Well-marketed stain removers usually do the job they claim they do — they get the stains out of clothing and fabrics. The enzymes they use to remove the stains are great, but the chemicals additives can irritate sensitive skin and instigate an allergic reaction.
Plus, if the stain remover comes in a spray bottle, each use spreads its chemical particulates around the house and contaminates your indoor air quality.
There are plenty of natural ways to remove stains without chemical additives, and you probably already have them in your kitchen or bathroom.
Club soda is the first thing most people grab when they spill a drink. Club soda is just water infused with carbon dioxide, and sometimes a little salt or baking soda. There are mixed reviews on whether club soda works any better than plain water… sometimes it does (the salt and baking soda help), and sometimes it just spreads the stain further onto the fabric.
Baking soda and distilled white vinegar are more proven ingredients for removing a wide range of stains on most fabrics.
Cornstarch is great for food grease and can be used on leather, silk, or other delicate fabrics.
Hydrogen peroxide works well on organic stains such as wine, chocolate, grass, blood, or yellow armpit sweat.
There are also conscientious brands that sell highly effective enzyme stain removers without chemical additives.
Treat stains as soon as possible, and ideally before the fabric is put into the washing machine. If the stain is fresh, carefully lift what you can without pushing the stain further into the fabric…
Food stains: Use the edge of a dull butter knife to gently remove residual food without rubbing the stain.
Liquid stains: Be careful not to rub the stain. Instead, carefully blot it with a dry cloth.
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