Homemade Stain Remover – Another Success Story

I love a challenge. And this week I had another challenge thanks to my son. He came to me with one of his sweaters (a sweater with wool in it that needs handwashing by the way).

“Ummm, Mom, do you think you can get this spot out of my sweater? It’s been on here for awhile. And oh yeah, I think it’s wine.”

OK, so let’s take stock of the situation – Hand wash wool sweater + it sat for awhile + he thinks it’s wine.

Sure . . . no problemo! I’ll just wave my magic wand!

homemade stain remover

But guess what? I whipped up a little batch of my homemade stain remover and it totally worked! Even in spite of the triple threat of wool + old stain + wine.

homemade stain remover

How To Make Homemade Stain Remover

If you’ve got a stubborn stain lurking about, you may want to give this homemade stain remover a try too. It’s a simple mixture of 1 part Dawn dish soap and 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide. A good size batch to try for a small stain is 1 teaspoon of Dawn with 2 teaspoons of peroxide.

Homemade stain remover using Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide

Just combine the two ingredients in a small bowl. Then spread some of the mixture on your stain. I usually use the back of the spoon I used for mixing the ingredients to spread the mixture around a little bit on the stain.

NOW COMES THE IMPORTANT PART ~ ~ Let everything sit for several hours. Be very patient!

I have had the best success with this stain remover when I let it set on a stain for at least 3 or 4 hours. I let the stain remover sit on the wine stained sweater all afternoon.

After you have been very, very patient, wash the item as usual per the care instructions for that piece of clothing.

I can’t promise this mixture will always work, but it’s worked very well for many on several occasions. And if you’re not going to wear the item anyway because of the stain, why not give it a try? This homemade solution might just save the day!

homemade stain remover

Related reading:

Homemade Stain Remover

This quick 2 ingredient DIY stain removing mixture might just save the day for removing a stubborn stain. Once applied, let it set for several hours to do its work.
Author: Beverly


  • 1 teaspoon Dawn Dish Soap
  • 2 teaspoons 3% Hydrogen Peroxide


  • Combine the Dawn dish soap and the hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl.
  • Spoon some of the mixture onto your stain. I usually just use the back of my spoon to rub the solution into the material a little bit. You can also use a small brush for this.
  • Let the mixture set on the stain for several hours to do its work.
  • Then wash the item, following any care instructions that may be needed for the particular piece of clothing you are working on.


This stain remover mixture can be made in a larger batch if needed too. Just remember to use 1 part dish soap with 2 parts peroxide.

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  1. My water is hard. Even with the water softener, my whites are yellow and anything with a white background or trim turns yellowish grey. Any ideas?

  2. More challenging than all the rest: black, outdoor soot (combo construction dust/sulfuric volcanic emission particulates/red volcanic cinder used in landscaping construction) stain on fabric. Yup. I’ve tried alcohol, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, salt, dish soap, and extrinsic zeolite powder–all in various combinations, and alone, I tried home drycleaner sheets (you put articles in the dryer with), I’ve now tried the 2-1 hydrogen peroxide and Dawn, left it on for days–this alone really reduced the stain. But alas, there’s still more. Yes, I really like the item I’m trying to save a lot. Is there anything else you can think of? (There’s probably an industrial cleaner of some type created for mechanics and machine shops, but it’d be destruction to fabric.)

  3. A veterinary fried showed me that peroxide alone dissolves blood stains. Not so good once something has been through the dryer.

    1. Dawn is known to be very good at cutting grease, which is why it works well in this mixture. Other dish soaps (like a natural one) also cut grease so you can give them a try, but they might not be quite as effective as Dawn.

  4. what about coffee stains? they are a day old and it got wet so i only noticed the stain after I got it out of the drier..

    1. Once a stain has gone through the dryer, it gets much more challenging. It would certainly be worth trying the homemade stain remover, just be sure to let it set for several hours before washing again.

  5. For larger red wine stains I use ¼ cup H₂O₂ to 1/8th cup green dish soap emulsifier like Dawn to 2-3 cups hot H₂O … then immerse item or in case of carpet, sponge solution liberally over stain area in blotting/soaking maneuver … let it sit … Bev’s right … patience is a virtue … let it “rest” Kimosabe … on carpet, I use a Hoover carpet cleaner hand wand to rinse and extract soapy compound from area after waiting at least 4 hours. I had a whole bottle of red wine spill on a camel floor mat from car … I let the floormat soak overnight in a bucket of the mixture and the next morning the wine stain was gone … it works.

  6. wondering how this would work on a shirt with permanent marker. it has already been through the washer, and I have used several things to try and get it out. it is my son’s fire fighter shirt.

    1. Permanent marker is a tough stain! You might have better luck with rubbing alcohol on an ink stain than with this mixture.

    1. I think you could make a larger batch but I would recommend you keep it in some kind of dark bottle as peroxide can slowly break down and lose its potency in the light (which is why it is always sold in those dark brown bottles). I also think it would work in a spray bottle.

        1. I hope it works in a spray bottle, that would be great. I’ll have to go to the dollar store to look for a nice dark spray bottle. Thank you.

  7. I have pet stains on carpet that I clean with vinegar and water. They seem to go back and re stain them. Is there anything we can use to eliminate the odor so they will not restain the carpet?

    1. Actually, hydrogen peroxide won’t remove the odor as much as it removes the discoloration, and getting the soap out of the carpet afterwards would be really difficult. baking soda works best for odor removal, just sprinkle it on and leave it there for a while to absorb odors.

  8. My husband works hard in his clothes, it will have a sweat smell in the clothes and under the arm in the shirts. Will this work for me?

    1. I think a better solution for getting out a sweat smell would be to use borax. To spot treat an area on clothing(for instance the arm pit area), get it wet with warm water, sprinkle on some borax and rub it in, and then let it set for about 30 minutes, and then wash as usual. I also notice that my homemade powdered laundry soap seems to do a good job of getting odors out of clothing too.

  9. Think this will work on a really really old carpet stain? Have tried commercial & homemade products to no avail. Have a rug thrown over it to hide but can’t hide forever from hubby:(

    1. The challenging part of using this on a carpet stain is rinsing it out of the carpet again. When you use this mixture on a piece of clothing, you can toss it in the washing machine after it has soaked. However with carpet, you have to somehow rinse it out as best you can with wet towels or something. So it might be worth a try, but you may have to get a little more creative with cleaning the solution back off the carpet when you’re done letting it soak on the stain.

  10. I’m ready to give this a try with blood stains but was wondering …

    There is quite a bit of dish soap in the mixture so are you supposed to rinse the item out in the sink before throwing it in the washing machine?

    I’m worried about some crazy foam-monster appearing. If no rinse is required then should I use the same amount of laundry detergent for the load?

    1. I’ve never rinsed out the item before washing and have never had a problem – or foam monster 🙂 That being said, I think you COULD rinse it, and that would be fine too.

  11. I will try your solution. Will this work on grease stains? Any idea how to get adhesive off of cotton. I was wearing a name tag and seems like the adhesive all came off on my blouse. Suggestions?

    1. Jeanne – this mixture works pretty well on oily stains. The important part is to let this stain remover sit on the stain for several hours. You can reapply some more of the stain remover during that time too. Straight dawn dish soap also works well on greasy stains and might also work well on the adhesive on your cotton blouse. Of course if a stain has already gone through the washer and dryer, then it will be much more challenging.