how often should I wash my laundry

Natural Stain Remover Tips

natural stain remover

Today I wanted to share my natural stain remover tips.  But first, I’ve got a confession to make…  For the longest time I couldn’t not have a bottle of stain remover in my kitchen cupboard.  You know the one that comes in the pink bottle.  It was a habit I could not kick – two kids will do that to you!

When my last bottle ran out I vowed to look into natural stain remover methods, and lo and behold, a lot of them work just as well, if not better, than their chemical ridden counterparts.

I use a good quality eco-friendly laundry detergent (Ecover sent me their Non Bio Laundry Liquid to try, which is great at cleaning laundry) but sometimes you just need a little something extra to shift extra stubborn stains.

Here are my natural stain remover tips for a cleaner greener wash.  As with any stain remover, before trying out the natural stain remover tips I’d recommend spot testing in an inconspicuous area just in case:

Natural Stain Remover Tips


Milk is great at removing biro.  Simply soak your stained item of clothing in a little milk for around 3 hours, then wash as normal.


You can either pre-soak your item of clothing in heavily salted cold water, or soak in a mixture of 1 litre hot water and a quarter cup of soda crystals, then wash as normal.  Either option, depending on what you have to hand should remove the most stubborn blood stain.

Candle Wax

Got some candle wax on your best table cloth?  Try placing brown paper on top of the the waxy stain and iron the paper with a warm iron.  This should draw the melted wax out of the fabric.

Chewing Gum

Put the offending item of clothing in your freezer for a few hours.  The gum should then be quite hard and brittle, allowing you to scrape the gum off easily with a knife.

Cooking Fat

Create a paste of bicarbonate of soda or soda crystals and equal parts water to spread over the stain.  Then leave the paste on for 30 minutes and then wash in your usual laundry detergent.


Similar to chewing gum, freeze the item of clothing for a few hours to harden the crayon, and then scrape off the excess with a knife.  You can then place the stained area of clothing between two clean paper towels, and press with a warm iron.  This should transfer the wax on to the paper towels.  Depending on how bad the stain is you may need to do this a few times.  Then wash with your regular detergent and a large spoon of soda crystals in the drum to help shift the residue.

Natural Stain Removal Tips

Faded Whites

Although not strictly a stain, half a cup of lemon juice in with your usual detergent should help keep whites bright.


Remove the crusts from a slice of white bread and roll the bread into a ball (trust me on this!).  Then use the ball of bread to blot the lipstick stain, which should lift the lipstick from the clothes, and then wash as normal.  Apparently white play doh also works for removing lipstick stains but I haven’t tested that particular method!


Pre-soak muddy clothes in a bucket of warm water with a quarter cup of bicarbonate of soda or soda crystals for three hours.  Then wash your item of clothing as normal.  Don’t be tempted to leave muddy clothes sitting – it works best if you soak straight away.

Perspiration Marks

Yellow perspiration marks can easily be removed by soaking your clothing in white vinegar, rinsing in water and then washing as normal.

Red Wine

Make a paste using bicarbonate of soda and equal parts water and and apply to the stain.  Leave for a few hours, then rinse under the tap and then wash.  Sparkling or soda water will also help remove a red wine stain if bicarbonate of soda doesn’t cut the mustard.

Tea & Coffee

Mix one cup of soda crystals into a pint of hot water, and pre-soak your clothes for an hour before washing as normal to effortlessly remove tea and coffee stains.

Any natural stain remover tips I’ve missed?  Do share your favourites in the comments below!

 * Ecover sent me a bottle of their laundry liquid to try out and I’ve been mighty impressed with it’s cleaning abilities.  


  1. Oh any tips on getting rid of the smell of sweat? My daughter is a keen runner – I’ve been using Ecover but it just doesn’t cut the mustard, I’m afraid, and her clothes smell sweaty when they come out of the machine.

    NB. She is using a natural baking soda deodorant..

    I know all these problems are eliminated by throwing chemicals in the form of anti-perspirant and washing powders – but any environmentally friendly tips to help with this are most welcome!

    • Try soaking the clothes in a basin of cold water and a cup of vinegar for maybe half an hour and then wash with your normal detergent, and a quarter of a cup of bicarbonate of soda in the drum. I would also skip the fabric conditioner and use vinegar in the fabric conditioner compartment of your washing machine (I do this for every wash, I promise your clothes won’t smell of vinegar when dry!). You can even add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar! Hope this helps!

      • I have a spray bottle of vinegar in the laundry basket, if clothes are stinky, I give them a spray before they go in the basket, seems to work quite well

  2. Great tips Wendy. My little one just took textas to his pants (your tips should help with that) and also crayon and highlighter to my tablet screen (your tips probably won’t help with that one!). My little ones create a lot of work for me. But to be honest, most of the food stains on my clothing are my own clumsy nature rather than thiers! I will have to give some of your tips are try.

    • Uh-oh! Little ones are good like that! But yes, for me I think stains are mostly my own doing – I can guarantee if I wear something light coloured that I will stain it! Double the chance if it’s light coloured and new!

  3. Hey Wendy, thanks for the article!
    I am just starting to make my own cleaners. Do you have any tips for how to get mirrors and glas clean without leaving any stripes and stains?


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