Stain Removal

I got these stain removal hints from three different Martha Pullen (Sew Beautiful Magazine) email newsletters.  I found that I personally like this formula:

HOT WATER (enough to fill a big, clear plastic tub) , equal parts(about a cup of each) BIZ and the blue DAWN LIQUID DISH DETERGENT.  I use a wooden spoon to mix the clothes around.

I throw all the stained clothes into the tub of hot water ( make sure the clothes are all the same color, don’t mix colors and whites) and let it sit for a couple days. if the stains are still there, I leave them in the water up to a week. then I dump the entire tub of clothes and soapy water into the washer. If there’s still stains, I repeat the process. (THIS FORMULA IS VERY SLIMY SO WEAR GLOVES)

I have used this method on yellowed heirloom pieces, and the heirloom clothes that I make.  the only difference is that after I soak the item, I rinse it well and then I lay the item on a big towel, roll it up like a long snake, and then wring the excess water out. I hang it to dry.

Oh! and I just want to add that I accidentally washed an off-white piece of fabric with some red which turned it pink (ugh) and after soaking it in biz and hot water for a couple of days, it’s as good as new!  The fabric was still wet from the washer when I started soaking it, and I agitated it and rinsed it out a couple of times and changed the water at least 2 or 3 times.  To any of you who aren’t sure about it, all I can say is it’s worth a try, the fabric/clothes are ruined anyway so why not try it out!

I’d love to get some comments on this subject, so let me know what you think!  (success?  bad experience?  I want to know!)



To remove set in stains – especially from old baby clothes – I use a plastic bucket or dishpan, the hottest water the fabric will stand (enough to submerge garment completely), and equal parts Dawn liquid (original blue Dawn) and Clorox 2 powdered bleach (usually 1/4 cup of each). Put hot water in pan/bucket, put in Dawn and Clorox 2, add garment(s) with stains, weight down with plate or bowl to keep fabric submerged and leave for 24 hours. Next day dump all into washer with regular detergent and wash/dry as usual. I’ve removed spit up and formula stains that were over 10 yrs old from baby clothes, including heavy knits, with no loss of color. Only once did I have to repeat the process. I did not come up with this. I saw it on TV many years ago. Don’t even know the show but remember the lady used it on old wedding gowns and baby clothes and antique linens.

A second hint – Since it is apparent I am unable to eat without wearing part of my meal on my front I now keep a bottle of Dawn at my washer and liberally douse grease spots on my own knit tops with it as I put them in the machine. Sometimes I have to repeat once or twice again (this after I’ve removed them from the dryer and see that there is still a spot) but have removed even the worst stains from all but two tops over the past 12 yrs. I think of all the clothes I’ve had to toss because I couldn’t get spots out over the years and know this is a winner!

I enjoy reading your weekly newsletter especially the helpful hints. When I was attending one of your licensing classes, you told us how you wash, clean and renew your antique christening gowns. I have just mended a friend’s gown that was first used in the 1890’s and has been used by the family many times since. She wants to use it again but is has yellowed especially around the bodice. The dress is very fragile and she wants to know the best way to clean it. Although I know that I wrote down what you told us, I can’t find it anywhere. Could you please send it to me again? Thank you very much for you assistance. I’m hoping to see you in June. I want to take the beginning licensing sewing class.

(Answer from Martha: Betty, if the dress is fragile I would simply wash it and use it stained. I only use the Biz bucket on things which are in good to very good condition. This family treasure might be copied into a new dress and the antique one framed in a shadow box. Then the new dress could be worn for many years. The historic information might be stitched into the slip of the new dress that it was a copy, etc. etc. In the shadow box a picture of the new baby who wore the reproduction might be included. On the back of the frame family history could be slipped into an envelope which is pasted to the back. Lots of ideas but I would not try to get stains out of a very fragile family treasure. Thanks for writing.)

What is the formula for the Biz bucket? My daughter has some old linens and quilts that were found in her husband’s old home place that are stained and she needs to know how to treat them.

(Note from Martha:Phyllis I soak dirty “old things” which are in very good condition, I might add, in a plastic mop bucket of water and one cup of BIZ. Soak as long as you want to soak. For things in very good condition, I also fill my washing machine with water and put 2 cups BIZ and put the garments in mesh zip up bags and soak for as long as necessary. I have a hand wash setting on my machine and then I wash, still in the mesh zip up bags on HAND WASH. If you have something of museum quality I suggest getting a museum curator to advise about cleaning. None of my things are “top museum quality” and I don’t like dirty antique anything. I like mine to be clean. I have used the BIZ bucket for over 30 years and nothing has been ruined yet. Once I left suitcases of our gorgeous heirloom clothes for several weeks after taking them on a trip. I had not known that they had been left out in the rain at one airport (hard sided s uitcases) and that the contents were wet. When I opened the suitcases to prepare for the next trip everything in both suitcases were black with mold. I filled our bathtub up with water and put a whole box of Biz in and soaked for a day. I filled it up with another box of Biz for soaking overnight. For about 3 days and nights I soaked and truly, truly all of that black mold came off of our heirlooms. Only one of my pale blue silk dresses turned a beautiful shade of gray. That is the only change that was made after these days of soaking the “totally ruined and black molded clothing.” They all came perfectly clean.)

161 Responses to Stain Removal

  1. gayle Jackson says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I tried the Dawn and Biz on 30 year old baby dresses and they came out looking new. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The dresses were very yellow and stained. I also did baby shoes, slip and bonnet. Everything came out looking new. I can’t wait to see the look on my neice’s face when she sees how clean her baby dresses came out.

  2. Claudette Belair says:

    I read these tips for the christening gown last week and have been searching for Biz since. Can’t find it anywhere in Massachusetts. Can anyone tell me where I can buy it?

  3. Erin says:

    I used the Biz and Dawn method on a 40 year old christening gown – worked like a charm. It is white again – I’m so excited – the christening is 2 weeks away and it is beautiful! Thank you.

  4. Lauren says:

    *The Biz bucket is the term used for the solution to whiten antique whites. This gets out most stains. The “recipe” is as follows:

    1 1/2 gallon of water as hot to the point of boiling

    (Make sure your fabric can withstand hot water so doesn’t harm the item – NEVER use hot water on silks)

    1/4 cup Biz Bleach

    1/4 CLEAR liquid dishsoap (no dyes)

    To avoid soap bubbles put the water in the bucket first and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add your items and soak as long as necessary which can be up to several days. If the stains do not come out right away you may have to soak longer. To be most effective you should change the solution as it gets dingy and keep soaking.*

  5. Janet says:

    I used the Biz and Dawn formula on a 100 year old baptismal dress that had a 15 yr old formula stain. Many years ago I tried to handle the stain by (I am embarrassed to admit this, but I was young and foolish) putting bleach directly on the stain and it did not work. Guess what?! This Biz thing did the trick!! It looks like new, not 100n years old. Thanks for the tip.

    • Janie says:

      I have n heirloom christening gown that is silk and lace trim …. I have soaked it in white vinegar
      And it helped but not enough…
      I am not sure if the gown was ever white… It looks more like it was always antiqued yet the lace most definitely has age stains….
      Would you think I can use the biz dawn method?
      And once air dried…. How do I remove all the wrinkles?
      Thank you . The baptism is in two weeks.

  6. I used the Biz and Dawn formula on a my 40 years old dress, i was totally wonder after seeing its result.

  7. Kathy Smith says:

    Can you still buy Biz? I have not been able to find it. Will OxiClean work as well to remove a stain from a pink heirloom dress of my grand daughter’s–it’s only about 8 years old, but was stored in a small, tight closet after it was starched & ironed. I have soaked the dress for many days in water, after trying vinegar to remove it. Most of the stain was removed, but enough of trace amounts of stain still need to be removed.

  8. Dottie Beeching says:

    I used (very) hot water and oxy-clean on some old lace-edged hankies that my great-grandmother had made . They came out as white as snow. My Mom insisted they had to be new ones, as there’s “no way” these could be that old. Hope this helps.

  9. Jenny says:

    I have my grandmother’s bridal veil that is made from Belgium lace. It has been worn by all the brides in our family. Now my niece is getting married and we pulled out the veil to find it has stains on the bottom (probably spilled champagne) from the last wedding. We have tried washing it with gentle soap (fairy), rinsing it in lemon juice and laying it in the sun etc. but the stubborn stains will not come out. Do you think the Biz formula will be OK for lace? Or OxyClean? Help!

    • Missy says:

      I would NOT use oxyclean on something so delicate. Try using the biz/dawn soluton. remember that you may have to soak it for a week and then soak it again for another week in fresh solution before the stain is completely gone. good luck and keep me posted! and congratulations to your niece 🙂

      • Sheryl Jorgensen says:

        I need to spot clean just one small area of my cathedral lace veil from 1972. The color is perfect for my daughter’s wedding dress and I don’t want that area to come out white. Can you help me? Many thanks!

    • says:

      I just worked on a grandmother’s bridal veil for her granddaughter. It had a stain on the lace too. I soaked it in Biz for about 3 days and it all came out. When it was wet, I could still see a little of the stain, but once it was dry, it wasn’t visible.

  10. Jenny says:

    Thank you Missy for your response. I just came back from the store and the only Biz I could find was entitled “BIZ stain fighter. It also has a emblem on it that has the words “Removing Stains for 40 years”. However, it also says in the corner “Max Enzymes: Now with EnzaMix”. I guess I just want to make sure we are all talking about the same BIZ before I put the veil in it. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Missy says:

      That’s it… Biz stain fighter. not sure what enzamix is but I’m guessing it is just a fancy way to sell their product 🙂

    • Missy says:

      one more thought… is the lace fragile or damaged in any way? if it is then the enzymes in the biz might make the fabric fall apart. be careful

  11. Jenny says:

    Thanks so much. This is making me nervous since there is no way to just test a portion without ruining the whole piece. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I need some family “buy in” before I try this…

  12. Jenny says:

    It doesn’t seem all that fragile as I have become more and more bold trying to get these stains out and it is holding out fine. There are a few tiny tiny tiny holes at the other end of the veil (my dad and I think it was from a bobbie pin or two, but it looks like they are actual breaks of the netting, rather than falling apart fabric (does that make since) The veil is about 12 feet long and about 6 feet across at the widest point. It tapers at both the top and the bottom so as to fall over the head and to taper back for the train. It really is in pretty good condition.

    • Jenny says:

      oops…just read my previous note…”does this make” SENSE, not “since”. Obviously tired yesterday. I’m reading this over because I’m going to try it now…

  13. Jenny says:

    It worked!!!! I have spent a week putting my grandmother’s bridal veil made from Belgium lace in the Biz/Dawn solution for 5 days and the stain that was left from 26 years ago is almost completely gone! Thank you so much for your guidance and help. I am elated. Now my niece can carry on the tradition of 3 generations.

  14. Susan Madden-Cox says:

    Blue dawn or clear dish liquid with the Biz! A christening gown was left in a bag in a damp garage and is positively covered with mold and mildew. Right now it’s soaking in my tub with bleach. If that won’t work and I try your formula is it important about the color or color free dish liquid? Will it be important to rinse and rinse in terms of any irritant to the baby? Baptism is in 1 and half weeks…Susan

  15. stacy says:

    I have a wedding dress that has turned slightly yellow, Im not sure what the material is… there is a light transparent material and then a thicker material ….there might be some silk as well. Can you tell me the best way to clean it myself as the drycleaners are charging a lot of money.
    Thank you

  16. Angela says:

    Does this work for colored clothing or just whites?

  17. cristen says:

    Can this mixture be used on a pink heirloom dress with off white lace? I wasnt sure if this was just for white items of clothing! thanks-

    • Missy says:

      Yes. be sure to only use the hottest watter acording to washing directions for that type of fabric. ie: if you have dark clothes then you won’t be using hot water, it would be cold. Does this make sence?

  18. Debbie says:

    I have been looking and looking online for this recipe. I had the general idea, but not the “biz” name. I am cleaning my neglected wedding dress that I made 31 years ago.. I am planning on making a Christening Dress for my grand daughter with the wedding gown. There is a bit of fear and trepidation to clean it and to cut it apart. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  19. Jeannie says:

    I would like to know what I can use as an alternative to “Biz” as I live in Canada and have not been able to find it any store here. I also want to restore a vintage christening gown that has formula stains and has yellowed over the years.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Missy says:

      I’m not sure what products they use in Canada but I’ve also tried using clorox2 (the one for colors). I like the results with “biz” a little better. good luck!

  20. Jeannie says:

    Since Biz was not available in Canada I tried a product by “Spray ‘ n” Wash” called “Resolve”. It is a powdered wash-in stain remover detergent. I used one cup with one cup of blue “Dawn” and disolved it into a bucket of hot water. I then added the 40 year old christening gown, slip, coat and hat that were very yellow from age and let them soak for 2 days. Then I emptied the bucket of soapy water and clothing into the washing machine on a gentle wash. Afterwards, I hung everything to dry. I can’t believe how white everything came out! Thank you so much for your advice!

  21. Jenny says:

    Just want to say that my husband had a very expensive custom made dress shirt that had a mystery stain on the back (small blackish dot). He took it to the cleaners and they said they could not get it out. So…he asked me if I could work some “magic” on it. After trying a couple of regular stain removal things like Spray and Wash and Oxydal, I decided to try this recipe which had worked so well on the wedding veil this summer. Well…it worked! Couldn’t be happier!

  22. Michelle says:

    This worked great on my husbands Christening outfit from the 70’s. I used Clorox 2 and Blue Dawn. Soaked it for 4 days and washed it on gentle cycle. The outfit was yellow and now is totally white – I’m so excited that we can use this for our new baby! Thanks 🙂

  23. Goldie says:

    Could the biz/dawn method be used on a vintage quilt where the backing color bled through when it was washed previously? The quilt back is green, and it bled through onto the blue front. Washing again (without soap) lightened the stains but didn’t remove them. Do you find the biz/dawn method to be generally safe on colored fabrics? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  24. JULIA PETEET says:

    I have found that soaking for several days in 20 Mule Team Borax is great for ancient christening gowns that have brown and yellow stains. Should be OK for thing cotton. Don’t know about silk. My grandmother’s wedding gown was white cotton batiste with lace inserts and I restored it to like new condition. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. May also need to use a bit of gentle laundry detergent for a final hand wash.

  25. randene says:

    My mothers wedding gown was all lace, good quality lace. The gown was not stored well at all…. left on a metal hanger, with a piece of plastic drapped over it, in a house that was heavily smoked in, dress is 30 years old.
    My mother passed away when I was 15 and I am adamant that I be able to remove the yellow from the lace and use it to make a veil and straps for my gown. I’m very hesitant to use a bleach product on this lace and hot water. Can you please advise what I specifically can do with this old delicate lace. Also I am from Canada and am not familiar with the Biz product.
    Thank you so much.

    • Missy says:

      If it its cotton lace then you can use hot water. It might shrink a little so make sure you reshape and dry flat. Hot water is so you can get rid of greasy areas so I think you would be fine using a cooler temp for the water in this case. Clorox 2 is a product made by the Clorox bleach company but its not actually bleach. It won’t harm the fibers of the lace. Good luck!

  26. Amy says:

    Hi there,

    I am currently trying the biz bucket on a lot of dresses that I bought at an estate sale. All were very yellowed and some with bad stains. I just loaded them all in to the tub about 20 minutes ago and already the water is VERY yellow. Do you suggest changing out the water at all? Or leaving it all for a few days and then repeating? Not sure what the best course of action is, I am a newbie at this. All dresses are antique linen and lace, but it fairly sturdy condition.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Missy says:

      Good question! Don’t worry, the water turning yellow is exactly what happens! 🙂 I usually change the water after 7 days. The Biz is a time release formula which means it keeps working over a certain period of time. I would suggest stirring the clothes around once a day. Before you know it, you will be a pro at getting rid of stains!

      • Amy says:

        Thanks so much! I will let you know in a few days how everything worked out or if I change the water and go for another few days!

  27. Ann Barrow says:

    I am the quilt curator at Folsom History Museum. And I wish to continue to clean precious antique quilts with the great product of Biz. But I am unable to locate any for several months. Could you please help me locate the product. Thank you so very much, Ann Barrow

  28. Ann barrow says:

    Any suggestions were I can get BIZ?

  29. Ann barrow says:

    Do have any idea where I can get BIZ? The Folsom History Museum vintage clothing and quilts have used our last. Folsom, Sacramento area zip 95630 or 956 or 958’s. Thank you . A

    • Sue Koslek says:

      Ann, I live in Grand Rapids, Mi and I buy it at Meijer Store. Maybe you can find them on the internet.

    • Lola says:

      Ann, I have been buying it at Big Lots in San Francisco, maybe try the BL near you.

    • Monica says:

      I live in California and get my Biz (boxed and powdered) at our local Morro Bay Albertson’s … I buy all the boxes they have available, as I’m afraid I won’t be able to find it in the future… my other markets aren’t carrying it anymore! You might also be able to contact the distributor ‘ CR Brands, located in West Chester, Ohio to find who stocks it in your area. I’ve been collecting and cleaning antique children’s wear for going on thirty years, and have never been disappointed (except when a fabric was way too fragile to begin with) with the results I get with Biz. Try going online and giving it a search there as well. Good Luck!

  30. Mary Johnson says:

    I have my father’s baptismal gown from 1912. My brother’s and I wore it as did all of our children. Now my granddaughter, the fourth generation will be wearing it at her baptism. The gown is made of cotton and lace and is an off white color. My concern is that there is quite a bit of staining on the bodice of the gown just under the chin area. Will the “Biz” solution make the antique gown white? I want to keep the gown the original color but have the stain removed.
    Thank you for your advice.

    • Missy says:

      Many times, heirloom clothing was originally white. Time and storage can change these special baby items an off-white color. The staining you are experiencing is from drool and spitup. Keep in mind that getting the spitup stains out may turn your gown a shade or two lighter than you would like. I’ve used this solution on off-white clothes without it changing the color. I would suggest soaking an inconspicuous area first (a slip would be perfect for this). Or deciding what’s more important to you… An off-white gown, or a stain-free gown.
      If it was me, I would soak the gown.. 🙂 Good luck!

  31. susan says:

    Can Biz/Dawn be used on vintage satin shoes? I am getting married in a month and have my great grandmothers wedding shoes from 1932. They are white satin and gross grain ribbon, with a few rhinestones. The are yellowed from age. I’m afraid of soaking them because it might cause the shoes to fall apart (heal fall off, etc). Does anyone have a suggestion for cleaning vintage fabric shoes? I’m desperate!

  32. Valerie says:

    Hi there… I’m from Canada and cannot find Biz anywhere … is there a product here that would do the same thing? I have my daughter’s Christening set that needs to be de stained. Thanks for your help.

  33. Sheri Griffith says:

    Forty years ago, when I was a teenager, I cross-stitched an alphabet design on a white crib quilt. I lost the quilt then found it recently and want to give it to my first grandchild being born in September. The problem is a large rust-colored stain across the quilt. I would like to try the Biz bucket method but am worried the colors in the embroidery floss will run (there is a lot of red). What do you think? Would it be worth a try?

    • Missy says:

      well, if it was me, I would be thinking the quilt is ruined anyway so what’s the harm in trying. Rince the quilt out real good in cold water first. and maybe rub the Dawn detergent in the rust stain first to see how much will come off before soaking it. Good luck! I would love to know how it works out for you!

  34. glen says:

    Hi,I have towels that belonged to my mom and it’s depressing that my wife actually got red semi-permanent hair dye on them! They have already been washed and dried,so my fear is that they are now set-in,and will be impossible to remove.They are nice and from Martha Stewart Everyday,according to the label.They are like a very light tan so the stains are obvious.From your experience,is there any hope in removing the dye? thank you.

  35. Lindsay says:

    I used your method on my brothers baby heirloom outfits that have been in my grandmothers attic for 25 years and have aquired a lot of yellow/brown stains. I only soaked them for about 12 hours and they look brand new! Thank you so much for your advice, it is going to be so special seeing my baby boy wear my brothers outfits when he is born!

  36. Kathy says:

    Does anyone know how to get the yellow stain out left behind by a price sticker on vintage cotton pillowcases? I have tried Biz, Oxyclean, Borax, Dawn, and lemon juice with salt. Nothing worked. The rest of the cases are pristine but the stain still persists right on the front edge! I really want to use these. Can anyone please help?

  37. glen says:

    i would read the instructions on shout advanced gel,because it’s worked the best of anything i’ve tried or researched regarding stains,period.if it didn’t work,it appears to be far it’s working on red dye,maybe not 100% YET,but it’s an amazing product.

  38. Karin Monreal says:

    I just wanted to share with everyone that I found Biz at WalMart. I have my 2 yr old baptism dress soaking now.

  39. Jinty Campbell says:

    Please, can anyone help me. What products are equivalent to Biz And Blue Dawn in the UK. I have tried unsuccessfully to remove yellowing and staining from my mother’s hand made wedding dress – made in 1942 and is probably silk/satin. I also have my own wedding dress from the 70s and it is nylon and nylon lace. I woiuld love to restore them to original colour.

    • Roisin Lacey says:

      Hello Jinty,

      I read your posting with interest as I am from Ireland and equally need help finding the equivalent of Biz and Blue Dawn in this country. I am trying to restore an antique christening robe – cotton/lace (1890s) – which has some yellowing on the bib part. I was wondering if you found anything containing the suggested ingredients on this side of the Atlantic? If so I would love to hear about them and if they worked for you.

      Roisin Lacey

  40. Kathy says:

    Biz is an enzyme based bleach with the main ingredient being sodium percarbonate. Dawn is triclosan. I would look for products containing these ingredients. Good luck!

  41. Sherrie Cooke says:

    I am expecting my first granddaughter. I found a sweater set that one my patients made for my first son. I was unhappy to find some mold stains on it. I thought that I would try the Biz and Blue Dawn formula to remove the stains. After 2 hrs, most of the stain is already gone.Found Biz at Kroger. It really works!!! I tried it because I didn’t have anything to lose. Either it worked or didn’t,


  42. Jinty Campbell says:

    Kathy – thank you that is useful. I will look in the supermarket for those names. I may have to wait til I visit the states in November and pick up both and bring them home!!!

  43. Robyn says:

    I am having a horrible problem with mold on some clothes. Some are white, but most are pastel. Will this recipe of biz and dawn work on the little black dots that have invaded my clothing? Thanks so much for any advice!

    • Missy says:

      My thoughts are that the mold has already ruined the clothes so you might as well try it! At this point, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good luck! 🙂

      • MiMi says:

        I have a wedding dress tailored made overseas, 50 years old it has thick lace with satin or silk lining,( but I did not store it well) now I looked at it has some stain looks rust or yellow color on 4 different places, what can I do to get the stains out, my granddaughter could use it one day. the dress still looks good except for the stains.

  44. Melissa says:

    For the Biz/Dawn method, do you recommend liquid or powdered Biz?

  45. Jinty Campbell says:

    Hi Roisin

    To date I have not been able to find anything with equivalent ingredients as Biz and Dawn. Have resigned myself to buying these when in the States in November. The nearest thing, I think, may be Vanish. Have tried the soap to no avail but have not tried the soak stuff. Please let me know if you are successful at finding a solution that works. Jinty

    • Roisin Lacey says:

      Hi Jinty,

      Thanks for the prompt response. I have been surfing the net since yesterday trying to find products with the ingredients but to no avail. I did find some Oxiclean powder (which is also mentioned in one of the posts as being useful for the job) in, of all places, Lakeland (which is a bit more accessible to you as you are in the UK than to me although I buy on-line from them occasionally). When I phoned them this morning, however, they said that they no longer do that product. I then located a box of Oxiclean powder on e-bay which, from the blurb, says that it comes from the States. It’s quite expensive to get it in though (probably looking at about fifty pounds) – but it looks like a pretty large box and would probably last forever! Despite exhaustive searches of e-bay I couldn’t find any Biz or Blue Dawn. I am going to go for the Oxiclean and see what happens – I have nothing to lose as I can’t use the christening robe in its current state! When I was surfing I found a posting from someone in Ireland who was looking for Oxiclean to sterilise/clean bottles (I think it was for homemade alcohol or something) and he/she said that the main ingredient was socium percarbonate (in both Oxiclean and the substitute which they had found – maddeningly the didn’t specify what the substitute was!). If you read back over some of the posts on this website you will see that BIZ is described as an enzyme based bleach the main ingredient of which is….sodium percarbonate. On that logic, hopefully, the Oxiclean on e-bay may be the closest we can find.!! I will keep you posted and you might do likewise if you find anything.

      Thanks again.


  46. Sherrie Cooke says:

    I am happy to send you biz and dawn as long as you pay for shipping

  47. Sherrie Cooke says:

    As I said willing to ship Biz and dawn, you pay for shipping,but remember the receipe says don’t use on silk. Will say the fomula worked great on my saved baby clothes. The results were amazing, though I did have to do the solution 2x times . Never give up!!!

  48. Jinty Campbell says:

    Hey Sherrie, how kind of you to offer. I have been in touch with a British firm to establish their equivalent products. If that does not work I will pick up Biz etc when I visit the States in November. Hope I have no problems taking them through customs!!

    Again thanks for your kind offer.

    Jinyt Campbell

    • Nanny says:

      You can also try adding 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar to warm water. Put the baking soda in first and then the vinegar. I did this for my daughters christening gown which had turned very yellow – she wanted to use it for her daughters christening – and it came out white – I had to do it twice and I left it soak overnight then rinsed and hung out in the sun. Hope this helps.

  49. Patty says:

    So glad I found this. It works so well. I used the formula on 2 vintage crocheted tablecloths I bought on ebay. They had some stains that I had no idea how old they were and since I paid next to nothing for them I tried and they both came out wonderfully!!!!

  50. Jan says:

    I buy Biz at Target and that is the only place I have seen it. I’m going to try the Biz soak on a vintage dress I bought at an antique store. Looks like lots of rust stains but Whink didn’t do anything.

  51. Monica says:

    Purchased a formal dress on Ebay (I believe it’s poly satin and chiffon). It’s white with a silver sequin bodice. The slip (one layer of poly satin and one layer chiffon) has colorless spots all over, almost as if something was spilled all over it. The tag says “do not dry clean, professionally spot treat only”. I’ve been told by a cleaner that if they spot treat or I attempt to hand soak / hand wash it, the fabric may end up with larger, more noticeable rings or spots. I’m not sure if the fabric will shrink if I do attempt to soak it. Any suggestions in dealing with this type of dress? Cold water, maybe?

  52. Jan Hyatt says:

    I also found liquid Biz and have been mixing it with the Dawn liquid. Target I think.

  53. Can this mixture be used on a kids clothes? Great article, thanks-

  54. LF says:

    do you ever have problems with shrinkage when using hot water?

    • Missy says:

      Use the hottest temperature recommended for the fabric. most items that are cotton (or cotton blend) recommend using hot water to wash the item anyway, so it’s most likely already been shrunk in the wash. My theory is that if the item(s) is/are ruined anyway, then what is there to loose. 😉

  55. Lana Ray says:

    Has anyone tried this method “Biz Bucket” with a two color patchwork quilt? I have a red-white quilt that turned brownish yellow after storage. The red pieces seem ok. All the white pieces have changed color.

  56. Barbara says:

    Just wondering if this formula can be used with COOL water. My daughter bought a beautiful 100% nylon dress at a thrift shop that is yellowed with age. The tag says hand wash in cool water.

    • Missy says:

      Barbara, cool water should work fine. I always suggest using the hottest temperature recommended for the specific fabric. Good luck!

    • Roisin Lacey says:

      It’s a while since I was on this site but I am SO grateful for the link which Laura has posted. I will definitely get some and try it out.



  57. cindy says:

    What about hand knitted baby clothing !!

  58. Terry says:

    Just want to be sure that the folks in Europe realize that “Blue Dawn” is just plain Dawn dish washing liquid. It is not in the laundry section of the store.

  59. Dayna says:

    Can you tell me how I can make this solution work for an antique fainting couch with matching couch? I just recently moved when I seen they are yellow in color instead of where they should be white. Its driving me crazy looking at them and I want to restore them to looking as new as they did. Thank you

  60. Dayna says:

    Can you tell me how to make this formula work for heirloom furniture? I have a fainting couch with matching couch and I’m desperate to get the yellowing out of them. Thank you

  61. Monica says:

    I currently live in the UAE and cannot find Biz detergent. Is there any other detergent I can use with the Dawn to get out the yellow stains in baby clothes? Thank you for your response.

    • Dayna says:

      I found it at kmart

      • Monica says:

        I live in another country, United Arab Emirates an they don’t have stores like Target and Kmart. I cannot find Biz anywhere. Please, please is there another detergent or something else I can add to get the yellow stains out?

    • suziwong66 says:

      Monica i have the same problem; being outside the US and not being able to get these products. I use genuine Marseille soap (is stamped with a 72% olive oil stamp); i grate it and add it to hot water and swish around and soak for a day or two. For stains i make a paste of grated Marseille soap with bicarbonate soda and gently rub it into the stain and then soak in Marseille soap. The good thing about authentic Marseille soap made from an authentic Marseille soap factory is that it’s made from 72% olive oil and has no animal fats which send your whites grey. I use Marseille for all of my vintage babywear (mostly white gowns) – you can even make a liquid solution for use in your machine. Grate 50g of Marseille soap and add to 1 litre of boiling water. mix well until completely dissolved – 2-3 mins. Pour the mixture into a 2L plastic bottle and let it coll. The mixture will then thicken to the consistency of a paste. Shake well before each use. Use 100 – 200mL of liquid laundry soap per wash – suitable for front and top loading machines at any temperature. I get my Marseille soap from but i’m sure you’ll be able to find a supplier closer to you. Because it’s a pure soap it’s suitable for antique linens and garments. Hope this helps.

    • Try using Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak, a very gentle stain remover made especially for vintage and antique linens, fine linens, and family heirlooms. It can be shipped anywhere in the world. You can find it on or else at

  62. Brittany O'Brien says:

    Can this be used on vintage silk that is embroidered with red/green flowers? (I think it is probably silk) I just bought my daughter a beautiful vintage dress from the fifties for her senior pictures and it is yellowed in some places. I should probably just leave it alone…but if there is a chance of it being white again, I am tempted to take it. Any ideas/advice?

  63. Tara says:

    Biz and blue dawn are the best stain removers I’ve ever used. I am soaking some of my granddaughter’s clothes right now for my daughter-in-law.You can buy Biz on If it’s not available in your area.

    • Paula Gillespie says:

      This entire thread of comments has helped me to restore a beautiful double wedding ring quilt, circa 1950. It was discovered in my mother-in-laws things after her death last year & sadly, no one knows the provenance of it. I began with the advice of my local quilt shop owner who said to soak it in warm water with powdered Dreft detergent sprinkled on top. Then swish around a lot every so often and leave to soak a while. Rinse well and lay outside to dry. I used my plastic picnic table washed well and a clean sheet under and one on top. Found out that things can blow onto it and cause new stains.
      This first wash water was super dirty! There was still much to remove so I tried some other ideas and then did a search. Used the biz and dawn in the bathtub next and it was truly a-ma-zing! It still needs another soaking to help the dirtier edges come as clean as the rest but my mom couldn’t see a difference when I showed her. I discoveted that the Dreft also contains

      • Paula Gillespie says:

        *discovered Dreft contains enzymes and surfactants but probably not the oxygen, washing soda and brightening agents that Biz contains. I have used my front load washer to help rinse and spin before air drying. After reading about peroxide’s possible damaging effects I want to be sure my quilts are thoroughly rinsed. Off I go to soak one of my newer quilts! The wedding ring had much ground-in dirt and old stains that I thought I would just have to live with. I am super pleased! !!

  64. Jeniffer says:

    I have a silk dress that I never wore, sat in my closet for quite a while and when I looked at it, the buttons were white and the rest was almost a dirty yellow!!! The tag says “dry clean only” so I was wondering if it will be ok to use this on white silk??? Please help!

  65. Beth says:

    I am ‘bedazzling’ my God-daughter’s wedding veil that her (now deceased) mom wore almost 30 years ago. It has a cottony-lace headpiece that has a metal frame. The edges where it touched the head and maybe from hair products, or the oils in the hands, is dirty. I need to spot-clean it as the corners of the frame have already started to rust. Any ideas for spot cleaning some cottony, sturdy lace?

  66. Sherry Arredondo says:

    My mother recently received her fathers baby bonnet. He was born in 1905. It is quite stained and I would say semi-fragile state. Could I use this cleaning method in warm water without damaging it?

    • Missy says:

      I would very gently place it in a dish of plain water and softly swish it around. That will get lots of the dirt out. I don’t do much with fragile items that are special.

  67. Sherry Arredondo says:

    Her cousin soaked it in oxyclean but it didn’t remove the stains. Do you think just soaking it in your formula would help? Without stirring?

  68. Alechia says:

    I just tried this stain removal on some old baby sweaters my mother gave me, knitted/crocheted by my grandmother, great grandmother and other some of the elderly friends of my grandmother. They had been baby gifts to my mother when she had me, and now that we are expecting a daughter (after 2 sons), my mother gave them to me. My mother told me I should just not clean them and put them on my baby stained and dirty b/c she was so worried I might damage the sweaters. I was hesistant to do this, so I researched and found your stain removing recipe. Great report- not only did this formula not harm the sweaters, it WORKED! They are super clean, and look like they were made yesterday 🙂 My mom and I are so thrilled! Thank you for this recipe!

  69. Cathy Koch says:

    I have a 40 year old hand made quilt, all colors, that is a queen size with a few large brown stains (never really used this quilt so I have no idea where they came from). I would need to put it in the bath tub but wouldn’t I need to increase the amount of Biz and Dawn for such a large item? Thank You.

    • Missy says:

      first I would rinse it with plain water to get all the dust out, then I would soak in bathtub (still using equal parts) but just increase the amount you are using. for example you might use 2-3 cups of each.

  70. TIM says:

    Ladies, …, interesting read. now I know what to use my Costco 3 bottle Dawn for. The long soak time and patience is a major factor most neglect. I’ll invest in some Biz and see what happens. I also have 100 volume Peroxide from Beauty Supply place. This is very potent for stain removal, especially period blood. Wear eye gear and rubber gloves. Not the same as the diluted 1.5% peroxide at drug stores (weak). Strong Peroxide still seems to need a surfactant to help it along, but works well when time is short.

  71. Aleah says:

    I don’t have a Target hear my home. At Walmart, they have a liquid Biz instead of the powder. Will that work also?

  72. Emily says:

    I can’t wait to try this on all sorts of things – most notably baptismal outfits, hand me down baby clothes & my husband’s white dress shirts (the collars get so dirty).

    I do have a question. Is it worth it to wash presumably clean items (baby clothes especially) in this fashion prior to storing them for a while, or just wait until you are ready to use the items to wash this way? Thanks!

  73. grace says:

    i have a vintage lilly pulitzer dress with lace trim. the dress is mulit colored, and the lace is white. what product can i use to clean the stained lace, without bleaching the colored fabric on the dress?

  74. Louise says:

    I remember a recipe that used cascade dishwasher det. along with dawn. Does anyone have that recipe. I used it years ago and it worked very well but can’t find it now. Used on a 120 year old christening gown

  75. Lillian says:

    This post is like my savior!!. But like many who lived out of States, I can’t find Biz ;(
    Yellowing of white clothes is very common in my country Singapore as our country is humid n hot. My whites always turn yucky yellow after a few years n smell musky. I have to trash them out for fear of spreading them to other pieces. I checked with the local super marts that cater to expatriates but still no sighting of Biz. Any one managed to ship Biz out of USA to their own home country? I’m really desperate to get my own box of biz to save my clothes!

  76. Jan says:

    You can buy BIZ laundry booster powder at for US$ 5.97

  77. Cheree case says:

    Has anyone ever had a problem with the elastic stretching out? I soaked my husbands 30 year old Feltman outfits in the mixture and when I took them out the elastic in both legs were completely stretched. But I do have to report that all the yellow stains are gone!

  78. Tristan rice says:

    Does this work with colors or is it strictly for whites?

  79. Pingback: 100% Fun | McGuire Domestic Enterprises

  80. Pat Slusser says:

    I was given a beautiful “grandmother’s flower garden” handmade quilt (probably from the 1930s) that I wanted to donate to a charity auction. The quilt had some yellowing around the edges, but otherwise was in pristine condition. I soaked it in the Dawn/Biz/hot water solution overnight. Afterwards, and after getting as much of the solution out of the soaking tub as possible, I put it in my washing machine with a small amount of laundry detergent and washed it on the “extreme delicates” cycle. I then covered my ironing board with two large bath towels and laid the quilt over it (quilt was about 48 x 56″). I will admit I had some severe anxiety about doing this since I had already promised the quilt to the auction. However, I need not have been concerned because this quilt is absolutely stunning now – no yellowing whatsoever, and none of the fabrics ran, etc. I am going to try this on some of my summer white clothes, as well as a sweater I really like that has some pretty bad stains on it. So glad I found this site.

  81. Susan B. says:

    The Biz bucket will be my go-to method from now on. I wish I’d taken before and after pictures. I purchased a pitiful little christening gown at an estate sale – so yellowed it was brown, several large, old stains and very tattered. i ran it through two biz buckets – soaked for a total of about two weeks and the difference is amazing. I will do some hand mending and this sweet little dress can have a whole new life! Such great advice – thanks so much!

  82. Marissa says:

    I have an old sweatshirt that belonged to my brother back in the early eighties. I wanted to clean it up to give back to him so his son can wear it now. There is a small yellow stain on the front that is partly on the Batman graphic. I definitely don’t want to lose the color of Batman. Will this mixture work on the colored graphic?

  83. Joy says:

    Hi, I have a dilemma. My daughter recently wore a raw silk gown for her christening, and there is a slight stain around the collar (most likely a combo of drool and spit up). I took it to the cleaners that the dressmaker suggested, and they couldn’t get it out. Because of the beading, they can’t dry clean it because the beads will melt. They said they could hand wash it but it may dull the sheen on the dress and it may lighten up a bit (it’s a pearl white). I really love the look of the color and sheen so I don’t want to do that. She was able to spot clean out two small stains on the skirt but she said she can’t spot clean the collar because you will see the water ring on the fabric. It is relatively faint, like I didn’t even notice it until she pointed it out to me, and our decision was to just let it go and not risk damaging the dress in any way. Now I am still worried that maybe this stain will darken over time….I don’t know what to do. What do you suggest?? I bought the dress in hopes it will be an heirloom for my family and now I am worried we’ll take it out in 30 years and it will be unwearable….
    thanks for your time.

  84. karid says:

    I bought a beautiful Pottery Barn quilt off craigslist (so not very old, but probably around 10 years old). I got it home and opened it up and there was a huge yellow stain in the middle that I hadn’t seen. I took a closer look at the sham and it also had yellow stains all over it. I was so terribly disappointed! I tried Shout (my usual standby) and washed it – no luck. I tried baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, wait and wash – no luck again. I tried toothpaste (yes, I saw that option online) – and no luck again. I thought I was stuck with a ruined quilt/sham. I soaked in dawn and biz overnight and washed – sparkling white! I was thrilled! So happy. Thank you so much! Only suggestion – don’t dump the item and the soapy water into the front-loading washer. Waayyy too many suds. Just put the clothes in the washer (maybe rinse out a little first) w/out the soapy water. I had to take the quilt out, rinse the washer tub to get rid of the suds, and then rinse the quilt in shower a bit, and then rewash. No problems.

  85. BJ says:

    I am so excited ! I opened up my mother’s 100 year old Christenimg gown only to find it yellowed and full of dark “spit up ” stains from when it had last been used 31 years ago ! Needless to say I was upset.I tried your recipe for removing old stains and by gosh it worked like magic.Now my grandson will be the

  86. Try Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak, a new product made especially to remove stains from vintage and antique linens. It’s much more gentle than any of the commercially available bleaches, even Biz or OxiClean, and will not damage the fragile fibers of the textiles. Just dissolve the powder in boiling water, cool it a little, and soak your item until the stains are gone. I have used this product with cotton, linen, and silk, and it restored them to their original whiteness. It really does work miracles! Buy it on Amazon or at

  87. I forgot to leave a word of caution in my previous post: Never put vintage linens in the washing machine, even on the gentle or hand-wash cycle. The fabric is usually far more fragile than the lace, and the action of the machine will enlarge tiny holes, break threads, and cause weakness that will result in future tears. After removing the stain, rinse in cool water, gently swishing the item around in the sink or tub and changing the water several times. Blot with a clean towel but do not wring, and dry flat. For more information on caring for antique linens, see

  88. Virgie says:

    I recently brought down my sons old sweaters from the attic. My mother in-law made them 30 years ago. They have yellowed and have a few stains on them. I would appreciate any help in trying restore them. I haven’t seen any solutions for sweaters.

  89. Kristin says:

    I have a bunch of baby clothes I want to clean the spit up stains from. Variety of different colors. I have a big storage rubbermaid-type tub to do the stain removal wash in. Should I still use 1 cup of each and hot water? Or does it need to be more for such a large amount? And I can do different colors, as long as I separate in them in different washes, right? Or does this only work for white things?

  90. Ann says:

    I have an old quilt with very colorful print fabric in the middle of white and off-white squares. There are stains in some places on the white/off-white squares. It does not look like the quilt has ever been cleaned. Will the colors run if I use the biz/dawn recipe? Thank you!

  91. Meghan Hinrichs says:

    Would this method be safe for a 100% linen christening gown? The care label says dry clean only. It’s in great condition, but is about 8 years old with set in spit up or formula stains.

    • Missy says:

      Yes I would use it. The reason the label says dry clean only is because linen wrinkles and would need to be ironed with starch.

  92. Amy says:

    I too want to try this for yellowed baby clothes (old spit-up stains that weren’t there when the clothes were packed away but surfaced while in storage). Will I need to re-wash them in dreft/something similar before putting them on my baby?

  93. Donna Fitzgerald says:

    Thank you for all this great information. My problem is with a wedding gown that was not cleaned. The bottom of the dress has dirt all along the edge and there is one stain that looks like perspiration. Is it possible to spot clean this dress do you think? Word to the wise don’t put off getting your wedding dress cleaned.
    Thanks again

  94. Erin Barco says:

    Hi! So I’m currently trying this in one of those giant plastic storage bins, and I have several baby clothing items soaking. My main question is, in the blog it says to dump everything into the washer….do you mean the clothing AND the Dawn water? I have an HE machine and I’ve always heard that Dawn voids washing machine warranties. My clothes are super slimy right now as I doubled the amount because there is so much water and clothing, and it freaks me out to throw them in my washer. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

    • Missy says:

      In your case, I might rinse them a little bit so they aren’t so slimy before putting clothes in the washer. The original post DID mean the clothes AND water because I had a top loader at the time. I didn’t want to touch the slime!

  95. Shannon says:

    I need so help.. I have an 80 year old handmade Czech costume that my great grandmother hand sticthed. The fabric seems to be in excellent condition, minus it being incredibly dirty and stained from poor storage. Now that it’s in my possession I’d like to clean it up and keep it safe. There are so sequins on it, the bonnet is partially netting.. How do I clean it without damaging it? I don’t trust a cleaners to do it since my great grandma made it..

  96. Ursula Leith says:

    I’m from Canada. Our Target stores have closed. Can I get Biz somewhere else? What is the main ingredient? What is similar that can be purchased here? I have a vintage consignment store and this would really help.

  97. I would suggest that you try Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak. It is the only product made especially for vintage and antique fabrics. Dissolve the powder in near-boiling water, and soak your fabric until the stains are gone. It will remove almost any stain to restore the original whiteness. Buy it on Amazon or at

  98. Danette says:

    I have a very old christening gown made out of my mother’s wedding gown. It is over 60 years old. It has made its way through 4 generations now, but my granddaughter spit up on it yesterday. The gown is made out my mom’s wedding dress, all satin. How can I get this stain out of the fabric?

    • Act quickly, before the stain oxidizes. Is the satin made from SILK? If so, soak the dress in cold water with mild laundry detergent added. Rinse thoroughly and air dry. If the stain is still visible, use Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak as soon as possible, following the instructions.

      • Janie says:

        I have 75 year old christening gown — antique white originally yet the lace is yellowed and brown stains …. What method to clean this?
        Baptism is on two weeks. Thank you .

      • Janie, I have now just seen your post, and I hope that you were able to get the stains out of your Christening dress in time for your baptism. But yes, Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak would have worked to remove the brown and yellow stains on the lace.

  99. Phyllis says:

    I have a 1979 red gingham dress that has white embroidered trim on bodice that has yellow stains on it. Can I use the bix/dawn solution to clean remove the stains?

  100. Monica says:

    I’ve been using Biz on my extensive collection of very precious (many museum quality) pieces of antique baby/children’s clothing since the late 1960s. When I find the granulated/boxed variety I buy up every box available, so paranoid am I that it won’t be available in the future. I live in California, and Biz has always been available in most grocery stores. Lately though, I’ve notice the liquid version (plastic bottled) seems to be overtaking the more powerful powdered version. I can still find it at Albertson’s, but the last time I was in Walmart the shelves were empty of it (hope this is temporary), as Oxi Clean can’t hold a candle to Biz. Perhaps if you on the East coast inundate the corporate offices of Biz (Procter & Gamble???) with request for the product they might respond and stock popular vendors in your area … who knows? It may, as well, be possible to order it directly from the company, or somewhere online. I swear, if the time comes when I can’t find Biz I’m going to be pretty darn depressed! In the meantime, I’ve turned into an extremely discerning type of hoarder!

  101. At the risk of sounding like I’m promoting my own product … well, actually, I am : ) … I’d like to introduce you to Mama’s Miracle Linen Soak, a new product that I created to remove set-in brown and yellow stains on vintage linens, even silk. It is a gentle soak, extremely effective but completely safe for delicate fibers. It returns the fabric to its original color without harming colored embroidery, etc. Learn more about it at, but it’s also sold through Amazon and a number of stores. You might want to read the reviews on Amazon. Then, if you’re having trouble finding Biz, then please give my product a try. It works!

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