How to Get Stains Out of Everything With Branch Basics [Complete Guide]

By Marilee Nelson |

How to Get Stains Out of Everything With Branch Basics [Complete Guide]

Pesky stains are the worst! Especially when you find them on your new favorite blouse or soft bedding. But, have no fear. In this guide we’ll walk through the best ways to get stains out of everything using Branch Basics. From avocado stains to lipstick, you’ll have a solution for any type of stain. Let’s get started:

Stainmaster Tools:

How to Get Stains Out With Branch Basics

These are our guidelines that apply to most stain treatment jobs. Always first check garment tags for any special instructions.


1. Act Quickly

For fresh stains, blot up any excess stain liquid with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Remove excess solids by gently scraping with a dull knife. With some solids, such as mud, removal may be easier after the stain has dried. Brush off the excess before the garment is washed. Fresh stains are much easier to remove than those over 24 hours old.

2. Pretreat

For some stains, a quick spray with the All-Purpose stain remover and right into the washer may not be enough. “Dwell Time” is the word used to describe the amount of time needed to penetrate a stain and release dirt, grease, fat, and oil.


Fresh dirt and grime are easy to remove, while older dried, hardened grease and grime need more dwell time and maybe an overnight soak. For more extensive pretreatment options spray the stain with Branch Basics All-Purpose, let sit 5 – 10 minutes, agitate stained area with a brush or finger and if the stain is still there sprinkle Oxygen Boost on the stain and wet the Oxygen Boost with All Purpose, agitate and let sit a few more minutes.


If the stain is still not eliminated soak garment in cold water to cover with 1 tsp. Concentrate, and a scoop of Oxygen Boost for 15 minutes to overnight.


Periodically gently agitate fabric to force the solution through the material. After soaking, pour soaking water into the washing machine and wash with 1 tsp. concentrate and 1 scoop of Oxygen Boost.

3. Try Cold Water First

Branch Basics provides a wonderful exception to the temperature rule of stain removal. Always start with cold water because it’s least likely to set a stain. You can always increase the temperature later.


Also, check the garment tag for temperature guidelines. Using cold water can help save material and garment life as well as electricity. In fact, it’s best to avoid using hot water on stains of unknown origin.


Hot water can set protein stains like milk, egg, or blood. Generally washing machine temperature is set at 130°F or above for hot water and warm water is between 90°F and 110°F. Note: temperature of the water can vary according to weather outside.

4. Agitate

Agitation is the process of rubbing the stained fiber to loosen the soil, grime or dirt from the material, and bring into more direct contact with the cleaning solution so that the stain is lifted and removed.


To agitate, gently rub fabric together or brush lightly with your fingernail or a brush to aid in loosening the soil, grime or dirt from the material if necessary (a toothbrush works great!). You can also keep a clean cloth behind the spot as you work to lift stain from the front.


Avoid excessive rubbing unless the fabric is tough and durable, as rubbing can spread the stain and damage the fabric. However, gentle to vigorous rubbing under running water helps remove dried food, blood or oil stains from shirts or jean-weight fabrics made of cotton or cotton blends.

5. Wash Very Dirty Clothes Separately

Soil and stains can be redeposited on cleaner clothing during washing if water temperature is too low, washing time is too long, or the wash is overloaded. Wash heavily stained items separately to avoid this problem.


Note: Never wash mold contaminated, petroleum or pesticide-soiled clothes in your washer. These clothes should be sunned first (if weather permits) then soaked in a bucket outside in a solution of Branch Basics Concentrate - ¼ cup of the Concentrate in 2 gallons of water.


Also, to aid in killing mold and deodorizing add 1 scoop Oxygen Boost, 1 cup Borax. and/or Arm and Hammer Washing Soda to soaking water. They should be line dried – if odor persists, repeat.

Related Reading: Branch Basics Laundry Instructions


6. Double Check Before Drying

If you can still see the stain, do not place the garment in the dryer. The heat of the dryer can make the stain more permanent. Before you dry it, treat it again and rewash. The same is true of ironing or steaming - no heat should be applied to stained areas.


Retreat stains that persist – perhaps with more agitation, more soaking time, different temperatures, adding Oxygen Boost, or a different concentration of Branch Basics. For example, oil stains require using a more concentrated solution than the All-Purpose, like the Bathroom spray.


If an oil stain doesn’t come out after the first treatment, go with the Concentrate. When you retreat a stain, you may want to try and overnight soak in BB Oxygen Boost before adding it to the washing machine. Stainmasters don’t give up!

Preliminary Rules

Before using Branch Basics for treating stains, we recommend sticking to these preliminary rules:

Pretest the Solution

Always pretest! If you have not used Branch Basics before on a particular garment, and especially on favorite garments or upholstery fabric, test it on a seam or hidden area to be sure it doesn’t affect the color or finish of the fabric. Ideally, let it dry before making your determination. Once you know your fabric is colorfast, this is not necessary.


Mix Branch Basics Concentrate With Pure Water

We highly recommend that you prepare your bottles by mixing your concentrate with distilled or reverse osmosis water, particularly for stain treatment on the go. This prevents water marks (residual minerals in your tap water) from appearing on stains you remove when you aren’t able to soak your clothes.


If you have hard water, you also may need to use more Concentrate (up to 1 tsp. more per load) to get your laundry clean. This is also important to consider when you are testing Branch Basics on upholstery to ensure that it does not lighten, leave water marks, or change the material in any way.


If there is no place to test – proceed at your own risk. Particularly if you think you may have hard water, using distilled water may make a big difference in the speed and efficiency of treating stains with Branch Basics.

Read Clothing Tags

Read the Tags Always check the manufacturer’s tags for full washing instructions. These will have valuable information on washing, drying and which products to use and NOT use to clean a garment.

Common Types of Stains & How to Remove Them


These instructions will remove the stain. After the stain is gone, wash as normal, according to care instructions. Remember, always test in an inconspicuous spot for colorfastness if this is the first time you are washing this item.


Fresh blood stains are fairly easy to remove. Spray with Branch Basics All-Purpose and let sit a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. If possible, put the stain under the tap and let the cold water run through it.


If on carpet or furniture, use a clean white cloth to blot the stain, spray with the All-Purpose and lightly agitate. Blot with cold water only, as hot water will cause it to set. Keep working until stain is gone. For dried blood, spray with All-Purpose and let sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Soak in cold water and Oxygen Boost, agitate, and repeat if necessary.


Ink & Markers

Spray All-Purpose on stain as soon as possible and rub vigorously if fabric permits. Repeat and soak if necessary in Oxygen Boost for 5-10 minutes or longer. Note: some "set-in" stains, if previously laundered, are very hard to remove and may not come all the way out. It’s best to address a marker or ink stain as soon as you can.



Spray the stain with All-Purpose, let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then wipe with a damp towel.


Mystery Stains

When you don’t know what the stain is, just spray with Branch Basics All-Purpose, let sit 5 – 10 minutes and then perhaps soak in cold water and Oxygen Boost. Gently agitate fabric and rinse. Repeat if necessary or move to a more complicated approach.


Older stains typically benefit from soaking in water with Oxygen Boost added. Spot treat the stain, then submerge entire garment in water to cover with 1 t. BB Concentrate and Oxygen Boost. Soak from 15 minutes to overnight - the tougher the stain, the longer the soak. After soaking, wash in washer.

Related Reading: How to Remove Armpit Stains


Food Stains

General Food Stains

Blot excess with clean cloth or paper towel. Wet stain slightly with water first, then spray microfiber, towel or rag with Branch Basics All-Purpose. Rub stain gently with the towel and agitate with fingers or brush if needed. Rinse and blot to lift stain. Keep a clean cloth behind the spot as you work to lift stain from the front.



Remove as much of the excess avocado as possible using a dull knife or spoon before you work on the stain. Since avocado is an oil stain, treat stain with the Concentrate.


If desired, you can also try the Bathroom spray first to see if it will take the stain out. Rub the solution gently into the stain. Soak the stain in cold water for 10-15 minutes or until the stain becomes more loosened.


Every five minutes, agitate the stained area gently. Rinse the fabric thoroughly running water directly through the back of the stained area.


If needed, repeat process until all stain is removed. Drying the stain will make it difficult to ever fully remove.


Spray All-Purpose on stain, then agitate slightly with cloth until chocolate disappears. Keep a clean cloth behind the spot as you work to lift stain from the front. The more fat the chocolate contains, the more Concentrate you may need.



Treat stain as soon as possible, preferably while still sticky. Remove excess with dull knife or spoon carefully so material is not damaged. Rinse with cold water to soften the honey - do not use warm or hot water at this point.


Spray All-Purpose on the stain and saturate area thoroughly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm to hot water through the back of the stain to force the honey stain out of the material.


If needed, repeat and add Branch Basics Oxygen Boost for extra stain-removing power.


Remove excess ketchup from the fabric with a spoon or dull knife. Run cold water through the back of the stain as soon as possible to force the stain back out through the fabric. Don’t run it through the front of the garment, this will only force it more into the material.


Spray the stain with All-Purpose and consider adding Oxygen Boost. Work it into the fabric, then soak the stain in cold water for 10-15 minutes or until the stain becomes more loosened.


Every five minutes, agitate the stained area gently. Rinse the stained area thoroughly running water directly through the back of the stained area. If needed, repeat process until all stain is removed. Drying the stain will make it difficult to ever fully remove.

Oil Stains

Remove excess oil and spray or saturate stain with Concentrate. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes or more, gently agitate with brush, then wipe or press in and blot with a microfiber, damp cloth or rag. Repeat if necessary.


The Branch Basics Bathroom spray may be concentrated enough, but with oil stains many times you have to use the Concentrate. Agitate and then soak overnight in warm to hot water with 1 scoop Oxygen Boost.


Use the warmest water possible to wash. Stains that require warm to hot water and agitation include olive oil, butter, ghee, coconut oil, and other oils.

Salad Dressing

Remove excess dressing with spoon or dull knife. Apply the Concentrate to the stain and work through the material. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes.


Soak in cold water – if the stain is not removed, then soak in warmest water possible – add 1 t. Concentrate and a little Oxygen Boost to soaking water if stain seems to be stubborn.


Soak 10 minutes to overnight. Preferably, wash in hot water. Do not put into the dryer until the stain is removed.


Spray stain with All-Purpose. Some wine stains will disappear before your eyes. Other stains will require soaking. Check out How to Clean Wine Stains to learn more!

Types of Fabric Stains


Spray All-Purpose on a damp cloth and wipe the leather furniture or clothing. For stubborn stains, brushing with a small soft brush may be necessary.



Always pretest silks, which can be washed on the gentle cycle (if washable). For stains, spots and sweaty areas, wet then spray with All-Purpose. Let it dwell, then gently agitate until the spot or stain is gone. Soak if necessary, then wash according to the instructions on the label.


For any stain-fighting, we really recommend using distilled or reverse osmosis water when you mix your bottles to dilute the Branch Basics Concentrate. If you think you may have hard water, check out Optimize Your Branch Basics Cleaning Experience.


Related Reading: Non-Toxic Cleaning Hacks: 21 Unique Ways to Use Branch Basics


Lift Your Stains With Branch Basics 

At Branch Basics, we’re committed to making safe cleaning simple with non-toxic home cleaning products. From laundry kits to all-purpose sprays, our concentrate is designed to treat the toughest messes. Want to get started? Get your trial kit today, or check out our premium Starter Kit for more information.  


Further Reading:

New to using Branch Basics in your washing machine? Check out our full Branch Basics Laundry Instructions for the how-to.

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Marilee Nelson

Marilee Nelson

Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.