Recipes for laundry stain removers are floating all around the Internet and there are quite a few on Pinterest. I have donned my lab goggles and rubber gloves and mixed up several of the formulas promising miraculous results, only to be disappointed by the cost to make them, the lack of results, the bleach spot they left behind or all of the above. That’s why I’m so excited about this recipe. Would I call it miraculous? Probably not. To me miraculous would be not getting the stain in the first place. What I will say is that this is the stain remover I will be using in my laundry room, from this day forward, to have and to clean, ’til death do us part. :)
My DIY laundry stain remover. I used a one quart spray bottle, previously purchased at Walmart. I mixed it right in the bottle.
Why do I like it?
- It works! My arch nemesis when it comes to stains is not grass, chocolate, blood or ground in dirt. Until discovering this stain remover, it was yellow mustard. No matter how quickly I was able to get to the stain, nothing seemed to take it out. The most expensive detergents and stain products, to the very cheapest, have been tried with equally disappointing results. There always remained a yellow shadow to taunt me. Today, I can tell you that I’m no longer afraid of mustard stains. It took sitting overnight, but this homemade stain remover did something nothing I have ever purchased has been able to do. It removed a mustard stain.
Am I the only one whose family grabs whatever towel is handy to wipe up a mess? Honestly, I'm just so excited when I find it in time to get it cleaned. This is yellow mustard on an off-white towel. Oy!
As I sprayed the stain remover on the mustard spot, it immediately turned red. I'm not gonna lie. It freaked me out a little. But, after 15 minutes, I went ahead and rubbed the towel back and forth over the saturated stain and, then, rinsed it under warm water in the kitchen sink.
A LOT of the stain was gone, but I was sad to see there was still that tell-tale yellow shadow that I have experienced so many times before. I decided to give it the same shot I have given all the others. I sprayed the shadow (same red results) and left it to sit overnight. The next morning I, again, rinsed the stain under warm water at the kitchen sink.
This clean towel is my end result! I couldn't be more pleased. Keep in mind, this hasn't even been run through the washing machine, yet. I'm excited at the potential to salvage some clothing that we thought was lost and the money we will save in doing it! This recipe is the bomb!
- It’s easy to make. There are no toxic fumes and nothing to eat the skin off my fingers. It only has three ingredients, plus water, and they may already be in your house; especially if, like me, you make your own laundry detergent. It took less than five minutes to mix a batch and start using it!
Ammonia, Dawn dishwashing liquid, washing soda and water are all you need to make this.
- It’s inexpensive. Name brand stain removers can be upwards of $4 or $5 for a bottle that is less than 1 quart in size, depending on the brand you purchase. Some are even double that depending on where you shop. My homemade stain remover made a one quart batch and it only cost me $0.88! Score!
Because I already make my own laundry detergent
, I already have Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (This is not the same as baking soda. You will normally find it in the detergent aisle in your hometown grocery store or Walmart. Trust me when I tell you that baking soda is not as powerful and can’t clean laundry a fraction as well as Arm and Hammer Washing Soda. My first attempt at DIY laundry detergent taught me that.) So, my total out of pocket for ingredients was just under $4, on this shopping trip, and I have enough ingredients,now, to make several batches. When calculating the price per quart, I included the cost of the washing soda, even though I didn’t need to purchase any, this time. For one batch, I used .63 worth of Dawn, .16 worth of washing soda and .09 worth of ammonia. The cost could probably be cut even more by using a generic equivalent of Dawn. Since I wasn’t familiar with how effective one of those might be, I stuck with the name brand, for now, but may try a generic on a future batch. For the time-being, I’m thrilled with .88 for a quart!
This recipe is adapted from one I found over at One Good Thing
. I’m so grateful to Jillee for sharing her experience and now, having successfully tweaked it to work for my family’s laundry (and mustard stains!), I’m ready to share my version with you.
DIY Laundry Stain Remover
- 2/3 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid
- 2/3 cup ammonia
- 1/3 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
- water to fill to one full quart (a little over 2 cups)
- Place all the ingredients in a one quart spray bottle or glass jar.
- Screw on the lid and shake it up to mix thoroughly. After it sits awhile, the mixture will start to separate. (See the picture below, from just before getting ready to re-spray my "shadow".) Just give the bottle a quick shake before using and you'll be back in business.
- Spray the stain, rub and rinse the stain out. Then wash it as usual. Or, for really tough stains (like my mustard), spray the stain and let set overnight. Rinse the stain out. Wash as usual.
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Enjoy savings and fresh clean, stain-free clothes!
I haven’t tried this on a colored fabric, yet, as the towel was off-white. Once I test it, I’ll post an update to let you know how it works on colors.
I’m anxious to hear how this works for you and how much your family is saving! If you want to save even more, start making your own laundry detergent, using my DIY Laundry Detergent recipe
, which costs a fraction over 20¢ per 75-load bottle! You’ll be amazed at how much money you leave in your family budget with all you save!