stain removal | the green life

I found this recipe at One Good Thing a few months ago. I knew I had to try it since I already had all the ingredients on hand. Super simple. It involves dishwashing liquid – she says Dawn, I use Ecover Dishwashing Liquid + hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can be found at any pharmacy or most grocery store for less than $3. Most may know hydrogen peroxide as the bubbly liquid used on cuts to reduce infection. I have personally found that it doesn’t need to be fresh or full of the awesomeness you want for cleaning a cut, mine is really flat and STILL works! You can also add baking soda if the stain is bad enough, I did not need it on this white shirt in particular. Now I did need baking soda for a huge mess Anthony made on a nice shirt involving red hot sauce (and if it can get that out I promise it will treat so many stains for you!!)

Proportions don’t need to be exact! I use a small glass bowl with approx. 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide + less than a 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Stir to combine. I use a toothbrush since we have plenty on hand (we use an electric toothbrush but the dental hygienists continue to insist on giving us the regular ones!) but you can use any kind of brush. Work the concoction into the garment and allow to sit for however long it needs. For this example, the stains were gone within 5 minutes on this shirt. I washed normally with my whites and then air-dried it in our bedroom. For Anthony’s shirt I mentioned above, it needed to sit much longer. I believe it was closer to 30 minutes.

This recipe can be used for all sorts of stains, not just armpit stains. It will remove grease, hot sauce, dirt, chocolate, etc. You really must try it out!


It is simple simple simple and doesn’t take any more time than it would to throw Shout + Wash or ghastly bleach on your clothes. The best part is that it hydrogen peroxide does not break down the fibers on your clothes like bleach does. In other words, your clothes will last longer and you are saving yourself so much money with these cheap ingredients!

Amy - February 7, 2012 - 10:39 am

Great post!! If one cloth diapers, they probably have *BLUE* Dawn liquid on hand. For some reason, the blue Dawn liquid is the key for many things, like stripping diapers, so I always have a bottle. That is really cool trick, thank you!

emily b - February 10, 2012 - 6:59 pm

This is fantastic! I can’t tell you how many of my hubby’s white shirts I’ve thrown away because of the pit stains. I am definitely trying this. Thank you, thank you!!

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