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It happens to the best of us- a red wine splash on your white cushion cover, a blob of chocolate on your favorite shirt, blackberry juice on your new napkins, or grass stains on your knees. Stains are an unfortunate part of life.

There are lots of products out there designed to get most of these stains, and others, out. However, they tend to include some pretty harsh chemicals that some folks might be trying to avoid.

Fortunately, there are some pretty good tried and tested ways to remove stains that do not involve using questionable ingredients. Instead, many of these remedies use things that you will likely already have in your pantry.

Get ready to do some stain fighting with these natural stain removers.

1. Baking Soda

Source: Mrs Cath/YouTube

Baking soda has long been used as a substitute for many cleaning and healthcare products from odor remover to toothpaste.

Baking soda works well as a stain remover when mixed with water to form a paste. Apply this paste to a dampened stain either with your fingers or an old, clean toothbrush.

Leave the paste on the stain for at least an hour, or longer if you have time. Once the paste has dried, brush it off into the sink and wash your garment as usual.

If you have a greasy stain, mix the baking soda with some white vinegar to create a more effervescent mixture that helps to better break down the oil.

If you have fabric that is generally just a little dingy, you could soak the item in a pot of hot water and baking soda. Leave it to soak overnight and wash it, as usual, the next day.

2. White Vinegar

White vinegar is another staple for people wanting to make their own, safe, household cleaning products. Not surprisingly, white vinegar can help with stains, too. Though it is an acid, it is very mild and does not usually cause any damage.

For general brightening of clothes, white vinegar can be added to the final rinse just as you would fabric softener. As well as dissolving grime, it also works to soften fabrics.

You can also spot-treat stains with white vinegar. Simply rub some vinegar into the stain with your fingers or spray it on with a spray bottle.  Allow the vinegar to sit on the stain for a while before washing the garment as usual.

You can also boil a large pot of water, add about a cup of white vinegar, and leave your dingy items to soak overnight. Then, wash your items as usual.

3. Salt

Salt is another cheap and gentle household cleaning product. Being an abrasive, a dab of salt on a wet rag can help to scour away stains on countertops, cutting boards, and kitchen and bathroom tiles.

It is also great at helping to soak up grease and oil stains from fabric. If you find that you have spilled grease on something, immediately sprinkle the stain with a generous helping of salt and leave it alone.

The salt will absorb much of the grease making it easier to get the rest of the stain out with regular laundering.

To brighten the yellowing and dingy fabric, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Once it has dissolved, add your items and leave them to soak overnight. Wash them as usual afterward,

4. Lemon Juice

Source: Chowhound/YouTube

Lemons, as well as smelling amazing, have natural bleaching properties. Their acid makeup is also really good for cutting through grease and oil.

Soak dingy and yellowed fabrics in a mixture of two parts water to one part lemon juice. Leave them to soak overnight and then wash your garments as usual.

For spot stain removal, apply a paste made up of lemon juice, salt, and baking soda to the stain and leave it to soak for several hours. Rub off the dried mixture and wash as usual.

You can also, simply take half a lemon and work it into a spot stain, then rinse it with water to see the stain disappear.

Bonus Tip

Work stains from the reverse side of the fabric. That way, you are working the stain out rather than engraining it further into the fabric.

Note that many of these solutions work well only with natural fabric. Synthetic fabrics may react differently to these natural stain removers or not at all. Do spot tests on your fabric and furniture before applying a natural stain remover to check to see the reaction. There might be color bleeding, for example.  You don’t want to further spoil your item. 

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