Is a Car Wash the Best Place to Clean Baseball Pants?


A couple years ago, baseball moms from Sheboygan to Seattle watched in amazement as a man used a car wash power sprayer to clean his son’s baseball pants that had been stained beyond recognition. In the wildly popular viral video, the dad magically and methodically erased five tournaments worth of red clay and grass stains, restoring the pants to their original bright white.

They weren’t just clean. They looked brand new! We moms were speechless. And a little taken aback that this simple, no nonsense fellow could outwit our collective decades of stain-fighting expertise.

Could this mean the end of scrubbing our fingers raw and engaging in chemical warfare with our players’ uniforms? Could it really be as simple as a few minutes at the car wash?

Being a Missourian Mythbuster at heart, I wanted proof…in the form of my own video.

“Well, if you were so gung-ho about this, why’d you take so long to get around to it?” you might ask.

Because still being new in town, it took me this long to find a self-service car wash even though there seemed to be a drive thru on every corner. Finally, last week, I stumbled upon 3 Dollar Car Wash hiding in plain sight less than a mile from our house.

ME: “Come on, Andrew. Get your baseball pants out of the hamper. We’re going to the car wash.”

ANDREW: “I’m not even gonna ask.”

ME: “Don’t.”

Even if you’re not creating your own laundry myth busting video, the car wash is a super fun place to take your kid. Power sprayer wars are the absolute BEST!!! (Don’t wear your Sunday clothes…unless you played a tournament in them.)

Check out stain removal in action!

After spending $6, getting soaked from head to toe and inadvertently washing half of my car, here’s what I surmised.

1) Power spraying your kid’s baseball pants at very close range (like an inch) WILL remove tough stains. But unless you have an hour to spend, slowly and methodically going over every inch of the fabric, you’re still going to have to throw them in the washer. For pants stained in several different areas, the average five minute car wash cycle won’t be nearly enough. So, bring several dollars’ worth of quarters if your car wash doesn’t have card capabilities.

2) I should’ve brought a garbage bag to put the wet pants. Somehow it didn’t occur to me that after washing, I’d be driving home with a super soggy garment that would drip all over everything else in my backseat.

3) Could I have saved a few bucks and half an hour by scrubbing and soaking the pants in Iron Out like I’ve always done? Yes. Definitely. Will I continue with my old standard method? Yes. Unless we’re dealing with a ridiculously tough stain that won’t budge with Iron Out, I’ll be saving the car wash for my Explorer.

The good part. If you want to have a fun laundry date with your 13 year old, then take a field trip to your local self serve car wash. I didn’t uncover the holy grail of stain removal. But we created some great memories of laughter and acting crazy with power sprayers. And I wouldn’t trade those for all the stain fighting power in the world.

Click the image above for the newest, coolest way to make sure your player is always swinging a great bat.



Angela Weight

Founder and publisher of Travel Ball, Angela Weight is still a little shocked to be running one of the most popular youth sports parenting sites on the web. Click the ABOUT US tab to read her story.

6 thoughts on “Is a Car Wash the Best Place to Clean Baseball Pants?

  • August 3, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I tore off a huge hunk of skin from my forearm when losing control of the power sprayer. Here’s what I learned at the ripe old age of 61:
    1. Respect its force.
    2. Use the clamps, rather than trying to hold pants in your hand.
    3. I’ll stick to Iron Out.

  • May 4, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I used Iron Out IO30N for my baseball paints. I think it very helpful, but i do it with a big brush, not with a car washer LOL.
    The first time i see that…

  • April 12, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    This seems like an awesome idea to try out but honestly, I’d be more worried that the pressure of the water would ruin the fabric of my pants!

    • April 23, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I’ve wondered that too. Have only done it that one time. We stick with Iron Out, Shout and hot water.

  • March 24, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    #1 Spray from a distance using the wand to get in close to those heavy duty grass and sand stains. There’s no need to hold onto the pants while spraying.
    #2 Use the soap cycle st the car wash and, yes, take them home and wash them as usual. The car wash doesn’t replace the washing machine. It only prevents the sand buildup.
    #3 Since you’re headed home to wash the pants in the clean-as-a-whistle washing machine, one round of spray should do it (that $1.25 for me).
    #4 I have found that those plastic grocery bags are perfect for wet, soapy pants as well as muddy cleats and road food trash.
    #5 (Finally)! If a school or sports league purchases the pants for your player, don’t mention the car wash. They frown on it for some reason but sure do admire sparkly white pants!


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