Black Marks From Trampolines
As someone who knows a thing or two about black marks on feet and clothing from our backyard trampoline, I understand how frustrating it can be to deal with this problem. Today we’re going to look at how to get trampoline stains out of clothing (and off of skin), why trampoline mats start giving off black marks in the first place, and if there’s anything you can do about it.
Table Of Contents
- Why does my trampoline give off black marks?
- How to get trampolines stains out of clothes
- How to get black trampoline marks off of skin
- Best Laundry Stain Removers
- Key Takeaways
1. Why Does My Trampoline Give Off Black Marks?
What Are The Black Marks From?
Trampoline mats are typically made of a black woven material, such as polypropylene or PVC. Over time, as the mat is exposed to the elements, it can begin to break down, and the black fibers from the mat can rub off onto skin and clothing. In simple terms, the black marks are carbon/rubber marks.
This breakdown of the mat happens because of exposure to sunlight and moisture, as well as frequent use of the trampoline. And as your trampoline is fixed in place outside, and frequent use is usually the GOAL when you put up a trampoline, just expect the black marks to show up sooner or later.
What Does It Mean When The Black Marks Start Showing Up?
Unfortunately, when you do start seeing black marks on your feet and clothing, it means that you should begin to discuss replacement (of at least the mat). It doesn’t mean that your trampoline is structurally compromised, but rather that the mat is reaching the end of its life.
If you do want to look at replacing your trampoline, check out Best Trampolines For Teenagers for some high quality options.
Is There A Short Term Solution?
Many people wonder whether it is helpful or not to wash the trampoline mat to prevent black marks, or at least prolong the use of the mat. While washing the mat may seem like a good idea, it can actually cause more harm than good. Trampoline mats are not designed to be washed, and doing so can cause the material to break down more quickly.
Instead of washing the mat, the best way to prevent black marks is to protect the trampoline from the elements as much as possible. This can be done by using a trampoline cover, by placing the trampoline in a shaded area, and by storing it in a dry place in the winter.
Regular maintenance, such as tightening the bolts and springs, can also help to prolong the life of the trampoline mat, also so that you don’t experience trampoline warping.
How To Get Trampoline Stains Out Of Clothes
It’s important to note that trampoline stains can be difficult to remove, especially if they have been set in, so you want to get on this as soon as possible, but realize that it may take a few attempts to get the garment looking like new again.
Removing The Stains From Regular Children's Clothing
Stains seem to get harder to remove the longer they are set in without attention. It is this way with black trampoline stains on clothing as well.
Here’s how to remove the black trampoline marks from your kids play clothes:
Note: If you discover the stain marks right away but aren’t planning to do a load of laundry at that moment, toss the garment into a basin of detergent and water (fairly concentrated, approx 1:8 ratio). When you’re ready to do a load, rinse out the garment and proceed as follows.
1. Pre-treat the stain with whatever preferred stain remover you have on hand. Wait at least 5 minutes. Add to the wash and laundry as normal, but preferably on the highest heat setting the garment can handle.
2. After the cycle is done, check on your garment before putting it in the dryer. If you can still see the stain, do NOT put it in the dryer as this will set it pretty much permanently!
3. If the stain remains, your options are:
- Repeat. Pre-treat again with your spot stain remover, and re-wash (do this up to a few times before you give up on the garment)
- Add a dash of ammonia to the stain remover process
- Prepare a bucket of water that has some bleach in it, and soak the garment overnight in it prior to rinsing and washing again. (Note: confirm that the garment can handle bleach).
What Cleaning Products NOT To Try (That Won't Work)
Sometimes when trying to remove a stubborn stain, we attempt all sorts of stuff. Sometimes they make the stain worse. Sometimes they do nothing, but sometimes they work! Like using peanut butter to get pine sap off clothing. Weird… but it works!
When it comes to removing black trampoline marks from clothing, here’s what you do not want to consider using, however:
Vinegar: While vinegar is often a great natural stain remover, it does not have the ability to break down the oily/greasy stains from the black rubber.
Baking Soda / Water Paste: Although baking soda is possibly an acceptable choice for attacking stains on white clothing, it is known to remove color from fabric, and is mildly abrasive. Baking soda paste also requires an overnight “soak”.
CLR: This is an automotive and household cleaner that does cause a reaction with carbon (which is what the marks are made of). CLR may handle the carbon, but it will wreck your clothes. According to CLRClean.com, if you spill CLR on clothing, you need to rinse it immediately as it may break down the fibers in clothing or fabric. So don’t try it.
Lemon Juice: This is another natural stain remover that won’t have the strength to break down the rubber marks.
What To Try If The Stains Are On Natural Or Synthetic Fibers, Or Wool?
For clothing that is made from materials that require hand washing or a lot more care in general, you’ll want to take a different approach.
- Using a stain remover such as Spray-N-Wash, Oxy-clean, Shout, or Magic (whichever strong stain remover option you have on hand), spray the stain thoroughly. Give it a few minutes to work (5 mins should be fine), then blot at it to see what comes up, and also to have move it around on and in the stain.
- On top of the stain remover then massage some liquid dishwashing detergent into the stain with your fingers. (My favorite choice for this is the Blue Dawn… it seems to get EVERYTHING out and is really gentle).
- Finally, rinse and sponge the material carefully with clean water to remove the stain remover and dish detergent, and to wick up as much moisture as you can from the material.
Hopefully the stain will be pretty much gone at this point! If not, repeat the steps! Stains can be stubborn, but carbon stains from trampolines ARE removable.
Disclaimer: If the clothing item says “dry clean only”, don’t attempt to remove the stain yourself. Bring it in to the professionals. 🙂
How To Get Black Trampoline Marks Off Of Skin
Finding blackish (CARBON!!!) footprints on your floors caused by dirty trampoline feet running through the house is not going to make you smile. But if your trampoline mat is giving off black, the potential for this is unfortunately quite high.
It’s hugely to your advantage to train your kids to check and clean off their feet before before they come indoors. (Before they climb into their clean beds !!).
Thankfully the black marks come off of skin quite well, and quite easily. All you need to do is provide your kids with a small basin of water, some gentle soap, and an old towel. Have your child scrub the black marks with soap and water and a wash cloth or brush, and rinse off, repeating as necessary. Drying with an old towel is a good idea, just incase your child was rushing and didn’t wash as well as you would have… and some black remains. (Yep, I’m a parent… been there.)
But with just that gentle soap and water and some scrubbing action, those feet will be clean enough that the black won’t rub off on other surfaces.
Best Laundry Stain Removers
This video here goes over seven of the most popular stain removers to see which one does the job the best. Yes, she focuses on cooking stains, but black trampoline stains on clothing work the same way as food stains, digging into the cloth fibers and grabbing hold. There’s some useful stuff in this video, if you are thinking your regular choice of stain remover is just not cutting it anymore!
When you discover black stains on your kids clothing that came from your trampoline mat, it means the mat is aging, cracking, and giving off tiny carbon/rubber shavings. The stains are removable, but you’ll need to get on them early, before they set in too deeply. To get trampoline black marks out of clothing, you’ll need patience and a really good laundry stain remover, plus high heat. Good luck!