A Guide to Eco Friendly Stain Removers

Spice up your laundry routine while going easy on the Earth!

Are eco-friendly laundry stain removerthe stain-fighting heroes they claim to be, or just another greenwashing trend? 

Quick links:

What’s wrong with regular stain removers?

Why choose eco-friendly?

What about environmental impact?

How do I pick the right natural stain remover?

What stain remover should I use for baby clothes?

What are the best eco-friendly removers

Let's unravel the truth and discover why making the switch could be a game-changer for your clothes, your conscience, and the planet. And, if you want the best eco-friendly stain remover, our stain stick is easy, environmentally friendly, and effective.

Stain stick

What’s Wrong With Regular Stain Removers?

When you pick up a bottle of traditional stain remover off the shelf, you probably don’t think twice about the ingredients inside. But those powerful chemicals that obliterate stains could be obliterating your health and the environment too.

Some of the most common chemicals found in conventional stain removers include:

  • Chlorine bleach is a powerful oxidizer that can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even cancer. It can also pollute waterways and harm marine life.
  • Ammonia is a toxic gas that can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and eye damage. It can also be harmful to the environment.
  • Phthalates are chemicals that are used to make plastics more flexible. They have been linked to a number of health problems, including reproductive problems and cancer.
  • Trichloroethylene is a solvent that is used to remove stains. It can cause liver damage, kidney damage, and cancer.
  • Formaldehyde is a gas that is used to preserve fabric. It can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and cancer.

When you wash clothes treated with these chemical cleaners, they get rinsed down the drain, polluting water sources. Bleach kills microorganisms and disrupts aquatic ecosystems. Phthalates and nonylphenol ethoxylates are toxic to fish and other marine life. With more awareness of their dangers, many stain remover chemicals have been restricted in recent years, but safer alternatives are still needed.

Exposure to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in conventional stain removers has been tied to increases in asthma, cancer, fertility issues, and developmental problems, especially in children. Just because a product is on store shelves doesn’t mean it’s safe—without reading the fine print, you could be bringing toxic chemicals into your home.

Making the switch to eco-friendly alternatives means you don’t have to choose between sparkling white clothes and your family’s health. But are the natural options really up to the job of blasting stains away? Keep reading to find out.

The Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

Ditching conventional stain removers for natural options is one of the easiest swaps you can make for a zero waste, non-toxic lifestyle. Eco-friendly stain removers get your clothes clean without exposing you or the planet to a harmful chemical cocktail.

The best plant-based stain removers are made with natural ingredients:

  • Enzymes break down stains at a molecular level without damaging fabrics.
  • Essential oils like lemon, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil naturally deodorize and disinfect laundry.
  • Coconut-based surfactants lift stains without irritating skin.

Here are some of the top benefits of switching to natural stain removers:

  • Non-toxic for your health. Unlike conventional options, natural stain removers won't expose you to carcinogens, hormone disruptors, or lung irritants. This makes them a safer choice, especially for people with chemical sensitivities.
  • Kid and pet friendly. Eco-friendly removers won't irritate sensitive skin and are safe to use on baby clothes and your entire family's laundry.
  • Better for the environment. Natural removers are biodegradable and won't contaminate waterways with harmful ingredients like bleach and phthalates. This makes them ideal for an earth-friendly natural cleaning routine.
  • Clean clothes naturally. The best natural stain removers are just as effective as conventional ones, they just use plant-based ingredients to lift stains instead of harsh chemicals. With a bit of extra scrubbing for tough stains, you can get sparkling results.
  • Cost effective. Eliminating the need for multiple conventional cleaners by using just one natural remover saves you money in the long run.
  • Pleasant scents. Essential oil-based scents leave laundry smelling fresh without synthetic perfumes that can cause headaches or allergic reactions.

So don't believe the myth that you need harsh chemicals to get out tough stains. With the right natural stain remover, you can get your clothes clean without exposing your family and the environment to dangerous toxins.

The Disadvantages of Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

Eco-friendly stain remover products have come a long way, but they aren't perfect. While they've gotten much better at tackling all sorts of stains, natural cleaners still have a few disadvantages compared to chemical options.

Here are some of the potential downsides of choosing natural stain remover home cleaning products:

  • Not as effective on certain types tough stains. Plant-based formulas may require extra scrubbing and soaking to lift out deeply set oily and greasy stains. 
  • More effort is required. You may need to pre-treat heavily stained areas and let them sit before washing. And extra rinses, soaks, or scrub sessions are sometimes needed, requiring more active laundry time.
  • Not a one-step solution. For best results, you'll need to pair natural stain removers with an eco-friendly detergent, oxygen booster, etc. 

The takeaway? Eco-friendly stain fighters may take more effort, but their health and environmental benefits make them worth trying. With the right remover and laundry regimen, you can clean green and get your clothes stain-free.

Environmental Impact of Conventional vs. Eco-Friendly Options 

When it comes to sustainability, eco-friendly stain removers have a clear advantage over conventional options. From manufacturing to disposal, natural cleaners tread more lightly on the planet.

Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint of a product is the total amount of greenhouse gasses emitted during its production, transportation, and use.

  1. Conventional stain removers have a much higher carbon footprint than eco-friendly stain removers. This is because they are made with petroleum-based ingredients that require a lot of energy to produce.
  2. Eco-friendly stain removers, on the other hand, are made with renewable ingredients that require less energy to produce.

Water and Soil Impact

Stain removers have a journey post-use that can impact both water and soil.

Conventional options, laden with synthetic chemicals, can find their way into water systems, posing a threat to aquatic life and ecosystems. Moreover, these chemicals can linger in soil, affecting its fertility and overall health.

Eco-friendly stain removers break down naturally without harming the environment.


Packaging might seem mundane, but it plays a role in a product's environmental impact. Conventional stain removers often use non-recyclable plastics, contributing to plastic waste and the associated issues.

Eco-friendly options tend to favor sustainable packaging solutions, reducing plastic usage and opting for biodegradable or recyclable materials.

The choice is clear—eco-friendly stain removers are better for the planet across the board. By switching, you can reduce your laundry’s environmental impact and stop sending harsh chemicals down the drain. Your clothes will get clean, and your conscience will too.

Stain stick

How do I Choose the Right Eco-Friendly Stain Remover?

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an eco-friendly stain remover:

Take note of the types of stains you are trying to conquer. Are you battling grease, mud, grass, or food spills? For oil-based stains, seek out plant-based surfactants and solvents like soy methyl ester. For dirt, mud, and grime, enzymes and saponins from soapnuts lift stains. Citric acid tackles faded colors and whitens.

Also factor in your go-to laundry fabrics. Are you cleaning sturdy cottons and linens or more delicate knits and silks? Check product labels to make sure a remover is safe for your blend of fabrics. Test natural removers in an inconspicuous spot first.

Compare ingredients lists and avoid any eco-friendly products containing synthetics, petrochemicals, SD alcohol, or "fragrance.” True natural removers rely on plant oils, plant-derived saponins, essential oils, and non-GMO enzymes. Steer clear of "natural" claims that actually contain harsh surfactants.

For budget, factor in stain remover cost per load. While natural picks often cost a few dollars more upfront, they last for hundreds of washes. Homemade options using ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide cost pennies per load.

In your search, you may also come across “2-in-1” natural products, like detergent plus stain remover or bleach alternative plus remover. While convenient, these combo formulas may not offer the stain-fighting strength of standalone removers.

Here are some tips for choosing a natural stain remover:

  • Read the labels carefully. Make sure the product is free of harsh chemicals and is safe for the type of stains you need to remove and the fabric you are working with.
  • Ask for recommendations. Talk to friends, family, or other people you trust for recommendations on eco-friendly stain removers.
  • Do some research. Read online reviews of different eco-friendly stain removers to get an idea of what other people think of them.
  • Make your own DIY stain remover. If you are on a budget or want to be sure that the stain remover you are using is completely natural, you can make your own homemade stain remover with eco-friendly ingredients. There are many different recipes available online.

How to Use Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

You’ve chosen the perfect plant-based stain remover for your needs—now comes the fun part of putting it to work on those pesky stains! Using natural stain fighters effectively takes a little finesse, but don’t worry, we’ll walk you through exactly how to apply and rinse these green cleaners for stain-vanquishing success.

With just a few best practices under your belt, you’ll be ready to wave bye-bye to those spinach dip stains and more. So roll up those sleeves and get ready to master the art of eco-friendly stain removal!

  • Follow the instructions on the label carefully. Each eco-friendly stain remover is different, so it is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully. This will help to ensure that you are using the product properly and that you are not damaging your clothes.
  • Test the product in an inconspicuous area first. It is always a good idea to test the product in an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to make sure it doesn't damage the fabric. This is especially important if you are using a new product or if you are not sure how the product will react with the fabric.
  • Wet the stain. Before applying the stain remover, it is important to wet the stain with water. This will help the stain remover to penetrate the fabric and work its way into the stain.
  • Rub the stain. Once the stain is wet, apply the stain remover to the stain and rub it in gently. Be careful not to rub too hard, as this could damage the fabric.
  • Let the stain remover sit. Let the stain remover sit for a few minutes so that it has time to work its way into the stain. The amount of time you need to let the stain remover sit will vary depending on the type of stain and the product you are using.
  • Rinse the stain remover thoroughly. After letting the stain remover sit, rinse it thoroughly with water. This will help to remove any residue from the stain remover and prevent the stain from coming back.

Some additional tips you may find useful:

  • Store the stain remover in a cool, dry place.
  • Keep the stain remover out of reach of children and pets.
  • Dispose of the stain remover properly according to the instructions on the label.

What is the Best Non Toxic Stain Remover for Baby Clothes?

When it comes to safely cleaning messes off your baby's delicate clothes, you can't be too careful about ingredients. The best non-toxic stain removers for baby clothes use natural enzymes and plant oils instead of harsh chemicals.

Some top choices include:

  • Smart Sheep Stain Stick. This plant-based stain remover stick uses a top-secret formulation that’s gentle on the skin, safe for kiddos, and super effective.Vegan, biodegradable ingredients keep clothes chemical-free.
  • Puracy Natural Stain Remover. This remover relies on citrus extracts, plant enzymes, and sodium coco sulfate (from coconut oil) to get out stains without irritants. It's hypoallergenic, vegan, biodegradable, and great on food and poop stains.
  • Attitude Baby Stain Remover. Formulated for baby's skin, this remover uses corn and coconut-derived ingredients with essential oils like lavender and mandarin. It's tear-free, dye-free, and safe if swallowed.
  • Charlie Banana Stain Remover. This remover uses the enzymes in soybeans and non-GMO cornstarch to dissolve stains without synthetic fragrance or dyes. It's made for cloth diapers but safe for any baby clothes.

For best results, pair natural stain removers with an eco-friendly hypoallergenic laundry detergent free of skin irritants. Using wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets further eliminates toxins transferring to clothes.

With the right non-toxic stain fighting products, you can keep baby's clothes fresh and chemical-free!

What Are the Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Stain Removers?

Clothes get dirty and stains happen. But you don't have to use chemical-laden stain removers to get your clothes clean. Here are some of the best eco-friendly laundry stain removers that will help you get your clothes naturally clean and fresh.

Homemade Stain Remover Spray

The simplest solution often resides within your reach. Crafting your DIY stain remover spray involves minimal ingredients and offers impressive results. It's a testament to the power of natural cleaning agents and a commitment to a toxin-free home.

Meliora Laundry Stain Remover

For those seeking ready-made solutions, the Meliora laundry stain remover stick is a standout choice. This non-toxic, plastic-free option uses the power of vegetable soap from organic coconut and sunflower oil to tackle tough stains. Its simplicity and effectiveness make it an essential for any eco-conscious laundry room.

Bestowed Essentials Stain Remover Stick

Bestowed Essentials introduces a stain remover stick designed to combat a variety of stains without compromising on safety. Its potent formula works against grass, tomato sauce, blood, wine, chocolate, and sweat—without the inclusion of harmful chemicals. This cruelty-free and vegan option embodies both effective stain removal and ethical values.

ZWS Essentials Stain Remover Stick

ZWS Essentials presents a versatile stain remover stick, adept at vanquishing oil, grease, blood, grass, and more. Its plant-based composition offers a chemical-free alternative, ensuring your laundry aligns with eco-friendly practices.

Juniperseed Mercantile Laundry Stain Stick

Long-lasting and powerful, the Juniperseed Mercantile laundry stain stick incorporates natural cleaning agents into its formula. While potent, it's essential to note that this concentrated stain remover may require additional care for sensitive skin, such as wearing gloves during application.

Etee Laundry Stain Bar

The Etee laundry stain bar emerges as a formidable option that tackles even aged stains that elude other solutions. This unscented bar boasts natural ingredients that work to eradicate stains while prioritizing skin health. Its efficacy extends to fresh and older stains, offering versatility and effectiveness.

Smart Sheep Stain Stick

Our stain stick fights stains while protecting your health and the environemnt. This non-toxic solution further reinforces the ethos of sustainable living, providing a safe and powerful option for tackling stains.

Stain stick

Stain Remover FAQ

What is the best stain remover for clothes?

The best stain remover for clothes largely depends on the type of stain you're dealing with and your preferences for non-toxic solutions

Eco-friendly stain removers, such as Meliora stain remover or Smart Sheep stain stick, offer effective options that cater to different fabrics and stain types. These products harness natural ingredients to gently clean your clothes without compromising their integrity.

What are some popular eco-friendly stain removers?

When it comes to removing stains sustainably, more and more options are emerging to meet demand for natural cleaners. Here are some popular picks, apart from these we have already mentioned:

  1. Seventh Generation Laundry Stain Remover
  2. Ecover Stain Remover.
  3. Grab Green Natural Laundry Stain Remover
  4. Ingredients Matter Laundry Soap
  5. Meliora Soap Stain Stick

What is the best homemade stain remover?

One of the best homemade stain removers is a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Mix to form a paste, rub it into the stain, let it sit for up to an hour, then launder as usual. The baking soda lifts stains while the hydrogen peroxide whitens. For added cleaning power, soak clothes in a mix of vinegar and water before washing.

What are some sustainable packaging options used by eco-friendly stain removers?

Many natural stain remover brands avoid plastic bottles and use more sustainable packaging like metal tins or tubes made from recycled materials. Some also opt for plastic-free compostable paper packaging. This avoids waste and pollution from single-use plastics.

Are natural stain removers effective on wine and grass stains?

The best eco-friendly stain removers can tackle grass, mud, food, and wine stains. However, you may need to let them soak longer or use a laundry booster for older, heavy stains. Check reviews to find natural removers capable of handling your laundry's toughest spots.

How do you make eco-friendly stain remover?

There are many different ways to make eco friendly laundry stain remover. Here is a simple recipe for a homemade stain remover that is made with natural ingredients:


  1. 1 cup white vinegar
  2. 1/2 cup baking soda
  3. 10 drops essential oil (optional)


  1. Mix the white vinegar and baking soda together in a spray bottle.
  2. Add the essential oil, if desired.
  3. Shake the bottle well to combine.
  4. Spray the stain remover on the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Launder your clothes as usual in your washing machine.

How do you remove stains naturally?

Removing stains naturally requires a combination of gentle methods and effective ingredients.

Start by identifying the stain type, then apply a homemade stain remover or a non-toxic store-bought option. Gently scrub the stained area using a soft brush or cloth. 

Follow up by washing your clothes in the washing machine with an eco-friendly laundry detergent for a thorough clean that preserves both fabric quality and the environment.

What is the best natural stain and odor remover?

For both stains and odors, hydrogen peroxide is one of the best natural removers. Use it diluted on its own for light stains, or make a paste with baking soda for removing tough stains.

For odors, soak clothes in a diluted peroxide solution before washing. The oxidizing properties in peroxide whiten stains and neutralize odors without harmful chemicals.

Is vinegar or hydrogen peroxide better for stains?

Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are effective stain fighters, but their strengths lie in different stain types.

Vinegar is excellent for tackling organic stains like coffee or wine, while hydrogen peroxide is better suited for breaking down tough protein-based stains like blood.

Depending on the stain, you can choose the appropriate solution for optimal results.

Is vinegar or baking soda better for stains?

Both vinegar and baking soda are versatile stain-fighting agents, but their roles differ. Vinegar works well for pretreating organic stains and neutralizing odors, while baking soda's abrasive nature helps lift stains from fabrics.

Combining the two can create a powerful stain-removing mixture that addresses a wider range of stain types.

What household items can I use as a natural laundry stain remover?

Many common household items can double as DIY natural laundry stain removers. Baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide all have staining fighting properties. For example, you can mix peroxide and baking soda into a paste to tackle set-in stains. Get creative with pantry ingredients for an effective, budget-friendly stain remover idea.

How do you remove dried old stains?

Removing dried old stains requires a multi-step approach. Start by applying an eco-friendly stain remover or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap to the stain. Gently scrub the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then launder your clothes in the washing machine.

The combination of pre-treatment and thorough washing can often revive even dried-in,  stubborn stains.

How long do you leave baking soda and vinegar on a stain?

When using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar as a stain remover, let the mixture sit on the stain for approximately 15 to 30 minutes before laundering your clothes in the washing machine. This allows the ingredients to penetrate the fabric and work on breaking down the stain effectively.

What is the best stain remover for grease stains?

For grease stains, seek out a plant-based stain remover containing solvents like soy methyl ester or essential oils like lemon and eucalyptus. These break down grease and oil-based stains without toxic chemicals. Scrubbing and soaking also helps lift grease stains out.

Is there a natural alternative to oxygen bleach?

Hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice naturally whiten and brighten laundry without harsh chemical bleaches. For an oxygen boost, add 1⁄2 cup baking soda to the washing machine drum before adding clothes. These eco-friendly alternatives lift stains without chlorine bleach.

Further Reading

What is the best stain remover for white clothes?

How to use wool dryer balls?

What is the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin?

How do I recharge wool dryer balls?

How often should I recharge wool dryer balls?

What are the best eco-friendly laundry detergent strips?