Country Lore: Homemade Stain Remover

If your clothing shows the ravages of spilled food and other assorted mystery substances, dishwashing soap mixed with white distilled vinegar works very well as a homemade stain remover.

homemade stain remover

For an effective homemade stain remover, mix dish detergent and white vinegar.

PHOTO: MAKSIM SHEBEKO/HSAGENCIA/FOTOLIA

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To remove persistent stains from white clothing, I mix one part dishwashing soap and one part white distilled vinegar in a small medicine cup. I dab this mixture on the stain and let it sit overnight. The stain usually fades completely by morning, but if it hasn’t, I rub more of the mixture on the spot and let it soak in again before washing in cold water.

It’s a safe and effective chlorine bleach alternative, and it works with many fabrics, although I would recommend testing the fabric before treating the whole garment. My homemade stain remover has been effective against red fruit juice that spilled onto a white sweater and sweat stains under the arms of white cotton shirts.

Heidi Holliday
Lawrence, Kansas

yolanda
5/9/2009 7:01:30 PM

Sorry, Chanan. I meant I wonder if that is what Heidi meant!


yolanda
5/9/2009 6:44:37 PM

In my experience, dishwashing liquid does not contain bleach unless it is specified. Most say not to mix with bleach since the fumes could be hazardous. I have heard of using automatic dishwasher soap to remove stains - I wonder if that is what Chanan meant.


chanan
5/4/2009 12:13:29 AM

Do you think she meant dishwashing liquid? If so, does that have bleach in it as well? I'm kind of new to green living, so I have no idea. Also, does anyone have a great tip for removing stains from colored fabrics?


megan_4
4/30/2009 2:29:24 PM

I was thinking the same thing. I believe most dishwashing detergents do have bleach in them, so it's probably a good thing this person only uses her solution on whites!


pwalton
4/30/2009 10:34:00 AM

Doesn't dishwashing detergent contain bleach?