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The Tightwad Try-Alls: DIY Laundry Stain Remover

 I was in the mood for science. Well, my version of science. More accurately, I was in the mood to pretend to star in an infomercial in my own home. That’s practically the same thing as science.

Let’s skip the obligatory paragraph about how there’s always laundry to do, there are always messes being made that we have to undo…and store bought products can be pricey. Blah blah blah. Fast forward through to THE SCIENCE! (ish)

 Here’s the Tightwad recipe. Does any part of that scream red flags at you?! AMMONIA?!?!? No way, not in my house. I mean, hey, there are plenty of arguments for AND against ammonia. What you use in your house is up to you, and none of us will know one way or the other. As for me and my house, we will avoid ammonia.

 Step 1: Gather  ingredients. I doubled the vinegar to replace the ammonia. (Remember how vinegar is good for basically everything?) The Tightwad recipe calls specifically for Wisk detergent…instead I used my homemade laundry soap.

Breanna’s Homemade Laundry Stain Treatment:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup liquid laundry detergent
  • 1/2 cup water

Step 2: Combine ingredients

Step 4.1: (the first step 4 you see…late night typo!) Pour mixture into an empty spray bottle

The next photo is not a step you’ll do on purpose like I did. See, this is where THE SCIENCE comes in! I used an old cloth diaper, and simulated some stains: mustard, jam, bbq sauce and a vinaigrette. I let them sit on the fabric for about 3 minutes.

Step 4.2: I used a damp sponge to remove as much of the products as possible, the way you’d likely try to wipe/blot something off of your shirt once you realize it’s there.

Step 5: I sprayed a line of 3 different stain removers, two store bought and my homemade version, across the stains. The cloth diaper was already divided into three sections, so it was easy to divide it up. I allowed the stain removers to soak into the cloth for about an hour.

Step 6: I washed the cloth with a load of towels in cold water with my laundry detergent.

The results: A delightful surprise, the DIY stain remover functioned just as well as the pricey (chemical laden) store bought kinds! There was absolutely no visible difference between any of the three. Surprisingly (to me) the jam, bbq sauce and vinaigrette all came out completely. No such luck with the mustard…eeeps!

It’s fun to find yet another use for products I already have on hand at all times! Now there’s another product I no longer need to purchase!

It’s a Tightwad Win!

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4 Responses to The Tightwad Try-Alls: DIY Laundry Stain Remover

  1. Elysapeth says:

    You might be able to get that mustard out with the old lemon juice and sunshine trick. Cloth diapers just jogged my memory. That is how I got stains out of my prefolds LoL

  2. Anna says:

    I love the SCIENCE! Great post.
    I blog about radical homemaking and DIY at – check it out if you like!

    Take care!

  3. helene hansen says:

    Just to be scientific try with just detergent and water (I think you will be surprised) and with no pre-treatment at all. In denmark the most common stain advise is to dab some unconcentrated dishwashing soap on the stain and leave it overnight before washing it

  4. David says:

    Hi, I don’t understand the aversion to ammonia. It certainly is poisonous, but has its uses when used properly. Although I will say, if doubling the vinegar works, bully!

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