detergent can be used to treat mud stains. The most important part about removing set-in mud stains is the pre-wash treatments that you do. So, if you follow the steps above the stain should be gone before your item of clothing gets into the washing machine. 

Here are some detergents that you might like to use during the treatment phase and the washing machine phase:

Of course, this list is not extensive and there are many other detergent brands you can use. Always read the packaging on the product you buy, and follow the guidance about what measurements to use.