Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 183 of our Green Year: Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

Unless you walk around covered in a thin layer of plastic, chances are you have had a stain on your clothes. Even if you have not had a stain on your clothes, you have had a stain on your carpet, furniture or linens. More often than not, people will use those chemical stain removers that cost too much, are bad for the environment, and who knows how bad for you.

Thankfully, as with most things, there are eco-friendly stain removers, and these are the types of stain removers Layla and I will be using in the future.

Most stains can be removed by using soap, elbow grease (that means hard work) and water. However, here are some tips for common stains.

  • Coffee: If you can tackle this right away with soap and water, you should be able to get it out. Wait too long and you may be out of luck.
  • Fruit: If you have a fruit stain, you can put lemon on the stain and wash it out with that. Again, the sooner you do this the better.
  • Mildew: We learned two days ago that tea tree oil can get this out, but you can also wash the garment in hot water (by hand) and then air dry it.
  • Oil or Grease: Put some cornstarch, or even baking soda, on the stain and then place the clothing with the stain side down on a large rag on an ironing board. You should iron the clothing with the iron. This should make the oil and grease stains come out quite easily. The reason you have to use a hot iron (even an old style one that heats up on a fire) is because heat is needed to get the oil and grease out of the clothes.
  • Rust: If you have rust on your clothes, soak it in a solution of one part lemon juice and one part water for thirty minutes.
  • Sweat stains: Just wash this normally (by hand for us) and then air-dry it outside. The sun's natural bleaching properties, and lower temperatures outside the dryer will keep the stains from turning yellow.
So there are a few tips we will be using to get stains out.

Do you have some stain removal tips that are green, which we did not mention here? Send us an e-mail or leave a comment. You can reach us at craigbaird@wildmail.com. Send us photos of your own green solutions and endeavors as well and we will put them up here.