Have you ever gone through the bin of used clothes and found the most perfect outfit only to discover a stain? Have you ever pulled your kid’s favorite shirt out of the dryer to see that it still looks dirty? I just recently found ninety percent of my toddler’s clothes covered in stains. Her clothes looked like she had been playing in them for days straight even though they’d just come out of the dryer.  Talk about frustrated!

With my secret stain removing solution, all of that frustration will disappear, especially since you won’t need to spend huge amounts of money on stain removers or use loads of chemicals to get your clothes clean. I’ve discovered the most effective stain removing solution made from just a couple common ingredients: baking soda & dish soap.

Brand name baking soda costs less than $3.00 for an 8 oz box. You can get dish soap for under $2.00 per bottle. For a total of less than $5.00 you can remove 99% of stains for at least four full loads of laundry. The steps are simple:

  1. Fill a bucket or storage tub with cool water and add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the water.
  2. Dip clothes into the baking soda water.
  3. Using a small amount of dish soap, lightly scrub the stain, collar, and/or cuffs of clothes.
  4. Soak clothes in the baking soda water over night. If you have a very stubborn stain repeat steps 1-5 and allow to soak for multiple days. Baking soda will not hurt your clothes.
  5. Drain water from tub/bucket, squeeze out most of the water and throw your clothes in the washer. Wash as normal.
  6. Before throwing clothes into the dryer check for stains. If you have remaining stains, soak and wash again.

I used this method for a full load of toddler clothes that included white and pink shirts full of stains. I had to repeat the method with two items of clothing. After the second round everything was clean without a single spot. All of the clothes had been washed and dried numerous times to set in those stains and it still worked! So before you throw out your child’s clothes due to stains, give this simple stain remover a try!

This has been a guest post by Tara from Van Tassel, WY
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21 thoughts on “Stained Children’s Clothes? My Secret Homemade Stain Removing Solution”

I make a paste from Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda and just leave it on the stain.  This method is the fastest and cheapest I’ve tried so far – it got a tea stained white and navy striped tie back to brilliant in less than an hour.  

I use Fels Naptha soap. It’s GREAT!

How is it that you use it for removing stains? I shred the bar of soap and mix it with water from my tea kettle after it whishels in a jug and shake. I would add to my wash load (not the whole jug) but not sure if I can really tell a difference. Thanks

I use Fels Naptha soap!

What can I use for brown spots that have been stored in Linens.
Thank You, Sharon.

I always wanted to do SOMETHING with the box of baking soda that I used as a deodorizer in my refrigerator. Why not THIS? Thanks for the tip!

I had a coupon for $.50 off 2 (2 lb) boxes and my Kroger doubles it, so I got each box for $1.19, about the same price as a small box of generic.  I’m building up a load of stained clothing now and I’m hoping to try it out this weekend.  I’ll be back to post my results!

Anyone have a great method for getting whites WHITE again? We bought a new washing machine last year and my washcloths, towels, and socks look absolutely horrible, gray and filthy even after soaking overnight in bleach! I’ve tried OxyClean and hydrogen peroxide with no success. Suggestions?

 From toddler’s clothing and diapers to once white, grass and dirt stained baseball pants, boys socks and grimy t-shirts, I will always soak in “Biz”. In fact, I keep a pail of it in the laundry room and ALL of my grimy whites go in there so they can soak sometimes for several days. I have always used cloth diapers due to allergies, and no one can figure out how I keep them so white as well as socks and t-shirts. Recently went to help an elderly relative who did not take care of laundry very well. ALL his white clothes were a disgusting gray. I dumped a half box of Biz (or more!) into a washer and filled with hot water. I added then clothes and soaked for 2 days while I cleaned his house. I rinsed the clothes and then washed as normal with a cup or so of chlorine bleach. ‘Uncle Norman’ thought I had bought him new underwear and socks!
If you find that your water turns grungy during the soaking process, you might want to dump it and start again with a fresh batch of hot water and Biz rather than continue to soak in gunk! It’s a bit spendy to use this much BIZ, but it works every time and really… how often would one have to tackle a job like Uncle Norman’s? Keep that pail in the laundry room. You won’t be disappointed!

I tried it on 10 items tonight and was able to have WONDERFUL results with 8 of the items!  (even one I think was strawberries).  I may try lemon juice with the other two next.  The one shirt I have been hanging onto for years hoping to find something to clean the stain because I love the shirt so much.  Thanks for sharing!


I loved my toddlers in white–and they loved to get mud and grass stains on their clothes.  My trick was to boil their whites–cotton of course–in Cascade dish powder–perfect each time.

ahhh! This is great! I have a 5 year old and 1 year old and i can never keep their whites clean. I am definently trying this.

Personally, I like to boil them in Oxiclean.  It works really well, even for stains that I don’t have a clue about.  

does this work on old set in stains? 

yes. i have always added lemon juice to it so i can’t speak for just the two ingredients mentioned. i have used lemon juice w/baking soda. rub it in (with toothbrush if poss) and for stubborn stains put out in sun (after u lightly rinse it off)

Where is the cheapest place to get Baking Soda?  

 For the small boxes, I have found Wal Mart or discount grocery stores have the best price. 2 for $1, or 3 for $1. (I’m in Idaho).

i agree. its cheap everywhere but i usually get the store brand (raley’s)

i get mine from my pool store….they carry 10# bags for about $10

have you tried it with lemon juice? it’s gotten all those old yellow spots out of the kids clothes perfectly!