Is there anything worse than getting your wash out of the machine only to notice a mark or stain that didn’t come out in the wash? Most of us dislike doing the laundry at the best of times. Having to repeat the process to get out a stubborn stain just adds to the ‘fun’.
One way to overcome this is to use a stain remover for the pre-treatment on the stain before washing. While conventional stain removers may indeed be effective, they often achieve these results via the use of harsh and toxic chemicals that are harmful both to you and the environment.
That's why in this article we will explore some of the best eco-friendly stain removers available in the market today as well as look at the natural alternatives to the traditional solutions.
How do Eco-Friendly Stain Removers Work?
Most eco-friendly stain removers employ the use of enzymes or proteins to break down the molecules responsible for stains. These enzymes work in much the same way as our digestion does, they ‘eat’ the stains, breaking down the fats and proteins.
Other ingredients of eco-friendly stain removers include bleach and ammonia. Bleach is particularly effective at whitening and brightening stains but doesn’t work to remove them at a molecular level in the same way as an enzymatic cleaner does. It also is not suitable for use on most fabrics and is highly toxic.
Ammonia is an effective ingredient for breaking up stains, grease and killing bacteria. It is most commonly used in window cleaning products, but can cause significant irritation to eyes and skin on contact.
Types Of Eco-Friendly Stain Removers
For those stubborn stains that need a little elbow grease, bars are the easy-to-use, concentrated stain-fighting power you need. Simply rub into the stain and gently scrub or rub it into the stain before washing as normal. Due to the waste free packaging, bar stain removers are one of the most popular eco-friendly solutions today.
Sprayed directly onto the stain, sprays are usually left to sit briefly on the stain with no rubbing or scrubbing. They are the quick solution for food stains and grimy cuffs and collars.
Similar to sprays in that you simply apply and wash, gels tend to cling a little better to the fabric and soak deeply into the stains. They are a little easier to apply than sprays, but the bottle can get quite goopy and messy over time.
For those stains that need a little more time to dissolve or lighten, a pre-soak, usually, one with enzymatic or oxi active ingredients can be used. These products can deposit optical brighteners and other chemicals on the fabric to disguise stains, so use with caution.
The 3 Best Eco-Friendly Stain Removers
If messy natural remedies or chemical-laden commercial stain removers aren’t appealing, what are your other options? Thankfully, there are also some naturally derived products that also work very effectively while being completely environmentally friendly.
Here are the 3 best eco-friendly stain removers along with the key benefits and drawbacks of each solution. We leave it up to you to choose the one that suits your specific needs best.
Puracy Natural Stain Remover
Easy application and effective results on most stains and most fabrics, this natural stain remover possesses quite a long list of ingredients. While it reportedly works well, it is significantly more expensive than other natural stain removers on the market.
- Enzyme based
- Effective on tough stains
- Ease of use
- Despite being marketed as fragrance-free, it does have a strong orange fragrance
- Packaged in a heavy plastic bottle with non-recyclable spray trigger
- The product contains a lot of water
Ecover Stain Remover
Easily applied via an applicator bottle, this eco stain remover used a mix of plant-based ingredients to lift stains. It does contain some additives such as perfume and preservatives so may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin or allergies.
- Easy to apply
- Not safe for use on delicate fabrics such as wool and silk
- Not effective on touch stains like pen, lipstick or wine
- Plastic packaging
Kind Laundry Eco-Friendly Stain Remover
Made from just 6 naturally derived ingredients, this eco-friendly stain remover is reminiscent of the ones our grandmothers used. Suitable for all types of stains and gentle enough for most fabrics, it can even be used on the couch or walls.
- Contains no sodium laurel, lauryl or laureth sulphate
- Contains no phosphates and is 100% biodegradable
- Completely waste-free packaging
- Inexpensive and effective
- Hands-on product requires you to rub into the stain
- The bar needs to be stored carefully to ensure no mess and that it lasts well
- May need to let it sit for best results
Other Natural Eco-Friendly Stain Removers?
In a pinch, you can also try a variety of home methods to remove stains, items you may even have in your cupboard. These eco-friendly stain removers include lemon juice, vinegar, bi-carbonate soda, hydrogen peroxide, salt, borax and even cornstarch. These may require multiple attempts however and some stains will need more targeted help.
Perhaps one of the best natural stain removers is the sun. Hanging your washing in the sun can help to bleach out residual stains without damaging the fabric. This is especially helpful on photosensitive stains such as tomato sauce, sprinkling some lemon juice on the stain and placing it in the sun can heighten this effect.
What Eco-Friendly Stain Remover to Choose?
Clean washing is not worth the chemical exposure to you or the environment particularly when we know that naturally derived, eco-friendly alternatives can be just as effective. Choosing a product that focuses on waste-free packaging, while offering natural and impressive cleaning power just makes sense.
Avoid rashes on the skin, chemical residues on clothing that masks stains, heavy perfumes, ocean damaging phosphates and more.
If you are looking for a highly effective and eco-friendly laundry stain remover that is kind to you, your clothes and our marine environment - then check out this Eco-Friendly Laundry Stain Remover. Try it today and see the results for yourself!