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DIY Stain Pre-Soak Solution Recipe


  • 1 quart cold water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons standard table salt or sea salt - double salt amount if treating a blood, wine, or ketchup stain
  • ¼ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap - optional but recommended and preferably or a DIY natural variety and not commercially manufactured
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar optional but recommended for deep, tough, or set in stains
  • 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch if dealing with an oil or grease stain


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a squirt bottle or a tub the stained garment can be soaked in. You will need a spray bottle with a large nozzle, because the powdery ingredients can cause clogging.
  • If using a spray bottle, firmly attach the nozzle and lid and shake vigorously for about 60 seconds. If using a soak tub or the sink, stir the DIY stain pre-soak solution recipe thoroughly for the same amount of time, but carefully to avoid splashing away your ingredients.
  • Spray the stain on the garment liberally or place it in the soak tub and press it down so that it does not float. I recommend putting a bowl filled with cold water that has a firm fitting lid (like Pyrex) on top of the garment to prevent it from floating to the surface of the water.
  • Allow the stained garment to absorb the natural DIY pre-soak solution for at least 10 minutes.
  • Gently rub or dab the stain to spot being treated to help work it out of the fabric. Do this carefully to avoid spreading the stain.
  • Allow the garment to soak for another 20 to 30 minutes for most stains, but up to five hours for blood, grease, oil, deep, or old stains - especially those on light colored fabric. If using the spray method, simply spray liberally again.
  • Remove the garment from the soak and rinse it in cold water.
  • Inspect the stain and repeat these steps if necessary.
  • Launder in cold water, allow to air dry and inspect the stained area again to make sure it is gone. If you wash the garment in hot water and run it through the dryer, any remaining stain will be set in and make it that much more difficult to remove.