As excited as I am to share this stain removing/deodorizing DIY home cleaning recipe with you, I really wish I hadn’t had the opportunity to test it quite as thoroughly as I did. But, if it can help clean and deodorize my son’s tummy-bug mess from a new mattress and new carpet…rest assured it should work for most anything you’ll throw at it. (Don’t worry–no before/after pics for this cleaner!)
In the aftermath of my kiddo getting sick, I remembered seeing something passed around on Facebook for using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and our old trusty cleaning pal Dawn; all mixed together as a stain remover. I thought I remembered seeing that it would deodorize too. Considering I was facing both stains and odor, I thought it would be worth a try.
For the bed and carpet, I mixed about ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide, a few teaspoons of baking soda, and a little squirt of Dawn (maybe about 1 tsp–I didn’t take the time to measure!). I swished it around, dipped my cleaning cloth in it, and started scrubbing. (This was after I’d removed the rest of the…um…residue. Sorry if that’s TMI, but figured that was important to mention!)
With a little scrubbing and blotting , I was able to get the rest of the stains out of both the carpet and the mattress, and more importantly, the smell too. My guys have sensitive noses, and I was worried that either the smell of tummy sickness or the strong smell of a cleaner would bother them. This ended up smelling slightly of Dawn, but mostly just CLEAN. Hallelujah!
I also had the “opportunity” today to use this on a sizeable grape juice stain on my light tan living room carpet. This was less than 24 hours after discussing with the kids why we don’t bring grape juice into the living room, even in sippy cups… but stuff happens and children ignore their mothers’ wisdom, so at least we have a good tool to deal with it. I blotted as much of the grape juice as I could with dry towels, then scrubbed the mixture into the carpet. It looked like it needed to be rinsed, so I squirted a little hot water onto the stain, the used my shop-vac to suck the water out (you could also use a carpet cleaner, or just some towels for that step). After one round, the stain was pretty faint, but still visible, so rubbed on some more of the mixture and let it sit about 1/2 hour. After rinsing and vacuuming again, the only problem was that the scrubbed area was a little cleaner than the rest of the surrounding carpet. I’ll take it! (and the preschoolers in the household breathed a collective sigh of relief…)
After I had a chance to do more research on this combo, I found out that hydrogen peroxide and dish soap are a bit of a dream team when it comes to stain removal, especially tricky ones like red wine. Mix two parts peroxide and one part dish soap (many recommend blue Dawn, but most soaps should work fine), and use it to pre-treat stubborn stains on clothing. Be aware that peroxide can be a bleaching agent, so if you’re concerned about color-fastness of clothing or carpet, test it on an inconspicuous spot.
The addition of the baking soda to the combo helps in both deodorizing and scrubbing for stain removal. This is especially helpful in those yucky armpit stains that can pop up on shirts. I tried my leftover mixture on some pit stains, and I was super impressed with the results. (I’ll spare you the Before & After pics of those too…just use your imagination. Before: gross…After: awesomely clean). The peroxide/Dawn/baking soda has also proven useful for stubborn grease stains in shirts and tablecloths.
This is something you’ll want to mix up and use in smaller quantities as needed, because hydrogen peroxide is basically water with an extra Oxygen molecule attached (“H2O2” rather than “H2O”). It can break down into plain water when it’s exposed to light or mixed with other ingredients for a while. (That’s why peroxide bottles are opaque brown, so sunlight doesn’t cause it to break down!) There’s also a chemical reaction that happens when you add the baking soda, so a fresher cleaning solution will be most effective at stain removal.
This will definitely be an addition to my stain-fighting arsenal. And considering you can buy all 3 ingredients for less than $2 total (especially with a sale and a coupon for the Dawn), it’s not only effective, but also super frugal.
A quick recap:
Stain treater for clothes: 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part dish soap
Add a few tsp. of baking soda for extra deodorizing/scrubbing power, especially for pit stains and grease stains
Use a higher ratio of peroxide (3 or 4 parts peroxide to 1 part Dawn) for places you’d want less sudsing (like my examples above with the mattress & carpet, which are harder to rinse)
Mix it up as needed in smaller quantities, so the chemical reaction is fresh and most effective at fighting stains.
If you try it, let me know what you think! I really hope you only need to try it on crusty undershirts or spilled juice instead of my other example…but if the need arises hopefully it’ll be a handy trick to know.
Have you tried our other DIY Cleaning recipes? They’re low in chemicals, super frugal, and do a great job. Check them out:
Vinegar & Dawn: Soap Scum cleaner, Carpet spot treater, and much more!
Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Versatile Vinegar: tons of uses for vinegar all over the house, plus a recipe for great-smelling Orange Infused vinegar
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