Natural Stain Remover Hacks for Carpets & Upholstery

Natural Stain Removers

Spills are a fact of life. Whether it’s red wine on your new cream carpet or coffee on the sofa, accidents happen. But that doesn’t make the situation any less stressful. Thankfully, natural stain removers have come a long way. In our experience, they’re now just as effective as their chemical-filled counterparts.

Read on for the best ways to tackle pretty much any household stain, and our top recommendations for eco stain removers.


Eco stain removers: how to use

New stains are a heck of a lot easier to deal with than old ones. So, our number one tip is to act quickly.


  1. Mop up the spill using an old cloth or kitchen towel. Dab gently or you’ll work the liquid deeper into the carpet or fabric. Work from the outside of the stain into the centre to avoid spreading it.
  2. If possible, rinse the stain with cold water. Most removable sofa covers and curtains are fine to get wet. (Do check the label though). Rinse through the fabric from front to back, holding the material close to the tap so you don’t spread the stain.
  3. Once you’ve got as much of the offending liquid out as possible, apply a natural stain remover. (See below for our recommended products.)
  4. Leave the stain remover to work its magic for the maximum time recommended on the label. Then rinse it off by hand or, if possible, wash the item in the washing machine with a decent helping of laundry detergent. Add laundry bleach for whites.
  5. If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 3 and 4 straight away. Once the stain has dried, it’ll be much harder to get out.


How to remove stains from carpet

Carpets are trickier to clean as you can’t just throw them in the washing machine, and you don’t want to get them too wet.

  1. As above, dab up as much of the spill as possible. Work from the outside of the stain towards the centre so you don’t spread it.
  2. Fill a bowl with cold water. Dampen a clean cloth in the water and go over the stain again, gently rubbing towards the centre. Rinse the cloth, blot up the water with a clean towel, and repeat the process several times. Change the water when it gets discoloured.
  3. Apply a carpet stain remover and leave it for the maximum recommended time.
  4. Repeat step 2 to rinse the stain remover off.
  5. If the stain is still noticeable, repeat steps 3 and 4.


Sofa stain remover

If you can’t remove the covers from your sofa, you’ll need to treat the stain as you would for the carpet. This time, it’s even more important not to get the fabric too wet.


Dealing with old stains

Old stains and marks are difficult to remove, but most can at least be lightened. Soak the stain with your chosen eco stain remover for the maximum time recommended on the label. Rinse and repeat. You might need to do this several times.


Eco-friendly stain removal

Ecodoo Eco Stain Remover

This natural stain remover is a great allrounder. It’s effective on everything from wine and shoe polish to fruit stains. Plus, it’s gentle enough to use on a variety of fabrics, including silk, wool and most curtains and sofas.

“Excellent for removing stains from furniture.” S.B. from Limerick


Ecover Stain Remover

This is one of our most popular stain removers, and for good reason. While it’s designed for laundry stains, it should be fine to use on household textiles. Just test a small inconspicuous area first. It can help with most common stains, from grass to blood, and has a handy brush to work the solution into the stain.

“One of the best stain removers I have tried and eco friendly too!” J. from Aberdeen


Attitude Laundry Stain Remover

Again, this is designed for laundry but can also help with upholstery stains. It’s plant-based and fully biodegradable.

“Absolutely the best product ever! … It got beetroot out of my organic cotton shirt just by spraying and leaving it overnight. I washed it at 20 degrees afterwards and it's perfect. I use it on any stain before I wash. Magical!” B.F. from Nantwich


Ecozone Carpet Shampoo

Apply a dab of this shampoo direct to the carpet stain, rub it in with a cloth and rinse. Or, if you’re cleaning the whole carpet, dilute the shampoo 1:8. As an added bonus, it’ll leave your carpet smelling like fresh cotton.

“Completely effective in removing dried-in strains that wouldn't lift with a previous product and in removing animal scents, thereby stopping them 'marking'” D. from Gosport


How to remove stains with baking soda

Spilled something and need to act fast? If you don’t have a stain remover to hand, try bicarbonate of soda. Here’s how…

  1. Follow the steps above for clearing up and rinsing the spill.
  2. Mix a tablespoon of bicarb with a teaspoon of water to make a thick paste.
  3. Use the paste as you would a stain remover, working it into the stain and leaving it for 10 minutes or so. (You might want to try this on an inconspicuous area first.)
  4. Rinse the bicarb off before it dries.
  5. Repeat if necessary.


Tacking common stains

Whether you use bicarb or a ready-made stain remover, the steps above should work on most stains. However, there are a few things to keep in mind for certain spills:


Blood stains

Blood and other protein-based stains should only ever be washed with cold water. Hot water will ‘set’ the stain and make it much harder to remove.



Playdough, butter, oil and the like can leave a greasy residue behind. Hot water helps to melt the grease so it can be washed away. However, do take care not to damage the fabric – always check the maximum recommended temperature on the care label. And use a stain remover proven to tackle grease, like this one by Ecover.  


Cleaning mud off carpets and sofas

Mud is really easy to spread. Scrape it off using an old knife or spatula. If the remaining mud is wet, rinse it off with cold water. If it’s almost dry, wait until it’s fully dry and then vacuum it up. Tackle any remaining staining with warm water and a stain remover.

If the stain is on a washable item, use a heavy-duty laundry detergent, such as Ecozone Pro-active Sports Wash Laundry Liquid, which is specifically designed for tackling mud and grass stains.

You can find more tips for tackling common stains like sweat, red wine and tomato sauce here.