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Everyday Cheapskate: Absolutely the Best Homemade Laundry Stain Remover

Mary Hunt on

Launder the item as usual. If treating carpet or upholstery, rinse and blot with clear water, keeping in mind that you've just sprayed full-strength dishwashing detergent on that sofa, chair or carpet. It needs to be completely removed.

This DIY laundry stain remover is a miracle worker all around the house. I use it on kitchen and bath linens, clothes, carpet, rugs, white sofas and dining room chairs. It tackles red wine stains, organic stains such as blood and grass, pet stains and baby stains. You can use this on colored items as well as whites (although test it first in an inconspicuous place).


Q: Do I have to use Blue Dawn, or can I substitute something else?

A: You can substitute any kind of liquid dishwashing soap, although I wouldn't unless it's an emergency. That's because Blue Dawn contains specific surfactants that are far more effective on grease and oil than any other product in its class. And if you use Blue Dawn Ultra, your results will be even more spectacular because the Ultra version contains enzymes. That makes it really effective on proteins, which most household stains contain.


Q: Why do you specify "fresh" hydrogen peroxide?

A: Hydrogen peroxide dissipates and loses its effectiveness in the presence of light -- both sunlight and household light. If you use an old bottle of hydrogen peroxide in this recipe that you've had sitting on the shelf for years, you might as well just use water. It's worn out and lost its spunk. Keeping your bottle of homemade stain remover in an amber bottle will help to protect it from light. Putting the bottle in a dark cupboard will protect it even further. The rule of thumb is this: Once opened, keep hydrogen peroxide tightly sealed in a dark place, and use it within six months.


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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