Summertime = a lot of laundry. And a lot of stains on that laundry. Grass stains, skinned knees, ketchup drips, popsicles – you name it, it’s probably stained that white t-shirt or favorite skirt. I’ve been a little disappointed with the stain sprays I’ve bought from the store, so for a few months I’ve been researching different DIY stain remover spray recipes to see if I could find one that works. Trust me, this one is pretty fantastic.
First, dissolve borax and super washing soda in warm water. Both of these are great stain-fighters, so I added both to cover all the bases. These would be fine on their own, but adding a little castile soap (or any vegetable-oil based soap) gives it an even bigger boost, and helps with those greasy stains that can be really hard to get out. The glycerin is there mainly to help the other ingredients stay combined, so if you don’t have it, don’t worry. You’ll still have a great stain remover spray.
Just to show you how well it works, I did one of those old-school stain tests of infomercial fame: grape juice, soy sauce, ketchup and mustard. I used a toothbrush to help scrub out the stains. (I don’t always use a toothbrush because it can be a little harsh on some fabrics. A little gently rubbing would be better on a delicate blouse, for example.) By the way, I wouldn’t use this stain remover on silk; it’s probably best to leave that to the dry cleaner.
How did it fare? All but the mustard came out pretty well. I rinsed it in hot water and, after letting it dry in the sun, most of the mustard stain came out too. (That’s another tip—the best bleach around is good old sunlight!)
Have you ever made your own stain remover? Do you have any tips for getting out those tough stains?
DIY Stain Remover Spray
- Place borax and washing soda in a spray bottle with the warm water. Shake or swirl until completely dissolved. Add the soap and glycerin. Replace top and shake well until combined. Before using, shake well. Store in a dark, cool place. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little more warm water to the bottle and shake well. For tough stains, use a soft bristled brush to work the stain remover into the stain. Rinse with the warmest water that is safe for the material.
- Note: Be sure to keep out away from children. Borax and washing soda can be harmful if taken internally. Wash hands well after using to prevent irritation to skin.