This week we’re conducting a little experiment at Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry. I am always on the look out for DIY versions of household cleaners because they cost a whole lot less!
I just discovered this little homemade brew while doing research on cleaning a mattress. I thought I’d try it out on some of the stains I commonly see in our laundry. Let’s see how well it works, shall we?
What You Need to Make DIY Stain Remover
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- Dawn Dish Soap
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dark Spray Bottle (These are my favorite)- The reason you want to use a dark spray bottle is because you are using hydrogen peroxide, which will break down in sunlight.
IMPORTANT: I once tried this stain remover with a natural dish soap, and after a couple days the spray bottle had pressurized and the stain remover was all over my counter. Hmmm… After doing some research, I believe an ingredient in the dish soap (Sodium Carbonate) was the cause. Because of this issue, I am going to recommend that you use Dawn as I know this works very well without any issues.
How to Make DIY Stain Remover
This honestly could not be easier. Simply combine 2 parts hydrogen peroxide with one part Dawn dish soap in a liquid measuring cup and give it a stir. Then pour the solution in a dark spray bottle.
When ready to use, simply spray the solution onto the stain, working it in with a toothbrush for maximum benefit. Allow the stain remover to sit on the garment for a minimum of one hour and then launder according to the washing instructions.
How Well Does This Homemade Stain Remover Work?
I grabbed an old t-shirt and applied ketchup, mustard, canola oil, spaghetti sauce, ink, & red Kool-Aid. I allowed the stains to set in for 1 hour. As you will notice, I have two blobs of stain on the shirt because I applied the stain remover to one side and not the other, so we could see what you’d get with laundry detergent alone.
I sprayed the stains on the right side of the shirt with the DIY Stain Remover.
I used a toothbrush to really work the stain remover into the stain and then allowed it to sit for one hour. After the hour was up, I laundered the t-shirt as I typically would. Here are the results.
Without the stain remover, I can still see everything except the Kool-Aid. With the stain remover applied, I will admit, I do still see faint mustard and ink stains, but I’m pretty impressed with the results. To be honest, I wasn’t sure a store-bought brand would do any better, but I thought I’d check it out. I went through the exact same process with a name-brand store-bought Stain Remover: I applied the items for staining and let them sit for one hour. I then sprayed on the name-brand stain remover and scrubbed it in with toothbrush, waited 1 hour, and washed.
Here are the results of the DIY Stain Remover vs. Store-Bought.
I can still see mustard with the store-bought version, but I’d say it performed slightly better than our DIY version on that stain. However our name-brand stain remover hardly got the ink out at all, and the DIY Stain Remover got it almost all the way out. As for the other stains, I think both stain removers performed equally well. I’m going to stick with the DIY stain remover myself, especially for ink stains!
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Clair Wayman says
Well, I’ll use Dawn. Thanks!
Heather Skye says
This DIY stain remover sounds amazing! And I appreciate how you took the time to try it on different stains. You even added pictures! I normally book a laundry service online for when I have laundry items with tough stains–especially bigger items like sheets. I just don’t have the time to keep on scrubbing my clothes or sheets. But I will try this!
Michelle A Salerno says
I got a similar one from my MIL – but you can’t spray it – it has baking soda in it and it’s rather thick. But it does have the problem of expanding overnight in the container – guessing the baking soda. I’m looking forward to trying this one that I can use a spray bottle.
Cindy Huggins says
Yeah, I try it out on a colored rag 🙂
Happy Hiller says
I love DIY products! Thanks!
I absolutely love DIY cleaning products! They are much more affordable, quite easy to make, and gentle on my clothes, products and my skin too! Thank you Erin for this amazing DIY stain remover recipe! I can finally get that stubborn ketchup stain off my pale white cushion!
Can I use this on colored clothing? I feel the peroxide will bleach my clothing.
I have used it on colored clothing without problems. If you are concerned, you could always try it out on a colored rag so you can feel comfortable using it on more valuable clothing.
Joan @ Clean Home Guide says
I tried it on colored clothes. Everything is good. No problem.
an easy way to get rid of ink is hairspray, the stuff in a can, you can get it at a dollar store, just spray, sometimes rub with toothbrush, and wash, ink all gone
I’ve heard hairspray works on ink as well. I just never have hairspray on hand.
Heather M W Perry says
I believe it is the alcohol in the hairspray that is the trick. I have removed ink stains with rubbing alcohol. I have varying percentages from 30 -90% for a variety of different uses. We have a serious mold/mildew problem in one of our bathrooms (soon to be remodeled) but until then, we wipe with a high alcohol % and water – then spray occasionally with thieves household spray or sometimes Odoban.
Kenna MacCallum says
We used to use hairspray on the purple ink to change prices on cans in the grocery store. Dating myself but I was in high school when I worked there.
Stains can be so frustrating. I love to wear white but when I do it just calls out for the red wine or pasta sauce to ‘hop on board’ LOL. Thanks for sharing this cost saving tip which actually works with us at #AnythngGoes. See you next week!
Why is white a magnet for red sauces and wines? I tried this on my husband’s work shirts as well, as they get a little dirty around the collar. This worked GREAT! As always, thanks for hosting!
Our pleasure and I always enjoy your posts! I learn something even at my age!
Jody @easypeasymom says
Awesome, love DIY cleaning solutions! I have saved so much money using things like vinegar and baking soda to clean, plus they are so much healthier! I am definitely pinning this since I have a toddler who tends to be very messy! Thanks for sharing!
Visiting from the Your Turn To Shine blog hop
Thanks for stopping over Jody! I have a bunch of DIY cleaning ideas on this blog- not sure if you had a chance to look around or not. I am slowly starting to change over all the chemical-filled store cleaners for the DIY versions. They really are so much cheaper and safer to use. I can see you have some ideas on your site too (based on your latest title on “CommentLuv”. I’m going to head over and check out your site. Do you have a favorite DIY cleaner? I’m always looking for ideas. Have a good evening!
Jennifer @ Brave New Home says
I need to pick up some hydrogen peroxide the next time I’m at the store! I just tried getting out some mattress stains to no avail. Thanks for sharing your results!
Hope this little concoction works well for you. I was pretty impressed with the results.