DIY Homemade Stain Remover (That Actually Works)

DIY stain remover

The Best Homemade Stain Remover

This homemade stain remover can remove almost ANY stain, and I’m not over-exaggerating. Plus, it will cost you pennies on the dime to make it!

I’m seriously so excited to share this easy DIY stain remover concoction, it requires only 3 common household ingredients and it really packs a punch! This stain remover even removed stains that I couldn’t remove with store-bought cleaners and other methods.

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!

Ingredients for homemade stain remover

DIY Stain Remover Ingredients

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.

The Test Stain

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…

Stains to test the homemade stain remover on

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!

Using the homemade stain remover

How to Use 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!

DIY stain remover in a bowl

The Result

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

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

Test Stain #2 – Coconut Oil

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

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

Final Thoughts

There isn’t much more to say other than… I LOVE this homemade stain remover! It’s tackled every stain so far that I’ve thrown at it, and it’s so simple to make. It really doesn’t get much better.

One thing that some people may not like is that this DIY stain remover doesn’t go into a spray bottle. You could probably try putting it into a spray bottle for storage but as I said above, it may become less effective over time. That’s why I mix up a small batch only when I need it.

More DIY Cleaning Recipes:

Find all our DIY cleaning recipes here!

DIY stain remover that actually works

DIY Homemade Stain Remover (That Actually Works)


  • 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, #StayHome, Spring


    • 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

      • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I just wanted to let you know, Iโ€™ve just finished using this on a dress of my daughterโ€™s. It had stains from whiskey & coke. Stains were old. I used this recipe after trying several store bought stain removers (Shout & Dr Beckmann). Dress was laundered several times between attempts, but no reduction in the stains. I gave this recipe a try this morning, thinking weโ€™d have to throw the dress away.
          I mixed it up, applied with a brush & gave a bit of a scrub. Then I left it for about an hour.
          When I returned, I rinsed the dress through & there is now NO sign of any of the marks.
          Thank you so much.
          BTW , I donโ€™t usually leave comments anywhere on the internet, but Iโ€™m so impressed, I just had to let you know!

          • Hi Jackie! That is so awesome to hear! I’m so happy for you!! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience too!! ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Thank you I have 3 shirts with stains from my kids to my hubbys clothes.I washed & used oxi stain remover & the stains haven’t come out yet,so defintely going to try this.I have most of this stuff in my kitchen already.

            • I think you’ll be thrilled with the results! Come back and let me know how it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Thank you Cathy – this stuff is amazing. No more trips to the store when I run out of Shout, I have all the ingredients on hand.

            • Yay! I’m so glad you found this tip! I usually keep a pile of items that need this magical stain remover and work on them all at the same time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for coming back to share your review!

      • She said 1-2 Tbl but she normally does 1tbl. ๐Ÿ™‚

        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)

      • yes, she did….read it again!

    • Can this be used on white boat vinyl? Have a stain from a wet darkblue bathing suitโ€ฆ

  • 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.

    • Thank you, Regina! We really appreciate your comment!

      • Melanie:
        My daughter gave me this formula after my beautiful wife passed away and I used it often. Lost the note paper it was written on, so I googled it and your picture and the formula appeared on my screen. Thank you very much. One further question. Are you married?๐Ÿ˜Š

        • Glad you found the recipe, John! This stain remover is so easy and works so well – I can see why you use it often. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And, yes, I am married. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for commenting!

  • 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!!!

    • 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.

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

      • Oh wow!!! Great minds think alike ๐Ÿ˜‰
        I have been using this exact method & product for years and it works miracles each time.
        I’ve thought about trying biokleen but have used natures miracle before it was known as it is today. I swear by it for odors and fresh stains.
        On another note, the homemade mixture here is also a miracle worker for different stains. I’ve been so pleasantly amazed at it’s ability to remove deep, old, and stubborn stains. The most impressive is the unavoidable yellow armpit on white shirts. When it beat those I felt like I won the lottery. I’ve never been so excited to gather clothes for a stain removing session ๐Ÿคช
        Note of caution โš ๏ธ Don’t leave it sit for too long. I once forgot about it. After finally washing & drying there were small holes where the peroxide had burned through.

    • 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?

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

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • I would try vinegar and water… Vinegar is a great smell remover!

    • my 6 year old cat threw up on my off white family room carpet…..mixed up the 3 ingredients as was frustrated with using store brand removers and nothing worked….amazing. stain is gone….I would test it on a spot tho as all carpets are different….will keep the recipe as never know and sure is cheaper than the boughten stuff. also takes care of the smell…..

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!

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

    • 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Do you have any thing on home made carpet cleaner?

    • 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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.

  • does anyone know does this work on old blood stains?

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

    • 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.

      • Your so right… SPIT!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

  • 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!

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

    • 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I haven’t tried it, but I’m guessing it would work pretty well. You might be interested in this post too:

  • 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.

  • 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


  • 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?

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • Soaking your clothing in homemade salt water will remove any bleeding. I am pretty sure, but not positive, that you can do this ahead of time to treat bleeding fabrics, so they no longer bleed.
      I have a black and white striped couch. A young guest of mine had an accident and urinated on the couch at night. Oh no, the black bleed into the white. I thought I was doomed. This is a one piece couch cushion cover, so it was big when I zipped it off. I filled my tub with salt water, lots of salt, so buy cheap salt. No real recipe, probably start 1:2 Salt to water. I think I soaked it for 4-6 hours or overnight. I continued to add salt and agitated it now and then and flipping it around. When I no longer saw the bleeding, I rinsed and let dry. All set. And I am pretty sure it is all set for life. Nothing should bleed on the fabric again after this treatment.

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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • Thank you for sharing these tips!! Very useful!

  • 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

  • I went through a phase of concocting all sorts of DIY household products. After buying a lot of ingredients whose names I didn’t even recognize, I decided that if some combination of Dawn, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda didn’t do the trick the thing was beyond my amateur talents. It was time to call in the hazmat team. I use these three products all over the house.

  • Iโ€™m so glad I found this, I mixed up a big batch and cleaned a bunch of my grand daughters baby clothes that were stained from formula and they came out like new. I also use it in my sons work T-shirtโ€™s to get the stains out and it works every time. Iโ€™m mixing up a batch to take to the lake with us so I can treat stains when they happens and they wonโ€™t have a week to set in.

  • Will the vinegar ,water carpet stain remover work on hair dye?

  • I’ve got a gray hoodie amid like it very much it has two small grease? Spots on it about the size of anime, It’s been washed a couple times with spot remover they say will work but it doesn’t!
    So I’ve gotta try this according to what the comments say! I’m pretty sure it should work according to the comments
    I hope!
    Let ya know if it does!

  • Definitely going to make this! My friend and I were just talking the other day about DIY stain remover. Thanks, Cathy!

  • I accidentally got something on my boyfriends hoodie and I didnโ€™t want him to be upset with me because it was so expensive. I spent three hours trying everything to get it out until I found this recipe. I was afraid it was going to bleach the fabric because itโ€™s light, but everything worked fine! The stain was gone. Thank you!

  • I’ve used this recipe repeatedly on a white rug (terrible idea, 0/10 do not recommend) and it takes it from “let’s throw it away and never speak of this again” to a like-new shade of white. But the real reason I came here to comment was because of the hair dye. I managed to get a dark red/black dye on the collar of a blue robe (terrible idea, 0/10, do not recommend) and figured I’d consign it to the “clothes to wear when feeding chickens or painting the house” pile. At that point, I had nothing to lose if the peroxide bleached it (not an issue I’ve had on any other article of colored clothing but I know a couple of other people have) so I took the rest of my batch and generously coated the collar, washed it, and took it out so I could “Aha! I knew it!” at the large stains still left. To my inner critic’s dismay, I could not find a single spot. (My inner voice that hates shopping, on the other hand, was immensely relieved.) Excellent idea, 10/10 do recommend.

    • Ha ha – what a great success story! At first, I thought you were saying that it was a terrible idea to use this DIY stain cleaner on white rugs. But now I see your humor and that you meant that it wasn’t a good idea to even get a white rug. Ha ha! Thank you for taking the time to share! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I have never written a review on a site like this, although I do read them. I just had to. since I had great results. I have a pair of dark gray corduroy pants I got black gel ink on the front of the leg, of course. First I looked up all the ink remedies, and tried to swab with isopropyl alcohol. That lightened the ink stains, some. I was out of Shout so looked up formulas and found this one. I made it as stated, added a few drops of lemon essential oil and put it on the stain. The ink was still there. I washed the pants in the washing machine in cold water, and the ink came out! No bleaching or fading was noticeable. Great recipe! Thanks!

    • Cheryl! That is so awesome to hear! Thank you for sharing your success story! Great idea to throw a little lemon essential oil in too! I love that one for cleaning lots of things!

  • Super interesting! I will definitely be experimenting with this in the near future! Seems like people who have tried this have had good results so I am tempted to try it for myself now. Thanks for the read, kept me on my toes!

  • Highly recommended for stained up shirts and stuff. I used this on a shirt that was all stained up and the stains came out. Really surprising for me since everything on the internet is usually wrong. But thanks!

    • Ha ha! I love that… and YES, this is one thing on the internet that actually works! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for taking the time to share your review, Laci!

  • Hallo what volume strenght peroxide do you use .in sa we get the peroxide in strengths. Tx daneel

  • Just double-checking…the hydrogen peroxide won’t bleach the clothes will it?

  • If anyone could help me it sure would be appreciated. I have several really tough stains on an old down feather ski jacket. I don’t know what the ski jacket material is made of, but it’s anti-skidding for when falling on a ski slope in icy conditions, to help slow down or to prevent the person from sliding too much. Anyway, it’s just regular dirt that any piece of clothing can pick up. Dry cleaning didn’t get it all out and I want it gone. It’s a light blue jacket and therefore the dirt stains are very obvious, making me look like a dirtball! Can anybody out there advise??!! Thanks a bunch in advance!! Rudy

  • Have an Irish knit sweater that has a stain that hand washing did not remove. Will the peroxide harm the wool if I try the stain remover formula?

    • Hi Pat! I’m not an expert on wool, so I couldn’t say for sure. I would test out the back side of an inconspicuous spot if it were me, and see how it goes! Let me know if you end up trying so others will know if it worked or not!

  • Question – i see you make this stain remover in small quantity – is there any problem with making it in a larger quantity and having it on the ready in your laundry area? basically letting it sit for a while and using when needed?

  • Here were a few tips and tricks to remove Red Gatorade stains from your carpet. These might be the best tricks. But, the main trick is to remain patient, repeat and have faith in your products.

  • So glad it worked, Hannah!

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