Kids are messy. Well, to be fair, so are husbands and wives, right? Sometimes just washing the laundry doesn’t get out those tough stains left behind from first one thing then another. Some reach for a chemical-laden stain stick. Me? I grab my spray bottle full of homemade laundry stain remover and go to work!
Why Do We Need Stain Remover?
Our little girl loves chocolate cereal. If you’ve ever had a little one that drools, you probably know that chocolate cereal drooled out on clothing leaves stains! The same can be said with Goldfish and many other snack foods. So how do we keep her clean? We use bibs (Maggi’s favorite are Dora bibs), but like everything else, they get messy, too.
You Can’t Get Out Set-In Stains
I decided to go on a scavenger hunt across the internet to find a good stain remover. I found this one a few months ago and decided to try it out. I tried it on a stain that had been set-in for quite a while. It cleaned it up a little, but it wasn’t perfect. I soon realized that you can’t get out set-in stains. The only course of action is to apply the stain remover before you put the garment in the wash. With that said, we actually use this on everything that is stained before they get put into the machine – even the stuff with set-in stains. No need to stain it worse, right?
How to Make DIY Spot Remover Spray
The mixture is pretty easy. Just mix 2 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part original blue Dawn Ultra dish detergent. I’ve read multiple homemade cleaning recipes that strictly call for the original blue Dawn Ultra. Why so specific with the Dawn? Well, it’s biodegradable, is highly effective at removing grease, doesn’t irritate the skin, and contains no phosphates!
Anyway, pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, swirl to mix, and spray liberally on items to be cleaned. You can use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain if you want.
Let’s use our homemade stain remover on those bibs!
The spray begins to foam up when you spray it on due to the hydrogen peroxide. When hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with an enzyme called catalase (which is present in most organic cells), it breaks down the peroxide. When you have a stain (drool, blood, grass), those stains contain catalase. When the catalase begins to break down the peroxide, it loosens the stains so they don’t become set-in. It gets even more foamy when you start to scrub because of the dish soap. The soap will pre-treat the stain area so it starts cleaning before you put it in the wash. Scrub it up good, and let it sit for a few minutes. When I’m doing laundry, I always start a load, and then spray the bibs, scrub them and let them sit until the load in the washer is finished.
Don’t they look all relaxed just hanging around there? They have no idea what’s coming next… I’m going to throw them into a HOT load in the washer. Using hot water helps to ensure any bacteria get killed. I mean, you can’t put a bacteria colony on your child, right? Use an extra tablespoon of your homemade laundry detergent if you want, but I never do.
Before and After Using the Stain Remover
Now, I told you before, most of what we have is pre-stained (because it took a while for it to sink into my thick skull that I should be using stain remover on her bibs). At any rate… let’s see how we did.
Not bad, huh? Now that we have found this stuff, we love it!! You can see that there are still some stains there, but something I have learned since first writing this post is that you can stop the stain if you treat it immediately. Don’t let the clothes sit until you’re ready to wash them – that will set the stain. Instead, take the piece of clothing, immediately spray the affected area and scrub it. You might even put it into some water to soak a while.
Don’t be too concerned when you look at the bottle again the next day and see that it’s no longer blue. The peroxide takes the color out of the soap. It still cleans the same. In fact, the very first time I ever made this mixture, it turned pink! Odd, but again, it still cleaned great!