The best natural stain removers for clothing

White bottle with liquid detergent and laundered flesh colored soft pullovers.

Red wine all over your white shirt or spaghetti sauce on your dress Ė accidents happen and food spillages are some of the most common reasons for stain treatment. There are plenty of products on the market, but use baking soda for stain removal, you have to create a paste.
Making a baking soda stain removal paste:

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with around 50 ml to 60 ml of water
  • Apply the paste onto the stain
  • Allow it to sit for 1 to 3 hours
  • Remove the paste by rinsing the item under warm water and then wash as usual

Bicarbonate of soda will work best on stains like tomato, blood, wine, fruit juice, and even sweat. Because it can be used as a deodorizer, itís also a great tool to refresh smelly fabric furniture.

White vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is good for more than just salad dressing. The ingredient can be used to whiten whites, soften fabric, and remove nasty stains. What lends vinegar its cleaning power is the acetic acid that attacks bad smells and lifts food residues.
To use vinegar as a stain remover:

  • Add white vinegar to the stain
  • Allow it to soak for 30 minutes
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Wash as normal

You can add vinegar to your washing machine to help brighten clothes and banish smells, but avoid adding more than half a cup. Itís a good idea to check the washing machine manual or with the manufacturer before adding it to the washer.

Lemon juice

Fresh lemon or lime juice acts like natural bleach. Itís a good option for removing stains from white clothing. The acids in the juice make it an effective but less abrasive cleaning solution for stains. You can use lemon juice as a pre-treatment or add it directly to your laundry. For pre-treatment of stains with lemon juice:

  • Fill a bucket with hot water
  • Add half a cup of 100% lemon juice
  • Allow your clothes to soak overnight
  • Wash as usual

Using lemon juice as part of your wash cycle:

  • Add a quarter to half a cup of lemon juice to your machine wash
  • Wash as usual

While lemon juice may not be as effective as baking soda on some tenacious stains like wine or chocolate, it does leave your clothes smelling all lemony.


For an eco-friendly alternative to stain removers, salt can come in handy, but it depends on the type of stain. Salt is safest to use on white clothes because it can leave white stains on colored fabrics if not washed out properly. For rust, red wine, or blood stains:

  • Sprinkle some table salt onto the fresh (wet) stain
  • Allow it to soak for 10 minutes
  • Wash it off thoroughly with warm water
  • Wash item as usual