DIY Laundry/Carpet Stain Remover

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I started making cleaning solutions for my home about 3 years ago.  Most of the recipes worked on the first or second try, so there wasn’t a lot of experimenting.  However, I have to admit that I had a really hard time finding a homemade laundry/carpet stain remover that actually worked for me.  I tried several different recipes and methods before finding this one.  I love the fact that it’s simple (two easy, all natural ingredients) and that it works for me every time!  I hope it works for you, too!

Ingredients

1 cup dishwashing liquid (like Dawn, which is my preference)

2 cups hydrogen peroxide

Preparation and Use

Mix both ingredients together in a dark, opaque spray bottle until well combined.  Spray or pour the stain remover directly on the stain (whether it’s on laundry, carpet, tabletop, …) and then wash as usual.  If it’s a big stain, add the stain remover to a bucket of hot water and soak the stained item/s in the bucket for a few hours before washing.  If you plan on storing the stain remover, be SURE to store it in a dark, opaque bottle because hydrogen peroxide is sensitive to temperature and light.  Otherwise, the hydrogen peroxide will break down into water and oxygen (which are more stable than hydrogen peroxide itself but not as useful for removing stains).  Here’s a tip, since you’re using a lot of hydrogen peroxide for this recipe, you can use the dark brown bottle the hydrogen peroxide comes in to hold your stain remover.  Simply, take the sprayer off of another spray bottle and screw it onto your dark brown peroxide bottle.

Science

Dishwashing detergent and soaps are used for cleaning because pure water can’t remove oily, organic soiling. Soap cleans by acting as an emulsifier, allowing oil and water to mix so that oily grime can be removed during rinsing.  Detergents are primarily surfactants, which lower the surface tension of water, making it ‘wetter’ so that it is less likely to stick to itself and more likely to interact with oil and grease. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer, making it useful as a color safe bleach or cleaning agent.  Hydrogen peroxide is also safe for the environment because it simply breaks down into water and oxygen!  Hydrogen peroxide is a great natural cleaning agent due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew properties.

Budget

The cheapest laundry stain removers cost about $2-2.50 for 30 ounces ($0.07-0.08 per ounce).  The cheapest “all natural” stain removers will cost more.  The stain remover presented here costs about $2-2.50 for 48 ounces ($0.04-0.05 per ounce…$1 for 32 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, $1-1.50 for 16 ounces of dishwashing liquid).  The savings on this one doesn’t seem as big as some of the other recipes I have talked about; however, it’s still about half the price.  Not to mention that I go through a lot of this AND, as always, I like knowing what the ingredients are!

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