DIY Non-Toxic Stain Remover

Over the past few weeks I replayed my journey in research in finding a laundry detergent that actually worked and wasn’t bringing non-toxic stain removertoxins into my home. It was by far one of the hardest products to find a worthy replacement for so hopefully I helped you skip some of the legwork.

Finding a good stain remover was slightly easier. I did try out several “natural” ones but they didn’t seem to actually work.

What’s in your average stain remover?

Many contain a petroleum base. We covered petroleum a few weeks back so you know that it is not biodegradable and non-sustainable.

Benzene, Toluene, Xylene: They are all neurotoxins that can do damage to the central nervous system.

Monoethanolamine: It can damage the liver, kidney, reproductive and central nervous systems.

Methylene chloride is a carcinogen and a neurotoxin that can also cause skin irritations, liver and brain damage as well reproductive issues.

Parabens are included in different versions which are known hormone disrupters. Some are carcinogenic.

Sodium Hypochlorite is a neurotoxin, liver damage and respiratory irritant.

My youngest gets dirty. He drinks a smoothie several times a day to get his special vitamins and supplements into him. Blueberries hide the taste of everything-but they also stain. We needed something that worked. I did not create this recipe. I have seen countless variations online so I am not sure where this one originated but it has been my go to:


1.5c water

¼ c Liquid castile soap

¼c vegetable glycerin

2TBSP baking soda

15 drops of lemon essential oil /product/lemon-essential-oil/

Note: You MUST use a stainless steel or glass spray bottle when adding a citrus essential oil. Plastic will not hold up.

non-toxic stain remover


Non-Toxic Laundry Solutions

 Getting Your Clothes Clean without the Toxins

Since we know Facebook and Google stalk our moves it was not surprising “Crystal Wash” and other laundry balls started showing up Getting Your Clothes Clean without Toxinsas adds in my Facebook feed. The claim to these was that they can deep clean and disinfect by increasing the pH of your water. Still in my laundry struggle, I bought an Amazon version to try them out. Zero cleaning production. Four kids, one who recently potty trained. Our clothes get dirty. These did not get them clean at all.


Some things just seem to good to be true and they usually are.  According to tests they did (on the “real” non bargain brand balls), stain removal was better than hot water alone but washed clothing far worse than any detergent. The entire review may be read here:


What’s next?

Soap nuts. Soap nuts have been around forever. They seemed almost too simple. Being determined and having failed at every other avenue I decided to give them a try. I bought a bag off amazon and reluctantly tossed them into the wash waiting for another failure. This time I was pleasantly surprised.


What is a soap nut?

Soap nuts are actually berries (therefore they are nut allergy safe.) that contain a natural soap called saponin. Saponin can penetrate the fabric to clean unlike your average “soap” They do not “foam” like most commercial soaps. You can buy organic ones which means they were collected in the wild and do not contain any pesticides (generally a non issue since apparently insects do not enjoy their taste.)


You toss a handful in a bag and put them in the washer. They last about 5 loads (you can take a peek in the bag to see if they are done if you can’t keep track. I have also heard of people using a dry erase marker right on their machine to keep tally. Chances are with two teenagers also doing laundry that will never be accurate here.

The Results:

So far I am a fan. They are not going to brighten your clothes so you need to toss something in with your whites periodically-then again I always ran into that with any detergent. They are getting our clothes clean-and did get put to the test towards the end of our potty training. If you are still searching for a natural way to clean your clothes without the toxins this is the closest I have come and will stick with it for as long as I see them working.

Dryer Balls in Laundry