Many people are uncomfortable using harsh chemicals to clean their clothing or homes. Unfortunately, when faced with a stain, it is challenging to think of anything more potent than an assortment of chemicals, right?
While people usually turn to strong commercial cleaners for removing stains, they don't have to. It is possible to keep a green laundry routine with several natural products you likely have lying around the house.
1. Baking Soda
Why spend your hard-earned money on expensive commercial cleaners when you probably already have one of the most durable and affordable stain removers in your laundry room or kitchen cabinets: baking soda? According to Arm & Hammer — a baking soda manufacturer — mixing six tablespoons of baking soda with a third cup of warm water is enough to remove some of the toughest stains. As a bonus, baking soda is safe on all fabrics and acts as an odor remover.
2. Lemon and Lime Juice
Both lemon and lime juice can help remove stains on clothing because they contain acetic acid. However, the acid acts as a natural bleaching agent, so you will want to be careful about what fabrics and colors you use it on. Experts suggest only using the juices on white materials and explain both juices can help remove yellowing and rust stains.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
If you're like most people, you store a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet. The oxidizing agent is an excellent bleach substitute and is nowhere near as harsh. While you don't want to use the first-aid disinfectant on colors, it is suitable on white materials for removing yellowing, nail polish dye, red wine and curry stains.
4. Distilled White Vinegar
White vinegar is cheaper than apple cider vinegar and will not stain fabrics. The product is also safer than chlorine bleach and most fabric softeners. Besides using vinegar to clean clothing, you can also use it to clean the washing machine.
5. Table Salt
Some stains require a little elbow grease to eliminate. Salt acts as an abrasive cleaner and is an excellent tool against red wine and rust stains. You can also use salt to absorb liquids before they set.
When using the product to absorb, sprinkle it liberally over a spill. Let it absorb the liquid before brushing it away. Finally, wash the item. If you do not wash the salt out of the article, it can cause white stains.
Borax — a mineral composed of boron, sodium, oxygen and water — is a household cleaner. Experts suggest that adding borax to any detergent can boost the products' cleaning and stain removal abilities. However, the compound can irritate the skin.
7. Cornstarch, Chalk or Talc
Cornstarch, white chalk, baby powder or talcum powder are excellent natural remedies for oily stains. All you need to do is sprinkle your chosen product over the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes before brushing it away. Following treatment, wash the clothing or fabrics as usual.
While commercial cleaners are effective stain removers, they also contain harsh chemicals. If you want a safer method of removing stains, consider one of the seven options above. What do you have to lose?