How to Remove Shirt Stains With Natural Ingredients
There are many household ingredients that you can use to remove stains from clothes. This way you can avoid using conventional laundry stain removers that are full of artificial fragrance and other unpronounceable, questionable ingredients.
Here are natural products that will effectively help remove stains from clothes and keep your laundry routine green.
General Stain Removal Guidelines
Whatever type of stain you’re dealing with, there are some general tips to keep in mind:
- Act fast: The faster you deal with a stain, the better your chances of success. Sometimes you may not be at home or near a laundry facility when you notice a stain. Try to deal with the stain as soon as possible, rather than throwing the item in the hamper to deal with later. Blot away any excess liquids quickly, and scrape away solids like wax with a knife.
- Apply stain remover to the underside of the fabric: Though you might think you should put your stain remover product directly on the stain, it’s actually more effective when you apply it to the back of the garment. This helps push the stain away from the fabric, rather than deeper into the fibers. Place the stained side down on a paper towel or rag while you treat the fabric from the back.
- Take extra care with delicates: Avoid rubbing and using harsh stain treatments on delicate fabrics. If an item is labeled for dry clean only, bring it in as soon as possible and let the professionals handle it.
- Don’t use the dryer until the stain is gone: Sometimes after treating a stain, it still doesn’t come out completely. If this is the case, try removing the stain again and completing another wash cycle. The dryer will set stains in, so check the item before drying. Have patience, try your best, and understand that sometimes a stain just won’t come out.
- Keep common stain-fighters on hand: Beyond laundry detergent and stain remover products, make sure you have some of these other basics to help fight stains — white vinegar, bleach, dish soap, oxygen-based cleaner, and hydrogen peroxide.
Natural Ingredients to Remove Stain
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of nature's best gifts to laundry and very inexpensive to use. It is a perfect green odor reducer to keep your laundry smelling fresh and is safe to use on all fabrics, including children's sleepwear.
Baking soda also aids in boosting detergent performance, softening fabrics, and reducing suds for quicker loads in front load washers. Make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub into carpet stains. Once the powder dries, vacuum it up.
2. Lemon or Lime Juice
Fresh or bottled 100 percent real lemon or lime juice has a natural bleaching action on fabrics due to the acetic acid. If you spill some on colored clothing, you'll want to remove the juice before it causes permanent discoloration. However, you can use either type of juice on white fabrics to help remove yellow underarm stains or rust stains.
Fill a pot with water and several lemon slices and bring the water to a boil. Fill a tub with the mixture and soak whites that are stained. Keep it for an hour and then wash.
3. White wine
One of the worst things to spill all over your white clothes is red wine, but, perhaps surprisingly, a good remedy for this is to spill more wine on yourself. Take a little white wine this time, and carefully pour it onto the stain and it will work against the red wine. Dab at the edges of the stain gently with some kitchen towel to prevent it from spreading.
This won’t make the stain disappear but can help it come out in a normal wash subsequently.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Head to the medicine cabinet for hydrogen peroxide as a good alternative to the much harsher chlorine bleach when you need to whiten clothes. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an oxidizing agent that can be used as a bleach. The 3% solution sold in drug stores as a first-aid disinfectant is the best choice for the laundry as well. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen and is a more environmentally safe alternative to chlorine bleach.
Hydrogen peroxide works well in removing underarm yellowing and the dye from nail polish, curry, and red wine stains.
5. Coconut Oil
Rub some coconut oil into a spot on carpet or upholstery, and it will loosen the stain. You can also mix with baking soda to be more effective. This baking soda-coconut oil combo can also double as a whitening toothpaste to remove tooth stains.
You may think borax comes from a chemical lab because most of us associate it with the 20 Mule Team brand. But, borax is a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. Borax has no toxic fumes and is safe for the environment. Borax can irritate skin and should not be ingested.
Borax boosts the performance of any type of detergent in cleaning clothes and removing stains - especially on cloth diapers, softens hard water, and helps control odor. Almost all homemade laundry detergent recipes contain borax.
6. White chalk
Oily stains are particularly tricky to deal with as water can make the problem worse. One natural method for oily stains is to use white chalk. Rub some white chalk onto the fabric without being too rough. By doing this, it is the chalk that will be absorbing the oil rather than the clothes.
Dust off any excess chalk before putting the garment in the wash.
Only wash it in cold water, and don’t put it in the dryer as this can cause the oil to set.
Get rid of perspiration stains on shirts by making a saltwater soak. Pour 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup salt into a washing machine and add enough cold water to cover clothes. Mix, then let soak for 1-2 hours. Wash as usual. If you don’t have a washing machine, make a salt paste with water and apply it to stains before washing by hand.
If you have blood stains on clothes, soak in a mixture of 1-quart cold water and 2 tbsp salt before washing.
Shake a generous amount of salt onto red wine stains, as soon as they’ve happened. Let sit for a few hours before washing in cold water.
Pour a kettle full of boiling water over stains from as great a height as you can manage – at least 2 feet high. (Try standing on a chair.) This works on berry stains, ketchup, red wine, coffee, and oily spots. One TreeHugger reader recommended putting a bowl inside a shirt, with the stain centered in the middle, then pour boiling water through the stain into the bowl.
Use ice water to get rid of bloodstains. Soak the item in a bowl of cold water, adding ice as needed, to loosen the stain before laundering.
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