February 7, 2012

My Mostly Unbiased Completely Un-scientific Stain Remover Experiment


I've seen recipes for "homemade oxy clean" all over the web (and by web, I mean pinterest.)   The problem is that every recipe I found for this homemade stain  remover was different.  They all used peroxide, but some called for baking soda, and others called for washing soda.  Some called for water, others didn't. What is a girl to do!?

So naturally I decided to conduct an experiment.  Because I have that kind of time.

The Contenders:

I summed up all the recipes I'd read into 3 basic recipes:
 
Solution A:
1 part washing Soda
3 parts hydrogen peroxide

Solution B:
1 part hydrogen peroxide
1 part washing soda
2 parts water

Solution C:
1 part hydrogen peroxide
1 part BAKING soda
2 parts water

The experiment

I started with three scrap pieces of fabric.



And 3 Spaghetti sauce stains.


Then I mixed up my 3 stain removers and applied them.


And waited an unspecified amount of time.   20 minutes-ish?

And then I threw them in with a load of laundry to wash and dry.

The Results

They kinda all look the same, don't they?  I'm thoroughly impressed with all of them!


 I was hoping for a dramatic, obvious, undeniable winner.  I'm actually kinda bummed that they all work great!  I guess I'm just a sucker for controversy!


 Do you have a favourite way to remove laundry stains?

61 comments:

  1. I LOVE your blog! I mean, seriously, LOVE IT. So, thanks :) and I love your little post about printing out mean-spirited comments and spitting on them. Awesome.

    Cassie, avid wish-I-had-some-craft/organizing-skills follower

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  2. Hi, I was wondering if you tried it with DRIED stains... that is the experiment I'd be interested in knowing the results of!!!

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    2. 6!

      I forgot to ask if you ever do this experiment again..can you use maybe grass stains, ketchup and/or mustard that have set in for half the day (at least)? Thanks so much

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    3. I used it on dried grass and mud stains andbit workes wonderfully! I was really sceptical cause the in store oxy clean didn't do a great job. But method 3 worked awesome. I will be using it again.

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  3. I use Fels Naptha soap. Wet the stain area and scrub with the soap bar. Allow to sit a while... or don't, just throw in wash. I have used this on everything from grease to pen and it works great, even on coal dust. In fact it leaves the whole load looking brighter.

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  4. I just gotta say, you. are. awesome! I know you don't have it all, and you make that clear, which is why I just LOVE your blog, and all you share. So glad I found it!!! :o) Sara

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  5. Man! How practical- try BLOOD stains next time... I love Goop myself.

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    Replies
    1. Just plain peroxide works to get blood out. I use it all the time on my scrubs.

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    2. Another thing that works is 2 cups of peroxide and 1 cup of blue dawn dish liquid and mix in a spray bottle i am never without it. My neighbor bled on her couch one day and I sprayed it down with this stuff and the blood came right out.

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  6. dawn dishsoap with hydrogen peroxide
    or store bought oxyclean

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  7. Haha... blood stains! Who's making THAT donation? That would be impresseive, though.
    Would this solution be color safe?

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    Replies
    1. I just used it on a red t-shirt. No color fading at all! Yay!

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  8. FYI: you need to store your hydrogen peroxide mixtures in an opaque container. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down when exposed to light. That is why it is in a dark brown container when you buy it from the store.

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    1. SO helpful thanks so much! I always wondered about the brown container... :)

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  9. good to know! i have both/all of those ingredients on hand. who knew i had a great stain remover this whole time?

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  10. I am so far behind reading your blog. How I have missed your great ideas and perfectly sweet decor!! I have taken away 3 things tonight:

    1) make my own stain remover (once my totally toddler runs out- I just stocked up B1G1:o/ BUT I am going to find a pretty little pump to put it into!!!!)
    2)That the mysterious stink that showed up in my kitchen sink (on the side that only holds CLEAN dishes-what-the-heck!!) can be destnkified using vinegar (which is one of my favorite products, fyi!)
    3) Even though my "laundry area" is in my yucky old basement, I can brighten it up by creating and organized yet pretty top of my dryer (ala you!) Thanks!!

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    1. If you have a garbage disposal (as pertains to #2), you can also run orange or lemon peels in it and it will get rid of the smell. I do the vinegar AND the orange/lemon peel...it makes me feel better! lol

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    2. Pickle juice after the pickles are gone. :-)

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  11. Forget the stains- how cute is that soap bottle!!!

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    Replies
    1. Ha ha! That's EXACTLY what I was going to say! Where DID she get it?!

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    2. Where did you get the stain remover bottle.

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  12. I usualy use lime or lemon, and that is a cuuteee!! bottle I haveto agree. Hahaha!!

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  13. Oh man... I was hoping for a winner too! But I am going to try at least one of these. And again - liek other have said - THAT BOTTLE!

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  14. The bottle with the pump is cute.Did you make it?

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  15. Replies
    1. I'd like to know this too, please. Thanks for your experiment!!!

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    2. My red shirt had a bad stain on the front. I put this mixture on it and let it sit for about an hour. No stain.......and no fading!

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  16. If they all work, which one was the cheapest?!

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  17. did you make your cute container? If so how?

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  18. does it work on grease stains? like when you are cooking and get popped?? I usually use dish saop on those but it seems to be a hit and miss thing~

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  19. I used a 1:1 mix of dawn and vinegar on meat/grease stains on my new shirt - i can't even tell where they were!!! i use the peroxide/baking soda all the time for regular loads, and soaking, i haven't bought oxyclean in about 6 months.

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  20. Awesome! I spend a fortune on the oxy clean spray so I'm excited to give this a try. Thanks and have a great week!
    -Sandy

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  21. Cute container, I use hydrogen peroxide straight out the bottle on stains. Works great on everything - even strawberry stain on a white couch. You need to store hydrogen peroxide in a container that isn't clear. It breaks down in light - you end up with a cute container of water and whatever else you added. That is why it is sold in dark brown bottles.

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  22. I know some people have already said this, but yeah, put it in a dark container so the peroxide doesn't break down. Also, peroxide will fade your colors over time. Best just to use this on your whites.

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  23. I'd like to see a "control" with no stain remover...just sayin'. :-) Love your blog and your witty writing!

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  24. Thank you very much, you're a genius. I've tried it with the collars of my husband and IT WORKS!!! even color shirts. The next time I will make photos of before and after
    Your blog is great
    Thanks a lot
    Kisse from Madrid Spain

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  25. Okay, maybe I'm crazy, but when I look at your after pic, C looks whiter. I think it worked best. Nonetheless, could be the lighting.

    Also, I'd be interested to see if they all worked that good after the stain had been siting for a week... or if they all work that well on different kinds of stains (ie, oil-based, red wine, & grass) Since "you have that kind of time" any chance your curiosity will delve deeper into the conspiracy?!? Inquiring minds want to know! ;)

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  26. The real test is letting it set for a week and then "find" it in the wash and have to treat it then! If it works, then that really is awesome! ;)

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  27. Dried red wine stains, plus the added bonus of getting to drink said bottle while testing :)

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  28. too funny that everyone asks about the cute container... I have kept the following link open for a week for when I have the time to make one myself: http://heatherbullard.typepad.com/heather_bullard_collectio/2010/02/diy-mason-jar-soap-dispenser.html

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  29. I was thinking of something to use to clean the cushions on my microfiber couch - they were disgusting! So I mixed up a little washing soda and peroxide in a spray bottle, sprayed it all over the couch, and then scrubbed it with a microfiber towel. It was amazing - honestly just like new.

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  30. how long does this mixture last? I noticed you put a lot of it in a jar, so perhaps you know how long a jar like that is good for?

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  31. Actually, this works really well on everything. Equal part Clorox 2 liquid and Cascade (original) and water as warm as the item will stand. Soak overnight and wash as ususal. I've gotten the nastiest grease stains out of my vintage tablecloths and it works great on baby bibs, too. I throw the soaking liquid right in the wash machine and go-----

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  32. Does anyone else have a problem with washing soda leaving a nasty residue? I've tried recipe #2 and it did great on stains, but would leave a nasty white/chalky residue on anything it came in contact with. I would put a towel down and spray the stained item on top of the towel, but if a little spray got on a nearby surface, it would be caked in white residue after it dried. Thanks for the help!

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  33. I was just thinking, did they all work equally well because they were all mixed together in the washing machine? Stain remover from A transferred to B and C, stain remover from B transferred to C and A, etc. Or, maybe they all work really well. I need to try one of these, and since I have baking soda and not washing soda, I think that's the winner! I have a white T shirt that I absolutely love(should've bought a few) and it has armpit stains. Most of the DIY cleaners call for using extremely HOT water...not yours. Thanks for the tip

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Those samples should of been washed separately and then we would of found out which one would be better. In Cold and in Hot water.

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  34. Peroxide wont that bleach and stain the color clothes.

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  35. Hi, I was wondering if you may know of what kind of stain remover would help me out. I have a Leather / Suede Sectional Sofa and I have a few stains on them that I wish to remove and have tried the old Distilled White Vinegar along with the Dawn treatment, but it doesn't really work at all. The Sofa has that new material that is wash / wipe clean Suede. I have tried looking all over the internet for a solution and have even asked several other people but all have no clue as to what would remove the stains from my sectional sofa, lol! Do you happen to know how to make a solution for Suede? Suede Cleaners themselves are expensive and so is hiring a professional service to come and clean the upholstery.

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  36. I noticed that the stains were still wet, have you tried these stain removers on set and dried in stains?

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  37. Need to set in the stains then find out what works best. Do what kids do thow it into the wash then when you take it out of the dryer you see the stain now get it out that is a real challenge

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  38. Peroxide breaks down so you need to make this fresh each time. You can't make it in advance.

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  39. If you have a husband who works out in a greasy job like the oil field,a mechanic etc,buy a can of goop hand cleaner at the dollar store or discount store and rub it into the oily stain and wash as usual and it all comes out so they dont go to work looking like their clothes have never been washed.. I had a neighbor that had the whites whites i had ever seen and she used something called miracle whitener which I think is what the washing soda does sofen the water if you have hard water,and she used good old fashioned 20 muleteem Borax . I love peroxide for blood stains etc but didnt know I could use it on colors

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