When I finished up the last of my commercial stain remover several years ago, I decided not to buy any more but instead use natural products. There are many different natural items that can remove stains; in fact, I've seen whole pages that list different items and the type of stain each removes. That is way too complicated for me! I really wanted one simple item or mixture that would remove most stains.
I came across this recipe in Natural Home magazine:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
3 cups water
Mix together in a spray bottle and use to pretreat stains.
I was pretty impressed with how well it worked. It didn't necessarily remove everything, but it did at least help minimize most stains, and I was pretty happy with it. Along with this solution, I also used dish soap to treat grease stains.
Then, I found this recipe online somewhere (I can't remember where):
1 part Dawn dish liquid
2 parts hydrogen peroxide
Mix in a squirt bottle.
Now, I'm not sure just how natural Dawn is (that blue!), but this stuff works wonderfully! It has removed everything I've tried it on - grease, spaghetti sauce, berries, etc. I love that I can use just one thing on everything. I always try to put it on stains right away, but even when I apply right before washing it still seems to work great. One thing that I found funny was that it starts out blue, but after a few days turns completely clear because of the hydrogen peroxide!
A recent example of the power of Dawn!
So, there's two choices - take your pick! I love that the vinegar solution is completely natural, but the Dawn works so well, that I'm willing to compromise a little to keep our clothes looking nice! And I'm sure it's at least a little better than regular stain remover (and it's much cheaper!).