The Best Stain Removal for Clothing

best homemade stain remover dawn peroxide clothing delicate - The Best Stain Removal for Clothing featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen


One tablespoon of classic Dawn liquid – the blue stuff
One cup of hydrogen peroxide

Dab onto stain with a clean cloth or sponge.

This can remove red wine, blood, yellowed stains from sweat and deodorant, grass, even stains that have been laundered and are old.

On Thanksgiving we tried this with an old off-white muslin tablecloth with a blue, tan and berry colored pattern. A glass of Zinfandel spilled over a large portion of the fabric. After trying all the classic remedies (like cancel red wine with white wine) and having little success, I went onto Google and found a few recipes.

The recipe for this best stain removal got the most traffic and comments online, and was the only one that worked. And boy did it work: without even rinsing the red was COMPLETELY gone, the print was not affected; it didn’t bleach the off-white color. It was as though the wine was never spilled.

I have since used it on heavier duty fabrics with an old clean toothbrush, and have poured it directly onto stains to pretreat before washing. I have used this combination on synthetics, natural fibers, and even dry clean only fabrics like silk! The best, cheapest, and most effective stain remover I have ever used!


  1. Valery C
    July 24, 2019 / 10:24 am

    I use this constantly on my Grandbaby’s stained clothes to my husbands. Works better than anything I’ve tried and it’s much cheaper

  2. Joanne
    September 22, 2018 / 8:27 am

    How much of dawn to peroxide do we use what was the ratio
    Thank you

    • September 26, 2018 / 12:54 am

      One part Dawn to two parts peroxide, though I’ve found if it’s not exact it still works great.

  3. Pat Frank
    July 6, 2018 / 1:09 pm

    I have makeup on my “silk” blouse. I have put dawn on it and some of it came out. Can I still use the dawn and peroxide on the silk blouse? Also, can spot clean or do I have to wash it?

    • July 9, 2018 / 9:23 am

      I have tried it on faux silk no problem, but I did was after on the gentle cycle because the solution will leave a spot.

  4. KR
    March 6, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    Do you know if the non-concentrated DAWN works as well as the concentrated?

    • March 6, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      I’ve used the Dawn I find in the grocery store and it works great. Just use the Blue Dawn, none with additional ingredients.

      • KR
        March 6, 2018 / 7:45 pm

        Thanks for the quick response! I’ll try it with the non-concentrated…it’s blue too.

        • Martha Wayburn
          July 28, 2019 / 3:13 pm

          All grocery stores and big box stores carry Dawn Dishwashing liquid. It has been around for is like Palmolive, but much better and is #1 .

  5. mandycat
    February 26, 2016 / 7:08 am

    You can mix this up one part Blue Dawn and two parts hydrogen peroxide and it works just as well. I removed some red wine stains from a tee-shirt yesterday (the ultimate test.)

    One tip: If you make up enough to have some left over in a bottle, LABEL THAT BOTTLE. Otherwise you will be like me, rummaging through cupboards, wondering where that bright blue stuff went to and where that spray bottle of clear liquid came from. It took me ten minutes to realize that the peroxide bleaches out the blue in the Dawn. The Mystery of the Missing Stain Remover solved!!

    I believe hydrogen peroxide loses its potency after being exposed to light and air so don’t make up too big a batch at a time.

  6. Tiffany
    December 19, 2015 / 6:45 am

    Do you need to make it fresh each time or can it be saved in a container and used when needed?

    • December 19, 2015 / 7:08 am

      Unfortunately it needs to be fresh each time to get the power of the peroxide. I’ve gotten to where I gauge a squirt of Dawn, a splash of peroxide and dab (or if it’s tougher fabric, scrub). I keep both at my washer and often use as a pretreater!

    • Margaret Haugen
      January 22, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      I mix a full bottle then put it back in the peroxide bottle and put the sprayer nozzel in that. The dark bottle keeps it active.

    • Barbara
      April 9, 2021 / 7:37 pm

      I use it as a carpet stain remover but I keep reusing the same batch. It’s amazing!!!

  7. April 14, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    Yep, the classic Dawn dishwashing liquid!

    When I used to do
    wedding coordination we would use Shout wipes on the fabric – most
    fabrics like organza, satin, etc. have a bit of synthetic fabric in them
    which makes them really receptive to classic stain removers. Just try
    in a hidden place first.

    • Elizabeth
      July 23, 2018 / 12:02 pm

      Where can i get it the name of the store please help

      • July 23, 2018 / 12:05 pm

        I’m not sure what you’re asking. The post is about peroxide and Dawn, both which can be found at Amazon and many markets.

      • Margaret Hammond
        April 24, 2021 / 12:08 pm

        Dawn can be found at all grocery stores also at dollar general stores or target, pretty much anywhere you find any household cleaning products.

  8. December 7, 2008 / 3:10 am

    Allie do you know if this would work on sample sale items that have sample written on them?

  9. December 6, 2008 / 4:33 pm

    What perfect time for me to find your blog!!!! I spilled on myself just last night! Hope this works!!!

  10. December 4, 2008 / 2:48 pm

    I can’t wait to try this- thanks for the tip!

  11. December 4, 2008 / 1:58 pm

    Yep, the classic Dawn dishwashing liquid!

    When I used to do wedding coordination we would use Shout wipes on the fabric – most fabrics like organza, satin, etc. have a bit of synthetic fabric in them which makes them really receptive to classic stain removers. Just try in a hidden place first.

  12. Anonymous
    December 4, 2008 / 10:05 am

    Hi Allie, thanks for the recipe and i have to say that i love your blog. guess what, i’m egyptian so you have an expanding readership! i just would like to make sure that the Dawn liquid is the dish liquid stuff, is it so? I would love to use that recipe on my wedding dress that “drank” a whole glass of RED wine at the end of my wedding SEVEN months ago and i have been hesitant to use anything on it since and wasn’t sure even what to use. i’ve tried a hydrogen peroxide and washing liquid mix once on a white shirt and it worked perfectly after soaking it for a few hours. i hope this works too. my dress was not lace, was some fluffy kind of organza.

  13. December 4, 2008 / 7:04 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. December 3, 2008 / 7:14 pm

    Ooooh haven’t yet tried on silk. If it does that would be AWESOME!!! 😀

  15. December 3, 2008 / 7:13 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Margot
    December 3, 2008 / 4:19 pm

    I use dawn undiluted on salad dressing oil spots on my tops (I never fail to drop what I’m eating on my shirt front),it has removed stains even after they have gone through a dryer session. I learned about it from washing raw sheeps wool in preparation for hand spinning, it is a gentle grease cutter. I keep a huge bottle under the kitchen sink and one of the small bottles on the counter and in the laundry room. I will try it with the peroxide though on tougher stuff.
    Thank you for the recipe!

  17. RK
    December 3, 2008 / 2:56 am

    Yup! I used this LAST year for thanksgiving, on an expensive off-white tablecloth with a fall leaf pattern that had an entire glass of red wine spilled on it. I’ve since used it for (pardon me) menstrual blood stains. It works perfectly for that too.

    You don’t even need to dab – you just can just pour straight from whatever you mixed it in. I guess that uses up more solution, though.

  18. December 2, 2008 / 11:08 pm

    Thank you! I already have a few things in mind that could use this treatment… And it’s so simple!

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