Inexpensive Homemade Stain Remover Recipes and Remedies

by Reader Contributors

Inexpensive Homemade Stain Removers photo

Are expensive products the only answer to treating and removing stains? Our frugal readers share their favorite homemade stain remover recipes and remedies.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
My husband manages a fast food restaurant and between his clothes and my toddler’s, we go through stain treatments fairly quickly.

Any suggestions for effective, yet inexpensive, homemade stain removers?
Thanks,
Allison

Simple Homemade Stain Remover

I use 1 cup Biz and 1 cup of Cascade (dishwasher detergent) in the hottest water in a 5-gallon bucket and usually soak several things at once.

It works really well. It has taken out most stains that I have had and it does not hurt if you have to let it set in this a day or two before you wash.
Carolyn

Simple Green Removes Stains

My husband, too, comes home with all kinds of stains. Simple Green is the answer! We buy a big jug of it at Sam’s Club and use it for just about everything around the house, including stain treatment.

I fill a squirt bottle 1/2 full with Simple Green and 1/2 with water to pretreat stains. Works for mostly everything except ink. And wouldn’t you know he works at a printing shop! But Simple Green works for just about every other kind of stain – dirt, grease, food, grass, etc. And that large bottle lasts for months.
Susan

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A Simple Homemade Stain Remover Recipe

A stain treatment I use is:

  • 1 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup water

Put it all in a spray bottle and there you have it!
Debbie

Recipe as Good as Store Bought

Here’s a stain remover that works as well as Oxi-Clean. I’ve used it forever and am still amazed at how well it works.

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Clorox 2
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Cascade Dishwasher Detergent
  • 5 Quarts Hot Water

Just stir this up and let your clothes soak overnight. Be sure to color treat. Dark colors will sometimes run. Otherwise it does work wonders.
Bethany

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409 and Era Removes Stains Together

I have found that an equal part mixture of 409 and Era in a spray bottle is a good stain treatment. Just spray on and wash as usual.

You might want to use a scrub brush lightly on stubborn stains.
Sherrill

Stain Remover Recipe Passed On

Here is a great stain treatment that a friend’s mother taught me. Fill an empty dish-soap bottle as follows:

  • 1/3 cup Ammonia
  • 1/3 cup Crystal White Dishwashing Liquid
  • 1/3 cup Tap Water

Shake gently to mix and prior to using. This mixture works on any washable fabric, and removes basic stains, set-in stains, blood, waste, etc. I pre-treat the stain, rub the mixture in, and wash as usual. This mixture keeps indefinitely, so I usually make a large “batch”. Any clean plastic container can be used to store it.
Charlene

Old Style Stain Remover Recipe

I found that I got the best advice for removing stains from The Dollar Stretcher when you advised to treat stains with Goop. You can get it in the automotive section of Walmart. I pre-treat all stains with Goop before I throw them in the hamper and they’re all ready to wash when I get a load together.

The stain recipe I used before I discovered this was a homemade recipe of one cup each of powdered Cascade and Clorox II to five gallons of the hottest water to come out of your faucet. Soak several articles overnight, and launder as usual. This mixture can be saved and reused. However, both ingredients are costly and this method is more time consuming and messier than using Goop. Goop is also better for taking out grease, blood and grass stains than this mixture.
Joyce

Reviewed April 2021

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