Homemade Laundry Stain Remover Recipe for Laundry Stains & Delicates
No one wants to deal with dirty laundry – and especially not laundry stains. This homemade laundry stain remover recipe is a great way to tackle your tough laundry chores. Keep reading to learn how to make a natural laundry soap that makes stains vanish. Plus it’s perfect for handwashing your favorite delicates!
How to Remove Tough Laundry Stains Naturally
Around five years ago I was inspired to create a homemade laundry stain remover recipe – soap style! Inspired by The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, my own version of this natural laundry soap recipe was suitable for both stains and hand washing those delicate laundry items. However, now that some time has passed, and I’m no longer using palm oil in my homemade soap recipes, I thought a revised version of my homemade laundry stain remover recipe was in order.
Like The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, my laundry bar soap recipe does contain borax. (I mean there’s a reason it’s included in all those powdered laundry detergent recipes. It gets stains out.) However, my new version of this recipe is made using only one soapmaking oil – coconut oil – for its highly cleansing properties. It’s then combined with borax and natural lemon essential oil, for a simple homemade laundry stain remover recipe that not only eliminates stains but is also great for handwashing or laundering when you travel.
As my homemade laundry stain remover recipe does contain borax, I recommend wearing gloves when using this product to avoid skin irritation. Additionally, I also ever so slightly superfatted this laundry stain soap bar. I did this in order to account for any errors that are possible when weighing out the ingredients. This will ensure that there is no unsaponified lye that may be left in this soap otherwise. (However, if you’re extremely confident in your scale’s accuracy, you can make this natural laundry stain remover recipe with 0% superfat or 2.2 oz. sodium hydroxide.)
Finally, I also scaled this recipe back from the original version. Because honestly, unless you work in a laundry mat there’s not way you’re using 3 lb. of homemade laundry soap anytime soon.
Homemade Laundry Stain Remover Recipe
Ingredients to Make a Laundry Stain Stick Soap Bar:
Here are the ingredients you need to make a homemade laundry stain remover:
- 12 oz. refined coconut oil (100%)
- 2.18 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye (1% superfat)
- 4 fl. oz. distilled water (33% of oil weight)
- .25 oz. borax powder (sodium borate)
- .15 oz. lemon essential oil
Notes on Making a Cold Process Laundry Soap Bar for Stains
Here is additional information on buying ingredients to make a laundry stain soap bar as well as tips on how to make a homemade stain remover:
- I recommend you use a silicone soap mold with cavities for this recipe. My homemade laundry stain remover recipe creates an incredibly hard bar of soap. Therefore it’s likely that cutting the soap into bars will be a challenge is you use a loaf mold. (Square silicone ice cube tray molds would be perfect for this.) In addition, you will need a digital scale in order to weigh out the ingredients. (This digital bakers math scale is perfect for soapmaking.)
- You can easily source 20 Mule Team Borax for this homemade laundry stain remover recipe in most grocery and big box stores. It can be found in the laundry aisle. However, you can also purchase Milliard borax powder online. This brand of borax is made from anhydrous pure powdered sodium borate with no additives or preservatives.
- To make this natural laundry soap recipe, refer to my basic cold process soapmaking instructions. I recommended you take all safety precautions when working with sodium hydroxide (lye) to avoid accidental burns or unwanted chemical reactions. It’s important to be 100% sure that none of your containers or utensils are made from aluminum.
How to Make Laundry Stain Remover
Here is how to make a laundry stain remover to remove stains on clothing on laundry:
- Measure out the distilled water in a heat safe container. Then, using a digital scale weigh out the sodium hydroxide (lye) into a separate container. Carefully pour the sodium hydroxide into the water in a well ventilated area. Then stir to combine, mixing until all of the lye has dissolved.
- While the lye/water cools, weigh out the coconut oil called for in my homemade laundry stain remover recipe. Gently heat until melted, then set aside.
- In the meantime, weigh out the borax and essential oil into two separate containers.
- Wait for both the lye/water and the coconut oil to cool down to around 90°-95°F. (Additionally they should also be within 10°F with one another.) Now mix the lye/water into the melted coconut oil using an immersion blender.
- Once the soap batter for this natural laundry soap recipe reaches a light trace, stir in the borax and lemon essential oil. (If you have sensitive skin, you may omit the essential oil. Or use another citrus based essential oil or essential oil blend of your choice.) Mix thoroughly until the borax and essential oil are fully incorporated. Once you reach a medium trace, pour the soap into your mold of choice.
- Lightly cover the soap with parchment paper if desired, then set aside. You may unmold your natural laundry soap the next day. Allow the soap you crafted using my homemade laundry stain remover recipe to cure prior to use, approximately three weeks. However, as these homemade soap bars are not being used on skin, you can technically use your natural laundry soap after several days have passed. This will ensure all the lye is gone, having fully saponified all of the coconut oil, leaving no lye behind.
How to Make a DIY Stain Stick without Lye:
If you’re not quite ready to make cold process soap, there is an alternate version of my homemade laundry stain remover recipe. You make a natural laundry soap recipe for stains and delicates without lye by simple rebatching ready made bars of 100% coconut oil laundry or all purpose soap.
To do this, grate 16 oz. (by weight) of 100% coconut oil laundry soap. Place into a medium saucepan or pot on the stove. Next, dissolve .25 oz. or borax (by weight) in 6 fl. oz. of water. Combine the water and borax mixture with the grated soap. Heat the ingredients at medium-low until the grated soap melts. Then add .15 oz. of the lemon essential oil. Stir to combine, then pour into molds and allow to harden. Unmold and use as you would the cold process soap version of my homemade laundry stain remover recipe.
How to Use Homemade Laundry Stain Remover
To use simply your natural laundry soap bar, simply dampen the bar of soap and/or fabric and rub onto soiled or stained spots prior to washing. For deep set in stains allow to set several hours to overnight.
More Homemade Cleaning Recipes
If you’re looking for more simple ways to clean your home, then try one of these homemade cleaning recipes. Other Soap Deli News readers love my 3-Ingredient vinegar free all purpose cleaner recipe. Or give this no scrub deep shower cleaner recipe with essential oils oils a try for a clean shower with almost zero effort. Alternately, for tough household odors try my deodorizing room spray recipe with essential oils as well as this natural deodorizing beeswax candle recipe.
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January 22, 2019 at 5:41 pm
Could your stain remover bar be poured into push or twist up tubes? Or would it be to hard to twist or push? Thank you!!
Rebecca D. Dillon
January 23, 2019 at 8:20 am
It’s makes a rather hard bar of soap. I don’t see why it couldn’t be poured into a hard plastic push up tube, however I haven’t tried this.
February 7, 2019 at 4:04 pm
Ooo, I need to link to this in my Natural Cleaning Hacks post.. And I have a stain I need to try this on! Thank you 🙂
Rebecca D. Dillon
February 8, 2019 at 7:34 am
January 15, 2021 at 8:07 pm
This is my second batch of laundry soap / stain stick.. (first one was a different author). I use it on my grandchildren’s clothing for stains ( 2 yr old and a 4 month old). Works like a charm!
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