The Only Stain Remover You Will Ever Need
Life with kids, dogs, mud, chickens and 1,000 projects is messy. But it’s always worth it. Doing it all with a stain remover that washes away all your worries makes it a lot easier.
I discovered this stain remover in a season of life that couldn’t have been a better
battle ground testing site. We had two tiny toddlers, T.D was working as an RV mechanic coming home covered in automotive grease and mystery from head to toe, and I still can’t cook without wearing part of dinner. Usually the grease. In short, our clothes were always a mess and there was no budget to just replace things. We aren’t fancy people and try not to worry about clothing and appearances much, but we draw the line at clothes riddled with stains looking dirty fresh from the drier. Enter- my best laundry and fix anything friend, the DIY stain remover. For less than what you’d spend on a bottle of Shout you can make your own stain remover that will outperform it by leaps and bounds. It even beats out my previous love and long time laundry companion Fels-Naptha.
So What is It?
It’s wonderfully simple. To make your own all you need is Dawn or another blue dishwashing liquid (more on that in a moment), 3% hydrogen peroxide, and a way to dispense it on your clothes. I personally use a one dollar cosmetic spray bottle from Walmart that has served me well for over a year.
But if you find yourself in a pinch, even that’s unnecessary. For some of the worst grease stained jeans I’ve been known to make the stain remover in a bowl and just toss the jeans in to submerge. In your desired container, mix your 3% peroxide and blue dishwashing liquid at a 2:1 ratio. You want 2 parts hydrogen peroxide for every 1 part dishwashing liquid.
For example: 2 cups hydrogen peroxide for every 1 cup dishwashing liquid.
Don’t feel the need to measure this part either. There’s no precise balance that if you’re off you’ll miss out on the magic. I just find a point about 2/3 of the way up my bottle and fill with 3% hydrogen peroxide, then top it off with blue dishwashing liquid and give it a little shake.
Will Other Dish Soaps Work?
Yes for some! The reason I specify a blue dishwashing detergent and not just Dawn, is that as you can see from the picture, my current mixture doesn’t even contain the name brand! So far I’ve made this stain remover with name brand Dawn, Sam’s Club Members Mark blue dishwashing liquid, and the Radiance brand above from Aldi. Each time I’ve used the bottle to the last drop and have noticed no change in its effectiveness. This doesn’t mean other, not Dawn or knockoff Dawn products can’t work, however I can’t personally vouch for their stain fighting abilities.
Will this Ruin my Washer/ Bleach my Clothes?
In my experience, no to both of these. While there could be an issue if you dumped say an entire bottle of dishwashing liquid into your washer, at the amounts that would enter the load for even the worst stains, I’ve not found or heard of anyone experiencing any problems with the stain remover and their washing machine. However, I am not a user manual for washing machines and in this house we just do what works, if you are at all unsure please check with your manual. The stain remover also will not damage or bleach your clothes if used properly. If it’s an expensive fabric as always test an inconspicuous patch before moving on, but we can say with confidence that on a variety of cotton, polyester, linen, and a variety of dress clothes, rugs, you name it, we’ve experienced no issues.
Two words of caution here though:
- Make sure you are using 3% hydrogen peroxide. This is the standard levels you would buy at the store, but make sure. This is tested for 3%. Using a higher concentration could cause issues of lightening.
- Do not put clothes that have been pretreated with the mixture but not yet washed in the sun. The sun + peroxide WILL effectively act as a bleach. Keep the dirty laundry indoors where it belongs though and you have no problems.
How do I use it?
Now that you have your stain remover mixed and ready to go, you can proceed with using it in any of its many purposes. For everyday stained clothes just spray it on as you would any spot treater, making sure to saturate the stain. If the stain has been sitting in the laundry basket a number of days, feel free to spray it and leave it an hour or so before washing to give it an extra boost. If you have old set in cooking stains or especially troubling stains like ground in car grease, you can save just about any clothing if you spray liberally with the mixture, then using an old toothbrush scrub it in with baking soda until it forms a paste. Leave it to sit for an hour or more then wash as normal.
What Else Can I Use it On?
For anything fabric or fabric- like, this is the go to in our house. So far it has been used successfully to clean:
- Carpet Stains-both general and things like ground in blackberry to white spots of carpet, markers in carpet etc.
- Furniture Spills
- Watch bands that can’t be put in the washer
- Large amounts of black printer toner on a tan formal coat
- ANYTHING THAT NEEDS IT
Pair your new stain fighting mixture with baking soda where needed and you have a virtually unstoppable pair. When using it on items that can’t easily be rinsed out, I do recommend diluting your mixture to around 50% water if you intend to do a large area. If not you could be wiping up suds for a very long while. It is still highly effective, this just makes it more practical for use on items that are otherwise difficult to wash. Every item mentioned on this list, and every bit of clothing we’ve used it on has come back looking nearly new and stain free. I hope that you mix some up today and it helps you save your favorite shirt, give new life to your carpet, or just generally makes our very messy lives easier!