Do they actually work? That’s one of the biggest questions I get about eco-friendly cleaning products. Over the years, I’ve found that most of them do a pretty good job but some clearly don’t. Occasionally a product may not work quite as well as its conventional counterpart but the trade-off in terms of the environment and personal health usually makes the choice a no-brainer for me.
Stain removal is a tough job and I won’t try to pretend that eco products will conquer every stain. But I’m always determined to try them first and very rarely do I have to take other measures (yes, I own a bleach stick but can’t even remember the last time I used it).
Out of curiosity, I decided to put 5 eco-friendly stain removers to the test on some of my worst stains. Let’s see what happened….
Each of these stain removing products is made with environmentally friendly, plant-based ingredients instead of harsh man-made chemicals. None of them contain chlorine bleach.
With 2 active tween/teen boys, I have no shortage of stains to tackle but for this test I decided to use something only I produce: stained makeup pads. Each reusable pad had a mixture of eye makeup and foundation smeared on it – attractive, huh?
To make the test as even as possible, I got each stained pad wet and then followed the manufacturers instructions to apply the stain remover. Wait time was 20 minutes for the product to do its magic and then the pads were laundered as usual in the washing machine, with a scoop of natural oxy boost thrown in for good measure.
Overall, all of the pads came out pretty well with the worst of the stains removed, but none of them look brand new again (nor did I expect them to).
Top performers: B&N Laundry Stain Stick and Ecover Stain Remover. Why? Both products involve scrubbing. The Ecover product has a built-in brush and the B&N Laundry Stick has a felted end which they jokingly but appropriately call the “magic eraser” for laundry.
Less effective: the Biokleen Bac-Out and the Better Life Stain & Odor Eliminator were less effective for this particular type of stain (makeup) but I have to say, I’m a huge fan of Bac-Out’s enzyme power for food stains like chocolate and wine so it will always have a place in my cleaning product arsenal.
Conclusion: It’s all about the elbow grease! In my opinion, any of these products will get the job done as long as the stain remover is well scrubbed into the stain.
Overall favorite: B&N Stain Stick – for its simple ingredients (goat milk, coconut oil, borax, orange peel & essential oils) and unique felted application technique – plus excellent test results! (True, it’s a bit more expensive than the others ($13.25 large, $8.75 small), but it is a solid stick that will last a long time.)
What’s your top eco-friendly stain removing product or technique?
(I received a couple of free products and purchased the rest. All opinions are my own. There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Mindful Momma.)