Peroxide and Dawn Stain Remover – Another Success Story


I’m still kind of surprised that two simple ingredients like Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide can do such amazing things when it comes to laundry stains.

I was doing my happy dance a few weeks ago when this mixture got rid of a  wine stain on a wool sweater.  And now I’m happy to bring you another amazing success story that a friend shared with me through Facebook.

Her stain story was a lot like mine:

Young adult son’s coat + stain sat awhile + we think its oily shaving cream


So she mixed up the homemade stain remover of 1 part Dawn dish soap and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and went to work.  She also was very, very patient and let the solution sit on the stain for several hours, giving it a little extra application of some more of the mixture every so often during that time.

And sure enough.  It got rid of the stain!

Here’s her impressive Before and After pictures as well as the kind words she shared.

homemade stain remover

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the simple, easy and very effective stain remover with Dawn and hydrogen peroxide. Attached is a “before and after” picture of my son’s coat, which had a very resistant shaving cream stain on the back of it. This solution worked like a charm. Thanks, Bev!

Yup, pretty cool.  So cool that I just had to share it with all of you. 🙂

If you want to mix up a small batch of this homemade stain remover and try it out for yourself, you can begin with:

1 tablespoon Dawn + 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide.

You can also make a lager batch (for instance 1/4 cup Dawn and 1/2cup  peroxide).  However, keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide breaks down in the light. This is why peroxide is sold in those dark brown bottles.  So if you make a larger batch of this stain remover that you will not be using all at one time, storing it in a dark container or covering your container with dark paper or something, will help the mixture keep its potency.


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  1. My granddaughter got butter all over her brand new Easter dress, and mom was pretty upset! But grandma to the rescue with Dawn, baking soda a hydrogen peroxide and a lot of elbow grease; needless to say, it all came out! This stuff is amazing!

    1. Thank you for sharing your stain success story – I love to hear when a DIY solution saves the day!

  2. I’ve used this for years and was defeated today! It took the color out of an expensive Lacoste hoodie and I’m so mad right now. It’s not even mine so now I have to replace it. Yay. This has never happened before. Proceed with caution.

  3. I know it’s been a while since this was posted but for anyone reading this in the future: I know this sounds bizarre, but look up how to remove grease/oil stains using WD-40. It sounds totally counterproductive but it works and it works WELL! I had a brand new shirt that I got grease from a deep fryer on and I washed and dried it immediately only to realize that not only did it not come out, but I had set the stain. Fast forward 5 years (not sure why I kept the shirt around), my husband was giving me a hard time about not getting rid of it so he tried cleaning it with WD-40 and it WORKED! Over the years I’ve used this trick about a handful of times and it has never once failed me 🙂

  4. Hi.. my question is.. can I use another detergent other than dawn? I am in South America and there is n ok Dawn here…

    1. Dawn is known to be good at cutting grease, so I usually tell folks if they do not have access to Dawn dish soap, look for another dish soap that says it is good at cutting grease (as opposed to a dish soap that’s more for moisturizing hands or something).

  5. Thank you. I have been using this mixture for a while, but want to be able to make a larger batch. I have a glass amber spray bottle, so it should be sufficient, right? I’ll keep it out of sunlight too.

  6. I have old grease stains on car upholstry. I’ve tried everything I can think of; do you think dawn and peroxide would work?

    1. It’s certainly worth a try. I’ve also used just straight Dawn (the foaming version) on old grease stains with success so that might be worth a try too.

  7. I use dawn and white vinegar only because peroxide can bleach colored clothes Oh great stories Thank you Also been treating my old carpet with dawn peroxide warm water Also vinegar takes yellow out of arm pits of white blouses

    1. I have used this mixture on colored clothes and it has been OK, although if it is a very dark color you might want to shorten the time the mixture sets on the stain.

  8. I had a huge red wine stain on our cream colored boat cabin carpet.. I used this mix and the stain completely disappeared.. I didn’t have to scrub or do anything but dab the excess with a towel once stain was lifted.. took an hour or two for the stain to vanish.. unbelievable!

  9. Will this also work on fabric conditioner stains? I have a polyester blouse and it has some tough conditioner stains on it.

    1. I have never tried it on that particular type of stain, but it is certainly worth a try. Be sure to let it set for a while to do its work.

      1. Beverly ! I have a couple shirts that have fabric softener stains ! Blue stains !!! It’s weird but true !!! Nothing else had them

  10. I call it my magic stain remover. I haven’t found anything it doesn’t take out. Even blood! You may have to apply two or three times

  11. Thank you for this informative article, and I also gleaned from the comments.

    Here are the results of my experiences on three items needing treatment.

    #1. A skirt of 62% polyester/33% cotton/5% Spandex had previously been washed and dried. The mystery stain was possibly from a Sharpie marker. This stain did not change at all after three days of repeated application, with fabric kept moist and dark. I never expected Sharpie marker to come out, but it was worth the try to see the fabric suffered no damage or ring stains in the area around the treated stain.

    #2. A garment with a dried-on blood stain of several hours had not been through the laundry yet. Fabric content was 93% nylon/7% spandex. This stain was only partially removed, with similar results as laundering with Shout and Tide. Treating it when fresh could have made much difference, but nylon/spandex may be a factor as well.

    #3. My mattress liner outcome was the biggest surprise. The top surface was 70% cotton/30% polyester. It had numerous stains from an open leg wound (blood and pus) and all had dried. These treated stains were mostly gone after washing. In my eagerness to get these stains treated I failed to consider the fabric backing before applying the treatment. The hydrogen peroxide/Dawn mixture caused the backing to bubble and weaken. The lining tore when I moved it from the mattress, and tore in two more places during the wash cycle. Never use the mixture on fabric with this backing!

    All said, I will try it on other fabrics as well, as it appears to work on some quite well.

    1. Thanks for sharing the results of trying the stain remover, and I’m sorry you had a bad result on the mattress liner. I recently tried just using the straight Dawn Foaming Soap (with no peroxide added) and had good results. (here’s the link to that article: ) so that’s an option to keep in mind too.

      My usual thought is that I’d rather try something and see if the stain comes out, than to try nothing at all and still never use the item. Nevertheless, it’s always disappointing when what you try is the final nail in the coffin and doesn’t work, and then you really do have to give up and toss the item out. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I always like to hear how my mixtures are working out for others.

  12. Okay so everyone knows that turmeric is the new rage for anti-inflammatory. I have been using it and love it love the golden milk I make. Needless to say turmeric stains everything it comes in contact with! I had on a long sleeve white shirt. Needless to say I told my husband to just throw it away and then I said well I’ll give it a try so I made a mixing bowl with Dawn detergent and hydrogen peroxide and stuck the whole shirt down in the bucket I left it in the bowl overnight and the next day my husband threw it in with the white clothes and I said when it comes out just throw it away well to my amazement not one of the orangish yellow stains remained and I got to keep my shirt that’s the most amazing stain remover I have ever used! So now I use it on all my grandkids clothes never fails. Right now I’m trying it on an old sheet that I have not used because of a blood stain I will update my story soon happy stain removing! Nina in Kansas

  13. I have tried using dawn dish soap as a grease splatter remover on some tshirts and it would stain the shirts blue. I found if I washed the shirts in hot water, the stain came out. It doesn’t do that great of a job as a grease remover on clothes however.

    1. Yes, whatever size scoop or spoon you want to use (which is the “part”), use two of them for the peroxide, and one of them for the Dawn soap.

  14. Ok I’m trying it on my oriental rug , my son spilled orange sofa on it and naturally it went on the cream color part of the rug ….. will see its soaking now

  15. I purchased the Hydrogen peroxide in the spray bottle, transferred some out to an already open bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, and then measured in my peroxide and dawn. Dark bottle, and it sprays!! I LOVE this stain removal tool!

    1. Apparently, the key is to not let the dawn/peroxide mixture dry on the garment. I, too had the dreaded blue ring, but only because I forgot to launder the garment before it dried. Next time I’ll try the clear dawn.

      1. Don’t forget the basics:
        1-All dyes may stain, including pretty dishsoap dyes, like yellow 🙂
        2-Companies do change their soap formulaes which may lead to different results and residues.
        3-Like a work team, each bit of the solution has a job to do, so know what each one does! Dawn is a degreaser, but if that’s not needed, a store brand soap may be fine. Know your players!
        4-TOXICITY QUESTION: Peroxide is safe enough for use as a mouth rinse or to clean shallow cuts and scrapes. It’s the perfumes and dyes that are known to cause allergic responses and headaches. Just as peroxide can release a stain, it may be releasing perfumes and dyes out of the soap. The stain itself might be a problem as it gets pulled into solution.
        5-It’s the peroxide–a bleach–that can sometimes cause the white spots in susceptible fabrics and/or dye lots. It might not matter if the white hides better than the stain! Peroxide is a bleach by a different chemical process than chlorine bleach—do NOT combine them together—very hazardous!
        Happy Cleaning! ~Jane (RN)

  16. Help I put this solution on a blood stain on a nylon short. Let it set overnight reapplied the solution. Then washed as usual. When I pulled it out of the washing machine the blood stain was gone but there was a white mark outlying where I had orginally put the solution. Any ideas?

    1. Sorry you had that result Beth and I don’t had an absolute answer for why it happened as I have not had that reaction. Perhaps the nylon fabric, because it’s a synthetic fabric, gave the different result.

    2. I have used this combination many times with no problems. I used it on a shirt the other day and got the same white mark you’re talking about. Were you able to do anything to get rid of it?

  17. Any thoughts on why it would have turned the spot yellow and not removed the red stain that was there? I have tried everything on this stain but I don’t know what it is. But now there is yellow everywhere I put the dawn and hydrogen peroxide.

    1. No, I’m sorry, I don’t know what would be causing the yellow. I did not have that happen to me. Perhaps it is the type of fabric?

  18. I love using Dawn for stain removal but I’ve just had a sweater get stained blue from the detergent. I’ve soaked and tried washing it out but no luck. I’m heartbroken! Any suggestions on how to remove the blue stain?

    1. Sorry to hear that Deb 🙁 I have never had Dawn leave color on any of my clothing. Perhaps you could try just hydrogen peroxide on it. There are also products you can buy that are called “dye grabbers” or “color grabbers” for when colors run or bleed and perhaps something like could help.

    2. I used the dawn free which is white and scrub it spot that makes a foam in the hot water and let it soak overnight and it took out old stains in my dish towels that had been there for a year. I was reading if you use the baking soda to put it in a bowl first then add the peroxide and keep stirring until no more foam then add the dawn and mix well then put in the spray bottle to store it. Hope this helps.

    1. Sorry to hear you had that reaction. I’ve used this many many times and have had absolutely no problems and in fact, I do not notice any smell at all.

      1. I made some and put it in a spray bottle to use later. A few hours later the bottom of the spray bottle broke off and everything ran out all over. I wonder if the peroxide causes a chemical reaction. I used 4 T Dawn, 8 T peroxide and 1 T baking soda.

        Perhaps it is better to mix it up and use it right away? Anyone else have this happen?

        1. I always mix up just small batches and use it right away. Nevertheless, I don’t think the combo would be enough to dissolve a plastic bottle if you stored it in one.

          1. Not only did the bottom fall off from the bottle — the liquid “exploded” all over the place. I had the spray bottle in the laundry room. The entire room was covered with the mixture — not just the surface. It was definitely some sort of chemical reaction. If I try it again I will just mix a small amount for immediate use.

            1. Oh my goodness! I’m not sure what happened there as I’ve never had anything like that happen, but thanks for sharing what happened to you so others can be aware. I think it’s probably best to just make this mixture in small amounts as needed at the time.

        2. Violet, the reason for your “explosion” was the baking soda.While baking soda is a great cleaner, it is alkaline and will cause a reaction with chemicals that have a PH lower than 7. You may have witnessed this reaction when mixing the alkaline baking soda with the acidic vinegar during a grade school chemistry course. This reaction causes gasses to release and expand, so when bottling the mixture it will quickly create too much pressure for an airtight bottle to handle and will cause it to explode. Try the stain removal formula as written (peroxide and dish soap) and if you need to mix in baking soda add that at the stain rather than in the bottle for the best results.

  19. Love this stuff- I’ve been using this as my go-to stain remover for a couple of years. It has completely removed everything from the blackberries my toddler smashed into the carpet, to the ENTIRE glass of merlot my boyfriend spilled while eating dinner… and subsequently refused to make any attempt to assist me with cleaning it up… ( obviously he has issues- but that’s for a different forum). So I too let it sit. And sit. And sit. After almost 3 WEEKS of looking at burgundy- colored stains splattered on light beige carpet I gave in… I sprayed this directly on the stain (I actually saturated it) and allowed it a good 30 minutes or so to soak in before using my carpet shampooer: and it removed the whole stain…all of it. However, I feel it is worth mentioning that after repeated uses-housebreaking incidents, in high traffic areas, etc, that it may actually be removing the manufacturer’s stain guard or causing it to break down in some way; as my carpet is now becoming increasingly harder to clean. Despite using a vinegar and water solution for the final rinse, iit continues to appear extremely dingey… Has anyone else experienced this as well?

  20. I had a long-sleeve tee that I thought I had ruined when it was totally splattered with hot cooking oil. Regular washing didn’t work, so I figured I’d try this before it went to the rag pile. I mixed the proportions in a travel-sized spray bottle, sprayed the stains and just threw the shirt in the hamper. After the next washing it was as good as new. AMAZING….THANKS. Meanwhile the small spray will always be right near my machine.

  21. Thanks much! So…am I understanding that this will get out GREASE/BUTTER/OIL? Even ones that have been washed and dried in the dryer already?

    And..Do you have to use the ORIGINAL Dawn? Or any Dawn?

    Also, do you know of a stain remover with these 2 ingredients PLUS baking soda? I thought I heard that somewhere.

    Sorry, don’t mean to overload you with questions, but as you can see, I have been in need of something like this for a LONNNNNNG time, with no great results!

    again, many thanks!

    1. Questions are quite alright! This mixture can do some pretty good work on oily stains, BUT, I have tried it on some things that have gone through the dryer already a couple of times and it did not get them out completely. I always use original Dawn but if you had one of the other varieties of Dawn around it could be worth a try. I like original Dawn best because it’s focus is just for cleaning greasy dishes and not about fragrance or hand softening or stuff like that. You can add baking soda to this mixture if you want to and when people are doing that it’s about adding some abrasiveness to the mixture so you can scrub it into the material a little better. If you give this mixture a try, just make sure to be patient and let it sit on the stain for many hours before washing the item as usual. Good luck!

  22. AH-Maz-ING! I thinking about all the great pieces I find at thrifts stores super cheap and I think I will purchase 1 and check this out!

  23. Two things:
    Be careful with Dawn that has color in it. My experience has been that even though the stain will come out, the Dawn will leave it’s own stain! I believe there is a clear formula.
    The other day I poured some peroxide on an old washed/dryed blood stain. I just got the fabric wet and left it alone for several hours. The stain was G.O.N.E.! The trick is to leave it alone and let it do it’s job! I’m usually so impatient, but after this, perhaps it will be easier to let it sit for a good long while.

    1. The solution worked great years ago on wine stains on tablecloths. But today on a decorative cloth with a fringe (obviously non-washable, the blue dye in the dawn did leave a ring. I tried to rinse with clear water.