5 Eco Stain Removers – Put to the Test

Guide to Eco Stain Removers via mindfulmomma.com

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….

The Contenders 

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.

Better Life Stain & Odor Eliminator

Ecover Stain Remover

B&N Laundry Felted Goat Milk Stain Stick

Biokleen Bac-Out Stain + Odor Remover

Seventh Generation Laundry Stain Remover

Eco Stain Remover Test via mindfulmomma.com

The Test

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.

Stain Remover Test via mindfulmomma.com

The Results

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?

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(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.)

About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.


  1. Great idea and information Micaela. I agree-most of these products work with a little extra elbow grease. I’m constantly dumping extra stain remover on my son’s baseball pants before throwing them in the wash. Most stains end up coming out.

  2. Yep Micaela and Lori too – it’s about the elbow grease. My beloved was a bit disappointed with some organic cleaning products we used until she worked a bit harder with them on the tougher stains. There are some great probiotic cleaning solutions too which actually use good bacteria to eat the bad stuff. I think that’s pretty cool! 🙂

  3. shannon says:

    great info micaela! thanks for doing the comparison test! 🙂 i use ecover regularly and found years ago that it was effective on most of the stains that my family produces. even with the brush applicator, i find that if i just rub the cloth together where i put the ecover on the stain, it’s more effective. i also found the bac-out to be effective on “throw-up” (when my kids were younger) and bed wetting. it takes care of odor and when we used it immediately after our niece threw up pizza and left a red stain on the carpet, it came right out.

    i’m wondering how the soap stick would work on baseball pants with red dirt and grass stains. i admit, i revert to fels naphtha. 🙁

  4. Thanks for sharing! It’s good to see information about ecofriendly products 🙂

  5. I can’t tell you how timely this is. My non-eco friendly, horribly perfumed spot treatment just disappeared. I’m ordering a B&N Stain stick today. My mom is so good a pouring in the elbow grease and making all stains disappear. I need to step it up a little.

  6. Thanks for doing the comparison. I’m partial to natural products that don’t push out more VOCs. Thanks.


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