Alternatives to Scotchgard

Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

In May of 2000, 3M pulled Scotchgard stain protector and stain resistant fabrics from the market based on results from internal toxicity studies and mounting pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

It was determined the main chemical compound present in Scotchgard products posed long-term, harmful damage to both humans and the environment. By 2003, 3M had reformulated and relaunched an environmentally friendly version of Scotchgard stain protector, but not before a number of competitive products moved in to fill the void left by the popular brand. These products range from fabric protecting applications to stain resistant fabrics.

Vectra Spray

This fabric protector spray has been on the market for 25 years, is manufactured in Atlanta, and has the registered trademark, "Alternative to Scotchgard." According to the company's website, Vectra Spray can be safely used on furniture, carpets and clothing and is environmentally friendly and non-toxic.


Nikwax was developed for waterproofing recreational clothing and gear. The product can be added to items in the washing machine or by direct-spray application. Nikwax repels liquids, allowing for quick clean up and can be used on indoor and outdoor canvas, cotton and synthetic fabrics.

ForceField Upholstery, Rug and Fabric Protector

ForceField Upholstery, Rug and Fabric Protector Spray protects upholstered furniture, rugs and clothing against spills and stains. Fabrics and furnishings retain their new look longer and when fabrics do become soiled, the spray makes cleaning easier. The company's website also claims the product is safe for use on all fabrics including silks, leather and suede.

Crypton super fabrics

Crypton manufactures a complete line of "green" upholstery, mattress and wall fabrics that are particularly useful in commercial applications and for homes with pets. Their fabric is specially treated with a built-in moisture barrier that resists stains, odours and bacteria. The Crypton line includes wovens, textures, suede, leather and outdoor fabrics.

Plastic-Coated fabrics

This category of water-repellent and stain-resistant fabrics is created by coating textiles with a layer of woven acrylic and polyurethane fibres. This protective polymer layer produces an extremely durable fabric with the look and feel of a regular woven fabric.

Nano-Care fabrics

Manufactured by Nano-Tex, these stain-repelling fabrics begin with traditional fabrics like cotton and are interwoven with waterproof nano-fibres that increase the density and surface tension of the fabric. Liquids will not absorb when spilt onto the fabric. Lee Jeans and Eddie Bauer both use Nano-Care fabrics for slacks.