My Favorite Homemade Stain Remover

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I’ve really come to love my simple 2 ingredient DIY recipe for homemade stain remover. I’ve been using it for at least 10 years now and it’s saved the day on many occasions. The most recent occasion was when a commercial stain remover couldn’t fully remove a chocolate stain, but the homemade version came to the rescue and now the stain is gone!

I’ve written about this homemade stain remover recipe a few times before back in the early days of the blog when I first discovered this little trick. But I thought it was time once again to share how easy it is to make this two ingredient stain remover recipe and to share another success story on how well it can work. Let’s look a little closer at the details:

Dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide combined to make DIY stain remover

Using Dawn and Peroxide to Remove Stains

As you can see from the photo above, this recipe uses two simple ingredients: Dawn dish soap and Hydrogen Peroxide. Dawn dish soap is a great product for cutting through grease and hydrogen peroxide can provide some gentle lightening.

To make the DIY stain remover, simply combine 1 part Dawn dish soap with 2 parts peroxide. You can make this mixture in any size needed, but I’ve found that I usually only need a small amount at any given time so when I need some for a stain, I usually just mix together 1 teaspoon of Dawn with 2 teaspoons of peroxide in a small bowl.

My Most Recent Homemade Stain Remover Story

My most recent need for making this homemade stain remover was because of a small chocolate stain on a pair of my favorite khaki capri pants that I wear a lot. Yup, I sat on some chocolate – just one chocolate chip that crumbled out of a snack bar I was eating, but it somehow got under my leg and then got smooshed onto the pants. In the photo below, the stain had already gone through a wash cycle (and hung outside to dry) and had been pretreated with Whink Wash Away – BUT it did not remove the stain completely and the spots were still faintly there. *Grumble Grumble*

Using homemade stain remove on pants

And it’s this type of situation where this homemade stain remover can come to the rescue. I probably should have just used my homemade mixture first and not even tried the store bought stuff!

But all was not lost. Instead of giving up on my favorite pants, I instead got busy and mixed together my 1 teaspoon of Dawn and my 2 teaspoons of peroxide. I usually then just use my measuring spoon to pour some of the mixture onto the stain, using the back of the spoon to spread it around and into the fabric.

using best homemade stain remover made with dawn and peroxide

And now for the important part – PATIENCE. I’ve always had the best success when I let this sit on the stained clothing for several hours.

For this most recent use of my homemade stain remover, I let it set for almost 17 hours. I applied the stain remover at about 4:00 in the afternoon, then in the evening I applied just a bit more of the stain remover, then I let it set overnight and washed the pants the next morning, and again hung them on the line outdoors to dry.

clean pants after using homemade stain remover

And this time when I brought my pants in from the clothesline, I could not find the stain anymore. I looked and squinted, thinking maybe I saw a bit of it here . . . or maybe over there, thinking every little shadow was maybe remnants of that stain. But then it dawned on me that if it took that much looking and squinting and nothing was at all obvious, then the stain was certainly gone enough that it was nothing to worry about anymore anyway and I called it a success!

A Few More Questions About DIY Stain Remover

Because I’ve written about my homemade stain remover before, I’ve gotten a few questions over the years too. Here’s a few thoughts on some of these common questions:

Can I make homemade stain remover in a batch ahead of time? I usually don’t make this mixture in large batches because hydrogen peroxide can break down in the light over time and be less effective. However if you need to use this mixture often and want to make it in a larger quantity to keep some in a spray bottle, I would suggest finding a dark bottle to keep it in.

Do I have to use Dawn dish soap or can I use another soap? Dawn is the preferred soap for this mixture because it’s very good at cutting through grease which can help with stain removal. However if you cannot find Dawn soap in your area, I usually suggest to look for another soap that says it has grease-cutting ability.

Is homemade stain remover safe for any fabric? If you have concerns with using this on a certain fabric, I usually suggest to test it in a smaller, less obvious place on the piece of clothing first. So far this mixture has been safe for me on any fabric I’ve used it on over the years.

What about dark colored fabric? I haven’t ever personally tried this on dark fabric (maybe because it seems like it’s always light clothing where the stains can be an obvious problem). Again, you might want to test in a small area first, and perhaps let the mixture sit only for an hour or so instead of for a longer overnight period.

Here also are the links to some of the past success stories I’ve shared about this homemade stain remover:

And occasionally, I’ve used Dawn foaming soap without any peroxide on greasy stains that have gone through the dryer and have had success with that method too!

dawn dish soap and hydrogen peroxide to make DIY stain remover

Give DIY Stain Remover a try!

Most of the time when I’ve used my homemade stain remover, it’s been a situation where I wouldn’t wear the item in it’s stained condition anymore anyway, so why not give the DIY mixture a try? If it works, then great! You’ve saved the day! And if it doesn’t work, things are basically in the same condition where you started. So you’ve really got nothing to lose and everything to gain if it works.

Perhaps this mixture can save the day for you too!

stain removal from pants

Homemade Stain Remover

This quick 2 ingredient mixture can work magic on stubborn stains and it's cheap and easy to make too!
Yield: 3 teaspoons
Author: Beverly


  • Small Bowl or dish


  • 1 tsp Dawn Dish Soap
  • 2 tsp Hydrogen Peroxide


  • In a small bowl or dish, mix together the Dawn dish soap and the hydrogen peroxide.
  • Spread some of the mixture onto the stain, rubbing it around a bit to help it soak into the fabric.
  • Let the mixture set on the stain for several hours if possible. Patience is often the key with this mixture and if you are trying to remove a stubborn stain, you may want to let this mixture set on the stain overnight.
  • Then you can wash the item and hopefully your DIY stain remover has done the trick. I can't guarantee it can remove any stain, but I have gotten some amazing results with it!


I like to make this mixture in the small amount given in this recipe to use it on individual stains when they happen. However if you would like to make it in a larger amount, just use the ratio of 1 part Dawn dish soap with 2 parts hydrogen peroxide.

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One Comment

  1. Bev,
    I’ve used this formula for quite some time with great success. If the clothing isn’t something special, I don’t even measure and just squirt a little Dawn and pour a little hydrogen peroxide on. Recently did that with a white T-shirt that had a stain from an Asian greasy hot pepper type sauce and it totally took it out! We are big DIY-ers and this has saved many an article of clothing!

    Always appreciate your great tips!