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Switching to Eco-Friendly Stain Removers: A Case Study

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 25 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Stain Remover Stain Removal Eco-friendly

With her busy household of 3 kids, a dog and a cat, Megan was always having to cope with stains left by her active family, whether it was mud dragged in from outside by the dog, food stains left on the carpet by the kids, spills from carelessly-held drinks or even the occasional blood stain from a accident when playing too boisterously!

An Alternative to Commercial Stain Removers?

“I found that I was constantly buying bottles of commercial stain remover at the supermarket and using tons of bleach and things…and I started to worry about using all these chemicals around my kids so often,” says Megan. ”The kids’ school had also just started this initiative of trying to get all families to be ‘greener’ and use more environmentally-friendly products, so that got me thinking: OK, the chemicals were really effective but they were really damaging to the environment. There had to be a more eco-friendly way to remove stains!”

The Friendly Stain Removers in Your Pantry

Megan got chatting with a couple of other mothers after school to find out what they were doing in terms of switching to a “greener” lifestyle and she was pleasantly surprised to learn from them that there were some very effective – and environmentally-friendly – stain removers right in her pantry cupboard!

“They told me that lemon juice is fantastic at bleaching things,” recalls Megan. “It’s a mild acid, you see, and so it dissolves grease and has a bleaching effect – like it will remove berry juice stains really effectively It even deodorises for you! If you want it to work a bit harder, you can combine it with salt to shift all sorts of stains from fabrics. The best thing is that it is completely safe to use, both for the family’s health and the environment.”

Megan also discovered that white vinegar was another wonderful natural stain remover. Again, it’s a mild acid and so very effective on solid stains – even things like limescale – so great to use for cleaning around the house. It’s great for stubborn mildew stains too and for sweat stains in clothing, as well as cleaning pet urine stains from the carpet.

“And the best thing about it is that it is so cheap!” laughs Megan.

The other wonder product in her pantry, Megan discovered, was baking soda, also known as bicarbonate soda. This worked wonders on tea and coffee stains – and even helped to remove the kids’ crayon marks from the walls! You could also mix it with lemon juice or vinegar to make an extra powerful but natural and safe stain remover paste.

A Greener Future

Megan has been using her ‘natural’ alternatives to commercial stain removers for a year now and has never looked back. Not only is she helping the environment and her family’s health but her purse is thanking her too!

“I discovered that there are so many natural – and free! – ways to tackle stains. Like, for example, instead of immediately resorting to using chlorine bleach, which is SO harmful to the environment, you can just try putting the item in the sun. Sunlight is the original bleacher,” explains Megan. “If you wet the stained area and leave it outside in direct sunlight to dry – then wet and repeat again and again, until the stain has disappeared – you’ll find that you’ll be able to get rid of most stains – without touching a drop of toxic bleach!”

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