Homemade Stain Remover

How to Make Your Own Gel Stain Remover

We have become very dependent on our stain removal process for quite some time now. With having four kids to cloth and not good about dealing with stains when they are fresh, stain removal has become a dreaded but very important task. My mindset has developed (yes, developed … it hasn’t always been this way) into a very waste-less one and it pains me when I am going through a freshly washed load of laundry and I end up tossing a quarter of it to the side because of stains. Let me give you a little script of what goes throw my head when this happens 🙂
Annoyed Me: Ugh! What do they get themselves into?!?!
Literal Me: Who knows? They are kids, what do you expect?
Annoyed: I don’t know, but now I have to spend extra time getting these stains out!
Literal: You know you could just turn those into play cloths and replace them.
Annoyed: We just bought that shirt last week!
Literal: Oh, right … well that was a waste of money.
Annoyed: AND TIME! So frustrating.
Literal: I guess we need to get the stain remover out and get to work on our stained-stashed clothes (the pile that has accumulated over the course of the last week or two). 
Annoyed: Yeah, but I don’t have TIME today, do you think we could wait another week?
Literal: Maybe, but #2 (he’s the messiest) is running low on shirts.
Annoyed: I know, it was worth a try to procrastinate longer!
Literal: So go get the stuff?
Annoyed: Fine!
The cat’s out of the bag, I’m the crazy mom who talks to herself because sometimes I just need a grown up to bounce ideas off of! Please tell me I’m not the only one that has these types of conversations with themselves! ;-p
Before I continue, let me just make a statement in defense of my laundry soap, “I’ve tried different laundry soaps (and I hope to find a homemade version) and I in no way find my laundry soap guilty for not doing it’s job … I blame the children!” heeehee! If you have a laundry soap that get’s out EVERYTHING the first time, please share your secret. 
We use 3 products for stain removal, Shout, Dawn, and Fels-Naptha. I did just recently purchased some Norwex Stain Remover but I haven’t used it enough to compare it. Depending on the stain type we will use one of these or a combination of them. I have been researching how I could make my own version of Shout and Dawn so be sure to keep an eye out for those posts, it gets me excited (eye-roll allowed, I can get excited about the silliest things) just thinking about the day I find something that works just as good and is easy to make!

I came across Fels-Naptha years ago when I was responsible for washing the Mr.’s entire baseball teams’ new white pants after every game … still not sure how it ended up that way or that I was so willing to do that (I’m just thankful I am no longer doing this)! For all you baseball moms and dads out there, you know that red baseball dirt is a PAIN to get out, so we trialed and errored until we found this miraculous soap. I started out using the bar, getting it wet, and rubbing the stain which works really well, but sometimes a little extra elbow grease was needed with a brush and I really didn’t like the little pieces of soap I end up with when using a bar of soap. So I reverted to using this method instead.

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gel stain remover using Fels-Naptha

Homemade Stain Remover

1/4 bar of Fels-Naptha (found with the laundry soap)
2 cups of HOT water
1 wide-mouthed pint sized glass jar
Use a cheese grater or food processor to shred the Fels-Naptha. Place shavings in glass jar. Add hot water, don’t overfill. Secure the lid. Shake gently until soap is dissolved. Allow to cool. Gelled and ready to use. Apply desired amount to stain. Use a scrub brush or toothbrush to rub in. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes. Launder as usual. For tougher stains, allow to set for longer and reapply as needed. 

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original stain after a few washes without pretreating

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homemade gel stain remover

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scrub-a-dub with a brush

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after one application and one wash

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after second application and setting for few hours

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after second wash

The stain is still barely there, but much better than it was! And in all reality these baseball pants are going to look like the first picture in a matter of one inning anyway 🙂

As for a container, I prefer the wide-mouthed pint jar because it’s easy to get to the bottom of the jar. I will usually make one bar worth of stain remover and use 2 quart sized jars and then transfer it to the smaller one.

Cost: $0.97 (Walmart) for 1/2 gallon of stain remover

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