Natural stain removers

Natural, homemade stain removers can be extremely effective. Here are tips on how to remove stains from clothing, carpets, furniture and other household items.

Natural stain removers: How to get out coloured and grease stains
Removing coloured stains
The following tips suggest ways to remove coloured food and drink stains. Berry fruit, coffee, tea, and red wine are among the most tiresome but, if you act quickly, they can be removed without recourse to chemicals.

• Apply a dab of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to the stain, or soak the stain in a "soft chemistry" bleach before laundering.

• For wine stains on clothes, pour salt onto the affected area to absorb the moisture before soaking the garment in a "soft chemistry" bleach. Or splash with soda water, then launder.

• For old red wine stains, try using the glycerine method given for chocolate stains. This stain-removal technique also works for beet, red cabbage, and dark fruit stains.

• When red wine is spilled on carpet, mop up the excess liquid and then pour white wine over the patch to saturate it. Let the wine soak into the carpet fibres for 10 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.

• To remove tea or coffee stains, work glycerine into the area. Leave the glycerine to soak into the fabric, and then rinse out with warm water.

• For tea-stained upholstery, use homemade borax stain remover. Treat coffee stains in the same way.

• Soak grass stains in glycerine before laundering. This works well on baseball and football uniforms, which are prone to grass staining. Soak in a solution of washing soda (4 oz/110 g to 1.5 gallons/5 litres water), then rinse.

• Dabbing a soft fruit juice stain with freshly squeezed lemon juice will bleach out the colour naturally.

Removing grease stains
The following tips work on greasy makeup stains, candle wax spills, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, cooking oil, and engine oil.

• Pretreat the fabric with baking soda paste (4 tablespoons of baking soda in 4 tablespoons of water), then soak in warm water with a "soft chemistry" washing powder. For the machine-wash, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to your laundry detergent.

• Dab pure ethanol alcohol on obstinate stains.

• Draw out ordinary grease stains by covering with a generous sprinkling of fuller's earth powder. Leave it on for several hours or overnight, then brush off with a stiff bristle brush. This also works well on cooking fat.

• Dab lipstick stains with eucalyptus oil. Leave the oil to soak in before laundering the garment. Lipstick and cosmetic stains can also be treated as for grass stains.

• White handkerchiefs and table napkins stained with lipstick can be boiled clean in hot water.

• Treat oil, tar, and grass stains with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Rub the essential oil into the stain, then launder the fabric as usual.

• Rub lard into tar stains, then wash the article, adding 2 tablespoons of washing soda to your laundry detergent.

• To remove wax stains, place brown paper over the wax stain and melt it with a warm iron. It will lift off onto the paper.

Page 2 of 3 - Read page three to find out how to finally get rid of sweat stains!

Excerpted from Organic Home by Rosamond Richardson. Excerpted with permission from Dorling Kindersley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without permission in writing from the publisher.

All rights reserved. TVA Group Inc. 2015
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