Spray N Wash Alternative

Is there a recipe for homemade spray- n- wash (spot remover)? Also, for the homemade detergents – what about the HE – High Efficiency front loaders – how much do you use in them?


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Becky B. - August 17, 2011

The homemade detergent is HE-friendly. Two Tbsp. ought to do you for an XL load.

As far as pretreating stains, here’s what I discovered: 90% of stains come out in the wash w/ no pretreatment. The other 10% would not have come out anywya w/ pretreatment. So don’t use it! I find a few drops of Dawn dish detergent rubbed on the area as effective as anything, esp. greasy stains on polo shirts. My next choice would be a few drops of liquid laundry detergent.

    Patceelou - December 8, 2011

    Be cautious about using Dawn for light-colored or white clothes. The blue stained my clothes and I finally had to throw it away.

      Maryam Crosnoe - January 18, 2012

      I have found that with colored clothes it is best to use a dishwashing liquid that is white or hair shampoo. Both are good for getting oily stains out of clothes.

      Kim J. - January 18, 2012

      The same thing happened to me with Dawn dish detergent. Had gotten a food spill on the front of a newer white turtleneck shirt and ended up looking worse with the blue dye than from the actual spill in the first place.

geekbearinggifts - August 17, 2011

Start with half the amount called for on the detergent package or in the recipe when you use it in an HE machine.

Vicki - August 17, 2011

I have not found ANY prouct anywhere that works as good as Spray N Wash. LOVE that stuff. Always have coupons and wait for sales – but nothing works as well as it does to get out practically anything!

Lisa - August 17, 2011

Hi Carol. I don’t know about the stain remover alternative, but per load I use 3 Tablespoons of home-made laundry detergent in my HE front-loader and that usually does the trick. My home-made version is “dry” or mostly-powder and not in liquid form. If clothes are particularly dirty I add another T of washing soda. If they are particularly smelly I add another T of borax (or, if I have it, baking soda). And I always add a bit of vinegar for the rinse cycle. My clothes look and smell great. HTH! ~Lisa

Michelle Chaffer - August 17, 2011

In response to the question about spray n wash and making laundry detergent. I have been making this for about 4 years now. 1 bar of fels Napatha soap (usually found in the laundry aisle for about $1, but I have found it in the bath soap aisle before), 1/2 cup of Borax, 1 cup of washing soda ( NOT baking soda). You shred the bar of soap, put in a pan cover with water and heat on the stove until it is completely melted (keep an eye on it, stirring it almost constantly), you will need a 5 gallon bucket . Put in the Borax and washing soda in the bucket pour in the hot soap, stir, then fill with water. Let it sit over night, it will turn in to a thick gel (I promise, my kids love to see how much it gels up). You actually water this down again by half. So you can use a 2nd 5 gallon bucket or you can water it down as you go in whatever container you want. For HE washers use about 1/3 cup, for top loader 1 cup. Now about the spray n wash. My girls are horrible at staining everything! The homemade soap alone is not enough. When I was using Tide I never had to spot treat, with the homemade soap I really have too. We have ruined a lot of shirts. It does help if you use the the soap to spot treat directly on stains and scrub it. What I have started doing, since we have such a huge issue is buying spray n wash and then mixing it with half the homemade soap to try and save money. But, I would guess that MOST people do not deal with the deep ground in dirt. food stains that my children make. So I would suggest just spot treating with the homemade soap first to see if it works well enough for you.

R Tower - August 18, 2011

1/2 part peroxide and 1/2 ammonia works as a great spot remover. I’ve used it forever.

    Corrine - September 30, 2011

    Thank you so much for your recipe using the peroxide and ammonia. It even takes out tomato, which ends up on too many of my clothes! So “cheap” too. I get it from the $ store. It took mold out of a scatter rug that got wet and also a down comforter after a leak in our camper. Just took a few times of spraying it on and a little waiting. Much happy!

Vera - August 20, 2011

I take a small spray bottle and fill it half way with vinegar and the other half with dish soap preferably an environmentally responsible one. This works very well on many stains. If I can’t get it out with this combination, I put a little lemon juice on the stain when I hang it out on the clothesline and that seems to finish off any left over stains.

Karen - September 26, 2011


Some tips from the stain master Heloise.

Melanie - January 19, 2012

I spray straight vinegar on the stain and then pour a little of the powdered detergent over the stain. I gve it a couple scrubs and throw it in the washing machine!

Rose - January 21, 2012

Along with removing stains from my white clothes I use a couple squirts of hydrogen peroxide in my small humidifiers with each refill. It keeps the filters clean, mold & germ free.

PamAlabam - January 23, 2012

I have used this for 20+ years. We live in an area with red clay dirt and it STAINS clothes. My hubby regulary gets it on his pants from his knees down. He might be wearing jeans or he might be wearing nice khakis–it’s the nature of his job. The original recipe I saw called for equal parts of dishwashing liquid, water, and ammonia. I find that using that much dw liquid makes it pretty thick and harder to use in a spray bottle. I bascially use a little more than a third of water and ammonia and fill the rest of the bottle with dw liquid. Being exact is not crucial. With most stains I encounter, and I get some tough ones with a hubby and two boys, I will give spray most spots and then give a quick scrub with a little nail brush I keep by the washer. I rarely have stains that will not come out. I shudder to think how much Spray N Wash I’d have to buy! I did buy some with a coupon once and felt like I was spraying money on those huge stains, lol.

Tonia - April 18, 2012

The best thing i have found…and i thank God everytime i use it!!…is Fels-Natha soap. It comes in a bar and people grate it and add it to their homemade detergent. I LOVE to use this on stains….and people have been doing it forever. The best part is it only costs 99 cents and lasts forever. You get the stain wet..or the bar i suppose…and then rub the stain with the bar of soap. Let it sit a minute and launder as usual. It even took out a mustard stain from a pair of pants!!

Don - May 18, 2012

I used Spray N Wash for my work clothes. The store put up a sign saying it is no longer available, this “New” product will do the same. Yeah, right. I ruined 70 bucks worth of clothes now and have a pile a foot high of things I’m afraid to wash because there is no product I trust. Resolve is almost as good as spit. It really sucks when big corperations make you trust a product and then take it away and give you poop to replace the good product.

    Rachel - May 27, 2012

    I have to agree, this Resolve stuff doesn’t do anything an the stains I have tried it on. If anything, it has slightly bleached the color of the fabric, but done nothing for the stain. So, don’t waste your money on this new concoction! I usually have more luck with an ammonia based product. Might try the ammonia/peroxide suggestion earlier. Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

Ronda - May 14, 2013

The Safeway house brand Spray-n-Wash clone is as good as the real stuff.

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