Unless you are a painter, you might agree with me that most stains we make come from food. Stains we get when we store our food, stains when we cook, stains when we eat, stains when we feed our baby or the baby tries to feed herself… The food stains are every where, in our fridge, our clothes, our dining ware, our table cloth, our kitchen sink, even in our bed! Here are some eco friendly tips to remove food stains.
Those following food stains are the kind we mostly get in our daily activities. :
- Baby Food: Baby food mainly contains protein, thus it should be treat as protein stains. Clean the stain by soaking and agitating in cold water. If stain is dried, scrap off crusted remaining, then soak in cold water mixed with detergent, then launder with lukewarm water. You may need bleach if the stain remains.
- Fruit stain : Usually fruit stains – could be from fresh fruits or juice or jam - can easily be removed by just washing it in hot water, but keep in mind that fruits stains are generally tannin stains which are not supposed to be removed by soap. Use detergent instead, as using soap (bar soap, soap flakes) will make them harder to remove or even become permanent stains. For harder stains, dab the stain with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then exposed to the sun, for stubborn fruit stain, use borax. Dampen the stain first, then rubbed with borax, let sit for a few minutes then pour boiling water before usual washing.
- Chocolate stain : Usually warm soapy water will do, but for stubborn stain, use borax solution – 4 tbs borax with 2 ½ cups of warm water Soak the stubborn chocolate stain in the solution for 20 minutes then rinse with cold water. You can either use glycerin instead of borax as it also can be a good natural food stain cleaner in some cases.
- Egg stain: You can simply soak your garment in cold water to get rid of egg stain, before you do your usual launder.
- Mustard stain: Mustard spill will give a dye stain which is difficult to remove and needs a special treatment. Do not rub a mustard spill because you will spread and deepen the stain; so gently blot the spill with using paper towel instead. If you just notice the spill when it is already dried, be sure to scrap away the crust with using a dull knife or tea spoon (shake away all the mustard residues as they may cause another stain when you wash your cloth). The next step is to put some glycerin to the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Flush under running cool water to loosen the remaining stain and then launder with the hottest water and bleach with the kind that safe to your garment.
- Chewing gum : You can pull the chewing gum off your cloth or shoes once it is sticked on, but there will be some sticky remaining. Apply ice to harden this stain, and then scrape it. Rub with heavy-duty-liquid detergent and rinse in hot water before washing.
- Tomato Sauce : Never wipe or rub spilled tomato sauce, because you will only spread and deepen the stain into the surface. Once you get a tomato stain, bolt immediately with paper towel, soak the stain for a few minutes to loosen the left residue then drop a few liquid detergent on the stain, gently dab and let sit for 15 minutes. In case the stain persists, try to dab with natural bleaching agent like lemon juice or white vinegar and let sit for another 15 minutes before usual wash. Just like fruit stain, use detergent to wash tomato sauce stain, not soap and apply hot water.
- Blood Stain : Blood stain in the kitchen ? Yes, sometimes we come to blood stains when we prepare dish with meat or we may sometimes cut our finger while we cook. Bolt immediately the blood then soak your garment in cold salty water overnight; salt breaks down the albumen protein in blood stain. Never treat blood stain with hot water because heat will likely “grill” the blood which causes a harder and darker stain. Another way to remove bloodstain is by sprinkling meat tenderizer on the damped stain and let sit for a few minutes. If neither of those pre-wash treatments works well, then you can try dampening the stain with hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes. Wash as usual after those pre-treatment.
Above eco friendly tips to remove food stains are simple and cheap, requires materials that are already in your kitchen or laundry room, or you can easily shop here. Those tips will enable you cleaning stains without generating air pollution as do the commercial food stain remover. However if you feel those ingredients might not be available anytime in your home, yet you wish to have a prompt way to remove stains, here are some natural alternatives which contain less toxic chemicals :
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