Removing stains, even tough ones, from your clothing can be accomplished naturally – avoiding exposing to your family to harsh chemicals unnecessarily. This powerful DIY natural stain remover takes only a few minutes and about $.50 to make.
The cleaning agents we use in our home can be very bad for our health. As the DIY natural cleaner collection of articles here on New Life On The Homestead has highlighted, whipping up your own low tox laundry, kitchen, bath, and general household cleaners will not only save you money, but possibly prevent chronic or serious health effects caused by repeated exposure to caustic chemicals.
Common Commercial Stain Cleaner Chemicals
Sodium Laurel Sulphate
SLS is used in not only laundry stain remover products, but also in mouthwash, toothpaste, and shampoo. This is the agent that creates all of the foaming suds when washing your hair. Sodium Laurel Sulphate may not be a carcinogen as has been claimed in the past, but it may be a skin irritant that strips away moisture and protective oils when used.
While phosphorus in small amounts can be great for the plants we grow, it can foster the growth of blue-green algae in waterways after it is processed through laundry room water pipes.
The algae is dangerous to both any human that swims in it and aquatic life. Some countries have now banned phosphates in laundry products. But here in the United States, it is still a fairly common ingredients in pre-wash stain removers.
Bleaching whites may keep them looking fresh, but even the Environmental Protection Agency has warned against using it in clothes washes. The EPA has noted that bleach deteriorates the fibers in clothing, therefore causing more lint to be created – hence increased chances of a dryer fire hazard.
All of those mountain fresh, tropical paradise, and sweet wildflower fragrances in stain removers and related laundry products are only very loosely regulated.
Manufacturers are not even required to list all such ingredients on labels because they are protected by proprietary business practice laws. Some such fragrances could be potentially harmful to pregnant and nursing women, eczema sufferers, folks with dermatitis, and people prone to allergies to various fragrances.
Multi-Purpose DIY Natural Stain Remover
- Baking Soda
- Blue Dawn Dish Soap
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
- Combine 2 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part Blue Dawn.
- Stir in up to 2 tablespoons of baking soda to make a spreadable paste. If the mixture is too thick, add in a drop more of the peroxide. If it is too runny, stir in one more pinch of baking soda.
- Pour or spoon the DIY all natural stain remover onto the spot.
- Allow it to settle for a few minutes.
- Use an old but clean toothbrush or a similar brush to lightly scrub the all natural stain remover paste into the spot on the garment.
- Allow the paste to settle again but this time for about one hour.
- Run water over the stain to make sure it has been removed or put the garment into the washer and launder as usual.
- Do not put the garment into the dryer until you are positive the stain has been removed. The heat will set the stain. For particularly tough stains, the treatment process might need repeated.
- This DIY stain remover can be stored in an airtight container for about one week before the hydrogen peroxide begins to lose its potency.
- Store out of direct sunlight and if possible, in an amber or dark container to prolong the longevity of the hydrogen peroxide.
Sweat Stain DIY Natural Stain Remover
Combine 2 parts lemon juice to 1 part water and soak the garment with armpit or similar stains in the mixture for about 15 minutes before laundering as usual. For deep stains and for the ones on white clothing, this process may need to be repeated several times.
Keep the lemon juice sweat stain remover in an airtight container, and it will remain potent for about 7 days.
Protein Stain Remover
To eliminate tough stains that are protein based (blood stains included) simply mix together 2 parts meat tenderizer with 1 part water to make a thin paste.
Soak the garment with the DIY all natural stain remover for about 15 minutes before rinsing it in cold water to make sure the process does not need repeating before laundering as normal. Mix this paste on an as-needed basis; it gets gummy quickly and does not keep well.
Making your own low tox stain removers can also be used as a learning project for your children or grandchildren – and even as a homeschooling lesson.
By helping mix and then use the DIY natural cleaners, the kiddos are getting a science, math, and reading lesson as they work their way through reading and using the recipe. This doubles as a great teachable moment about the dangers of caustic chemicals and helps infuse a self-reliant mindset into their daily routine and weekly chores.
Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more.