How to Remove Mud Stains

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 9, 1913:  Went to Sunday school this morning although I doubted at first whether I would get there or not. It rained pretty hard before I was ready and rained coming home. Got the back of my coat rather wet.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sounds like really yucky weather. I can just picture Grandma traipsing down the dirt road that ran past her house through the cold rain, trying to avoid mud puddles and other particularly muddy spots.

Did she get any mud on the back of her coat? Here’s some hundred-year-old advice for getting rid of mud stains:

Mud Stains:  On dark clothes, allow them to dry thoroughly before attempting to remove them. Then a brisk brushing will probably take all the mud away without leaving any traces of the ugly mark that would have remained otherwise. If not, rubbing with grated raw potato will often take away a bad mud stain.

Source: Housekeeper’s Handy Book (1913) by Lucia Millet Baxter

Grated raw potato will get rid of mud stains? . . . really? I almost want to smear some mud on my clothes so that I can see if this really works.

12 Responses

  1. I wish I had known about the raw potato in my muddy coat days!

  2. I wonder if raw potato is any good in removing olive oil stains!

  3. What an interesting tip! I’ll have to try it on my kids clothes…they get mud on their clothes nearly everyday! :)

  4. There is something to be learned from Grandma from 100 years ago. Sometimes the old remedies work better than the new ones.

  5. haha if you do the grated potato experiment, I want before and after photos!

  6. I guess they had plenty of potatoes on hand to try that remedy with.

  7. Some of those stains never go away in spite of scrubbing and every treatment. Jane

  8. We just can’t imagine the difficult of travel in those days…. we’re so spoiled with the convenience of our cars!

  9. I love the advice for mud removal.

  10. I am a regular reader but don’t always comment. Just wondering if you are taking a portion of Helena’s comments each day or did she write brief comments?

  11. I had heard about potatoes being good for stains before. They have an enzyme in them that is good for loosening proteins.

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