This week's tip comes courtesy of one of our furry friends.

I have been wanting to put together a little DIY Stain Removal Kit for quite awhile, and this weekend I bumped up the urgency after a sick puppy incident.

We switched to homemade cleaners a few years ago now, and when we made the switch we also tried to reduce the number of bottles of stain remover we are purchasing for carpet, upholstery and clothing.  In fact, I never found any that worked all that great anyway and have done a lot of reading about how everyday household products do just as well.

My problem is that by the time I check out my stain removal guide, I then end up rummaging through my cupboards in hopes that I have everything I need on hand.   Sometimes I do a celebratory dance, sometimes I hear that whomp whomp sound.

When it comes to these stain removers, different types of products work better on specific types of stains.  Makeup, sweat, puppy accidents, crayon, grass stains, chapstick, ink, wine and paint stains.... And let's face it, with three boys we see a lot of clothing stains.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I stain far more things than they do!

I am not a stain removing expert, I definitely had to do some reading.  I found a lot of really helpful information on my two favorite websites; Better Homes & Gardens (also here, here and here) & Martha Stewart

The items I personally found helpful to add to my kit are as follows:
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Peroxide
  • Clear Dish Washing Liquid
  • Baking Soda
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Corn Starch
  • Stain Removal Charts
Also, not pictured above:
  • Bottled Water
  • Tonic Water
  • White blotting rag (to place behind clothing during stain removal)
  • Bin to hold supplies (which also doubles as a place to soak stained clothing)
  • Q-Tips
  • Medicine Dropper
  • Linen Brush
  • Spray Bottle

Because a) I am me b) original packaging is bulky c) original packaging is visually cluttering and d) I plan to keep this kit on hand for many years to come, I decanted the everyday household products into a few small glass bottles (found at HomeGoods) and shakers (found at our local grocery store).  This is not at all a necessary step.  Just one if you are a lover of all things pretty and organized.

UPDATE:  Thank you to my special readers, they informed me that you should NOT place peroxide in clear containers, so it should at least be frosted or left in the original packaging.

I also used my Silhouette to create some vinyl labels which should stay strong even if they get wet.

I stuck everything in an empty bin, which will also double as a soaking tub ,and placed it on our counter in the laundry room.  I also laminated and hung the stain removal tips and charts on a command strip behind the kit.

I also appreciate that I learned a lot about the additional uses for everyday household products that we already have stocked in the kitchen and medicine cabinet.  I had no idea you can use petroleum jelly to prevent a stain from spreading.  Or that simple dishsoap works just as hard on stains as it does on dishes.

Now we have everything at our fingertips anytime we create a stain.  And yes, that is a frequent occurrence here, so I am pretty excited to have it all in a single location.  Also, the fact that it turned out so stinking darling and it can live anywhere in the laundry room is a sweet little bonus.

Do you have a no-fail secret stain fighting recipe?  Care to spill it?

Looking for more quick tips?  Check out the entire series here!