How To Get Dirt Stains Out Of Jeans

Whether you're going hiking, rock climbing, or cycling, getting your jeans dirty is the name of the game. And let's be honest, it's somewhat inevitable. But fear not—you can keep having exciting outdoor adventures with comfort in the knowledge that there's a way your jeans can survive the occasional mud stain. 

With that in mind, here's a simple, step-by-step guide on how to get dirt stains out of your you can do it all again the next day. 

How to Remove Dirt Stains Out of Jeans: A Step-by-Step Guide 

The first step is to gather the supplies you'll need to save your favorite jeans:

  • Scraping tool: think a dull knife or a plastic spoon

  • Liquid laundry detergent

  • Soft-bristled toothbrush

  • Stain remover, like a stain removal pen or gel product

  • Washing machine

Now it’s time to put all these handy tools to use because we know your jeans can’t stand another day of not being worn. Let’s get into it.

Step 1. Wait for the dirt or mud stains on your jeans to dry

A pair of grass-stained DUER Denim

As tempting as it is to start removing mud stains on your jeans immediately, it's best to resist the urge. You might make matters worse if you try to remove mud stains when they’re wet, since the stain will only go deeper into the fabric and will be harder to get out. Wait it out, let the mud dry, and trust that your jeans will be better off for it.

Step 2. Scrape  the dried dirt or mud off the jeans

Once the mud stain on your jeans is fully dry, you can get to work. If there’s any excess mud or dirt on the jeans, you should be able to shake off some clumps. After that, gently scrape off the dried mud and dirt on the surface of your jeans,but be careful not to grind the dirt into the jean’s fabric! You can use a dull knife or spoon, or a dry, soft-bristled toothbrush. 

Step 3. Soak the stain in liquid laundry detergent

A pair of DUER denim being soaked in a container

Once you’ve scrubbed the surface-level dirt off the jeans, it’s time to treat the stain. Rub liquid laundry detergent over the stain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to penetrate tough stains. Keep rubbing the detergent onto the stain every three minutes to help get rid of any remaining dirt and mud. 

Step 4. Use a wet toothbrush to work away at the stain 

a brush on a towel

We don’t advise soaking the jeans entirely in  water, because the mud particles can soak into the fabric. Instead, wet a toothbrush and use a few drops of water to scrub the detergent into the stain directly. Rub the stain from both inside and outside of the fabric in a circular motion. If you’re doing this correctly, you should see the detergent loosen the mud from the fabric. 

Step 5. Apply stain remover to your jeans

Before you put your jeans in the wash, apply a stain remover to the stained area. This will better the chances for your jeans to survive the stain. Let the stain remover sit for about five minutes.

Step 6. Wash your jeans

Now that the stain has been significantly lifted, you can wash the jeans in the machine on a normal cycle. 

Hot tip: choose warm rather than cool water and remember to wash your mud-stained jeans separately from any other clothes. 

Step 7. Air dry your jeans

denim hanging on a clothesline

Allow your jeans to air dry. Although throwing your jeans into the dryer might be your first instinct, it’s not the best move. Tumble-drying stained clothing will only set any remaining stain further into the fabric and make you lose all the progress you’ve made. After the jeans are fully dry, make sure to check that no trace of the stain remains. 

Do dirt stains come out in the wash?

Fresh dirt or mud stains have a good chance of coming out after a wash, especially if you treat the stain beforehand with the steps above. But if any stains remain on the jeans after you air dry them, repeat steps four to six until all traces of dirt are gone for good.

How do you get dirt stains out of clothes that have already been washed?

You might be wishing you had known all these steps to removing stains earlier, particularly for those items you’re now thinking of that havealready been washed and the stain has remained. Here’s how to give those pieces  of clothing another fighting chance:

  • Rub liquid detergent directly onto the stain, let it soak in and then run it through the washer again

  • Use a stain-removal spray to weaken the stain

  • Apply a color-safe bleach directly on the stain or flush the fabric with rubbing alcohol, then machine wash again – that should work for the trickiest stains out there

How do you get old stains out of blue jeans?

A person working outside in dirt and grass wearing denim

While old stains on jeans can seem tricky to deal with, there are still ways to get rid of them for good (ven grass stains are not the end of the world). If there’s one thing that can defeat the toughest of stains it’s white vinegar. The slight acid in vinegar is just what an old stain needs. Here’s what you need to do to get the job done:

  1. Cover the old stained area with undiluted white vinegar

  2. Add a small amount of baking soda over the area

  3. Rub the mixture of vinegar and baking soda into the stain

  4. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes and then rinse it off

  5. Repeat until you see the stain fading

There’s also more of a long-game method you can take if you’re not in a hurry. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Fill a bucket with water

  2. Add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to the water and a couple of tablespoons of laundry detergent

  3. Allow the jeans to soak overnight before rinsing

What if your jeans could save you all the trouble?

DUER jeans with DWR repellant, repelling water

Now that you know how to handle any dirt stains thrown your way (or your jeans’ way), let’s think next-level. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your jeans automatically took care of that for you? DUER’s Durable Water Repellent coating is specifically applied to certain collections to repel stains and protect jeans against any spills or splashes. And just like that, your next adventure could be that much easier. Check out the Stay Dry collection, men’s Adventure Pant, men’s Summit Pant, and women's Fireside Pant before your next exciting venture into the outdoors.

While we’re on the topic of outdoor adventures, if you’re looking for a pair of performance jeans with high flexibility and mobility to get you out there, check out our collection of men’s and women’s stretch jeans.