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Natural, Non-toxic Stain Removers

written by: Brekke Bounds•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 12/2/2010

It's not easy to remove stains or to stay away from toxic chemicals. This articles highlights some natural and non-toxic stain removers that you can use to keep your life stain free.

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    When it comes to keeping your stuff clean and spotless you have many different options. Making an effort to clean with ecofriendly products helps keep the environment and your body healthy. Stain removal can be particularly difficult, but this article outlines some effective natural non-toxic stain removers that can be bought or made at home.

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    Laundry stains

    Both Seventh Generation and Greenworks have products to remove laundry stains.

    Seventh Generation offers a chlorine free bleach made of hydrogen peroxide. This product is safe for both whites and colors. Hydrogen peroxide degrades in oxygen and water and is a safe non-toxic bleach alternative.

    Greenworks offers a laundry stain remover that is marketed as natural. With no phosphates or brighteners it is likely to be less toxic than regular laundry stain removers, but since the full ingredient list is not disclosed it is impossible to ensure the toxicity level of this product.

    Regular household items and proper laundering can also natually remove stains. Protein stains should be rinsed in cold water and then soaked in laundry detergent. Avoid soap and hot water as they may set the stain. Oil stains can be removed with a paste of salt and water. Let the paste dry and then scrape it off before laundering. Soaking and laundering with plant based white vinegar is also a great non-toxic way to treat stained clothes.

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    Carpet and Furniture Stains

    Seventh Generation has a carpet spot and stain remover derived from hydrogen peroxide and plant oils. These natural ingredients are considered to be safe and non-toxic.

    There are several different natural, non-toxic products found in the home that can also be used for stain removal. Baking soda is the most versatile home stain remover. Combined with vinegar or dish soap it can address most household stains. Salt is also an important tool in non-toxic household stain removal. For ink spills soak up any extra ink with salt and then dab the salty inky stain with vodka until the stain disappears. Salt is also helpful in removing red wine, tea, coffee or other plant based stains.

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    No matter if you are a seasoned green cleaner or just getting started, there is a greener stain remover out there for you. If the above options aren't available for you, there are several signs you can look for that your cleaner is a better choice.

    First, look for a full ingredient list. Many companies will not disclose all of their ingredients because they are not required to by law. If they do disclose all of their ingredients it is easier to pick out the less or non-toxic stain removers.

    Also, look for a non-toxic label. While plenty of eco-friendly stain removers do not carry this label, a non-toxic label is much more likely to be friendly to you and the environment.

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    Green Housekeeping, by Ellen Sandbeck

    Green Cleaning Recipes from The Daily Green