When I first made the decision to eliminate harmful chemicals from my home, I started with the laundry room. This was an obvious place to start since we all wear clothes (most of the time), and we all want to wear clean, stain-free ones.
We have some awesome laundry recipes. Even the best detergents cannot eliminate all stains. I needed a natural stain remover that would tackle the worst of it. This Natural Laundry Stain Spray is my first line of defense when dealing with an impossible stain.
Babies are the worst offenders when it comes to stains. They are messy little creatures! Somehow a bib never seems to do the job. With my second child I gave up on bibs and just let him get dirty. I knew I could get the stain out later. Plus, I was a whole lot happier at mealtime not having to worry about clothes. I am a firm believer in hand-me-downs, so this was important!
Natural ways to remove stains with ingredients you already have
- Sun – when I used cloth diapers the sun was my best friend. It could bleach out the nastiest of stains on a prefold
- Lemon Juice – effective as a bleaching agent due to the acetic acid
- Baking Soda – freshens odors and lifts stains
- Hydrogen Peroxide – oxidizes and whitens stains
- Vinegar – eliminates sweat stains and strong odors
- Soda Water – can dilute a stain for easier removal
The easiest stains to eliminate are the natural ones, or real food stains. This means the food that caused the stain is free of artificial dyes. If a stain does contain dyes, it is much more difficult to remove. Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach – easy! Concentrated fruit juice, not so much.
When using essential oils in a recipe, you will want to use a glass spray bottle. Lemon essential oil can break down a plastic bottle fairly quickly due to the acetic acid. Lemon essential oil is very potent since it is made from the rind of the lemon. There are about 75 lemons in one bottle of lemon essential oil. It packs a serious punch!
I try to spray things immediately after taking them off. If you do this, be sure you wash it right away. I have a habit of putting things on top of my washer and never starting it. Mildew is imminent at that point. If you are going to spray it, wash it.
Be sure that you do not put any clothes with residual stains in the dryer. If stains remain after a wash, lay them out in the sun and that usually does the trick.
If you are washing whites you can always add a spritz of hydrogen peroxide before washing. I always keep a labeled spray bottle near my machine. This can be used in addition to our Natural Laundry Stain Spray. See the full recipe below!
Natural Laundry Stain Spray
Yield – 16 oz serving
Preparation Time – 2 minutes
Cooking Time – 0 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups distilled water
- 1/4 cup unscented Castile soap
- 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 15-20 drops lemon essential oil
- 16 oz glass spray bottle with label
- Dissolve the baking soda into distilled water
- Combine vegetable glycerin, Castile soap, and lemon essential oil. Add to spray bottle
- Slowly add water to the spray bottle
- Shake or stir to combine
- Spray on new or set in stains and wash with detergent
More essential oil recipes you might enjoy:
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