Eco-Friendly Stain Removers: DIY Tips and 5 Natural Brands to Try

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Picture this: you’ve just tackled that pesky stain on your favorite pair of jeans, and they look squeaky clean after a round with your trusty store-bought stain remover. But here’s the kicker – while you’re celebrating the victory over the stubborn mark, little do you know that a different, sneaky stain is being left behind on the environment! Yes, those seemingly harmless stain removers are actually loaded with hazardous chemicals that not only jeopardize our health but also put a serious dent in the well-being of our precious planet.

It’s time to kick those chemical-laden concoctions to the curb and embrace the ultimate superhero of stain removers – the natural and sustainable alternative! Imagine a stain remover that not only works wonders on your clothes but also leaves your conscience squeaky clean. No more worries about harmful chemicals sticking to your fingers or creeping into your lungs as this guide has got you covered with simple DIY tips and 5 fantastic natural brands to try!

Eco-friendly stain removers for clothes

Why Eco-Friendly Stain Removers?

Let me share a personal story with you. A few years ago, I was a regular user of store-bought stain removers. I thought I was doing my clothes a favor by keeping them spotless and fresh. However, one day, my youngest child developed a skin rash. After a series of tests, the doctor pointed out that it could be due to the chemicals in the laundry products we were using, specifically the stain remover.

I was shocked. I had been unknowingly exposing my family to harmful chemicals, all in the name of clean clothes. That’s when I started researching and discovered the ugly truth about traditional stain removers. They were filled with harmful chemicals that were not only hazardous to our health but also to the environment.

Determined to make a change, I started experimenting with natural alternatives. I was skeptical at first, but to my surprise, a simple paste of baking soda and water worked wonders on a stubborn oil stain on my favorite shirt. Not only was it effective, but it also gave me peace of mind knowing that I wasn’t exposing my family to harmful chemicals or contributing to environmental pollution.

Since then, I’ve tried various natural stain removers, from distilled white vinegar to lemon juice, and even table salt. I’ve also discovered some fantastic eco-friendly brands that offer safe and effective stain removers.

So, if you’re still using traditional stain removers, I urge you to consider making the switch. Not just for the sake of your health and the environment, but also for the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a positive change. Trust me, it’s easier than you think, and your clothes (and the planet) will thank you for it!

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The Problems With Traditional Stain Removers

Sustainable stain remover for clothes

While traditional stain removers seem to be perfectly polishing up your wardrobe, in most of these cases, the problem lies in the stains around us that we don’t directly see, which are a result of the toxic chemicals that make up these products! As a disappointing realization, the majority of stain removal products sitting on those shop shelves, or lying around the home, are formulated with a secret blend of chemical ingredients that continue to trigger various allergies, irritating the skin, the eyes, and the lungs; while also meddling with your hormones, and have many a time been linked to illnesses like cancer. 

While this is a debilitating downside on its own, the majority of these readily available stain removers, are also not sustainable nor ethical too! The chemicals contained in stain removers can also contaminate bodies of water when the clothes are washed.

Harmful Chemicals Found in Store-Bought Stain Removers

Let’s take a closer look at the harmful chemicals hiding within your seemingly innocent stain remover.

Sodium Hypochlorite causes a burning sensation on the skin and eyes after prolonged exposure and can trigger asthma. Also harmful to water-based life forms.

Quaternium-15 is Linked to asthma and can cause reproductive toxicity. A low level of formaldehyde is also released which is a cancer-causing substance

Chlorine Bleach consists of toxic fumes that can also cause skin burns. Chlorine bleach poisoning is among the most common causes of poisoning reported to poison control centers, particularly when in spray bottles. 

Methylisothiazolinone can make people increasingly susceptible to skin allergies.

2-Butoxyethanol is a developmental and reproductive toxin that can harm the eyes, the skin, and the blood.

Artificial Fragrances often contain ingredients that disrupt hormonal balance as well as being allergenic.

Your Guide to Sustainable DIY Stain Removers

Now that you’re aware of the harmful chemicals present in traditional stain removers, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and create DIY alternatives

Baking Soda

Sustainable stain remover for clothes

That little box of baking soda sitting in your pantry cupboard is perhaps the perfect candidate for a natural stain remover and a very inexpensive one at that too! Ridding your laundry of odors, while also posing safely to use for both adult and children’s clothing, baking soda improves detergent performance and softens up those fabrics! As a mild alkaline, baking soda can pierce through the toughest of stains, be it grease, vomit, or the remains of tripping up in dog poop! If you’re looking to make it into a paste, just add a hint of water, and it’s safe to say you’ll have found yourself the best oil stain remover for your clothes!

Distilled White Vinegar

Sustainable stain remover for clothes

White Vinegar distilled into a spray bottle works absolutely wonders when doing your regular laundry load! While its common properties are removing yellow sweat stains, or brightening and whitening up your clothes, mixed with a dash of water, you can use it to wash away the toughest stains. For any stain residues left post-washing, simply blot the area with vinegar and the acidity will be sure to cut through those particles and clean them!

Lemon or Lime Juice

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Whether fresh or bottled, lemon or lime juice, if it is 100% pure, the acetic acid in the juice, acts as the best stain remover for white clothes, due to its inherent fabric bleaching action. While it can perfectly rid rusty or yellow stains on your white laundry, be cautious not to let it linger on colored clothing, to avoid permanent discoloration!

Cornstarch or Chalk

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Oil stains can be a pain when trying to wash them away from your favorite outfits, but we may just have found you your new go-to natural stain remover to get rid of that ogling oil! Grab some cornstarch from the kitchen cupboard, or some white chalk from the kid’s playroom, and sprinkle or rub liberally over the oily stain. Put your ten-minute timer on, make yourself a quick cuppa, and simply brush away! You can go on to wash the fabric further, but the cornstarch or chalk will be sure to lessen the hassle and become your best oil stain remover for clothes!

Table Salt

give me long-tail keywords for best stain remover for clothes

Your regular table salt has benefits beyond tingling your tastebuds; it, in fact, can be used as a mild abrasive agent to remove fabric stains, such as that treacherous red wine spill, and can also absorb liquid stains before they cause permanent discoloration. Sprinkle up the spills with some salt, let it soak, and then brush away before washing the clothing properly. While salt can rid colored stains, if not washed away, it can leave you with white stains instead!

Hydrogen Peroxide

Another home find that could turn into the best stain remover for white clothes, might just be hiding in your medicine cabinet. Hydrogen Peroxide, an oxidizing agent, is the ideal alternative to chlorine bleach and proves to be far less harsh, and far more environmentally safe. Typically used as a first-aid disinfectant, adding the 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide to those tough-colored stains will make laundry days easier and safer too!

The Best Stain Remover For Clothes: Top 5 Brands To Check Out

For those moments when you don’t have the necessary DIY ingredients or are short on time, you can rely on these natural alternative brands that come to your rescue. These eco-friendly options offer a quick and effective way to remove stains without resorting to harmful chemicals.

Best eco-friendly stain remover for clothes


Quite like all stain removers produced by Method that are arison-toxic, paraben-free, triclosan-free, phthalates-free, hypoallergenic, and responsibly packaged with recycled plastic, this particular one is no different! With a built-in brush, digging into stubborn stains and making sure the formula scrubs deep, make tough cleaning jobs easier, effective, and downright ethical!

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Top natural stain remover for clothing


Made up of four plant-based enzymes and an overall formula of 97% plant-based ingredients, Seventh-generation free & clear laundry stain removers are your sustainable solution to getting rid of set-in stains, with a simple spray-to-use system! A certified B Corp that promises to clean your fabrics without those cunning chemicals!

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Celsious Wunderbar Stain Removal Stick


The Celsious Wunderbar stain remover stick is made up of just two natural ingredients; coconut oil and vegetable soap. Whether it’s oil, grease, yellow sweat stains, or even pet poop, this biodegradable, non-toxic, and fragrance-free stain stick works absolutely wonders. Soak the stained fabric with water, leave the formula in for a couple of hours, and proceed to wash! Additionally, the labels and pouch are 100% compostable.

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