When we’re facing a pair of pants smeared with green grass stains (or worse), most of time we reach for chemically-ladened products like Tide or the Clorox BleachPen to get rid of them.
These products are not only harmful for us, but they’re also damaging to our local watersheds when the residue washes down the drain.
The good news is that there are plenty of eco-friendly ways to get rid of stains. After all, there was a time before Clorax and Tide existed. What did people do then?
Answer: they improvised. And it worked just fine.
Know what else? By using natural ingredients to get rid of stains, you’re not only helping the environment and keeping your family safer, but you’re also saving money. Yahoo to that!
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Stains
Let’s look at some of the most common kinds of stains, and the chemical-free ways to get rid of them.
2 Tablespoons of salt for every 1 quart of water. Scrub into the fabric, and let the moisture soak in well before washing.
2. Sweat Stains
Sweat stains can ruin a good white shirt faster than anything, and they’re my personal nemesis. The solution? Well, there’s a few…
Solution A: Stop using commercial deodorant. Many chemicals in antiperspirants (like Dove) cause the unsightly yellowing stains we’re trying to avoid. I’ve been using Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant for over two years, and have noticed a pretty dramatic decline in my sweat stains.
Solution B: Soak ‘Em. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide, one part baking soda, and one part water. With a toothbrush, scrub the mixture onto your sweat stains and let sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.
Solution C: Use Aspirin. Use one plain, regular-strength, crushed aspirin per half cup of hot water. Dissolve the aspirin in the water. Soak clothes in this for a couple of hours and wash as usual. The stains should be gone. (source: ThriftyFun.com, via CBS News).
3. Chewing Gum
Ok, you’ll probably only get faced with chewing gum stuck in fabric if you have kids. Or if you have a really fun, interesting night out on the town.
Freeze it. Yep, stick that shirt in the freezer for at least an hour. The chewing gum will harden and you can scrape it off with a spoon or spatula.
4. Ink and Markers
All you need is…rubbing alcohol. Blot the stain gently, and it should come right up.
Wine one your favorite blouse is a sad thing. And if it sits too long it’s almost impossible to get out (I know because I just spilled red wine on my brand new Terraplana shoes, and didn’t notice until the next day).
How can we get it out?
Baking soda! First, blot out as much of the stain as you can with just water. Then, mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water to form a thick paste. Scrub, and then allow to dry before throwing it in the wash.
6. Grass Stains
Grass stains are the Mother of all Stains. And you know what? You can permanently set the stain simply by using the wrong thing.
Yep, I didn’t know that one either.
Here’s what Mrs. Clean USA has to say about it:
When trying to eliminate grass stains, you should never, ever use ammonia, degreaser or alkaline detergents because they are known to permanently set the stain.
So how do we get rid of grass stains?
First, try wetting the stain with rubbing alcohol and let it dry. Then, wet the fabric and pour your detergent right on the stain, and then wash.
You can also pre-treat with an equal parts water and vinegar mixture.
Do you have any natural remedies for getting rid of common stains? If so, I’d love to hear them!
Filed under: Eco Living on April 28th, 2010