How to remove stains without harsh chemicals

how to remove stains

 Natural stain removers are safe, effective and as good for your pocket as they are for the planet. Try our tips for tackling some of the most common stains:

Tea and coffee

Blot the spill up with a kitchen towel and rinse with cold water. Pour a teaspoon of white vinegar on to the stain, leave for a few minutes and then wash as normal. 


Whether you glow, perspire, or sweat buckets, those tell-tale yellow stains are an annoyance you can do without. Try soaking the shirt in cold water with half a cup of salt. Rinse and bung it in the washing machine.

Butter or other grease

Blot as much of the grease up as possible with a paper towel. Sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda on the stain, leave for a few minutes, then rinse. If you can still see a mark, squeeze a dollop of clear washing up liquid on to it. Work the liquid into the material, rinse and wash.


Get as much of the chocolate off as you can, then rinse the stain with cold water. Work about a teaspoon of liquid soda crystals into the stain, leave for half an hour, then wash as normal.

stain removal with soda crystals

Mud or general grime

Wait till the mud is dry, then brush as much of it off as possible. Soak stained clothes in a mix of Borax Substitute and warm water, before washing in the machine.

stain removal with borax substitute


If you have a baby, you’re going to have to cope with an explosive nappy at some point. Try to get as much of the poo off as possible, rinse the garment in cold water and then get it in the wash. Sun works wonders on poo stains, so hang any stained clothes on the washing line for a couple of days. If you’re trying to get poo stains out of reusable nappies, soak them in lukewarm water with a tablespoon of Nappy Fresh.

Tomato sauce

Rinse as much of the sauce off as possible, then use some Ecozone Stain Remover. Let it work for a few minutes, before washing as normal.

Red wine

Whether it’s cab sav or merlot, salt can help to show it the door. As soon as you spot the spill, cover it with salt.  It’ll help to soak up the wine. After 10 minutes or so, brush the salt off and soak the shirt in boiling hot water (as long as the material can take the heat). If the stain is already dried, this trick isn’t going to work. Instead, try pouring some vodka or other high proof, clear alcohol on to the stain. Leave it to soak in, then wash as normal.


Rinse the blood with cold water and spray the stain with Earth Friendly Stain & Odour Remover. Leave it to work its magic, then throw the garment in the machine and wash on a cool setting.

Top tips

  • Try to tackle a spill as soon as it happens.
  • It’s usually best to rinse it with cold water, rather than hot.
  • Make sure you run the water from behind the stain, so you’re not washing it further into the fabric.
  • Eco egg’s bamboo reusable kitchen towel is a cost effective and eco way to soak up liquid from stains.
  • Looking for one of the best natural carpet stain removers? Try Natural & Clean Spot Remover. It works on everything from coffee to pet accidents and has been awarded the full five stars by all our reviewers.
 Any top stain removal tips to share? Leave us a comment, or tweet us @BigGreenSmile.