Lemon Juice, Salt and the Sun Work Together to Fight Stains

Forget bleach or stain removers. These natural ingredients found in your kitchen can remove stubborn stains.

I love white shirts. They go with everything. They can be dressed up or down. I have a drawer full of white T-shirts and about 1/5 of the shirts hanging in my closet are white. Here’s the problem. I also love food and red wine, and I’m a bit of a klutz.

I’m usually pretty good at getting to stains right away, and I keep a small bottle of Shout in the laundry, although I try to use it as sparingly as possible. I’ve become a huge believer in the power of the sun to take care of keeping my whites white.

Stubborn Stain Sparks Quest

But last fall, I didn’t notice that there was a stain on one of my favorite white gauze blouses, and when I pulled it out this spring, there it was — big, yellow, front and center. I don’t know what made the stain. I tried the Shout and hung the shirt in the sun, but it didn’t work. I guess the stain had set for too long.

This past weekend, I decided I was going to tackle that stain. This time, I used a natural combination of lemon juice, Kosher salt, and nine hours in the sun. I’m excited to say that my shirt is now wearable again.

The area where the stain was is still slightly off-color, but I really have to look at it to notice it. I can wear the shirt now, and I’m planning on doing the lemon juice treatment again next time the shirt needs to be washed. I’m hopeful that another treatment will take care of it completely.

Natural Stain Removal Method

To get rid of the stain on my blouse, here's how I used lemon juice, salt and a day in the sun:

  1. Wet the stain with water.
  2. Squeeze the juice from a lemon directly on the stain.
  3. Pour salt over the lemon juice, and rub the material together so the abrasion from the salt helps work the lemon juice into the stain.
  4. Rinse with water.
  5. Squeeze more lemon juice over the stain.
  6. Hang in the sun for as long as possible, allowing the natural bleaching power of the sun to work its magic.
  7. When the material is dry, you might need to wash it like you regularly would because the area where the lemon juice was might be a bit stiff.