Want to Make a Full-Time Income From Home?
Sign up for my Free 5-Day Course!
Just type in your name and email address below and I'll get you signed up for this 5-day course—for FREE!

Ask the Readers: Do-it-Yourself Laundry Pre-Treater

Today’s question is from Emily:

Is there an all-natural, do-it-yourself pre-treater that works well for small-children’s stains? -Emily

Do you have a question you’d like to ask Money Saving Mom® readers? Read the submission guidelines and submit it here.

Share This:

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. says

    I found this pin on pinteresthttp://pinterest.com/pin/160440805445283623/ that is suppose to work wonders on baby stains, I don’t know if it would be considered all natural (dawn is pretty high in chemicals) but it would be easy and inexpensive to make and perhaps you could try a less chemical filled dish soap.

      • Michelle K says

        Had a friend just tell me about this and says it works great! Both ingredients are super cheap. Actually the dawn is free here this week and hydrogen peroxide is .68(or something cheap like that) at Walmart with a Q.

      • says

        A word of warning on using this…do not leave it sit on your clothes for more than a few minutes. It will discolor fabrics if left on. I use it all the time and LOVE it! It works wonders.

      • says

        THis works great! I put it in an old “spray & wash” bottle and add 2 tsp of baking soda to the mix. It made even an old white shirt brilliantly white again and took out the arm pit stains. I use this now instead of oxyclean since it works great with colors too.

      • says

        Yup. This works wonderfully. I will spray it on, live it for a few minutes, then rinse it out with cold water if I treat a few days before washing so I don’t forget. I don’t use Dawn. I just used the dish soap I had in the house (Palmolive I think) and works great.

        • Lois Appel says

          I use this 2 parts peroxide, 1 part water , 2 tsp dish det and 1/8 c. baking soda. I mix two bottles of this and use it on the carpet stains before shampooing. It’s wonderful!

  2. Margery H. says

    My mother-in-law swears by Ivory soap in the bar. She would dampen the stain, rub on the ivory soap, and scrub it a little with a brush.

    It seems that elbow grease is the most common ingredient in anything having to do with green cleaning. ;-D.

  3. Danielle says

    I’ve been making my own laundry soap for a few weeks now. It cleans our clothes really well. My husband’s work clothes, though, are VERY difficult to clean as he works in a shop on engines all day and other heavy-duty-diesel equipment. I’ve been pre-treating with my laundry soap, but am going to try these tips on the next load!


  4. Lynn says

    Fels Neptha bar… works on almost anything. Use it just like the Ivory soap. There are a bunch of different DIY recipes on Pinterest. Everyone seems to swear theirs is the best. You just have to try them. :)

    • Ashley says

      I was going to suggest the same thing! Love my Fels Naptha – it even gets old, washed-on stains out. Works on old stains, too. For some things (like pen/ink) I have also found baking soda to work really well.

    • Karen says

      Thanks! I will have to try this, my daughter gets frequent bloody noses and I have had to toss a lot of stuff that I can’t get the stains out of!

  5. Renee says

    I use OxyClean for pretreating stains (which I know isn’t all-natural), but when all else fails, I lay the item flat in the sunshine all day and that works on at least half of my post-laundry stains. Sunshine is certianly all-natural… and free! Maybe I should start trying that first.

  6. says

    It’s not a kid’s stain, but I just got ring around the collar off of one of my husband’s white work shirts with baking soda and a toothbrush. I’m still amazed that it actually worked!

  7. Jessica says

    agree, hydrogen peroxide. I’ve heard it rec’d for sweat stains (or even that dingy feel) and blood.
    Haven’t notice any discoloring of clothes either. can even dilute it with water to make it last longer. spray on or drop in a bucket

    • Andrea says

      It definitely works well on blood.

      It loses effectiveness when exposed to light, so it is best to keep it in a dark container.

    • Daina says

      It can discolor clothing with time… I was using it and baking soda to try to take out a decades-old stain from a vintage children’s dress. After letting my pre-treatment soak in more than an hour (I had tried a shorter pretreatment earlier with no luck, so this was a last resort), there was definitely a bleach spot.

  8. Susan E. says

    Little known fact–your own saliva will remove your own blood from clothing. So if you a bit of blood on a shirt or pants, spit on your finger and rub on the stain. Little by little, it will come out. Now THAT’S natural!

    • Rebekah says

      Ha, doesn’t surprise me! When I get a bit of blood on clothing, I put a couple ice cubes on the spot and let them melt, the blood usually comes right out!

  9. Meredith says

    I dont know if you classify this as all natural but Dawn blue dish soap, water, and scrubing. Just that one for some reason, not any of the other colors.

  10. Emily says

    YES, every woman should have in their purse (and an extra stash somewhere at home) a packet of Totally Toddler Stain Removing Wipes. These are amazing…..they can remove ANY stain (at least any I’ve ever tried). The trick is to have them with you and available at all times, because you can just whip out a wipe and scrub it right off, right there on the spot. I don’t know if they would work later, say on a spot that has been there for a few hours or longer (I don’t know because I always have mine on me in my purse and therefore I have never needed to try using them at a later time). Anyway, I can’t recommend these wipes enough. And it has to be the wipes. I’ve tried their spray on stuff and it doesn’t work as well as the wipes.

    • Allie says

      I also love totally toddler! however, when I recently went back to a babies r us to buy more, they don’t carry it anymore. Do you know where to get it???

      • Emily says

        I’ve gotten it at Baby Depot (Burlington Coat FActory)…..I hope they still carry it. I didn’t know TRU/BRU stopped carrying it. I bought so much the last time I got it that I haven’t had to get any in over 3 years. I’d bet you could find it on amazon.com too. Isn’t it the best?

  11. says

    I’ve been wondering the same thing as well. My Spray N Wash doesn’t seem to be doing the trick on some older stains. I’d hate to toss a shirt because of a random stain, but at the same time, it makes my kid look dirty before they’ve even played! Thanks!

  12. Shanna says

    I use Borax. I have heard that Borac w washing soda works great too, or you can just make your own laundry soap using Borax, washing soda and Ivory (or Fels Neptha)

      • Barbara says

        I always liked to pretreat baby poo stains with hot water & rub it with a ivory soap bar. Let it stand for a minute or 2 then see if it rinses out. sometimes I need to do it again. Most of the time, it takes care of it. If it’s still not gone after washing it, hang it out in sunshine to dry & it should care of it.

      • Jennifer says

        I now make my own by filling a spray bottle with hot water and adding 2 TBSP Charlie’s soap powder. It works just as well as the pre-spray!

  13. KimH says

    You can get dirt, grime, and grass out of clothing, even whites, by soaking in a bucket with about a gallon of water & 1-2 cups ammonia. Let it soak for about an hour, then launder as usual.
    Do NOT let it sit for hours & hours. Your clothes will disintegrate. Trust me.. I’ve done it. 😉
    But this is what we used on our sons baseball uniforms every week from the time he was about 5 until he started doing his own laundry at about 20. He still plays baseball & he still uses the ammonia soak. Gets his ball clothes squeeky clean.

  14. Kasey S says

    I use clorox cleanup on my son’s baseball pants to get the clay stains out of his pants. Don’t leave it on too long and never wash in hot water.

  15. says

    I agree with using fels-naptha soap. I also use a little bit of my home made laundry detergent (a combination of fels-naptha, borax, and washing soda). If you have an item that is white, you can soak it in 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup washing soda and add water to cover the clothes.

  16. misty gorman says

    a good old-fashioned bar of Fels Naptha for 99 cents. wet bar and rub on stain. it works on 9/10 of the stains on our clothes and i have 3 kids.

  17. says

    Hydrogen Peroxide is the #1 best stain remover and the absolute cheapest! Use it on old stains, colored fabrics etc. I used to have a resale childrens clothiing store and used Hydorgen Peroxide on stains daily.


  18. Janine says

    I put equal parts of hydrogen proxide, Liquid laundry detergent, Ammonia, and white vinegar in a spray bottle. I think it works great especially on grass stains.

  19. NIKKI says


    • Marlene says

      I have had good luck with just soaking an extra 15-30 minutes as a matter of routine. That way you don’t have to examine every article of clothing for stains and things still come out clean.

  20. Jen says

    Sadly, I don’t have a recipe, but I can tell you what doesn’t work – Clorox 2 Stain Remover. I bought it recently and it does a very poor job with stains.

    I will definitely be buying an extra bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a plain spray bottle. Thanks for all the tips, ladies!! My three-year-old’s and husband’s wardrobes thank you!

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *