If you’ve got kids, you probably have a lot of stains to deal with. But using bleach or any other commercial stain remover as your go-to stain fighting method is NOT the safest way to go. Find out which non-toxic cleaning product I use instead to remove stains, get my whites white and clean virtually everything else in my entire house safely and easily!
As a mom of three boys (and a dog), I’ve had my fair share of cleaning up all kinds of stains.
From cleaning dog vomit off my natural fiber carpet, to removing mystery stains from my kids’ shirts or scraping chocolate stains off my brand new sofa slipcovers, I’ve had plenty of experience removing those messes that make life messy.
I was also fortunate that my late father-in-law, who had been a professional dry cleaner, taught me everything he knew about stain removal including which chemical derivatives and commercial cleaning products work best.
Yet, all of that knowledge came to nil when I switched over to using non-toxic house cleaners and tossed out the bleach, Tide, Shout and all the other toxic cleaners I’d been using before.
Although I thought I’d regret this at the time, I’m now convinced that I could never go back to using commercial stain removers ever again–Not because they didn’t work, but because what made them work was essentially making me sick.
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through any of my links, I may receive a small commission.
Why Commercial Stain Removers Are Making Us Sick
Although many of the commercials cleaners like Tide and Shout tout how well they work in removing stains, their benefits, in my opinion, can’t outweigh their risks.
Take this Tide Hygienic Clean Heavy Pods Liquid Laundry Detergent that’s currently ranked #1 on Amazon’s best seller list.
Tide’s claim to fame is that that their product:
Fights odors, set-in stains and removes caked-on dirt
Similarly, the 3rd leading contender, Shout Spray and Wash Advanced Action Stain Remover for Clothes claims that it:
Tackles stubborn, set-in stains and works great on everyday stains
All those benefits sound great, if these stain fighters didn’t contain so many toxins.
Commercial Stain Removers Contain Toxins
Take a closer look, for instance, at what Tide has on its list of ingredients:
Nonionic and Anionic Surfactants, Ethoxylated Polyethylene Polyamine (Polymer) and Enzymes
If that doesn’t sound sinister enough, take a look at Shout’s list of ingredients:
Water, Ethoxylated Alcohol, Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulphonate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyacrylate Polymer, PPG-3 Butyl Ether, Acrylic Copolymer, Benzothiazolinone, Subtilisin, Fragrance. SCJ Formula 3520863.
Pretty scary, don’t you think?
Carcinogens in our Cleaners
Did you notice that both those synthetic cleaners contain Ethoxylated Alcohol and Polyethylene?
As I’ve said in my previous post, The 5 Ways Your Home Is Making You Sick, these types of chemicals have been known to have traces of 1,4-dioxane which can cause:
Cancer, digestive system effects, damage to vision, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, damage to DNA, respiratory, skin irritation, general systemic/organ effects
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to instill fear and lay blame on anyone or, worst of all, someone who’s bent on making your stain fighting woes even more complicated than it has to be.
All I know is that risking my family’s endocrine, developmental and respiratory health just to get a cleaner set of tidy whities is just not worth it. Period.
Commercial Stain Removers Can Compromise Your Health
But, just in case you think I’m exaggerating, take a look at what Enviornmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit consumer watchdog group that advocates for safer cleaning products, says about Shout:
Notice, the “D” rating this product got from EWG?
I wouldn’t tolerate that from my kids’ report card let alone from a stain remover!
What’s even more scary is that this rating is based on the ingredients that the company has chosen to disclose. Who knows what safety hazards lurk behind those ingredients that they haven’t disclosed due to “proprietary” reasons.
My suspicions prompted therefore to find a safer, non-toxic alternative to get my whites white and this is how I came across my favorite stain fighter, Oxygen Boost, from Branch Basics.
Oxygen Boost-The Safe Stain Fighter That Works
When I first started using Oxygen Boost, I was resigned to having it be less effective than those toxic stain removers, like Shout, I’d used in the past.
But being that my family’s health trumped how white their clothes were, I was willing to give Branch Basics a try.
Boy was I surprised at how well the Branch Basics All-Purpose cleaner combined with the Oxygen Boost worked in removing stains!
I found that I was able to remove virtually every stain my kids threw my way and then some. This also worked well in removing stains from my white sheets, my white slipcovers, and even my white towels (I just love white, what can I say?)
But helping me remove stains from my family’s clothes is just only one of the many other benefits that this Oxygen Boost has given me.
Benefits of Branch Basics All Purpose Cleaners and Oxygen Boost
Some of the other benefits I’ve experienced over the last 1 1/2 years since switching over to Branch Basics’ Cleaning Concentrate are:
- Peace of mind
- More Ease
- Cost savings
This last benefit was kind of a shocker to me since Branch Basics initially cost me about 5x more than those other commercial brand products I used to use. This holds true for a competitive eco friendly one like the Ecover Stain Remover I used to use, as well.
However, let me break down all the benefits in more detail for you below so that you can decide for yourself if this product is worth your investment.
Peace of Mind
Compared to the other two leading stain fighters on the market that I mentioned before like, Tide and Shout, the Branch Basics Oxygen Boost contains NO bleach, NO ammonia, and NO dyes or fragrances.
The two main ingredients it does contain are much less complicated. These are:
- sodium percarbonate: a mineral-based brightener and deodorizer
- sodium bicarbonate: also known as baking soda this is a natural compound dissolved in many mineral springs
All of the Branch Basics products, in fact, are also third party certified by Made Safe, a non-profit organization that tests products to ensure that it doesn’t contain “any of the known “5,000 + chemicals that are harmful to humans and to the environment”.
Such responsible manufacturing standards means that I don’t have to waste my time doing my own research or be thinking in the back of my mind about whether or not I’m using a product that’s harming my family.
In this way, Branch Basics gives me peace of mind without the hassle.
Ease of Use
The simple “single concentrate” concept makes Branch Basic cleaners a cinch to use as well.
This Premium Starter Kit comes with one concentrate that you can mix to make 5 different cleaners–one of which is the All-Purpose Cleaner that you can use with the Oxygen Boost to clean, well, virtually everything you can think of.
I use the All-Purpose Cleaner to wipe off scuff marks from my white mudroom shoe bench, dirt from my white baseboards, and to remove the soap scum from my white tiles inside my showers and tubs.
The Bathroom cleaner, which you can make with the same concentrate, in combination with the Oxygen Boost also removes mold from my grout better than bleach-without causing me any harm.
As for stains on clothing… I can get out pretty much 99% of most household stains with the Oxygen Boost along with my All-Purpose Spray (See below for the full results).
The best part is that I don’t have to get multiple cleaners to handle specific cleaning jobs around the house anymore.
This helps me to pare down the amount of cleaners I use and makes the clean ups simpler and easier all around.
Although I initially balked at the price of The Premium Starter Kit ($69), I found that as I’ve used it again and again Branch Basics products really saves me money in the long run.
Take this Oxygen Boost for instance which costs $10 if I were to buy it separately, but it lasts me about about 2 months.
Add to that the Branch Basics Concentrate which costs $49 by itself, to make the All-Purpose Spray and the Laundry Detergent and the total comes out to be a bit over $59.
That sounds like a lot until you compare load per load how another leading comparable non-toxic brand compares.
Cost Comparison With Leading Non-Toxic Stain Removers
Take for instance this leading non-toxic Ecover Stain Removing Gel that costs around $16 for a two pack on Amazon.
At first glance compared to the $69 Branch Basics Starter Kit, this Ecover seems like a better deal.
Yet, one bottle of the Ecover Gel Stain, used to last me a little less than 2 weeks (you have to use A LOT) or 1 month total for the 2 pack. And lets say if I do about 5-7 loads a week that means I’ve spent about $16.68 to do about 28 loads (4 weeks x 7 loads = 28 loads). That means that load per load, I’m saving about $6 by using Branch Basic’s Oxygen boost instead.
The other advantage Branch Basics has over Ecover and the other stain fighters is that I can use them for cleaning my entire house and not just for stain removal.
Check out how many other products you can make with this one simple Branch Basics cleaning concentrate:
As you can see, even if I only used 1 bottle of the All-Purpose Spray along with 1 bottle of Laundry detergent, plus the Oxygen Boost for $10, I’ll still only be spending about $3.00 more but I’ll also get triple the amount of cleaning power! Branch Basics is such a better deal!
Ultimately, however, the final proof lies in whether or not this product works so here’s a few of the ways I use Branch Basics to get stains out.
Take for instance, how easily a bit of All-Purpose spray got rid of this mystery stain from my white towels:
Besides getting stains out of towels, I also used the Oxygen Boost/All-purpose Spray combo to get out some tough grease stains I’d gotten on my kitchen hand towels:
Simple method for getting out Stains
Here’s the simple method I use to get stains out of virtually anything using Branch Basics.
Step #1: Pre-Treat the stain
I first spray the stain with the All-Purpose Branch Basics cleaner.
Step #2: Scrub/agitate/Soak
Then I used a scrub brush that I got from Branch Basics with my $10 referral coupon and gently scrub the stained area.
If that doesn’t work, then I sprinkle some Oxygen Boost over the stain and spray again with the All-Purpose Branch Basics Cleaner.
Then I leave it to soak in some cold water to allow the Oxygen Boost to work for about 2 hours.
Step #3: Launder as usual
Then 90% of the time, after 2 hours of soaking, the stain is completely gone and once I put it through the laundry using the Branch Basics Laundry detergent, the garment looks as good as new!
For tougher stains, Branch Basics has a comprehensive run down of which cleaners work for which stains along with the methods here.
Oxygen Boost: The Simpler, Safer, More Cost Effective Stain Fighter
Now that I have my Branch Basics stain fighting trio, I no longer freak out whenever I spot stains when doing the laundry.
I now have a simple method for getting out virtually every stain but with complete peace of mind knowing that Branch Basics products is simply the safest and most cost effective stain fighter out there—even better than bleach.
If you’d like to try this tough stain fighting yet non-irritating bleach alternative for yourself, type in the discount code: tossthemess, to get 10% off all Branch Basics Starter Kits from now until 1/31/21!
Don’t wait until the New Year to get started. Start tossing away the toxins so that you can enjoy what it means to live well without the mess!