Homemade Stain Remover Using Strong and Gentle Dawn Dish Soap #DawnWildlife40

This post was originally published in 2012
and has been updated as a sponsored post
Celebrating 40 Years of Dawn Dish Soap
Helping Save Wildlife. #DawnWildlife40
All opinions are my own.


This is The Only Spot Remover You Will Ever Need

And it will cost you pennies on the dime! You probably already know that you can use a grease-fighting dish soap to help cut grease, but maybe you’ve been concerned that it would be too harsh on your clothing. But did you know that Dawn dish soap is the ONLY brand trusted by wildlife rescue experts for cleaning oiled animals? WOW! In fact, it’s been heralded for its “tough on grease, but gentle on skin” formulation. In fact, experts have been using Dawn for DECADES and more than 75,000 birds and marine animals have been helped! When I learned this, I knew I could trust Dawn to be gentle on my favorite pieces of clothing, while knocking out tough stains.

So I’m excited to share this easy concoction of 3 common household ingredients that will really pack a punch to tough stains! AND good news for you, I have a coupon that will get you a $1.00 off a bottle of the limited edition bottle of Dawn. Dawn is celebrating 40 years of helping save wildlife and supporting the organizations dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife when disaster strikes… including International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center.

As part of the celebration, they are having a VIP Wildlife Experience sweeps!

Dawn wants to show you the amazing things their wildlife partners do and for their 40th anniversary of helping save wildlife, they are hosting the first ever Golden Duck Contest. From now until 11:59:59pm ET on October 6, 2018, visit your local Kroger retailer and purchase your very own  #DawnWildlife40 40th anniversary bottle of Dawn dish soap (be sure to use the $1 off coupon!), take a photo of the full receipt, submit it here, and complete the registration form for a chance to win an exciting wildlife experience. The winning families will be flown to Dawn’s wildlife partner locations for a behind-the-scenes look at how they are helping wildlife and the animals they save. How awesome is that?! Makes me love Dawn even more!

Speaking of LOVE… I love the fact that stains that would not come out with other methods and cleaners came out completely with this DIY stain and spot remover. Try this spot remover on: pen marks, chocolate stains, yellow underarm stains, blood stains, grease stains, poop stains, baby food stains, cutting board stains, and much more! Check out all the other ideas of things you can clean with Dawn! Plus, it is cheap! You probably already have everything you need to make it right now.

The ingredients you need to whip up a batch of DIY Stain Remover that really works

I have a “hand wash only” shirt (who even makes shirts like this for 3 year olds?!) that had some new chocolate milk stains on it, and some old pen mark stains on it. I decided this would be a great shirt to test out this homemade stain remover on. This is a close up of just ONE section of her shirt…

Making this concoction is incredibly easy and fast! Just mix the 3 ingredients together in a small bowl. Rather than make a big batch of this stain remover, just mix up a small amount each time because the hydrogen peroxide may become less effective when exposed to light.

We have a place in my laundry room where the kids place those yucky stained shirts that we are worried won’t make it out alive just going through the wash unassisted. Then when the pile is getting a bit large, I’ll whip up a batch of this easy homemade stain remover and get to work!

gently agitate fabric with an old toothbrush using the homemade stain remover

Gently agitate fabric with an old toothbrush with the homemade stain remover. For extra tough stains, you can let the mixture sit on the garment for an hour or so, then launder as usual. Or treat the area a few times before laundering. This often even works on old stains that have even already been set!

You can see her entire shirt had PLENTY of stains on it! She’s three… what do you expect! Tackling these stains only took me a few minutes, and then the mixture set on the shirt for just a few minutes while I worked on some other clothes. I didn’t even rinse the stain remover off. Just tossed it in the wash!

After laundering as normal, the stain is completely gone! See that? The OLD pen marks are completely wiped away! Woo hoo!

Homemade Stain Remover got all the pen and chocolate stains out!

I love the grease and stain fighting power of Blue Dawn! My daughter had another shirt that had coconut oil on it… SAME RESULTS!! WOOT! This homemade stain remover will get coconut oil out!

Homemade Stain Remover that will get rid of a coconut oil stain

So yes, I’m a major fan of Dawn Dish soap. It is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways! (Plus isn’t this #DawnWildlife40 bottle ADORABLE?!)

Homemade Stain Remover that actually works using Blue Dawn - it even got old pen marks out of my daughters shirt!

Other Cleaning Recipes that use Dawn dish soap in the ingredients:

DIY: How To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

DIY Homemade Tub/Shower Cleaner {Picture Tutorial}

DIY: Homemade Granite Cleaner Recipe {Picture Tutorial}

See all of our favorite DIY cleaning recipes!

Homemade Stain Remover Using Strong and Gentle Dawn Dish Soap #DawnWildlife40


  • One part Dawn dish-washing liquid soap (approx 1 tablespoon)
  • Two parts hydrogen peroxide (approx 2 tablespoons)
  • One part baking soda (approx 1 tablespoon)


  1. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients together.
  2. Use a small brush to scrub the mixture into the stained area. Rinse, then launder as usual.
  3. For tougher stains, let the mixture sit on the stained garment for an hour or so, then launder. Or treat the area a few times before laundering.
Types: Cleaning, Adult, Family
Categories: Frugal, Home, Inside The House, Spring


    • bonny

      You did not give the ratio of the peroxide /dawn to the amount of the baking soda. ie if I use 2Tablespoons of B,S. how much of the combo of 1Tdawn / 2Tperoxide

      • Melanie

        I usually do 1 tablespoon Dawn, 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, about 1 tablespoon baking soda. You can adjust the amount of baking soda depending on how thick or thin you want the mixture to be. It will work well either way. 🙂

      • Just a reader

        She said 1-2 Tbl but she normally does 1tbl. 🙂

        1 Tbl Dawn (I ususlly use 1 tablespoon)
        2 Tbl hydrogen peroxide (I usually use 2 tablespoons)
        1-2 Tbl baking soda (I usually use 1 tablespoon)

  • Regina Fordyce

    I am so proud of all you girls sharing what works. It is so helpful. And I mean it. I have been waiting for things like this my whole life and now I can find those friends right here one the farm. My Mom taught me so much. I took care of her five years before she died. I miss her wisdom and of course forget some of the good things she tried to tell me. So thank you again for getting back to the basics and spreading it.

  • linda

    Thanks for the great tip I was wondering if anyone out there had some idea of how to get rid of puke smell. I know gross bot my beautiful Newfie threw up on my ottoman, I tried cleaning and it LOOKS better but the smell is soooooo gross we had to put it in the garage. So any ideas would be great! Thanks!!!

    • Bernice Kadel

      I don’t know if it will work on puke smell, but I know it works on the smell of kitten and puppy
      “do” in carpets. Mix 1 Tablespoon white vinegar and 1 Tablespoon Dawn or similar liquid dish soap (NOT dishWASHER detergent) in 1 pint (2 cups) of water. You can put it in a spray bottle or just dip it with a cloth; scrub well into the spot(s) and rinse out with a cloth dipped in clear cold water. May have to apply 2 or 3 times.

    • jill

      Natures miracle is your answer! Put it into a syringe and inject into your ottoman…it WILL work!

    • Helen in Meridian

      I would call, or go into the Don Aslett Cleaning Center (corner of Overland and Maple Grove in Boise). They are experts and sell the supplies and teach you how. He is an Idaho man who has the largest cleaning service in the world, but at the store he just sells supplies and free advice. I wonder if one of those ultraviolet wands that kill germs on things (I have seen them in Costco in the past) would kill the smell?

    • mama2eight

      Sunshine! Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice are all good choices to try, maybe not all together though. I know sunshine works!

    • Siridatar Khalsa

      Hi Linda,
      A friend of mine had cats and dogs and she used a product called Odormute. It is an enzyme that really does eliminate any odors, even skunk. I’ve used it for urine smell on a mattress. The directions are given for different uses. For urine I just soaked the area and then blotted up the solution with old cloths and then let the area air dry.

  • Justine

    Can this be used on carpets?
    I have a orange gatorade-type drink stain on my off-white carpet (in a rental). It’s been there for a long time. I cleaned it a few times with carpet cleaner right away after the spill and have tried Windex as well. But there is still a grey stain on my carpet. It’s not horribly noticeable, but you can see a color difference.

  • kate

    I would be very careful using this on any kind of colored clothing the peroxide may bleach out the colors.

    • Margit Monk

      I have ruined a great t-shirt that was not so cheap as this mixture bleached out the spot I was trying to get rid of. Unfortunately, I replaced the stain with an even bigger splotch that is now bleached and all the way to the backside.

      • Melanie

        Sorry to hear that. I haven’t had any bleaching problems with my clothing yet, but it certainly is possible on some fabrics. I definitely recommend testing it on an inconspicuous part first.

  • Jennifer

    Just wanted to thank you for this DIY recipe! I have used this a dozen times, and so far everything I’ve used it on has come out. I’ve used it on blood, baby poop, armpit stains (on a shirt that has already been washed/dried 100 times), bell pepper juices on a shirt, and grease splatters from cooking.

    Awesome all-purpose stain remover!

  • Rosie

    sounds interesting i am going to have to try this, i also found out that the home made laundry detergent works great for stains too, i soak up the stain with the detergent and scrub it with my hands and i can actually see the stain diminishin as i scrub, but i use 2 cups each of borax and washing instead of the one cup and 1/2 cup that is shown i dont know if that makes a difference but it works which that is what matters

  • Kathleen

    Hi, I saw someone ask about a cleaner for carpet and I found one on an organic website and it worked great! One part vinegar and one part water-that’s it! They said to try it in an inconspicuous area as well to make sure it didin’t bleach it, but I just went for it on my tan carpet (one is a light tan and one is a dark) and it worked great and did not bleach it out!

  • Sandy M

    Hi, I thought I’d saw a thrifty diy for drycleaning before, any idea’s?
    Thanks, Sandy

    • Melanie

      I’m sorry. I haven’t come across anything for DIY dry cleaning before. Sounds interesting though! You’ll have to let me know if you try something out. 🙂


    Do you have any thing on home made carpet cleaner?

    • Melanie

      I personally haven’t tried a carpet cleaning solution yet, but some people have commented saying that 1 part vinegar and 1 part water works pretty well. Let me know if you find something that you love! 🙂

  • V

    Cheap shampoo works wonders on ring around the collar (put some on the ring/rub in and wash). Won’t damage any fabric. I also soak my kitchen towels shampoo-works great on the oils.

  • sue cole

    does anyone know does this work on old blood stains?

    • Melanie

      I would say that there’s a chance, so it is definitely worth a try. Let me know how it works out!

    • mama2eight

      For blood spots I use spit! Just spit on the spot and work it in. Spit is free and it really works! Spit has digestive enzymes to break up protein.

      Spit is free!

      By the way, it’s only a spot until the heat of the dryer sets it into a stain. I check my spots as they come out of the washer. If they are still there, I keep them out of the dryer.

      • Rhonda

        Your so right… SPIT!!! 🙂 Spit real good on the area “as soon as you see that blood stain!” (The sooner the better) Then notice it being completely gone after washing.
        Dry mouth? No problem! Got friends? They’ll be more than happy to spit on ya! haHA! Guess what? ALL SPIT WORKS ALIKE so just it on there real good! :)”
        This blood stain remover works every single time~
        It’s all NATURAL & FDA Approved!
        Tks great grandma! 🙂

    • Fawn

      Hydrogen peroxide works great at removing just about any bodily fluid that comes out of animals or humans. Just test fabric’s colorfastness before going whole hog on it.

  • Romee

    How long it will last? It is allowed to put it in refrigerator?

    • Melanie

      From what I understand, hydrogen peroxide is not as effective when exposed to light for an extended period of time. So, I just mix up a small batch each time I need it.

  • mama2eight

    When it comes to spots from leaky diapers, there is a free way to get rid of those! It’s called sunshine! Really! Here’s my story.

    I wore a white gauze dress to a church picnic with my nursing baby. Well, this little baby did one of those exploded diapers all over my lap in orange. I went to the bathroom to clean up. I still had an orange dress. I decided that since I came to picnic in a clean dress, people will understand if I stay with a dirty dress. Well, after the picnic was over I noticed that my dress was white again from the sun exposure! Nothing more, just sunshine! It works for diapers too! Just hang them out on the line to brighten them up!

    Sunshine is free!

  • Melanie

    I haven’t used oxi before. Have you tried both and priced out both for comparison?

    • keri

      I have used oxiclean, and was not impressed. I figure, I have all of these on hand at any given time. Dawn is roughly $3, baking soda $.59, and peroxide is around $1 for the big bottle. In my search for saving, I found that Great Value blue detergent is just as effective as Dawn, and half the price. Other off brands that I tried were not the same, so be careful. 😉

  • Melanie

    I haven’t tried it, but I’m guessing it would work pretty well. You might be interested in this post too: https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/is-your-oven-dirty/

  • Samantha from GreenAir

    Its great idea! Thanks for sharing such a helpful post with us. Definitely I will try this homemade recipe. Many times I have faced stain problem on my clothes while working at home or travelling. Also your homemade stain remover recipe is within my budget. If you have some more homemade cleaners please share with us.

  • Siridatar Khalsa

    The recipe calls for
    one part Dawn dishwashing liquid soap
    two parts hydrogen peroxide
    1-2 tablespoons baking soda

    What does one part/two parts constitute? Is 1-2 Tablespoons of baking soda considered (one part) and therefore the recipe is:

    1-2 Tablespoons of Dawn
    2-4 Tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide
    1-2 Tablespoons of baking soda


  • Annie

    I did this without the peroxide for a very expensive dress that bled – it was black and white – and the tag said I could hand wash – well I put it in the wash on a light cycle with a similar dress that was blue – on cold – dumb – it all bled together. The blue dress spots came out with oxiclean – I let it soak for a few hours in cold before washing.. The black and white tie dye dress still had purple stains everywhere – so I tried this (minus the hydrogen peroxide) and let it sit for a few hours – then soaked it in cold water with oxi – it came out!!! I had to do it twice but it worked. Amazing. I wonder if any bleaching issues people are having is from the baking soda and peroxide combined?

    • Melanie

      Oh, that is awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience, Annie.
      I believe hydrogen peroxide does have some “bleaching” properties. It is what is used in many brightening laundry detergents rather than bleach.

      • Roy

        Hydrogen peroxide is what we use to use to bleach our hair as teenagers. Stand to reason it might bleach clothes as well. We would rinse our heads with it in the beginning of summer on the first hot day. Leave our hair wet with it and go pout in the direct sun. By the end of the day we were blond and I have dark brown hair. If used on whites with stains, then hung in the sun I would imagine it would work great. Just a thought.

  • Jennifer

    Can Dawn be substituted with a different dish liquid? I use Method dish soap. Thanks!

  • Veronica

    Hi, I live in Australia and have not seen Dawn Liquid so I used a brand that had grease cutting ingredients your recipe for underarm stains worked great one tee shirt was 12 years old and was quite heavily stained (I had to do that twice) the other three only once – great thanks

  • Clare Ward

    I have been using this concoction for all of my family’s stains, but I would like to already have it on hand. Can you put this in a spray bottle? and what would be the proportions for doing so?

  • Cathy

    This works great! Bought a scarf from a second-hand store today. Brought it home, and there was a stain on one end. I was concerned because it was navy/white, and I thought the peroxide would bleach it out. It came out beautifully in about 20 seconds…WOW!

  • Dawson Burgman

    Thank you for sharing these tips!! Very useful!

  • Jennifer S Mullin

    Do you think the dawn and vinager might work on stains on my gray couch, worried if I try with peroxide will ruin color of couch but have used that mixture on my carpet

  • Lauren

    I have an awesome black tailored shirt that has big white cuffs and a up-turned white collar. It also has black mother of pearl faux cuff-links and buttons. I think I wore this shirt once about 20yrs ago., since then it has been hanging in my closet. I’ve finally lost enough weight to where I can finally fit into all of my favorite old clothes that I have been saving for so long! I recently pulled this shirt out all excited about being able to wear once again, only to find to my horror that the cuffs had huge yellow stains and the collar was stained w/ old makeup! I mixed up some of your “elixir” and carefully placed the shirt into the sink and tried to just scrub the white parts of the shirt. I believe I loosened the old stains, rinsed it then hung the wet garment in the shower. When I returned, the black was running all over the white parts of shirt! I grabbed the shirt and began to run it under water. The water was completely black! I tried to be careful about not getting your mixture onto the black, but, maybe I dripped some onto it? Or do you think that it just could be that the shirt has never been washed? Don’t panic yet, that washing it will eventually rinse off all the extra black?

  • Melanie

    Oh no! I haven’t had this happen and don’t have any shirts like that, so I’m really not sure.
    If it hasn’t been washed before though, I think that would be why the dye ran when it got wet. Is it a machine washable shirt? If so, I would try washing it up right away before the black dye sets in. Good luck to you! And congrats on the weight loss!


  • Green Living: DIY Natural Stain Remover | SkySong Apartments

    […] This homemade stain remover removes more than just everyday stains. It is good for the removal of collar stains, underarm stains, grease stains, baby food stains and bloodstains. The major benefit is that it is cheap to make as you probably have all the ingredients at home. You will need dishwashing liquid, bleach (hydrogen peroxide) and baking soda. Mix one part dishwashing liquid soap, two parts bleach, and 1-2 tablespoons baking soda together in a small bowl. Test the mixture by placing a bit on a hidden part of the garment ensuring the mixture does not harm the garment. Bleach can be heavy on materials; it is also recommended to mix small amounts of the stain remover, as bleach is also sensitive to light. If the test is fine, apply the mixture with a small brush onto the affected area. A good idea is an old toothbrush, as you can get right to the stain. Rinse the garment and then launder as usual. For tougher stains, leave the mixture on the garment for an hour or treat the area a few times before laundering. It even works on old stains that have set. […]

Leave a Reply

Want to see your picture by your comment? Get your custom avatar by registering for free at Gravatar.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *