This week we’ve been talking about natural, homemade laundry care. After checking out some homemade laundry detergents and a list of 30+ ways to use white vinegar, today I’m giving you a list of 10+ homemade stain removers.
And I’m also telling you about what I see as the absolute BEST, all-natural stain fighter (and it happens to be FREE!).
I had to make some major switches to my laundry routine when I converted to cloth diapers. When I discovered I couldn’t use conventional stain removers on my diapers, it made me re-think the stain removers I had been using on my clothes. Were they safe?
I imagine some of you are in the same boat.
Image by the.barb
The components of a good stain remover
In a nutshell, if you keep the following items on hand, you should be able to easily create your own homemade stain remover:
- white vinegar
- baking soda
- oxygen bleach
- hydrogen peroxide
- lemon juice
- natural soap (like Fels Naptha)
- the sun (it’s FREE!)
The BEST stain remover EVER (and my personal favorite)
After I began cloth diapering, I discovered that if my diapers came out of the wash with a stain, I could easily get it out…in the sun! The first time I discovered this you would have thought I had discovered magic! I have sunned horribly-stained diapers before that have whitened right up after a few hours in the sun!
The key is to place the diaper–or article of clothing, etc.–in the full sun while it is still very wet.
You can also spray the stain directly with either a little vinegar water, lemon water or a mix of diluted hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach.
This has been the easiest, cheapest and best stain remover for me!
Image by Violentz
Want even more homemade, all-natural stain removers?
Check out these 10 homemade, all-natural stain removers!
1. DIY Laundry Stain Remover by The Prairie Homestead
2. Natural Bleach Alternative by Crafty Little Gnome (just 3 ingredients!)
3. Hydrogen Peroxide Magic by One Good Thing by Jillee (who needs bleach when you have hydrogen peroxide?!)
4. A Surprising Ink Stain Remover by One Good Thing by Jillee (Clearly, this woman is full of way more than just one good thing!)
5. Homemade OxyClean by Grocery Cart Challenge (great for a spot cleaner OR to add to the wash!)
6. Citrus Enzyme Spray by Eco Karen
7. Homemade, All-Natural Laundry Stain Remover by Live Renewed (This blog is chock FULL of green living tips!!)
8. Stacy’s Stain Removal by Stacy Makes Cents
9. Homemade “Shout” Stain Remover by Kitchen Escapades
10. Green Carpet Stain Remover by Chase and More
Bonus: How to Get a Set-In Stain Out of Carpet by… me (because who else would let a popsicle stain sit for days on end because she didn’t know how to clean it?) 😉
I like your sun idea. It also reactivates charcoal. I will try these great ideas.
I went back to read your foamy soap recipe. I am changing it to make it naturally antibacterial:
Sub the distilled water for colloidal silver. I make it by the gallon, so it is cheap and always available. It is antibacterial and kills only the good bacteria. The commercial kind kills all bacteria, which is why I won’t use it. Add peppermint oil or extract and voila…a good-for-you antibacterial soap, without the tree tea oil (since In don’t have any right now). I’m so excited to make it. Thank you for the original recipe.
I love using colloidal silver for ear infections & have never thought of it for the soap! Great idea!!!
How do you make colloidal silver?????
I’ve use vinegar/baking soda quite often. Recently I removed a very set-in stain (like 4months? yikes!) in the simplest way possible!! My Norwex enviro cloth! Just got it damp, and with little elbow grease the black stain on my very light carpet came right out! After 4 months of setting ( I was gone when it happened and the hubby isn’t sure how it got there 😉 ). So no more mixing up stain removers for me! At least, so far. I’m sure the cloth won’t remove EVERY stain, but so far its worked on mud stains, coke stains (in car carpet for a year b/c every other cleaner did NOT remove it and we decided it was there to stay), ketchup stains, and black stains anonymous 🙂 Now ink is a different matter . . . 🙂 I’ve heard of hairspray, but never the hand sanitizer. Have to give that whirl next time the kid decides to decorate our clothes 🙂
No WAY!! I have a Norwex Envirocloth! I must try that! What kind of stain was it?! Thanks for the tip! 🙂
I don’t know what the 4-month stain was. It mysteriously appeared while I was out of town 🙂 But it was black. And not small. Yep, my aunt also got a huge stain out of her carpet that had been there for 2 months. Give it a try! I’m sure it doesn’t do every stain, but it has worked for several for us! And you can’t get more free than a cloth you already have (other than sunlight 🙂 –unfortunately I live in a rented home where we’re not allowed to hang clothes/diapers outside 🙁 ).
Thanks! I love free! 😉
Thanks for including my citrus enzyme cleaner in your awesome list. I also make citrus vinegar cleaner that turns vinegar smell citrus-y AND adds more cleaning power. Just add citrus peels to vinegar and strain after about 2 weeks. But vinegar and baking soda is the dynamic duo for cleaning. And whitening anything is hydrogen peroxide…you can read about how I whitened my daughter’s softball socks using hydrogen peroxide and washing soda.
Love your blog! Would love to invite you to be part of Green Sisterhood! Email me and I’ll let you know what we are all about!
It was a pleasure, Karen! I’m actually linking to it in my Keeper of the Home post tomorrow as well (where you should get more hits!). I’d love info! You can email me at thhpartners at gmail dot com! Thanks! 🙂
Is the Norwex Envirocloth the same as microfiber cloths? If not, what is the difference?
to be considered “microfiber” the fibers of the cloth must be 1/6th the size of a human hair. Norwex microfiber (the Norwex enviro cloth is a microfiber cloth) is 1/200th the size of a human hair. They also have silver imbedded in them (not applied like some other cloths) so they self-disinfect. They are very dense and can tackle just about any job with out any cleaners– just water. They’ve changed my lhousehold routine for sure– saved so much time and money. And yes, I sell them now– because they are so great I can’t stop talking about them 🙂 Uh, and bc my family wanted discounts 😉
I wish I had more than one! Love it!
I have e-cloths. Each one is for different jobs, such as: Kitchen, Bathroom, dusting, stainless steel etc. I love them. Only use water. You are able to buy them separately or all in one Package. www.ecloth.com.
My son accidentally spilt cappuccino on my bedspread and I’m not sure which is the best home remedy to get it out.
I would try any of these stain removers and then let it dry in the sun.
I am avid microfiber user…use it for everything except eating. How can I get the Norwex cloth?
It’s very different. I own both & the Norwex works so much better. I believe Naomi gave a great description!
Fantastic for cleaning windows and mirrors
Wondering about the Fels Naptha being “natural soap”. I use 1/3 of a bar in my laundry soap recipe but wear gloves because the label says to not allow prolonged skin contact…. has anyone done research on this soap?
I personally have not. I included it in this list because it is a very common ingredient in many homemade recipes but I have personally not used it because I have my suspicions it would leave residue on my cloth diapers. I would not use it as a bath soap.
Fels Naptha contains toxic ingredients. Substitute a bar of castile soap!
Jill @ The Prairie Homestead
Thanks so much for linking my stain remover post Erin! This is a great collection! 🙂
Thanks, Jill! Your stain remover looks GREAT!! 🙂
What kind of pure oxygen bleach do you use? And where can you find it? I don’t have any cloth diapering stores in my area, but when I peruse through Amazon, I get overwhelmed! (I need to do a strip, as my daughter had yeast.)
I personally use Crunchy Clean (crunchyclean.com). I’ve heard great things about Nellie’s and BioKleen’s as well! Hope you get that yeast knocked out! I know it can be such a pain!
Okay Thanks! I went ahead and bought “Oxy Boost” it’s an ultra concentrated pure oxygen bleach. Works great!! I’ll look into those other brands too. 🙂
Your answer was just what I nedede. It’s made my day!
I have used the oxygen bleach offered at ecoGeeks.com with great results!
Felsnapha is not a natural soap and shoudn’t be used on anything that is going to touch your skin. Try Dr. Bronners bar instead…it comes in unscented and several lovely secents, almond, peppermint, lavender…much nicer for our bodies and the environment. Love your post!!!
Seattle IT Consulting
I have been meaning to make my own stain remover for some time now and I am going to try making this as well!
Love your homemade laundry cleaners , i just wondered how to remove an old curry stain from a beige sweatshirt? Thank you .
I could use some help. I bought new to me white shorts and capris, too, at Goodwill, yet when washing with homemade detergent (Powdered detergent ~borax, oxi-clean, washing soda, fels naptha soap, baking soda, and another ingredient)…when hanging them out…they were stained yellow, in a variety of spots. Suggestions? They were like new, so disappointed yet hoping someone may have a remedy? I think that white perhaps shouldn’t be washed in Borax?
yellow/orange stains that show up on summertime clothing after washing can be caused by a reaction between a sunscreen ingredient (avobenzone, I believe) and the oxidizers in the oxi-clean. Unfortunately, I have tried lots of things to save a great white shirt with this affliction and don’t have anything to recommend to you. I heard reducing agents (like citric acid or lemon juice) can help, but mine apparently was too far gone.
I recently pulled out a tub of summer clothes that had been packed away for 2 years. The dingy, gross armpit stains were so bad that I thought the shirts were yeah. I used the hydrogen peroxide-baking soda-dish soap recipe to scrub and soak the shirts in. It took a couple of applications and washes, but they are as good as new! I’m so happy I didn’t lose my clothes 🙂
*thought the shirts were TRASH 😉 silly autocorrect LOL
Trying to think whether vinegar or lemon is the ultimate green cleaning weapon. Favorite vinegar cleaning tricks: the vinegar and hot water microwave cleaning trip;the vinegar and baking soda drain cleaner trick
I never try vinegar for such a stain removal.
I am always use lemon but not so effective… but try this also.
What a great collection of stain removal methods! Thanks for sharing!
Vinegar was what my mother used as a base for all the house cleaning. It was inexpensive and did a fabulous job, sorry to say though, back then it was because of economic necessity for people. I must say that windows sparkle the best with vinegar.
I was just wondering how one would get out blood and ink stains. Both have been on the fabric for years. I don’t want to use bleach since both articles of fabric have colors and patterns on them. Any suggestions are appreciated!
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Great lists of stain removal! Complete! I use baking soda to clean my carpet, and some people I know uses vinegar. Thank you, Erin!
Great recipes! I’ve cleaned most of the stains with a store bought soap till now. I haven’t thought of making my own natural stain remover. You’ve given great list of easy useful recipes. I’m trying some of them right this weekend. Greets!
Amazing list with recipes. Last week I promised myself that I am going to clean only with natural ingredients. I am so glad that I have found your article. Now I have recipes for almost everything. It will be my first time making cleaners homemade. Wish me luck 🙂 Greets!
Love this! My 10 yr old daughter found your site while researching her Science Project. She will be testing some of these all natural stain removers. Thank you:)
I have just purchased. A new black suit and have marked the sleeve with a silver perm pen marker .
Any Ideas how to get tit off ?
Perfect one! I have used this tips. Also, refer to others.
Pondering about the Fels Naptha being “common cleanser”. I utilize 1/3 of a bar in my clothing cleanser formula however wear gloves in light of the fact that the name says to not permit delayed skin contact.
I love your site and ideas, however, I cannot get any of the links to open up in a new tab. You should make a compilation of the stain/laundry ideas, giving credit to the persons, and make it a downloadable pdf file to print out and hang in the laundry room! I would print it out and leave it in a clear sleeve for easy reference.
It is just an idea, but it would be a great help for us that would like the handy ideas and tips, but cannot get the links to work.
In general I enjoyed the stream of comments and suggestions on the site. Today’s Mercola article brings up the following about microfiber – and now I’m going to stop all future purchases and start replacing current cloths. For me it’s just as easy to use natural cloths with ozonated water or steam. Here’s from the article:
Another concern associated with synthetic fabrics is the creation of microfibers, which are now becoming a major source of water pollution, showing up in fish and sea life around the world, ultimately making their way onto our dinner plates. It’s important to realize that when you wash synthetic fabrics, it sheds microfibers that are then flushed right out into our waterways, as water treatment plants are not equipped to catch these microscopic fragments.
“Microfibers are so prevalent that we’re actually starting to really destroy the ecosystems in our oceans. Studies have shown that by 2048, we’re going to have fishless oceans because of the amount of pollution and destruction we’re doing to the ecosystems of the ocean right now. Microfibers are a huge issue; 85 percent of shorelines now have microfibers. It’s out of control.”
The answer is not to devise better catch systems, because the fibers ultimately have to be thrown away somewhere. The best solution is to switch to organic cotton clothing. We’ve done sophisticated testing on the Dirt Shirt and can confidently state that no microfibers are released from these shirts when you wash them. None — because microfibers are not an artifact of materials or textiles in general. It’s an artifact of synthetic materials specifically.
I’ve never heard of that before!
Anyone have a tried and true stain remover that works for pen ink? I tried following the link for the one listed above at One Good Thing by Jillee and I keep getting an error message that says the page isn’t there. 🙁
How do you get out spray starch on colored silk
Amazing Information….I also use the same type method for stain removal for my client.
Tori @ everyday wholesome
Working on some old Stains now. Trying the sun but so far no luck! I’ll try some of these too!
Tori @ everyday wholesome
Hey friend! One of the above links on your post isn’t working!! FYI!!!
10+ Homemade, All-Natural Stain Removers–Including
the BEST Stain Remover Ever! –
If some one wants to be updated with newest technologies therefore
he must be go to see this web site and be up to date daily.- calator.tel
I am eager to try some of these ideas. Would you mind replying with the recipes for numbers 7 & 8, as those pages are no longer working?
Thanks so much!