Like many of you, I have children that get into everything they possibly can and thoroughly enjoy making messes. My little girl can find one single M&M and somehow I find her covered head to toe in chocolate.
They come home daily from school with food stains, grass stains, who knows what stains… And all those wonderful stains make it into the laundry hamper for me to find days later.
I have tried about every product on the market for stain removal and so far I haven’t found anything that works as well as this simple homemade recipe. I get frustrated with stain removal charts as well- they can be helpful to some but how am I supposed to know if that blue-ish brown spot is mud, chocolate or blueberries?
Even if I catch the stain on the clothes as the kids get home, they can’t remember what it is they got all over themselves. So short of finding green stains on knees- I usually have no idea what the heck the stain is to identify on a chart anyway.
So I have experimented over the years with various products and various homemade recipes trying to find an all-in-one, simple stain remover that actually works and I thought I’d share my very favorite one with you! This is cheap and easy to make and I have used it on all sorts of stains and had great luck with getting things clean. I have used it on various fabrics, colors, whites…. all with great results.
In fact, here is a little peek at my Sunday afternoon laundry session. I had 8 items that had stains on them – everything from set in paint stains to blueberry juice, to mystery yellow something or other and mud. I had lots of cotton items, denim, a sweater– and this stain remover worked on almost everything. Here is the easy recipe- simply make as much as you need! Mix equal parts:
- Blue Dawn Dish Soap
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Baking Soda
I usually mix 1 tablespoon of each and that will be enough for several items- I had enough for all the items pictured above. I add one tablespoon of each to a bowl and then I just use a spoon to scoop a bit of stain remover onto the stain. I use the backside of the spoon to sort of rub it in and then let it sit for up to an hour. You can also get a little squeezy bottle and make a larger amount to have on hand- mine bottle is from the Dollar Store. I don’t like to let this sit for a really long time (say days on end) because there is a chance the blue in the Dawn dish soap will discolor your fabric. A few hours is just fine- even on whites. And after letting this stuff sit- most of the items were perfectly clean. Blueberry juice gone, mystery yellow stain gone, chocolate stain gone, grass stains gone, unknown dark brown spots gone…. For the items it didn’t get back to brand new condition, I just repeated the process and there was a dramatic difference. The items I haven’t found this to work as well on are set in paint stains. And remember how I mentioned my kid’s really, really love to do a number on their clothing?
Yeah… this was halfway into a hike in Maui. My little girl was absolutely covered in mud by the end of the day :). Those shorts got rinsed in the hotel sink and then stuffed in a bag for 2 days until we could get home and launder them. In the back those shorts were completely covered in a thick mud. Here they are after one round of stain remover– if you look super carefully there is a tiny bit of a stain on the seams but overall these look fantastic and they are totally wearable again.
And I have used these on shoes too– my littles have a lot of canvas shoes like these: I have washed them in the past and found not much of the dirt comes off. I did try the DIY stain remover just quickly rubbing it all over the shoe and letting it sit for about 40 minutes. I tossed in the wash and you can see a huge difference. Use high quality chemical cleaning supplies, and save with IGA products and prices in the catalogues. They still weren’t perfectly clean so I just repeated the process and second time and actually used an old toothbrush to scrub in the stain remover and now these little shoes look really great. So give it a shot and see how it works for you!
***As with any homemade cleaner it is best to test this first in an inconspicuous spot to be sure it is safe for your fabric.
Homemade Spot Carpet Cleaner– this works beautifully on car interiors!