Tough stains can now be easy to remove thanks to this DIY stain remover. Not only is it cheaper than store-bought, but it’s also safer for your fabrics, home, and family thanks to toxic-free ingredients.
From grass to grease, stains are sadly part of everyday life – especially with kids. Over the years I have managed to switch store-bought, laundry products to non-toxic alternatives including DIY natural laundry detergent, homemade fabric freshener, and even a natural bleach alternative.
However, my laundry was still missing a stain remover without the nasty chemicals that store-bought products contain. Thankfully, this DIY stain remover contains only 5 ingredients likely already found in your home. Best of all, it takes less than 5 minutes to create but will save you hours of scrubbing and soaking.
About The Ingredients
- Baking soda
From skincare to soft scrub, there are so many uses for baking soda in your home including this DIY stain remover. Not only does baking soda work well with hydrogen peroxide to help remove stains, it’s also particularly great at neutralizing odors.
- Hydrogen peroxide
There are so many hydrogen peroxide uses as it is a natural, color-safe alternative to bleach. It is simply water with an extra oxygen molecule (H2O2) so it is kinder to your home and the environment. Hydrogen peroxide works particularly well as a stain remover in breaking down protein and plant-based stains. It has also known as an effective stain remover of mildew, blood, fruit, and vegetable stains.
- Lemon oil
Lemon essential oil is a must-have ingredient for two reasons: scent and citric acid. Firstly lemon essential oil will leave your laundry smelling fresh and clean without synthetic fragrances. Secondly, it contains citric acid which helps to dissolve stains naturally – perfect for a DIY stain remover.
- Thieves Dish Soap
Thieves dish soap is a plant-based formula that contains natural enzymes that are tough on grease and grime. Unlike ordinary dish soap, it is free from sulfates, dyes, and synthetics therefore it leaves no harsh chemical residues. You can also use your favorite non-toxic dish soap.
- Thieves Household Cleaner
I am a huge advocate for Thieves household cleaner and consider it one of my go-to natural cleaning products due to its amazing scent and versatile uses. Not only is it non-abrasive making it perfect for almost any surface but it will eliminate odors naturally as well as deep clean a variety of stains including dirt, pet stains, dried-on food, grime, and more. You can omit if you don’t have it, but I do highly recommend it.
How to Make DIY Stain Remover Step-by-Step
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl.
- Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
- Add to a 2 oz flip top bottle or pump bottle.
How to Use this DIY Stain Remover
As with all natural cleaning products, I recommend doing a test first. Ideally choose a spot that can’t be seen just incase in the unlikely event there is a reaction. Apply the DIY Stain Remover to the fabric and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, you will need a little friction either by using a toothbrush or bunch up the fabric to rub together to gently remove the stain. Then add to the laundry and wash as usual to remove any stain remover residue.
Where to Store
This DIY stain remover can be used for more than one application, simply leave a bottle near your laundry detergent, and apply it to stubborn stains as and when required. Make sure it is stored in a cool, dry place away from direct heat, light and air vents. This is to avoid any reaction with the hydrogen peroxide.
Tips For Stain Removal
Food, Drink, Diaper, and Pet Stains
For anything related to food whether it’s food or drinks spilled on clothes, cleaning up a poopy diaper mess, or even worse cleaning vomit (I know, gross) you’ll want to use an enzyme pre-treatment.
I’ve used Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash (which is meant to be used to clean produce) but it has natural enzymes to help remove residue. You can also get a laundry enzyme cleaner to treat these stains and use the DIY Stain Remover to follow up.
To maximize your chances of getting out a grease stain, you will need to act fast. If you leave the stain to set into the material then it may be too late so timing is key. Also, do not try to apply water to grease as this can potentially make the stain worse. Water and grease do not mix well, instead soap-based products (like this stain remover) will be the best option.
Apply the stain remover then rub the fabric together to work it into the fibers. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Then wash your item on the warmest water recommended on the care tag and dry outdoors if possible.
If you are dealing with an ink stain, don’t rub the stain as it can smear and cause a bigger mess. You may want to try and blot the stain with rubbing alcohol to remove as much ink as possible before applying the stain remover then launder as normal.
Fun fact, those yellow sweat stains are actually caused by aluminium in your deodorant not technically your sweat so by switching to a DIY natural deodorant you can help avoid these stains in the first place.
Apply the stain remover onto the sweat stain using circular motions. Wait around one hour to give it enough time to penetrate the stain. Then, wash your garment using your washing machine’s cold setting.
The natural pigments in grass cling to the clothing fibers in a similar way to store-bought dye. This makes grass stains particularly tough to get out. However, Like with ink stains, grass stains can be removed easily if you act fast.
Often store-bought stain removers that are great for grease won’t be effective on grass stains and instead make the stains set in. However, this DIY stain remover works well as the ingredients contain natural enzymes that work well removing grass stains. You simply apply the stain remover immediately, let sit for 10 minutes then launder as usual.
Unless you have made the switch to non-toxic makeup, makeup stains can be extra tough to remove from clothing. This is because makeup contains ingredients such as mineral oil or is oil based so it penetrates the fabric fibers and scrubbing only spreads the stain.
Ideally, use cold water to help loosen the stain. As this homemade stain remover contains dish soap it will help to cut through oil based foundation, removing the stain with ease. Add the stain remover, let sit for 10 minutes then wash the garment as per label instructions.
Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide on colored clothes?
Although it is renowned for it’s mild bleaching properties, Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use on most dyes and fabrics, if the dye is colorfast. I would recommend doing a spot test by dabbing a little hydrogen peroxide somewhere like the inside seam or hem and waiting a few minutes to determine if the color is affected. If there is no change to the fabric, continue with using the stain remover.
Can I use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide?
Due to the reasons above, stick to 3% hydrogen peroxide solution as this is best for laundry. Any stronger and it may cause damage.
Is it best to air dry or use the dryer?
Sunlight is an amazing tool for removing stains – especially on white clothing. Once you have used the DIY stain remover and washed your clothes as normal, hang them on the washing line or even place on your window sill for best results. This will allow the UV rays to further fade the stain.
- The timings are only a guide and you may need to adjust the wait time depending on your garment, fabric, color etc. It may also take a second wash for the stain to fully come out.
- This DIY stain remover will be thick so a 2 oz flip top bottle or jar is best.
- Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are natural whitening agents. If you’re using on dark clothing, you might want to test a small area first.
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DIY Stain Remover
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl
- Stir until well mixed.
- Add to a 2 oz flip top bottle or pump bottle.