Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

Homemade Stain Remover for Laundry and Carpet

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

Unlike some other homemade laundry stain and detergent products you’ll find here at Everyday Cheapskate, this one is also a homemade stain remover for carpet. Ah-ha! That got your attention!

Just let me be clear at the get-go that 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, a clean, empty spray bottle (any size) and a funnel (optional).


Into a spray bottle, using a funnel if desired, pour one part Blue Dawn and two parts fresh hydrogen peroxide, i.e. 1 cup Blue Dawn and 2 cups hydrogen peroxide OR 2 tablespoons Blue Dawn and 4 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide. The ratio is important.

This means that you can use any size bottle to make up any amount of laundry stain remover you need or want. On a personal note, I prefer a dark amber spray bottle because it helps to protect the hydrogen peroxide from light.


Shake bottle to mix. Apply to stain. Wait a few minutes.

Don’t be surprised when that stain disappears all by itself! Or, if not, 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, use sparingly then rinse and blot with clear water. Keep 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 to pretreat stains on kitchen and bath linens, clothes, carpet, rugs, my white sofas and dining room chairs. It tackles red wine stains, organic stains such as blood and grass, and pet and baby stains, too. You can use this on colored items as well as whites. (Please test first in an inconspicuous place.)


“Do I have to use Blue Dawn or can I substitute something else?”

You can substitute any kind of liquid dishwashing soap, although I wouldn’t use anything other than Blue Dawn 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.

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

Hydrogen peroxide dissipates in the presence of light — both sunlight and household light. It loses its effectiveness. If you use an old bottle of hydrogen peroxide that you’ve had sitting on the shelf for years, you might as well just use water. It’s worn out, lost its spunk. Keeping your bottle of homemade stain remover in an amber bottle will help to protect it from light. Storing 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 6 months.

I have prepared resource links for you at EverydayCheapskate.com/stainremover.

image by Dan Gold at Unsplash

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.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. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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