18 Cheap Stain Removers You Can Make at Home


What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

You don't have to buy an expensive bottle of stain remover at the store: The ingredients you need to eliminate all kinds of stains are already in your cupboards.

Who hasn’t been there? You’re hosting a party and a careless guest sloshes some red wine on your light-colored carpet.

You’re ready for this little emergency, and quickly empty a carton of salt on the spill. But when you pick up the clumps of salt, the stain is still there.

What’s next? Many would head to the store for a better and more expensive remedy. But the items you need to properly remove that stain are already right there, in your home.

For example, several online sources rave about this method: Mix ammonia with water — the recipes vary, including 2 tablespoons of ammonia to 1 cup of water, or equal parts of each — and apply it to the stain. You can do this with a spray bottle, or wet a white towel with the mixture.

Next, lay the towel over the stain and iron it with a hot iron. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Many homemade stain removal methods are even simpler. Click the links below for more details.

Stains on clothes

  • A mix of equal parts of ammonia, liquid dish detergent and water in a spray bottle is touted as an effective stain remover for clothes. Spray it on and wash later, after it dries.
  • The Krazy Coupon Lady recommends lightly scrubbing a stain or stubborn dirt with dish detergent, then soaking the clothes overnight in a bucket of water and 1/4 cup of baking soda.
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) is the star of this recipe that removes stains from clothing and other fabrics. Mix together one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts Dawn dish detergent. A spray bottle is the preferred method of application.
  • Robin Shreeves used a combination of lemon juice and salt to treat a stain that had set on a favorite white blouse, then reapplied lemon juice and hung it in the sun.
  • This recipe at eHow describes a lemon juice application that will work on a rainy day.
  • This How Stuff Works article about the power of lemon as a stain remover says a mixture of lemon juice and water will also remove those dreaded armpit stains. Just be sure you wash the clothes quickly after applying.
  • Two crushed aspirin tablets dissolved in a cup of hot water is also good for perspiration stains, Mrs. Clean says.
  • WD-40 lubricant can remove grease, oil, crayon and lipstick from clothes. Who knew? In fact, there are scores of ways in which WD-40 can be a life-saver.
  • Reader’s Digest says a 30-minute soak in milk will remove ink.
  • Unflavored meat tenderizer is a good stain remover for protein-based stains like blood. Make a paste with a little water.

Other stains

  • I keep a spray bottle of half white vinegar and half water for many cleaning tasks, including removing hard water stains.
  • IDiva says body lotion can remove crayon and other tough marks from walls.
  • Another iDiva tip: A common eraser can remove pen marks from a leather purse.
  • Half a lemon dipped in salt will eliminate stains from the copper bottoms of pots and pans. Rub lightly. That combination of lemon juice and salt is also said to remove rust stains from a variety of surfaces.
  • Paul Michael of Wise Bread vouches for this method of removing a water ring from the dining room table: Mix mayonnaise with some cigarette ash and leave it on the stain overnight.
  • Baking soda — rubbed dry into stains or mixed with water to make a paste — works on many types of stains.
  • What if it’s a mystery stain? Reader’s Digest says, “Mix a teaspoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with a little cream of tartar or a dab of non-gel toothpaste.”

Some important advice

Mrs. Clean offers some essential advice whenever you’re trying out a new stain removal recipe on a surface you haven’t used it on before.

For starters, test it in a hidden spot. In fact, according to a very informative article by ABC 7 News in Chicago: “Many types of fabrics are not suited for home stain removal techniques, including rayon, silk, satin or velvet.”

Act as soon as you can to remove a stain before it sets. Quickly blot the stain with an absorbent material. Do not rub.

Have you tried any of these substitutes, or have ideas of your own? Share the wealth on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 20 Clever Ways to Make Extra Money

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,031 more deals!