Want to remove stains from clothes and fabrics without harsh chemicals? You’ve got to try this DIY stain remover spray! It’s made with a handful of natural materials that will remove stains and blemishes from clothing, linen, carpets, and other washable textiles.
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DIY stain remover spray for clothes
Stains are one of the most annoying things about everyday life. Whether your kid spills a drink, make-up ends up on your collar, or your pet has an accident – stains inevitably and inexplicitly appear everywhere, from clothes to cushions and carpets.
With this DIY stain remover spray, you can tackle blemishes and marks on textiles and fabrics. It’s made with biodegradable materials and free of any harsh chemicals like chlorine or synthetic fragrances.
I always keep a bottle of this DIY stain remover spray in my laundry cabinet. It works amazingly well to dissolve all sorts of taints. And now I feel so excited to share my laundry stain remover recipe with you!
Reasons to love homemade stain remover without hydrogen peroxide
- Versatile: You can apply the product to clothes, linen, upholstery, carpets, plushies and kid’s toys, and all kinds of washable fabrics and surfaces. It’s also helpful to tackle pet stains and odors.
- Color-safe formula: The gentle stain remover removes stains and blemishes from all types of fabrics. It doesn’t affect colored textiles or corrode fibers.
- Environment-friendly: The spray is made from biodegradable, plant-based materials that are safe for your family, the environment, and septic systems.
- Non-toxic: The recipe is free of chlorine, bleach, phosphates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, caustics, and petrol chemicals.
Let’s talk about exactly what goes into this natural stain remover spray! For full ingredient measurements, please consult the how-to card at the end of this post.
- Distilled water acts as a solvent for the other ingredients. You can also use cooled, boiled tap water.
- Decyl glucoside is the main cleaning agent. It’s a gentle surfactant made from sugar and coconut oil. Decyl glucoside lifts stains and grime from fabrics and ensures they wash away.
- Vegetable glycerin is a humectant and helps to soften and protect the fibers.
- Citric acid sanitizes and disinfects fabrics by eliminating bacteria and microbes. It also helps to remove hard water stains and soap residue.
- Plant enzymes are my secret weapon against organic stains. From blood to red wine stains, enzymes can break down even the most stubborn blemishes. We’ll talk about this more in a second.
- Table salt (sodium chloride) is a water softener and ensures the stain treatment works with any water hardness.
- Potassium sorbate is a natural preservative. Any water-based formula is prone to microbial growth, and potassium sorbate inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold.
- Spray bottle: A glass bottle with a fine mister sprayer head is the best option to store and apply the stain remover spray. The recipe yields approximately 1 1/4 cups, so you need a 10 to 12 oz / 300 to 350 ml spray bottle.
Removing stains with enzymes
What are plant enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins that can break down a wide range of organic matter. Plants produce enzymes naturally to absorb nutrients.
How do enzymes remove stains?
Many stains are organic in nature, and enzymes break down organic into smaller fragments and ensure they wash off fabrics.
Different enzymes tackle different types of stains. Here’s a quick overview of enzymes that help remove stains:
- Amylase removes starches and sugar (think chocolate, tomato sauce, baby food.)
- Protease breaks down protein (think eggs, milk, meat.)
- Lipase dissolves fats (like oil, butter, meat, salad dressing.)
- Pectinase lifts fruit stains (e.g., red wine, fruit juice, berries.)
- Cellulase removes stains from vegetables and plants.
Where to buy enzymes?
Except for amylase, pure enzymes are difficult to source and pretty expensive. I recommend using a digestive enzyme supplement. These supplements support the body digest food and absorb nutrients better. The same principle applies to this stain remover spray.
For the best effect, look for a supplement that contains these six enzymes: protease, amylase, lipase, pectinase, mannanase, and cellulase.
I found this enzyme supplement on Amazon. It includes all our desired enzymes, is pretty reasonably priced, and has received many positive reviews.
How to make stain remover spray
Ready to make DIY laundry stain remover spray? It’s really easy! Let me walk you through the process step-by-step:
#1: Dissolve dry ingredients
Add the distilled water, citric acid, table salt, and potassium sorbate into a heat-proof glass measuring cup. Find a pot or saucepan that is big enough to hold the measuring cup and fill it 1/2 in / 1.5 cm with water. Place the measuring cup inside the pot/saucepan and warm over low heat until the dry ingredients have dissolved.
#2: Add enzymes
Once everything has dissolved, remove the measuring cup from the water bath and place it on a kitchen towel. Allow cooling to room temperature. Then add the enzyme powder and stir until dissolved.
#3: Add decyl glucoside + glycerin
Add the decyl glucoside and glycerin and stir gently until fully incorporated.
Transfer the stain remover liquid into a glass spray bottle and screw the sprayer head on tightly.
How to use stain remover spray
Clothes & washable textiles
To remove stains from clothes, tablecloths, napkins, and other washable textiles, follow these instructions:
- Spot treat. Spritz the stain remover onto the clothes or textiles you want to treat until the area is saturated. I suggest applying the spray at least 30 minutes before laundering, so the enzymes have time to work. For stubborn stains, leave the stain remover overnight.
- Scrub. Use an old toothbrush or a soft detailing brush to gently brush the treated area. You can also rub the fabric together to agitate it.
- Launder. Place the items into the washing machine and run a cycle according to care recommendations.
- Re-apply. If the stain isn’t gone, repeat the steps and re-apply the spray.
Upholstery & mattresses
Some fabric surfaces like couches, chairs, or mattresses can’t be thrown into the washing machine. Here’s how to eradicate smudges and smells from upholstery and sofas:
- Apply. Spray the stain remover onto the affected area until the material is thoroughly saturated.
- Scrub. Use a soft toothbrush or soft-bristle cleaning brush to work the stain remover into the fabric.
- Wait. Leave the solution on for 15 to 30 minutes. For tough stains, leave the product on for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
- Blot. Saturate a clean cloth with warm water and gently wring it out. Press the cloth onto the stain, then repeat rinsing and wring out the cloth until the stain and stain remover are gone from the upholstery.
- Repeat. If you can still see discoloration, repeat the process.
You can also use this carpet stain remover spray to remove unsightly spills and stains from carpets and rugs. Let me show you how it works:
- Soak. Apply the spray to the affected areas of your rug or carpet. Leave the product on for 30 minutes to an hour, or longer.
- Blot. Soak a clean microfiber cloth in warm water and blot the treated area to lift off the stain and cleaner. Continue this process until the stain remover and stain are gone.
- Dry. Use a dry cloth to blot up any moisture.
- Daily routine: Every night, I like to treat stains on clothing before it goes into the laundry basket. That way, the stain remover has more time to work before the items go into the washing machine.
- Tough stains: Saturate the stain with stain remover spray. Next, use a soft brush to massage the product into the fibers. Leave stain remover on for 6 to 8 hours, then launder on the warmest water setting the item allows.
- Fabrics that can’t be put into the washing machine: Apply the spray and let sit. Then soak the item in a bowl of warm water, wring it out and let dry.
Is this laundry stain remover spray safe for all textiles?
Yes, the spray is safe for most textiles and fabrics. I recommend testing the colorfastness of colored textiles in an inconspicuous area.
For silk, wool, fur, and leather, don’t leave the stain treater spray on for longer than an hour. These fabrics consist of natural protein fibers and would corrode if exposed to an enzymatic cleanser for a long time.
Does this stain remover spray disinfect?
No. While the spray offers some antimicrobial activity, you need to launder clothes on a hot cycle or use a disinfectant cleaner.
Storage & shelf life
- Packaging: A glass spray bottle is an eco-friendly and convenient option for storing and applying this DIY stain spray. Optionally, use the printable sticker to label the product.
- Storage: Keep the product in a cool, dark location like a cupboard or lidded box. For the best shelf life, you want to avoid sunlight and heat.
- Shelf life: Homemade stain remover spray should last for at least 6 months. You can continue to use it after that period so long as there’s no change in color or smell.