Stain Remover Made From Household Items

5 Materials
$10
5 Minutes
Easy

STAINS! We all get them and I can venture to guess that we all hate them. Between having a toddler, a husband, a dog, and myself being an artsy person who doesn’t take the time to change clothes every time I want to work on a project, stains are a regular guest in my house. I’ve tried just about every mainstream, name brand stain remover, and while some of them worked (some of the time!), others were just a waste of money. Last year I came across a miracle stain remover that actually works, not just on fresh stains but also on stains that have been washed and dried.


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stain remover made from household items



SUPPLIES:
-Dawn soap (I know I’m going to get questions about whether or not any other dish soap will work and I’m going to go ahead and answer that I HAVE NO IDEA. I’ve only tried this formula with Dawn and I’m going to stick with it since I know it works.)
-Hydrogen Peroxide
-Baking Soda
-container to hold mixture
-small funnel (optional)


If you want to buy the glass bottle I used, you can find it here. 




stain remover made from household items



STEP 1: Mix ingredients
For this formula, you’ll want to mix 2 PARTS HYDROGEN PEROXIDE with 1 PART DAWN SOAP and 1 PART BAKING SODA. For example, if you want to make a big batch that’ll last you a little while, mix 2 CUPS Peroxide with 1 CUP Dawn soap and 1 CUP baking soda. I didn’t notice any difference in what to mix first, second or third. Clearly, if you’re using a funnel and you pour in the baking soda first, you won’t have to deal with the baking soda sticking to the inside of the funnel when you you go to mix your wet ingredients. ;)



stain remover made from household items



You may want to use a little spoon or your finger to get the excess Dawn soap out of your measuring cup after pouring it into your container.



stain remover made from household items



You can't really see it in the picture, but when I added the Peroxide I could immediately see the reaction it had with the baking soda...cool little science experiment.



stain remover made from household items



*NOTE: the baking soda is going to want to settle on the bottom and that’s ok—you can either put a little spoon in the container to mix it up every time you want to use it or you can make sure to have an air-tight lid on the container in order to shake it.



stain remover made from household items



STEP 2: Apply stain remover to stain
Next, pour out (or scoop out with a spoon), enough stain remover to cover the stain you want to get rid of. I don’t glop it on but I also make sure to have a generous amount so that the stain is fully covered in the stain remover mixture.

*Note: I spilled coffee on this linen table cloth which is what I was trying to remove without ruining my table cloth.





stain remover made from household items



Then, you can either brush the stain remover into the stain with a scrub brush or do what I do and rub the stained area together. Let the stained item sit for 30 minutes to an hour with the solution. I haven’t timed it but I’ve always had results after this amount of time.

STEP 3: Wash as normal
After I’ve let my stained item sit with the stain remover on it, I through it in the wash at it’s normal cycle with washing detergent. Then I dry it (depending on what the item is…you’ll want to make sure to read your care instructions for whatever it is that you have is stained).



stain remover made from household items



That’s it! I love when I can use household items that I already have on hand to accomplish the same results of if I go out and pay for a bottle of stuff I have no idea what’s in it. Just after Christmas, my husband was totally disappointed because his brand new shirt that he had only worn once somehow got smudgy black stains on it (I still have no idea what he managed to get on it), so I tried this solution on it even after I had already washed and dried the shirt (because I had no idea it had been stained to begin with). Amazingly, the stains came out! I’d say that was a SCORE for this housewife.

*I didn't have to purchase anything to make this stain remover as I had all supplies on hand. I estimate the cost of all supplies as being roughly $10 but that will obviously make a ton of stain remover and the price will vary based on how extravagant of a container you purchase.

If you want to buy the glass bottle I used, you can find it here.


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Have a question about this project?

44 questions
  • Mary Miller
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Do you know if I can use other brands of dish soap? Dawn isn't available in the U.K. Fairy is our leading brand.

    • I'm honestly not sure as I haven't used anything but Dawn and I know it's famous for being a grease remover. If it were me, I'd try the formula with Fairy but test it on an inconspicuous place first.

  • Phyllis Martin
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Any colors or just white?

    • I'm honestly not 100% sure bc I haven't used it on a lot of darks. I did, however, try it on a hot pink and black striped tank that I got black paint on and even though it didn't completely remove the paint, it did get rid of a good bit of it so it's not as noticeable. If you're using on colors, I would first test it in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't compromise the color.

  • Gra9547026
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Is this formula safe on all colored fabrics?

    • I'm honestly not 100% sure bc I haven't used it on a lot of darks. I did, however, try it on a hot pink and black striped tank that I got black paint on and even though it didn't completely remove the paint, it did get rid of a good bit of it so it's not as noticeable. If you're using on colors, I would first test it in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't compromise the color.

  • Noe14999145
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Will this formula work in a carpet?

  • Robin D Ballard
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Did you know that this is the same formula for skunk wash? If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, wash her in the same solution, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse. Bam! The skunk smell is gone (except in their breath).

    • Cindy Steffen-Fenske
      on Feb 17, 2017

      Peroxide on your dog's skin that long is harmful to your buddy. My Vet told me never to use it. (We have a lot of skunks around here) You can get a really good shampoo that doesn't harm your dog. I get it at the vets, but I guess it's at Petco and Petsmart too.

    • Nstrasser1
      on Feb 17, 2017

      Great idea! As a teenager I used spray my hair with peroxide and sit in the sun to lighten my hair. Never hurt me. And recently my vet told me to clean my dog's cut paw with peroxide. And I've used a similar recipe I got from a Dutch woman who washed her farm dog's regularly with that recipe. Guess test it first???

    • Haha no I didn't know that!

  • Cynthia Ward
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Have you tried this on carpet stains?

  • Alegremusical916
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Hello. I have on my table cloth a brownish-yellow stain like if something like rust...do you think your formula will work on it? It's a delicate table dress as i always call it; i don't want to lose it.

    • Nstrasser1
      on Feb 17, 2017

      Old strains especially from unknown origin are difficult to remove but it might work. Test it on a corner leaving it a few minutes and then rinse out and perhaps that will be good enough to assure the cloth is safe.

    • Nstrasser1
      on Feb 17, 2017

      PS just re-read author notes and she says she got a stain easily out of old cloth with no damage

    • I agree on testing it in a small, inconspicuous spot.

  • Audrey
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Will the peroxide not discolor the fabric? Or is it only for whites/creams?

    • Nstrasser1
      on Feb 17, 2017

      I've used it on both with no problem BUT I use a different recipe which is 2 parts dawn, 1 part household ammonia and 1 part peroxide. No baking soda because for some reason the final product using soda feels hot to me if I do. I've used this mixture for 15 years and can't do without it. I save emptied plastic juice bottles to store it and empty dawn bottle to keep a small quantity conveniently located. I recommend whichever recipe you use that once you've applied and scrubbed wash asap. Oh the sooner you treat the garment for stains like blood or spaghetti sauce the more successful this will be.

    • I'm honestly not 100% sure bc I haven't used it on a lot of darks. I did, however, try it on a hot pink and black striped tank that I got black paint on and even though it didn't completely remove the paint, it did get rid of a good bit of it so it's not as noticeable. If you're using on colors, I would first test it in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't compromise the color.

  • Holly Levan
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Is it safe for colors?

    • Debora Fox
      on Feb 17, 2017

      I tried this on a bright pink cotton shirt and it removed the stain and the color!

    • Betty
      on Feb 17, 2017

      Peroxide is a bleach, use care!

    • I'm honestly not 100% sure bc I haven't used it on a lot of darks. I did, however, try it on a hot pink and black striped tank that I got black paint on and even though it didn't completely remove the paint, it did get rid of a good bit of it so it's not as noticeable. If you're using on colors, I would first test it in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't compromise the color.

    • 13526476
      on Feb 17, 2017

      I have used this on pizza and other unknown oily/greasy appearing stains on dark tees and shirts with great success. My thought is it's worth a try; otherwise, the garment is probably a loss (or a grunge piece) anyway.

  • Doris Cunningham
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Hydrogen peroxyde needs to be kept in a dark bottle. Does the mix lose its power if kept in the light or in a light container? Maybe you mix it as you need it?

    • Angela Cosner
      on Feb 17, 2017

      If you keep the mixture in a dark area it should keep for quite a bit of time. I have an alcohol/peroxide mixture I use that is kept in a dark bathroom cupboard and only sees light when the cupboard is opened. The peroxide has been okay for over a year.

    • My laundry area is in our basement so it stays pretty dim down there...thanks for the heads up on peroxide needing to be in a dark place though--I didn't know that!

    • Rosel Kynast
      on Feb 18, 2017

      Angela Cosner, where do you use the peroxide / alcohol mixture ?

    • Kim
      on Feb 18, 2017

      You are correct, Doris. Hydrogen peroxide will lose effectiveness if not stored in an opaque container: hence, the reason hydrogen peroxide and ready made stain removers are sold in the opaque bottles. Two cost effective alternatives: 1) Make and store your mixture in an empty peroxide container which you can label. Shake before using. or 2) Purchase a spray bottle of stain remover at the local dollar store. Reuse the container, once empty, by adding peroxide and blue Dawn. Omit the baking soda. The two ingredients work well on most stains. For more stubborn stains, spray the stain with the mixture and rub in the baking soda.

    • Karin Carson
      on Feb 18, 2017

      I bought a metal trigger sprayer from the $ store and use that for the mixture, works great or put a trigger sprayer top on the peroxide bottle it self.

  • Mis12521805
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Will this work on a sofa? The stain is set. Should I wet the the stain first and then apply the solution?

    • Laura Strickland
      on Feb 17, 2017

      Yes. I've used peroxide and dawn mixed two parts peroxide and one part dawn in a spray bottle on furniture and had amazing results

    • Susan
      on Feb 17, 2017

      TEST for color fastness on some hidden spot first!! PEROXIDE is sometimes used to bleach hair - so it could discolor your sofa! Plus you should be ready to BLOT - you don't want the sofa to stay wet - it could mold.

  • Sue Durham Mitchell
    on Feb 17, 2017

    Can this be used on dark fabric?

    • Susan
      on Feb 17, 2017

      PEROXIDE is sometimes used for bleaching - so test on a small hidden area FIRST.

    • I'm honestly not 100% sure bc I haven't used it on a lot of darks. I did, however, try it on a hot pink and black striped tank that I got black paint on and even though it didn't completely remove the paint, it did get rid of a good bit of it so it's not as noticeable. If you're using on colors, I would first test it in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it doesn't compromise the color.

  • Marcia Johnson
    on Feb 18, 2017

    Have you ever tried this on leather?

  • Amy Steinberger
    on Feb 19, 2017

    What size storing container did you use?

  • Tru
    on Feb 19, 2017

    Instead of liquid hydrogen peroxide can you use Oxy Clean which is a dry hydrogen peroxide? It is also more stable so you don't need a dark bottle or place to store it.

    • Hmmm it's definitely worth a shot! I'm just not sure how it would work since it's not in liquid form (as far as pouring it in the stain directly and letting it sit).

    • Tru
      on Feb 20, 2017

      True, the solution would be very thick. I think you'd be able to add water to lower the viscosity. I know you can add water to Oxy and make a paste to put on stains. Thanks for answering so quickly!

  • Barbara
    on Mar 9, 2017

    How long can you keep mixture in air tight bottle before it loses its potency

  • Teri Huntley
    on Mar 11, 2017

    Have you ever tried this on a greasy or oily stain, from food? I was just wondering, since using Dawn, if it would remove it as well. Thank you in advance.

    • No I haven't but will definitely try!

    • Diane Nevel
      on Mar 27, 2017

      Dawn, as are all dish soaps, is a degreaser. It should work on any greasy stain even without the other ingredients. I have been using dish soap on greasy stains for 40 years. My mother-in-law told me this "secret" when I was first married. I have even had success on old, set in greasy stains.

    • Dor12256372
      on May 14, 2017

      I did use BJ's version of liquid dawn and it worked fine. I also use a small wire whip to mix it up after sitting for awhile and then use it on the next stained item.
    • Gra11848759
      on May 28, 2017

      When my boys were young (and they are in their 60's now) I used to use Dawn to get the grass stain out of their pants. The knees were always so bad and it works. Always worked where nothing else would touch them.
    • Gra11848759
      on May 28, 2017

      When my boys were young (and they are in their 60's now) I used to use Dawn to get the grass stain out of their pants. The knees were always so bad and it works. Always worked where nothing else would touch them.
  • Nov16115653
    on Mar 11, 2017

    Does this take color out of darker items?

    • I haven't experienced that but I would use caution as I've heard from readers that Peroxide could essentially bleach darks. I would try on a small piece of an article of clothing/cloth before applying the stain remover to a beloved article just in case.

  • Cynthia Rodriguez
    on Mar 16, 2017

    Have you tried this mixture on carpet?

  • Brenda
    on Jun 27, 2017

    How does this work on colored cloth
  • Sarah franco gherman
    on Jun 27, 2017

    will this work on an area rug made of wool since it's too big to put any washing machine how should I handle it thank you
  • Mha22911348
    on Jun 27, 2017

    I want to try this on shirt collars, is it safe on colors?
  • Dalene M Baird
    on Jul 25, 2017

    Did you know this is the best formula to use on you or your pets when you have been targeted by a skunk? Instantly removes the scent in one application.
  • Kara Wren
    on Sep 17, 2017

    Does it need to be stored in glass, or would a spray bottle work?
  • Cinda
    on Sep 17, 2017

    I heard that you can't store this mix or the container will explode. Will it?
  • Kristi Kester Harwell
    on Sep 18, 2017

    I wonder if you could use this for a page area in a carpet cleaner or would it be too soapy?
    • Eh idk if I would try that.. 😬
    • Nancy Wilson
      on Jan 5, 2018

      I would change the proportions of the ingredients. The active cleaning ingredients are the baking soda and the peroxide (or vinegar). The dishsoap is really an unnecessary additive but makes us feel like we're doing something, and Dawn is a degreaser. Only use a few drops.....I do. And I make a 1/2 gallon at a time.
  • Maureen Cox
    on Sep 19, 2017

    Has anybody left this mixture on clothing longer than an hour.....like overnite or several days? Any issues leaving it on longer?
  • Ema6538061
    on Sep 20, 2017

    Do you know if this works well on bacon grease stains ?
  • Karina
    on Jan 5, 2018

    Have you tried this on furniture?
  • Geri
    on Jan 5, 2018

    Can you you this on colored material?
    • CJ
      on Jan 7, 2018

      Yes, if it is washable fabric. I would hesitate if the laundry instructions are anything but the usual machine wash and dry. You could test treat an item if there is a hidden spot to do a test on.
  • Lde12480639
    on Jan 5, 2018

    Instead if a glass bottle, can I use a plastic squirt bottle?
  • Abh27422926
    on Jan 17, 2018

    Can I use this on rug stains
    • Lolo
      on Jan 19, 2018

      I would try to remove the rug stain with the formula of jus Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda. The dish soap will dry sticky and cause dirt to stick to the carpet in that spot later. With the formula of Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda you can let it dry and vacuum. It works. As always, test in an inconspicuous area to make sure your carpet will not be damaged.
    • Patti
      on Feb 17, 2018

      I agree. Try hydrogen peroxide alone first. Then you can try rubbing alcohol. Then try either with baking soda added and even a drop of dish soap so as not to leave a sticky residue.

      I had coffee spilled on a newly reupholstred bench and I used rubbing alcohol with very light elbow grease and stain is gone. Peroxide and rubbing alcohol are pretty much interchangeable in this type of application and both are disinfectants as well.
    • Debbie Douglass Roth
      on Jan 4, 2019

      I have had complete success with dawn soap and hydrogen peroxide on the carpet. The stains came up - specifically berry stains from crab trees on light gray carpet. I was sure to use a tooth brush to apply and to rinse. I was amazed!

  • Dianne oberton
    on Feb 8, 2018

    Can u use washing soda instead of baking soda?
    • Patti Nicholas
      on Jan 4, 2019

      No. They are two entirely different chemical compounds. Just because they sound the same doesn’t mean they are the same.

  • Debbie's List
    on Mar 1, 2018

    I have a quilt from my great grandmother. It has several dirty spots on it. Can I use this, it is a cotton ?

    • Patti Nicholas
      on Jan 4, 2019

      While this mixture may work, I would try a few other things first to avoid possibly damaging the fabric. I would try basic dish soap like dawn first or even better liquid Castile soap because it’s a pure vegetable based soap without any petroleum products. It’s also always a good idea to know what the stain is before treating it. Different stains, like different fabrics, require different treatments. Hydrogen peroxide is a wonderful, safe non-chlorine bleach so it does a good job lightening stains and getting organic stains like blood out of things. I’m not really sure what the purpose of the baking soda is in this recipe, generally speaking baking soda is used as an abrasive. It’s very gentle and softens the water but can also leave behind a white residue around the edges of not rinsed really well. For very delicate fabrics my go to EVERY time is Molly Suds. The most recent success with Molly Suds was my Grandmother’s Christening gown that had age spots on it. It was well over 100 years old and had been wrapped in plastic and laid in the bottom of a cedar chest at least 50 years ago. We wanted my new granddaughter to wear it for her baptism. Needless to say it came out beautifully. You can find Molly Suds Oxygen Whitener here

      https://www.grove.co/catalog/product/oxygen-whitener/?v=941&attrsrc=18&attrpg=catalog

  • Jamie
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Can this be used on colors?

    • Virginia Skold
      on Jan 4, 2019

      I would test it somewhere on the edge first. HPeroxide could remove color.

    • CJ
      on Jan 4, 2019

      Jamie,

      I have used Courtney's recipe on many stains in the last couple of years with about 85-95% success rate of removing stains. It has never removed the color from anything but as Virginia recommended, test on a hidden bit of fabric to be sure. I have found lightened areas on fabrics I've used this on, on occasion, from the baking soda. Another run in the washer removes it.

      Hope this helps!

  • Barb
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Can it be used on black carpet? Got white paint on black carpet.

    • Janet
      on Jan 4, 2019

      It works on dark clothing, but not sure about carpet. I use Dawn without other ingredients and it works wonderful. Just try to remove as much dried paint as possible before applying the dawn.

    • Nikki
      on Jan 4, 2019

      Probably not a paint remover.


    • Betty
      on Jan 4, 2019

      Peroxide is a bleach, so I would be hesitant to use it on black carpet without trying an inconspicuous corner first. An alternative is an oxygen-based cleaner.

  • Vic
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Do you think this could be used on carpet stain? (of course, rinsing the carpet well afterwards)

  • Robin
    on Jan 5, 2019

    Do you think this would work on grease stains?


    • Mimischenkel0
      on Jan 10, 2019

      I would like to know this one too

    • Donna
      on Jan 10, 2019

      I have used this on many types of stains. It definitely works on food oil/grease stains. I haven't tried it on other types of grease

  • Patti Chesser-Spencer
    on Jan 5, 2019

    I don't know what the stain is but do you think it would work on a new formica kitchen counter top or might u have a different solution I could use?

    • Trendywendy
      on Jan 6, 2019

      Spread lemon juice - fresh or bottled-over the stain and let dry.

    • Roberta
      on Jan 11, 2019

      Try a Mr. Clean sponge. It gets stains out of my white Corian so I’m guessing it will also work on Formica

  • Sue
    on Jan 6, 2019

    I am always looking for make your own cleaner. I was just curious if you realized that you discolored your tablecloth. did you make any attempt to fix it?

  • Emily
    on Jan 11, 2019

    Can this be used on color fabric? I’m thinking the peroxide would take out or fade the color.

    • V
      on Jan 11, 2019

      I’ve used straight peroxide on colored fabric a lot and it didn’t discolor. Just dab on, let dry and repeat as necessary. Why not test it on something similar or a scrap piece of fabric. I figured if I couldn’t use the item with the stain on it it wasn’t a risk if it discolored when nothing else had worked!

    • Ana
      on Feb 20, 2019

      No it will not bleed, I have tried it and works, I first saw it on a Saturday spot on NBC and the host prepared it and he showed the results of the mix. So go ahead and try it.

  • Julissa
    on Jan 11, 2019

    Can this be used on carpets? I too have two dogs 🐕 soon many more since my girl is having puppies. Please advise, thank you!!!

    • Julie
      on Jan 13, 2019

      my dog got sick and vomited down the side of my one year old couch. Between the smell and stain, I thought it was a total loss. So when I found this cleaning solution online I figured I had nothing to lose. My ratio I found was a little different but the same ingredients. So I made a large bowl of it, soaked a white tea towel, ring out most but not all of the solution, and soaked it into the affected area. I soaked it a lot. And rubbed gently. Left it alone to thoroughly dry and it worked so well I used the mixture to go ahead and clean the rest of my light grey couch. Came out perfect! All smell and stain completely gone with no discoloration. I have all hard wood floors but I have used it on rugs. And it’s worked just fine.

    • Stella
      on Jan 26, 2019

      Hope you never need to use this recipe on your dog after being sprayed by a skunk, however it’s the best remedy out there.

  • Rose
    on Feb 9, 2019

    How to cover up scratches on hard wood floors

  • Virginia Grundman
    on Mar 9, 2019

    Why not just use the best stain remover I've ever used: Shout. Works on anything UNLESS the stain is very old. Some stains are not removable.

    • Carol Lacey
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Nope. Shout does not work on everything!

      used this after Shout on blood and betadine.

      I have used this for years on grass stains Shout left behind. Awesome recipe!

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