Natural Stain Removal A–Z

updated: 23/10/2023

Use Natural Products to Clean Surfaces and Remove Stains

If you are not a fan of commercially supplied chemicals (FYI, your average conventional cleaning product you have under the sink is most likely a commercially supplied chemical), then you will find the list below quite useful. Cleaning your home does not have to endanger your health. Our whole environment is quite polluted with chemicals as it is, so bringing some nasty fumes and residues during house cleaning is a must not.

Clean Avocado Stain

Act quickly. Rub the stain with soap and warm water to make a lather, and leave it to sit a while before washing. If the stain persists after one wash, rub glycerine into the spot and wash again. Avocado stones are particularly staining, so don’t cut them in half.

Clean a Blood Stain

Fresh cold water is the best method. If you have blood on an item of clothing, soak it overnight in cold water. When cleaning blood stains from carpet fibres, sponge the area with lots of cold water before blotting dry.

Clean a Beetroot Stain

Easier to wash out than you might think, given the brilliant colour. Ordinary soap and water will do the trick in this writer’s experience. Fresh beetroot can be quite staining to the skin, so if you have been chopping or grating fresh beetroot, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, possibly using a scrubbing brush and an exfoliating soap (e.g. one with oatmeal) before going near paper or anything pale coloured.

Clean a Chewing Gum Stain

First, freeze the chewing gum hard by holding an ice cube over the spot (it takes at least 10 minutes, so be patient). Then pick off as much as you can, using fingernails and a blunt knife. Garments can be put directly into the freezer and frozen solid. Any residue can be sponged with vinegar before washing as normal.

Clean a Coffee Stain

Flood the stain or spill with lots of cold water before washing. For cleaning carpets, blot up the excess water with a towel after flooding the spill site. This usually does the trick, but if any residue remains, rub a little soap onto the site and scrub the carpet gently, working the soap up to a foam. Blot with fresh water again to remove the foam. Allow drying.

Clean an Egg Yolk Stain

As this is a protein stain, treat it with cold water. Soaking overnight, followed by normal washing, tends to work for most items. However, a small greasy stain may remain. Treat this by rubbing a paste of baking soda and salt into the spot and allowing it to dry before washing as normal.

Clean a Grass Stain

Remove grass stains by rubbing strong alcohol into the spot and allowing it to “sit” before washing as normal. Alternatively, rub Sard Wonder Soap (if you can get hold of it) onto the site and work it up to a lather. Allow it to sit for at least ten minutes before washing as normal. Nasty grass stains (usually found on sports clothes) may require soaking overnight in warm soapy water and regular treatment.

Clean an Ink Stain

Ballpoint pen ink washes out in the regular wash, as anyone who tried to decorate a pair of jeans on the cheap by doodling on them found out. It may take several washes. If you’re in a hurry, apply a little strong alcohol, such as rubbing alcohol or vodka.

Clean a Lipstick Stain

Either rub the spot with glycerine or with alcohol and allow it to sit for a bit before washing as normal.

Clean a Mildew Stain

Items with nasty mildew should be thrown away. Mild mildew can be treated by rubbing the spot with lemon juice and putting the item into the sun. This kills the mould spores. Vinegar also works but has less bleaching action, so it may be suitable for coloured or black items.

Clean an Oil Stain

Many oil, grease or fat stains can be treated by scrubbing the site of the stain with warm soapy water until it lathers. If the stain persists, treat it with baking soda and eucalyptus essential oil paste. Allow this paste to dry before washing as normal.

Clean a Permanent Marker Stain

Douse the site with strong alcohol as soon as possible, then soak or wash before the alcohol evaporates. Many people claim that hair spray will also work to remove permanent markers.

Clean a Poo Stain

Scrape off as much as possible with loo paper. Using rubber gloves, rub a paste of baking soda and water into the site to remove the smell and any fatty residues, and allow this to dry before washing as normal. Dry in full sunshine to kill any remaining germs.

Clean a Red Wine Stain

Immediately scatter salt over the spill to absorb as much as possible. Leave for half an hour (or until dry) before sweeping or vacuuming up the salt. Be generous with the salt. Alternatively, flood the spill with white wine or freshwater (or soda water) to dilute the red and blot it with a towel. Flood with more fresh water and continue blotting until the stain disappears.

Clean a Tar Stain

It’s not strictly natural, but a little kerosene works wonders. Alternatively, try freezing the tar hard with an ice pack before scraping and picking it off. Glycerine or vegetable oil can also soften the tar, followed by eucalyptus essential oil. Leave the essential oil to work in and try scraping again.

Clean a Urine Stain

Sponge with vinegar before washing.

Clean a Vinegar Stain

This is a stain remover in its own right, so it doesn’t stain! Balsamic vinegar may stain, but sponging the site with white vinegar will dilute it. Wash as normal.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.