Zero Waste Stain Remover – Possible, but Necessary?


I have two kids.

Therefore I have stain remover.

I usually buy it from a store and when I’m finished I toss the spray nozzle and recycle the bottom.

But an experiment, via the scientific method*, taught to me by Mr. Smith in eighth grade, has led me to consider two alternatives:  make homemade stain remover or don’t use stain remover at all.

Question:  Will homemade stain remover be just as effective as store-bought stain remover?
Research:  Very little!  Except for finding this recipe for homemade stain remover.
Hypothesis:  Store-bought stain remover will be more effective than homemade stain remover.
Materials:  Dirty kid clothes
Hydrogen peroxide
Dawn dish soap (except we won’t be using Dawn specifically because I like using only what I have on hand.  See:  homemade laundry detergent).

Procedures:  Create homemade stain remover using 1-part dish soap and 2-parts H2O2.
Spread ketchup on control, a white washcloth.
Spray part of clothing with homemade stain remover.
Spray another part of clothing with store-bought stain remover.
Leave part of clothing untouched to see if stain remover makes one stinkin’ difference.
Observation:  My kids are really rough on clothes.
Observation:  The Outback is overdue for an oil change.
Observation:  There’s far too little dark chocolate in this house.

Conclusion:  There was little difference between store-bought stain remover and homemade stain remover.  There was also little difference between using stain remover and NOT using stain remover.  But…it did get out a three-wash-old strawberry stain on my toddler’s sweater so we’ve got a keeper.
Future Action:  I’ve tossed my last nozzle (yikes, that sounds a bit dirty…). I’ll use up the store-bought stain remover, start making the homemade stuff, and use it like you would a citronella candle – you aren’t really sure it’s making a difference but it makes you feel a little bit better.

*The word “scientific” in “scientific method” might be the only “science” actually used in this experiment.

May 12, 2015

About Me

About Me

I’ve been passionate about combatting blind consumerism since 2008 and joined the Zero Waste movement by starting this blog in 2013, soon after my second child was born. I think it might have been trying to unwrap a toy or someone’s attempt to sell me a butt-wipe warmer that put me over the edge… read more



  1. TidyMom

    yay!! so glad it worked for you!


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