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How to get mud out of white rugby shorts

Rugby shorts are usually made of cotton and/or polyester, both of which are durable fabrics. Rugby can be a messy sport and it is not uncommon for mud to cover a player's white rugby shorts. Don't throw out those white rugby shorts just because they are covered in mud. Although it can look impossible to remove, white rugby shorts can easily be cleaned free of the mud stains. There are a variety of products that can be used to get mud stains out of rugby shorts.

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  1. Allow the mud to dry prior to removal. Dried mud is much easier to work with than wet mud.

  2. Scrape away as much of the dried mud as possible, using a butter knife. Go over the shorts with a soft brush to brush away the mud. Avoid pulling or stretching the fabric on the shorts.

  3. Fill a bucket or wash tub with lukewarm water. Soak the shorts in the water for a couple of hours to loosen up the mud.

  4. Apply a laundry pre-treatment to the mud-stained shorts. Allow it to sit on the shorts for about 10 minutes.

  5. Drizzle clear liquid laundry soap onto the stain. Use your fingers to work the soap into the stained area of the fabric.

  6. Rinse the shorts with hot water. Inspect the shorts for any traces of the mud stain. If the mud is completely gone, launder as usual.

  7. Use vinegar if the mud is still present on the shorts. Apply a generous amount of distilled white vinegar onto an old rag. Gently rub the vinegar into the mud stain.

  8. Wash the shorts as recommended by the care label. Add a cup of vinegar to the washer to help combat the stain. Inspect the shorts for any traces of mud prior to drying them. The heat from the dryer may only set in the stain further if it is still present.

  9. Pre-treat the mud stain with washing powder and ammonia if the stain persists. Mix a small amount of powdered washing powder and ammonia into a bowl to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the mud-stained shorts. Allow it to sit for about ten minutes.

  10. Launder the shorts as usual. Inspect for any traces of the stain prior to drying.

  11. Use a raw potato as an alternative method for removing the mud stain. Cut a raw potato in half and rub it over the mud-stained area of the shorts. Soak the shorts in cool water for a couple of hours, then launder as normal.

  12. Tip

    Add chlorine bleach to the wash cycle to help lift the mud stain. Do not add chlorine bleach if you used ammonia to pretreat the shorts.


    Avoid using bleach or detergents containing bleach if using ammonia. The combination of these two products causes toxic fumes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Soft brush
  • Bucket or wash tub
  • Water
  • Laundry pre-treatment
  • Clear liquid laundry soap
  • Vinegar
  • Rags
  • Ammonia
  • Powdered washing powder
  • Raw potato

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.

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