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Homekeeping · Laundry · This Is The Best Laundry DIY To Have On Hand For Emergencies

This Is The Best Laundry DIY To Have On Hand For Emergencies

With this handy laundry DIY, you can treat stains now and wash them out later!

If you’re like me (and hopefully you aren’t, at least in this regard!), you get a lot of unfortunate stains on your clothes. My mom used to say that it’s like I “have a hole in my bottom lip!”

And as if that weren’t enough to deal with, it didn’t take long to discover that I had passed this particular flaw to all of my kids too. Needless to say, we rarely make it through a meal as a family without at least one person getting food on their shirt.

When it’s happened to me in the past, I used to immediately change my shirt and throw the stained one in wash right away out of paranoia that the stain would set if I didn’t. But I didn’t love interrupting meals with my family to run off to the laundry room, so I challenged myself to come up with a stain treatment that would allow me to “treat now, wash later,” as some stain remover products say.

After a few failed attempts, I finally came up with what I think is a winner! And I’m excited to share it with you here today, so that you can make your own stain stick at home too. 🙂

How To Make A DIY Stain Stick So You Can “Treat Now, Wash Later”


*Note: If you only have one of these on hand, never fear! Instead of adding 1/3 cup of both washing soda and borax, you can use 2/3 cup of either and it will still turn out just fine!


Step 1 – Melt Over Low Heat

Add the grated soap, washing soda, borax, vinegar, and water to a saucepan.

Put it on your stove over low heat until combined and mostly melted.

(I say “mostly melted” because I’ve never been able to get the soap completely melted when I’ve made this, which is also why it’s important to grate the soap as finely as you can before attempting to melt it. I do this by cutting the bar into chunks first, then blending the soap chunks in my Blendtec until it’s all been properly pulverized.)

Step 2 – Add The Dish Soap

When the mixture starts to thicken, remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool for a minute or two before stirring in the Dawn. (You are going to want to work quickly here because it will start to harden pretty fast!)

Step 3 – Fill Container(s) And Let Cool

Spoon the finished stain stick mixture into a plastic ziplock bag, snip off one of the corners, then pipe it into an empty container. A lip balm tube works well if you’d prefer a mini stain stick, and an empty deodorant container works well for a larger version.

As you fill your container(s), either tap the container on the countertop to help the mixture settle, or push it down with something if the mixture is too thick to tap down. Continue filling and leveling until your containers are full and there are no air pockets.

Finally, allow the mixture to cool and harden completely before using.

How To Use Your DIY Stain Stick

To remove a stain, grab your stain stick and either wet the end of if slightly or dampen the stain itself with some water. (Getting the stain stick, the stain itself, or both wet helps things glide a bit more easily.) Rub the stain stick onto the stained area.

At this point you can either wash the item immediately, or toss it in your hamper and wash it later. I’ve had success with both methods (even after letting the stained item sit in the hamper for days!)

But if I am going to wash it after it’s been sitting for a while, I usually run some water over the stained area then rub the fabric together for a few seconds to get the detergents deeper into the stain. (I’m not sure how much of an impact this makes, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.)

Throw the stained and treated item into your washing machine and wash as usual. During the wash cycle, the borax will break down acidic stains, while washing soda and vinegar both boost the stain-removing, grease-cutting power of the detergents and dish soap.

This stick is now another permanent fixture in my laundry cabinet, right next to my homemade ultimate stain remover spray! The next time you have a stain situation (which seems to occur about every 10 minutes in my house), you’ll have a great way to stop the stain in its tracks without having to drop everything to do a load of laundry.

What do you do after realizing you’ve spilled something on your shirt?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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