These little bars are a fabulous zero waste option for your laundry. Not only are they simple to use, not harmful to the environment or our bodies, and easy to carry around (read here: toss one in your suitcase for your next trip or diaper bag for everyday baby messes), but they are also effective and versatile. Read on!
This Stain Remover Bar works wonders on dirt, grease, blood, grass, poop (great for cloth diapers and accidents!), sweat, curry, chocolate, and more. It even works on some types of paint and pen ink!
How to Use the Stain Remover Bar
To use your bar:
Wet the stain - hot water works best!
Rub the bar thoroughly onto the stain
Optional: work into the fabric with your fingers, an old toothbrush or a laundry brush
Launder as usual!
If you're not able to wash the clothing right away, don't worry! You can treat the stain and toss it in your laundry basket for your next wash. This is a great way to save clothes from stains when you're away from home or on holidays - pack your bar!
If you're not able to treat the stain right away, still give it a rub once you can. This bar can still work on stains that are days old, or even old stains that have gone through the dryer. There's nothing to lose by giving it a try!
You can also use this little wonder of a bar on shoes, jackets, leather, car seats, walls, curtains, carpets, couches, your purse... Simply rub or spray on (see below), work onto/into the fabric as needed, and wipe clean! Or use it as a healthy "shampoo" for your mini carpet cleaner. Instead of filling your cleaner with detergent, just fill with water. Wet the soiled area, rub thoroughly with your bar (or do both at once with the spray version of this bar outlined below) working in as needed then use your carpet cleaner to suck up the soapy soiled area! As always, it's best to test on a small area first.
Why Lemon and Litsea Essential Oils?
The lemon bars are scented with lemon and litsea essential oils. First off, you may be wondering what litsea essential oil is! The long answer is here, but in short, it has a scent and properties very similar to lemon. Citrus essential oils have a hard time sticking around unless they have an "anchor" scent with them; litsea is that anchor for the lemon. However, both of these essential oils have been used in the stain remover bars not only for their uplifting fresh scent, but both oils are also antibacterial, antifungal and have numerous beneficial qualities for your skin! They're a perfect fit for a bar you'll rub on your clothing.
Do you prefer the convenience of a spray? If so, you're in luck! Try out this 5 minute DIY to turn your bar into a spray.
DIY Stain Remover Spray:
Finely grate 1/3 of the stain remover bar
Pour 1 cup hot water in a spray bottle
Add the grated stain remover to the bottle, put on the lid and gently shake to dissolve
To use, give it a shake and spray on stains! And for a double bang, after spraying, rub the stain with the bar.
We have great tap water, and I haven't had any issues with simply using hot water from the tap. If your water is less than good, go with water that's been boiled and cooled a bit.
Often, DIY projects sound simple but when you go to actually make them, there can be little things that are more complicated than expected. Here's a couple tips to make this DIY go as smoothly as it sounds.
Grate the bar onto something that can be picked up (a piece of wax, parchment or regular paper)
Use a funnel in the top of the spray bottle to dump the grated stain remover into
Use a chopstick or something skinny to push the grated pieces down through the funnel
Lastly, if you don't use the spray for a while and find it thickens in the bottle, this is generally a sign there is a bit too much soap for the amount of water. Simply add a squirt of hot water to the bottle, shake it up and it will be good to go again. Or, try using it "thick" - squeeze some out onto the stain and rub in. So many options!
A Note About the Ingredients...
Although the ingredients in the Stain Remover Bars are the same as the Solid Dish Soap - simply saponified organic coconut oil and essential oils - the ratios are different to better serve the two applications (due to something called a superfat percentage). In a pinch they can be used interchangeably, but not on a regular basis. The stain remover bars will tend to dry out your hands if used regularly on dishes and the solid dish soap will not be as effective and possibly leave behind grease residue if not washed out of your clothes right away.
Nature's Stain Removing Tricks
I love how nature so often provides us with what we need, so I want to finish this post with a couple of nature's stain removing tricks we use regularly in our home.
The sun is surprisingly effective at getting out tomato-based stains as well as baby poop stains (breastmilk only). Remove any chunks and thoroughly rinse the stain, then lay it out in that sunshine! Depending on the stain, you may need to wash and repeat this one or two times.
Did you know boiling water instantly dissolves berry stains? I know it can go against everything you've been told pouring boiling water over a stain like that, but it works. Rinse off any chunks then, holding the clothing over the sink, pour freshly boiled water through the stained area. The stain is generally gone within a few seconds of pouring!
Although hydrogen peroxide is a man made substance, it's worth mentioning because it breaks down into simply water and oxygen (so is a great alternative to chlorine-based bleaches). Hydrogen peroxide is incredible at getting out fresh blood from fabric and carpet. Lay the fabric so the hydrogen peroxide will pool in the stained area and pour some on. It will begin to bubble. Once the bubbling dies down, if there's still a stain, repeat pouring more on until there isn't! Wash as usual after.
A big part of working towards a zero waste lifestyle is taking care of what we already have. I hope these tricks and my Stain Remover Bar can help you with this!
(As always, other than links to my own products, the links included in this post will bring you to more information, not where to buy a product.)