Helpful hints for removing stains naturally

June 23, 2015

When a stain happens, and they always do, you need to know what to do quickly to minimize the damage. Follow these top tips for removing stains naturally from clothes, carpets and furniture.

Helpful hints for removing stains naturally

10 rules for stain removal

  1. Take immediate action. The faster you act, the better your chances of completely removing the stain.
  2. Mop up the excess. Try to blot up as much of a spill as possible with a clean rag or paper towel. Lift off solids with a knife blade.
  3. Don't let the stain dry out. If you can't deal with it straight away, sponge the stain with cold water, spray it with soda water or cover it with a damp towel.
  4. Re-lubricate a dry stain. If a stain does dry out (or you find an old one), rub it with vegetable glycerine before removing it.
  5. Don't use hot water. It sets many stains, making them much more difficult to remove. Always use cold or tepid water when you first tackle a stain.
  6. Start with the gentlest approach. Quite often all you need for removing a stain is soda water or a soapy solution.
  7. Always move from the outside in. To avoid leaving a ring, start from the outer edge of a stain and work towards the centre.
  8. Don't scrub at a stain. Instead, place an absorbent pad beneath the stain and dab it with the remover solution, forcing it through the fibres. Make sure you change the pad frequently.
  9. Work from the back of the fabric to the front. If possible, place the absorbent pad on the stain itself on the right side of the fabric and apply stain remover from the wrong side of the fabric.
  10. More is not necessarily better. If a cleaner is not working, don't increase the strength of the solution. Instead, rinse it away and try something else.

Natural stain removal kit

When a spill occurs, these are helpful cleaning products to have on hand so you can start on removing the stain immediately.

  • Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • Borax
  • Cloudy ammonia
  • Cream of tartar
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Methylated spirits
  • Phosphate-free, colourless dish-washing liquid
  • Pure soap or soap flakes
  • Salt
  • Soda water
  • White vinegar
  • Vegetable glycerine
  • Epsom salts
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Safe stain removal

Try one of these gentler alternatives to harsh chlorine bleach.

  • Lemon juice can remove stubborn stains, including rust. And don't forget that the sun can whiten and brighten whites.
  • Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water and is a much milder chemical bleach than chlorine. It can be used safely on most fabrics. Use it in moderation.
  • To remove lipstick from napkins and collars, dab with eucalyptus oil until the lipstick disappears, then wash as usual.
  • Remove brown stains from stored table linen by rubbing them with a paste of baking soda and lemon juice before washing.
  • Sponge a tomato sauce stain with cold water, then rub in a little vegetable glycerine. Leave for half an hour, then wash the garment as usual.

By taking swift action using natural cleaning products, you can keep your clothing, carpets and furniture stain-free in a gentle, environment-friendly way.

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