We've lost count of the shirts that we've lost to blood stains and pen ink, neckties to spaghetti sauce, and pants to bike-chain grease. And that's just in the past year (what can we say – we play rough). We've tried the usual stain sticks with middling results and aren't keen on the toxic witch's brew of chemicals that dry cleaners employ. So we rang up Mona Weiss, cofounder of the L.A.-based Eco Nuts, a purveyor of certified-organic cleaning products.
Weiss walked us through the best ways to naturally treat clothing and fabric when mishaps happen. We were surprised both at how simple these techniques are and how most of them simply rely on common household products. Keep in mind this one piece of advice, though: After your stained clothes have been treated and run through the wash, they should under no circumstance be put into the dryer, which will permanently set any stain, Weiss says. Instead, hang dry the garment until you can confirm the stain is completely gone. If it persists, re-treat it and do another round of washing. If that doesn't work, your options are going to a pro dry cleaner (preferably an organic one) or taking a trip to the mall for a replacement.
"Grass stains are actually pretty easy," Weiss says. Use a sponge or paper towel to blot ordinary rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol onto the stain. (Make sure to do a test on a hidden spot on the fabric first, since alcohol can cause some dyes to bleed.) Once you've soaked up most of the greenery with the sponge or paper towel, go ahead and apply regular detergent – Weiss swears by Dawn dish soap – to the stain; with your fingers, massage the soap into the fabric and rinse. A backup option, if you don't have alcohol, is plain warm water and white vinegar.
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