Is a Car Wash the Best Place for Cleaning Baseball Pants?


Who decided that white would be the default color of baseball pants? I’m guessing he didn’t do laundry and didn’t live where there was any grass, dirt or friction of any kind. And I sort of hope he was assaulted by an angry mob of armed washer women.


A couple of months 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 laundry 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 it take you two whole months 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. After a few weeks of looking, I came close to just attaching my son’s pants to my windshield wipers and driving through Ye Olde Car Wash. Fearing that the gale force blow dryer might send the britches flying across town, I decided against it.


I love how they give things colonial sounding names up here in Virginia.

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 they’re stained.)

Click the link below to see 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 isn’t going to be nearly enough.

2) I should’ve brought a plastic bag. 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.

iron out

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.

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