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How to Remove Stains from Carpet, Wood and Clothing without Chemicals

Updated on June 20, 2012

I used to think it was impossible to remove stains without using harmful chemicals or disposable wipes that are not environmentally friendly.

When I thought about how much I spend on lysol, windex, bleach, etc., I realized I needed to change my habits. I switched to using vinegar, borax, water to rid of those tough stains and now I'm feeling environmentally conscious and cleaner than ever before.

This article will help you remove stains from wood, clothes, and carpet using items you can find in your cupboard.

Dirty carpets never make good impressions.  Get that stain out naturally!
Dirty carpets never make good impressions. Get that stain out naturally! | Source

Carpet Stains

Did you spill something on your light carpet? If you hurry, you can get rid of it while it's still wet.

1. Dab the stain with a dry cloth. Do not rub; this will only make the stain worse.

2. Mix a teaspoon of soap with a teaspoon of vinegar.

3. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and mix until blended.

4. Get a washcloth or rag and dip it in the mixture.

5. Return to the stain and gently rub it with the washcloth.

6. Rinse the stain with warm water and let dry.

For Dry Stains

1. Mix borax with water to create a paste.

2. Rub this paste into the stain until it is entirely covered.

3. Let dry overnight.

4. Vacuum up the excess powder and the stain should be gone.

Have you tried to use vinegar to clean before?

See results

Wood Stains

To Polish Wood

  1. Mix one cup of water with one cup of vinegar.
  2. Add two drops of olive or lemon oil.
  3. Place washcloths or rags in the mixture and wring them out.
  4. Peel the rind of a lemon and wrap the peels in the damp washcloths.
  5. Place the washcloth in a jar and let sit overnight.
  6. Remove the washcloth from the jar and rub it on the wood you want to polish. (Rub it in the direction of the grain and do not press too hard.)
  7. After you are finished, you can apply beeswax to achieve a better shine.

To Remove Ring Marks from Wood

  1. Mix one cup of olive oil with one cup of vinegar.
  2. Dip a cloth in the mixture and gently rub the ring with it.
  3. You may want to polish your wood after with the method above.

Get that stain out naturally.  Don't resort to using harmful chemicals.
Get that stain out naturally. Don't resort to using harmful chemicals. | Source

Removing Clothing Stains

There are many ways to clean stains out of clothing and the process mainly depends on what kind of stain it is. Here are some examples of environmentally friendly ways to clean out those stains.

Burn Marks, Deodorant or Red Wine Stains

Use a washcloth to rub vinegar on the stain. The stain should dissolve. Rinse with water.

Leather

Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar with a cup of linseed oil and use a cloth to rub the leather. Buff the area with a dry cloth.

Major Stains

Make a paste with baking soda and water. Use an old toothbrush to rub the paste into the stain and leave overnight. Rinse item later with warm water.

Major stains include mildew, mold, grease and any other tough stains.

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    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      I do love money/time saving tips! Thanks for following me. I can't wait to read your awesome hubs on the same subject. Thanks again for your comment/follow. Mahalo

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      brittany Awesome tips girl. I have one or two at my hubs as well. Dont you just love money saving, time saving tips? In this economy saving money by using natural products that many already have in the cupboard is a blessing indeed. I have one for a great furniture polish. Many Blessings at the hubs sister. Hugs galore.

      I have joined your rank of fans. ( - ;

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      K9, Thank you! I am so glad you were able to get rid of the stain left by your dog. Leaving it overnight is something that is important for dry stains. Unfortunately, there is not a quicker way to get rid of them. Glad I could help!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      Super great stain removing tips! I had a stain on the carpet by the back door that the dog was kind enough to bring in one evening. Borax, baking soda and vinegar work amazingly well as a successful paste in removing the ugly stain completely (the over night tip you offer is an important step). Your tips are "spot" on! ;)

      Cheers~

      K9

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Nell, thank you. Did pouring white wine on red work? I haven't heard of that one. Thank for reading.

      Derdriu, thanks for your comment! I think you can use the mixture for a number of things. I often wring them out into a dirty sink to help get rid of odors and stains.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      Brittany: Have vinegar, will de-stain!

      Thank you for the efficacious, environmentally friendly tips, voted up, etc.,

      Derdriu

      P.S. Under polishing wood step 3, is there any use for the wrung out drops from the cleaning cloths?

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, these are great ideas, the only one I know about getting rid of stains is always throw white wine over red, did this once on someones clean white carpet! phew! nearly gave them a heart attack! rated up! cheers nell

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      You're welcome, Chin chin! And thank you for reading.

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 5 years ago from Philippines

      Brittany, thanks for the tips on removing carpet stains. I haven't tried mixing soap and vinegar and will certainly try that on our carpet. And I think, I really should have some borax as well.

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      You're welcome and thank you, ASB! Glad I could help.

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image

      AllSuretyBonds 5 years ago

      This was a very useful hub to come across. I just moved into a new home with all tile floors, so we decided to lots of rugs to warm the house up! I will definitely need this tips to help clean any spills. Thanks for sharing.

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Sorry, Kikalina, *it sure does!

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Thank you so much, Susan.

      Kikalina, I sure does!

      Denise, not too many, but just enough to figure out a different way of cleaning them without spending hours on it with a wet vac. Thank you.

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Thank you, Simone. Vinegar is truly a miracle worker.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Good start to a great hub topic, Brittany. Sounds like you are a pro at this...hopefully, not from too many horrible 'stain' experiences? Nice hub. Voted useful

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Thank you, cherylone!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

      i love using vinegar. Works real great with laundry.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips on removing stains from wood that I will definitely try. Thank you.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      This is SO HELPFUL!! I've added vinegar to my grocery shopping list and will try these fixes out this weekend- or at least the wood polishing and ring-removing ones. Thanks for sharing the eco-friendly cleaning recipes!

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Great advice. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful ideas. I think I be using them a lot.

    • brittanytodd profile image
      Author

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      Glad to help! If the stain is already dry, though, try mixing borax with water to make a paste. Then rub the paste on the stain, let it dry, then vacuum up the powder. (Maybe I should put this in the hub?) Thanks for reading!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Wow! I have a carpet stain in my bedroom, so this hub will help me to get it cleaned. The rest are useful as well. Great job Brittany

      LORD