How To Remove Stains In Your Clothes With Natural Cleaners + 2 DIY Recipes

Written by Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco-advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media and communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show. She also shares stories on her blog The Eco Hub.

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I've been making my own natural cleaners for about 18 years now—and not to toot my own horn, but the almighty stain remover is one category I've really perfected.

Before I dive into the ingredients for my spot cleaners, there are a few things to keep in mind when you spill or stain an item in your home: First, you'll want to tackle it immediately if you can, to prevent the stain from setting into the fabric. (I actually keep a "stain caddy" handy in the kitchen and downstairs washroom so I'm not running around the house frantically if a spill happens.) I'd also recommend keeping basic essentials like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, Castile soap, rags, and a spare bottle in your home so that you can whip up your own cleaner in a pinch.

OK, on to the fun part! These stain removers should work on any kind of fabric, be it clothing or home textiles. For colored fabrics and upholsteries, though, I recommend doing a patch test first to make sure there's no discoloration.

Lemon stain remover spray

This gentle recipe is great for white textiles in particular. You can spray directly onto the fabric and leave it for a few minutes. I make this in small batches as needed since the lemon juice will not keep more than 3 days. 


  • ¼ cup lemon juice 
  • ¼ hydrogen peroxide (3%) 
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil 


Mix all the ingredients into a dark bottle. Amber bottles are handy when you're making DIY recipes because some of the ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide, are sensitive to light.

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A heavy-duty stain remover

For stains that need a little more elbow grease, you can whip up a batch of this heavier-duty cleaner.


  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda


Mix all the ingredients together to create a paste. Rub onto the stain gently, in a circular motion. (I use a toothbrush for this part.) Then wash it as you would normally. I have used this one on carpets and upholstery as well!

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