The Absolute Best Homemade Laundry Stain Remover

March 1, 2021 Updated: March 1, 2021

I’m excited to tell you how to make a fabulous, if not magical, do-it-yourself homemade stain remover. This stain remover recipe is so easy and cheap to make. And wow, does it perform!

Just let me be clear at the get-go: While this stain remover works super well on fabric, upholstery, and carpet in the house and car, it must be rinsed well or laundered once that stain disappears. Got it? OK, let’s get right to it.

You will need:

  • Fresh hydrogen peroxide
  • Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • Spray bottle, any size
  • Funnel (optional)

Into a small bottle, using a funnel if desired, pour 1 part Blue Dawn and 2 parts fresh hydrogen peroxide, i.e., 1 cup Blue Dawn and 2 cups hydrogen peroxide or 1/4 cup Blue Dawn and 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide. You can use any size bottle to make up any amount of laundry stain remover you need or want!

To use: Shake bottle to mix. Apply to stain.

Wait a few minutes. Don’t be surprised when that stain disappears all by itself! If it doesn’t, rub the stain with a brush or clean white cloth (you don’t want to transfer color from a cleaning cloth to the stained item).

Launder the item as usual. If treating carpet or upholstery, rinse and blot with clear water, keeping in mind that you’ve just sprayed full-strength dishwashing detergent on that sofa, chair, or carpet. It needs to be completely removed.

This DIY laundry stain remover is a miracle worker all around the house. I use it on kitchen and bath linens, clothes, carpet, rugs, white sofas, and dining room chairs. It tackles red wine stains, organic stains such as blood and grass, pet stains, and baby stains. You can use this on colored items as well as whites (although test it first in an inconspicuous place).

FAQs

Q: Do I have to use Blue Dawn, or can I substitute something else?

A: You can substitute any kind of liquid dishwashing soap, although I wouldn’t unless it’s an emergency. That’s because Blue Dawn contains specific surfactants that are far more effective on grease and oil than any other product in its class. And if you use Blue Dawn Ultra, your results will be even more spectacular because the Ultra version contains enzymes. That makes it really effective on proteins, which most household stains contain.

Q: Why do you specify “fresh” hydrogen peroxide?

A: Hydrogen peroxide dissipates and loses its effectiveness in the presence of light—both sunlight and household light. If you use an old bottle of hydrogen peroxide in this recipe that you’ve had sitting on the shelf for years, you might as well just use water. It’s worn out and lost its spunk.

Keeping your bottle of homemade stain remover in an amber bottle will help to protect it from light. Putting the bottle in a dark cupboard will protect it even further. The rule of thumb is this: Once opened, keep hydrogen peroxide tightly sealed in a dark place, and use it within six months.

Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Mary invites you to visit her at her website, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at EverydayCheapskate.com/contact, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at Tips.EverydayCheapskate.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2021 Creators.com