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Natural Cleaning

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Natural Stain Remover Tips

how often should I wash my laundry

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

Biro

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.

Blood

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.

Crayon

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.

Lipstick

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!

Mud

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.  

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

Chemical Free Cleaning: E Cloths

e cloth review

e cloth review

This post contains affiliate links, denoted by *

For my second Zero Waste Week post, I wanted to look at chemical free cleaning, and the fantastic reusable E Cloths*.  I bought my first E Cloth for my kitchen a few months ago, when I felt like giving chemical free cleaning a go, and was so hooked that I then went out and bought one from my bathroom!  They cost around £4.99 for a single E Cloth, which is quite a bargain when you factor in the fact that you don’t need to buy any cleaning products whatsoever!  Imagine all that money and cleaning product packaging you will save on!

You see, E Cloths are quite the revolution in chemical free cleaning and in reusing, as all you need to clean is a cloth and some water.  That’s it!  No chemicals or cleaning products (natural or otherwise) required, making it great for allergy sufferers.  The microfibres in the cloth remove dirt, grease and 99% of all bacteria, including salmonella, E.coli and listeria, with just water.  In between wipes just rinse the cloth in water and then carry on cleaning.

When your cloth is dirty, just pop it in the washing machine!  I often wash my towels at 60°C (it’s not good for your washing machine to always wash at low temperatures), so I just pop the cloths in with the towels with my regular detergent and my natural homemade fabric conditioner (don’t use regular fabric conditioner).  They come out all clean again, ready for the next round of cleaning.   You can even boil wash them if you want to give them a really good clean, or just wash at 30°C.  The cloths are differently coloured according to function, and have a little label sewn into them reminding you which cloth is which, so there’s no chance of mixing up your kitchen cloth with your bathroom cloth.  I love this additional clever little touch.

chemical free cleaning

Chemical Free Cleaning, You Say?

You might be wondering how they work and how they can provide chemical free cleaning?  Well, E cloths are made of millions of fibres which trap and absorb minute particles, dirt and grease for smear free cleaning.  I’ve found they work great in my kitchen – particularly on worktops, and on stainless steel surfaces, such as my hob and kettle and toaster.  I don’t wash it every day, maybe twice a week.  In my bathroom I can clean everything to a spotless finish – I start on the sink, followed by the bath, tiles and then finish with the toilet.  I then wash my E Cloth after every bathroom clean.  I love how everything is sparkling clean, without smears, and without a chemical fug of smells.

You also might be wondering why the cloths can remove bacteria without the need for cleaning products.  It’s all in the microfibres that lift and trap the dirt and germs.  E Cloths also say that all the main E Cloths have been rigorously tested by Silliker – an internationally recognised micro-biology laboratory.  Here all tests have been shown to remove over 99% bacteria, including e-coli, listeria and aspergillus.  Tests also showed that, after a brief rinse in water, only 0.01% of bacteria are re-introduced to a surface.  Additionally, because the cloths do not leave any residue on the cleaned surface, there is nothing left behind to encourage the development of bacteria.

do e cloths work

What I love, is that as well as being brilliant for chemical free cleaning, the E Cloths come in cardboard packaging for easy recycling.  There’s no plastic waste to dispose of.  Furthermore, the cloths are guaranteed for 300 washes, which is a whole lot of cleaning!  At the end of their lifespan, because they are just fabric, they can easily be recycled at textile banks.  I haven’t got to that stage yet, my beloved cloths are still going strong!

Ethical Superstore are currently running 10% off E Cloths* in case you’re tempted to stock up!  I’ve only got two cloths at the moment – the bathroom cloth and the general purpose one, so I’m eyeing up the mop and glass cloth!

I’m not sponsored by E Cloths: I bought mine out of my own pocket.  I’m just sharing the chemical free cleaning love during Zero Waste Week, for which I’m proud to be a blogging ambassador.