If your house is anything like mine, stains on laundry are a daily fact of life.
When you switch to natural cleaning, you can’t just spray it all with “Shout” and call it a day… so what to do?
Conventional laundry stain treatment solutions are some of the most toxic cleaning products available. They contain harsh detergents, solvents, chemicals like sulfates and parabens as well as a host of artificial colors and scents.
While our bodies can handle small amounts of these, exposure to large amounts of these chemicals over time can cause health problems.
Borrowing some wisdom from my grandma’s era and the help of my professional stain creation experts (aka: my children), I compiled a helpful list of effective stain treatments for various types of stains. I keep this list handy when I’m doing laundry, and I’ve included a printable version (at the bottom of this post) in case it will be helpful to you too.
Natural Stain Treatment Overview
Always treat stains from the back, rather than the front, to avoid rubbing the stain in more.
My Homemade Baby Wipes can be kept in a small Ziplock bag and make a great pre-treat spot remover on the go.
- For Ink or Paint Stains: Soak in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes or (ink only) spray with hair spray and wash out.
- Tea or Coffee Stains: Immediately pour boiling water over the stain until it is gone, or if it is already set, scrub with a paste of borax and water and wash immediately.
- Grass stains: Scrub with liquid dish soap or treat with a 50/50 Hydrogen Peroxide and water mix
- Mud stains: Let dry and brush off what you can, then scrub with a borax/water paste and wash immediately
- Tomato Based Stains: Treat with white vinegar directly on the stain and wash immediately.
- Dingy Whites or Underarm Deodorant Stains: Soak the stain directly in a mix of 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water for 30 minutes and then add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash water.
- Other Food Stains: Treat with a mix of 50/50 Hydrogen Peroxide and water and soak.
- Grease and Oil Stains: Sprinkle the stain with dry baking soda to remove any loose oil or grease and brush off. Then, soak in undiluted white vinegar for 15 minutes, rinse and scrub with liquid dish soap before washing
- Vomit, Urine, Poop, Blood, Egg, Gelatin, Glue or other protein based stains: DO NOT WASH IN WARM WATER!!!!! This will set in the smell. Soak in cool water and then wash with an added mixture of 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup baking soda in the washing machine.
Here is a printable version of the infographic above. Click to download.
A Natural all-purpose option
I recently found something that works on any kind of stains and is super-simple to use. It is called Branch Basics, and it is an amazing natural cleaner that is safe for even chemically sensitive people and that can clean the entire kitchen, entire house, gets stains out of clothes, dirt out of grout lines, cleans an oven like magic and is safe to use on skin. In fact, it is tear free and I’ve been using it for baby shampoo! I’m addicted. You can find out more here. I even feel safe letting my kids clean with it!
What’s your best natural stain treating trick? Please share below! My kids could put it to the test….