What are Some Homemade Stain Removers?

J. Beam
J. Beam
Glass of red wine spilled on a white carpet.
Glass of red wine spilled on a white carpet.

If only we all had an abundance of energy equal to the abundance of household cleaning products in the detergent aisle at the grocery store. While there is no shortage of various household cleaners that claim to remove stains, cut grease, and kill mold and mildew better than the rest, you can recreate the same powers with easy to make homemade stain removers. With some inexpensive, ordinary household items, you can make a variety of stain removers to use on fabric and upholstery, carpet, tile, porcelain, and more. Whether you’d just like to save money on cleaning products or you happen to run out of name brand cleaner, these basic ingredients will take care of many problem stains. You can make stain removers with varying combinations of the following ingredients:

Baking soda and water can remove sweat stains.
Baking soda and water can remove sweat stains.

There are numerous recipes for homemade stain removers and cleaners. The recommended measurements vary from source to source, and some experimenting may be required to discover what works best for you. Borax is one of the most useful product ingredients and has several different options and directions for use in laundry on the box. One teaspoon of borax mixed with a teaspoon each of white vinegar and lemon juice will make a homemade stain remover that effectively removes ink and many food stains from most color-safe fabrics.

Borax, which can be used to remove stains.
Borax, which can be used to remove stains.

Baking soda mixed with water to form a paste makes an excellent homemade stain remover for perspiration stains on clothing. A saltwater mixture is also an effective pre-soak for heavily soiled clothes. Another version of homemade stain removers that can be effective as a spot remover for delicate fabrics is three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide mixed with one tablespoon of ammonia. This mixture should not be made in any larger quantity and should be discarded after use.

Ammonia.
Ammonia.

Mixing chlorine bleach with water will yield a homemade stain remover that is safe for non-porous surfaces such as enamel. Use one tablespoon of chlorine bleach per cup of water. You can mix it in a clean spray bottle and keep it stored for several weeks. Remember never to mix chlorine bleach and ammonia and always to work in a well-ventilated area when using ammonia or bleach.

Baking soda may be used on sweat stains.
Baking soda may be used on sweat stains.

If you prefer to eliminate chemicals from your cleaners, try straight club soda or a lemon juice and water mixture for fabrics. Vinegar and water cleans glass surfaces well, and the addition of a drop or two of liquid dish soap will make a hard surface cleaner. Experiment with different mixtures for different cleaning purposes and you may find that you prefer homemade stain removers for their effectiveness and cost savings.

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Discussion Comments

anon346418

What would you use for washing horse rugs, as in cotton and canvas?

anon259961

We get grapefruit often and there is usually more than I can eat. I use it to clean the shower. Cut it in half, put salt on it and scrub the tub. It smells awesome. Borax is not hard to find here in Denver, however the Fels Naptha is.

lmorales

@Kamchatka - Borax can be a real pain in the biscuits to get a hold of unless you are around a major retailer that has it readily available. Borax and water also makes a good homemade carpet stain remover like you said, but it's also a great homemade stain remover for clothes. You would let the paste sit on the stain much like you would with the baking soda mixture. Then you would just wash it normally.

Kamchatka

@baileybear Borax is also popular as a substitute for baking soda. I think it is a little harder to find in most cases, but it is worth the trouble and fairly inexpensive. It actually works better than most natural cleaning products just because it has that non-abrasive quality.

baileybear

@empanadas - Baking soda is a really good start for almost any home made cleaner. It works well in the way of homemade carpet stain removers as well. You can also couple it with lemon juice and various other products to make a good scrub or dish washing detergent. You can also set it on stains on clothing from what I hear.

empanadas

Baking soda always works as a great homemade cleaner. It works so well because it really is a non abrasive powder. If you mix it with a little water into a paste like concoction and let it sit on your burner drip pans and you can literally scrub it right off after an hour or so.

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    • Glass of red wine spilled on a white carpet.
      Glass of red wine spilled on a white carpet.
    • Baking soda and water can remove sweat stains.
      Baking soda and water can remove sweat stains.
    • Borax, which can be used to remove stains.
      Borax, which can be used to remove stains.
    • Ammonia.
      Ammonia.
    • Baking soda may be used on sweat stains.
      Baking soda may be used on sweat stains.
    • Hydrogen peroxide, when mixed with ammonia, is an inexpensive spot remover.
      Hydrogen peroxide, when mixed with ammonia, is an inexpensive spot remover.
    • White vinegar may be used as a stain remover.
      White vinegar may be used as a stain remover.
    • When mixing a homemade stain remover, make sure the spray bottle is clean.
      When mixing a homemade stain remover, make sure the spray bottle is clean.