Natural ideas to remove tough stains from your clothes.

Removing stains with natural ingredients is gentle on your clothes and good for the environment, and it doesnt need to be difficult. In fact, many common household items have natural properties that can help to remove stains. These include:

  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • lemon juice
  • table salt
  • natural soap

However, before you tackle a stain, it is important to consider which stain you are trying to remove. Here are a few of the common ones.

Plant-Based Stains

Tomato sauce, black coffee or fresh berries can leave strong stains, especially on white clothes. However, this is where cold water and white vinegar comes in. Simply rinse the affected area with cold water, as soon as possible, and soak the item of clothing in a mix of vinegar and cold water overnight. The stain should disappear by the morning. If that doesnt work, make a paste with vinegar and baking soda and rub it on the stain. Leave the paste on the stain for 30 minutes before rinsing clean with cold water. Lemon juice and salt can also dislodge fresh plant-based stains, such as from salsa or fruit juice.

Oil Stains

Cooking comes with the hazard of potential oil stains. However, with a little patience, it should be possible to remove an oil stain and still enjoy your favourite home cooked meal. Hot water is best to treat oil stains. Simply wash the affected area with very hot water and rub with natural soap. If that doesnt work, soak the item of clothing in a bucket with boiling water, vinegar and baking soda. The stain should break down over night. If there are still stain residues, scrub the stain with a toothbrush and some natural soap. For a large oil stain, place table salt on the affected area to help to remove some of the oil, before beginning the washing and soaking process.

Protein Stains

Cold water is preferable to remove protein-based stains, including from eggs, meat or bodily fluids. If possible, rinse immediately with cold water. If the stain remains soak in cold, salted water overnight. If the stain persists, it should lift with a scrub using natural soap and more cold water.

Stain Residues

The sun is also a powerful natural stain-fader. Any light colour stain-residues are likely to fade away by hanging out the garment in full sunlight and letting the bright UV rays work their natural bleaching magic.