How To Make Your Own Bleach Gel Pen

bleach pen 7

I have been trying to figure out a way to make my own DIY bleach pen for MONTHS, but to no avail.  So when I saw this idea from Debbie at Me And My DIY I couldn’t wait to give it a try!

I don’t regularly purchase bleach pens because, quite frankly, I don’t think they are worth the price. But there are occasions when would one would come in handy. For stains on clothing, for ring around the collar, for cleaning grout, even for CRAFTING! So being able to make a do-it-yourself version that costs literally PENNIES is pretty exciting. :-)

Here is how it’s done:

In a saucepan, add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to a cup of water. Stir until completely dissolved. Place mixture on stove and continue stirring until it comes to a boil and then turn the stove off. The mixture will become quite thick.

bleach pen 4

Allow mixture to COOL COMPLETELY…then add 5 to 6 Tablespoons of bleach. It should result in a nice gel, like the one you can see in this picture below.

bleach pen 5

If yours is thicker or thinner…just adjust water and/or cornstarch until you achieve the result you are looking for.

Pour mixture into an empty squeeze bottle for dispensing.

bleach pen

I haven’t actually added up the savings from this….but I’m betting someone far better at math than I will clue us in. :-)



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  1. Jane says

    Thanks Jill! I just bought a bleach pen for the first time and used almost the entire thing cleaning the grout around a bathtub. This will be a real money saver. By the way, I love your blog and have used many of your ideas. I have been using your “no grate laundry detergent” for quite some time. I am so happy not to have to lug those big bottles of liquid detergent home. I just mix it up as I need it.

  2. Kati says

    Oh what a wonderful idea! I have been meaning to buy a bleach pen to use on my bathroom tiled floor for a while now, but just have never gotten around to it. Now I don’t have to worry about it! I can just make this right up and use it! Thank you so much for sharing. I will try to write another comment sharing my experience with this. Again, thanks for sharing! You are awesome!!

  3. Laurat99 says

    I use that same style bottle for your “shout” recipe because I couldn’t get the mixture to not clog my spray bottles. Thanks for the bleach solution recipe!! note: I found my bottles in the cake decorating section of my Wal-Mart.

    • Nicole says

      Good idea. I was having the same problem. I starting pouring some into a smaller clear bottle, which reminds me to shake since the liquid separates. A squeeze bottle would be much easier.

  4. Georgann G says

    Because the bleach is not in an opaque bottle, does it lose it’s bleaching power quickly?

    I don’t use bleach pens that much, and I don’t want to keep mixing it up and dumping it out if it doesn’t hold up in that type of container.

    • Trixie F says

      Just thought I’d pop in an mention that you can get colored squeeze bottles (usually in red or yellow – think ketchup and mustard) seasonally in the grocery stores and wal-mart. It probably won’t be long before they start popping up. Just be sure to label them clearly so the kids don’t think you put the ketchup in the laundry closet. LOL. Or, you could decoupage (sp?) some pretty paper to a clear bottle if you like to do crafty stuff. Just a thought. :)

    • Katy says

      We use bleach solution at work (I work in a laboratory) and we keep it in a tube wrapped in aluminum foil to protect from light – it will degrade over time when exposed to light. Seems to work great! You could also just wrap duct tape (any color) around the bottle to block the light. Storing it in the dark will help too.

    • Mindy says

      Couldn’t you make a small batch of the liquid laundry soap and put it in the squeeze bottle (or a travel bottle)? I’ve seen the Tide pens, but never bought them, so I’m not overly familiar with them, but I would think it would be the same concept. The liquid laundry soap is pretty thick when it cools and before you add the water. Just a thought…

  5. says

    You are really so helpful. You have so many amazing ideas!!! We live outside of the US so there are sooooo many thing I can’t buy. This was something I left in the US and I was so bummed. Your timing is perfect.
    I really want to make my own laundry soap and I can bake the baking soda, and I brought in some Ivory soap – but I can’t get Borax here! Any suggestions? It’s gonna be a whole new recipe :)

  6. LauraSC says

    This is a great idea because you can have whatever ‘strength’ bleach pen you need. Another idea for a bleach pen is to use gel dishwasher detergent in your pen. I do love my Tide to Go pen because I am messy when I eat when I am away from home too.

  7. Sharon says

    I have returned to making some of my products since I found your site. I am allergic to a lot of the store bought stuff with all the chemicals. Now, if you could only find a cheaper and better, low dust, odor control DIY cat litter!

  8. CTY says

    Thank you Jill! Will give this a go.
    Wondering if the cornstarch rinses without leaving a residue on clothes or in washer (even in cold water)??
    I think I’ll try a a batch with your Homeade Oxy Clean as a bleach alternative. Or to thicken your “shout” recipe. Trying to go bleach-free–maybe it could work with your Homemade Arm Pit Stain Remover.
    DH likes to pour right from the Resolve refill bottle because his cuffs and collars get so dirty–getting very expensive. I’ll report back–it may take me a few days because I am in the middle of canning 60 lbs of oranges- today is fresh squeezed OJ for the freezer day. I mention that because in an effort to boost my carpet deodorizer (baking soda) I will be placing a couple of orange peels in the baking soda–a girl can only have some much zest for cooking.

    • Brenda DeGood says

      This may be a very left field question,but, have u ever tried to freeze zest? I only ask because, one of our local stores had 5lb bags of grapefruit on sale for $2, and I had a couple coupons for $2 off so they were free. I was going to try 2 freeze the zest to be used in carpet deodorizer etc later.

      • Julie says

        You can lay the zest out in a thin layer on parchment paper on a cookie sheet to let it dry. Once it’s completely dry you can powder it by running it through the blender. No need to freeze & it will blend nicely into your carpet deodorizer.

  9. Bell says

    Thanks Jillee! I currently have a bleach pen but when it runs out I will be making my own. I’ll look for one of those bottles the next time I go to the Dollar Tree. A suggestion for your next project: Figure out how to make the Scrubbing Bubbles toilet gel disks. I really like using those but I don’t like buying them. I know they contain some type of polymer. They would also need to be safe for septic tanks.

    • says

      Hi Donna, I posted this explanation a couple of weeks ago:

      If you read One Good Thing By Jillee posts in a feed reader you will notice that we recently have started truncating the posts. Why?
      Two reasons:
      1). Because there are websites (called “scrapers”) that will steal entire posts (images and all) from the emails that are sent out. I work too hard to just allow scrapers to come in and steal the content. The only way to protect it is to truncate it. You can still access the entire post THROUGH the email simply by clicking on the headline.
      2). Up until recently the emails were ad-supported, allowing One Good Thing By Jillee to monetize them to a small degree. But at the end of 2012 Google discontinued that service. So now the only way we make any money is if you come to the actual website. I know some people won’t like it, but we’ve had to weigh the pros and cons on this one and this is the decision my team and I have made. I hope you will understand and stick with us. I promise to make it worth that extra click! :-)



  10. Carol says

    I love all your money saving ideas! I also would like you to reverse engineer the scrubbing bubbles gel toilet cleaners (safe for septic tanks). With 3 bathrooms, this is one expense I would like to eliminate!

  11. Wendy says

    I just want to say that your blog is a lifeline for me most days!!! I am a missionary living and working at an orphanage in Honduras, Central America. It is a rare occasion that I can find products that are everywhere in the states…like the BLEACH PEN! I miss the one I had in the States and had just decided that my white stuff was going to be stainy (is that a word?) because I didn’t have something to treat spot stains. This is about the millionth DIY product I’ve made from your blog.


  12. silverdust says

    Jillee, you mentioned ring around the collar. I’ve got a great suggestion that doesn’t involve damaging the fabric as much as bleach: shampoo. Get the absolute cheapest possible at the dollar store, Shampoo is meant to dissolve body oil and works great on dress-shirt collars. And unlike the bleach pen solution, you can use the shampoo on color shirts. I keep a bottle on my laundry shelf.

    Great idea for homemade bleach pen, though. I’m going to make mine a tad stronger because the store-bought never has enough oomph for tough stains.

    Now. Do you have any thrifty ideas for orphan rubber gloves? I always seem to spring a leak or get a knife jab in the right hands. I’ve got a mess of “lefties”!

  13. Cheryl says

    Jillee, what can I use to get the grease stains off my colored shirts? It seems like every solid color knit top I own winds up with grease spots on them and I can no longer wear them. SHOUT, and your homemade shout, do NOTHING. Can you help??? I’m tired of throwing away clothes!

    • says

      The best thing I’ve found for grease spots is Dawn dish detergent. The sooner you get it on, the better of course. But even after the fact, if you put some straight Dawn on the spots, let it sit for a few hours, and then rinse it with the hottest water the fabric can handle (a little hotter than it says on the label, usually). Then reapply more Dawn, rub it in with your fingertips, and launder as you usually would. You may need to do this process more than once, and be sure… do NOT put the clothes into the dryer or iron them until the spots are out.

    • Lara says

      Chalk works wonders on grease spots even if they have been washed and dried already. Just rub the chalk on the grease spot and let it sit until it absorbs the grease, then remove any excess powder before washing. Repeat if necessary.

    • Jamie says

      I use “goo gone” (not the homemade recipe…but the kind you buy at the store). I gets out any oily stain with the first application. Promise. It’s a lifesaver for me. Ranch dressing is dreadful on clothes!

    • Abby L says

      If it’s a set-in stain (already wash and dried) try Shout Advanced. I’ve had good results with it, and the longer it sets, the better it works. It’s kind of pricey but cheaper than a new shirt.

    • Angie Schrantz says

      I have use Zout for years…it even works after I’ve baked the stain on in the dryer. Sometimes I need to do it trice for stubborn, really greasy stains. I spray it on, rub it in and throw it in the wash. I wish there was a home made version of that…hint, hint!

    • JG says

      Murphy’s Oil Soap works great on a lot of greasy/oily stains—sometimes even old or well-dried stains. Apply directly to stain, let soak in for a while, and launder as usual. Sometimes it can take a few applications depending on the type of grease.

    • Catrina mathis says

      I use blue dawn right out if the bottle on both my grease from cooking on a grill at work and my husbands greasy stains from working in vehicles. It honestly has never failed me. I always do it the first time I wash but I would give it a try on your clothes before you toss them out!

    • Janice says

      all these replies are great, but I was also once told that especially with grease stains, treat the BACKSIDE of the stain first. You don’t want the stain to go any further into the garment fibers, so starting on the back is a good idea. (especially with oils based stains)

    • Amanda says

      first, mark a box around the stained area with masking tape. (if i don’t do this, i can’t find it halfway through the process, once everything is wet) get the stained area wet, dump a spoonful of laundry detergent powder on it, and rub it around and grind it in really good. let it sit out for about an hour until the powdered detergent is hard, then remove it (it’ll pop right off. if its not hard, wait a bit longer) if it was a minor mark (the kind where it just looked like the was a water spot on your shirt) you should be good to go, remove the tape, toss it in the wash and you’re done. if the stain is still visible when you remove the dried detergent, or if it was a hardcore grease stain to begin with, i’d recommend doing this 2-3 times. its important to note that if you wash it and the stain is still there, treat it again right away. or let it air dry, then treat it. running a greases stain through the wash won’t generally cause problems, but the heat of the dryer will cause the stain to ‘set’, making it more difficult (but, in my experience, not impossible) to remove. so if you’re not sure the stain is gone, let the shirt air dry, and check it. this technique worked great when my husband kneeled in grease while fixing my car in his new jeans!

    • HJ says

      Sorry I’m late in reading this, but I got spots of oily salad dressing on a knit top last week. I found Carbona stain remover for oil and grease. It took several applications, but it looks like new. Also I’ve heard that original blue Dawn dishwashing liquid works on grease. I was afraid to use it on my top because it was a dark color and I didn’t want faded spots down the front.

    • Army Girl says

      Hi all, was reading through these blog posts…usually as much useful information as in Jillee’s main post. Thank you to all for that by the way. I saw this grease post and wanted to put in my 2 pennies worth here. I use the “Pro Force” brand of purple degreaser from Sam’s club…not chemical free DIY by any stretch, but this is so wonderful!! I have been using it for close to 20 years now–it was about $1.50 a gallon when I first started using it. It is an EcoLab product. I use this stuff on EVERYTHING. It is color safe, or at least I haven’t noticed it bleeding colors (unlike “Greased Lightening” which bled color from my favorite burgundy colored sheets). I find in the kitchen that diluting it 1:1 makes it more powerful than straight, believe it or not. My spray bottle of it is always on my counter in the kitchen for use on, well, you name it, it’s been sprayed. My laudry/pantry area is just off my kitchen, so bottle is within easy reach for spraying clothes. I have sprayed & forgotten–no problems. The only damage I have ever noticed is a satin Christmas dress, which had some red sequins along the waistline, it removed the red coloring on them, but it ended up being a beautiful contrast to the otherwise all red garment. Speaking of which, I have even used this degreaser on delicate fabrics, satin (obviously), as well as silk. No problems. It has gotten all types of grease, from car grease, axle grease, motor oil, diesel fuel, and of course, spattered food grease too. That is my laundry secret for stains that nothing else seems to work on. I add a generous splash to my bedsheet loads, as I have night sweats since my hysterectomy, and DH has oily complexion & hair.

      Anyway, hope this helps y’all. Thanks again for the AWESOME website Jillee!!

    • brenda says

      I have found that good old fashioned degreaser works on grease stain and it has yet to ruin any of my colored shirts. I just spray it right on the stain, rub it a little and then launder as usual.

  14. Debbra W says

    I wonder if you could make other cleaning solutions in a gel “pen.” Bleach makes my asthma twitchy and I try to stay away from it. I’ll experiment and return and report, someday soon. DW

  15. Di Mancino says

    Love this tip and all the others you put on here.
    Don’t suppose you or anyone has a recipe for the spectacle cleaner spray you buy from opticians? I always use to wash under the tap with a tiny bit of liquid soap and them dry on glass cleaner but these new ones have a coating that’s just dreadful to clean and leaves smears and I have tried most things. So any help would be grateful as I don’t want to keep buying the opticians cleaner sprays and there is no contents in the spray bottle either! Thanks in advance

    • julie roth says

      I was getting replacement lens at the eye dr. When they were cleaning them I asked – Is that the stuff you give me in the little bottle. No this is just plain ol alcohol… She said it will not hurt any of the coating. Or use dawn dish soap and water.. Well, alcohol is super easy, as I also put it in a spay bottle and keep a mico fiber cloth for a no scratch clean. I have a beauty salon and lots of hairspay.

    • Vicki F. says

      When I had my glasses adjusted at Christmas time, the lady in the optician’s office told me that Dawn dish soap is the best way to get those stubborn streaks off my glasses, safe for the coating.

  16. linsey says

    I love your blog! I have tried some of ur recipes and they all have been soooo yummy!! Now i need to start making my own cleaning products and save some money!! Thank you so much for all of your amazing posts!
    p.s. I want to appologize for all of the crazy people who bash some of the amazing things you come up with! I understand a difference in opinion but bashing is definately not necessary! Keep ur head up and know there are people out there like me who LOVE ur blog!!
    Thank u!

  17. Stephanie says

    ok, so I fast forwarded to type my de-greaser solution for clothing, so if any have shared this one too, my apologies…

    PUT A CAN OF COCA-COLA IN WITH YOUR WASH. (pour in with soap @ beginning of wash cycle)

    this was passed down from my brother in law who was taught by his Nannie. It even gets fifth wheel grease out. (nothing else has seemed to work for us)

    Jillee, I’m new to your website, but so far, I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! my to diy list keeps getting longer by the mouse click! lol


  18. Beth says

    I have recommended your site to many friends (especially the ones who just don’t believe that you can diy many of the things used in day to day living)
    and like me they are enthralled by your ingenuity!! Keep up the good work lady, cause I sure would be broke(er) without your wonderful ideas!!

  19. says

    Jillee, love this idea. Thank you! Like so many others, I read your posts daily. You put so much effort and creativity into your blog it is a delight to read and I’m always coming away with something new to try. :0) THANK YOU! I wish as readers there were some way we could bless you as much as you bless us. Please know that you are appreciated.

  20. Sharon says

    JIllee, I’ve been using your no-grate / no cook laundry detergent since summer last year and LOVE it! My sister, who is very picky about EVERYTHING loves it too! . I can’t even imagine how much money we’ve saved! We’re still on the first box of washing soda and borax. Also used your “oxy-clean” recipe as well. Love it too! Thank you so much

  21. says

    This is a wonderful idea! I have a pretty bad problem with mold in my shower and I hate to clean it. I think this will work very well. I am thinking about using and old mustard bottle, recyling! Old shampoo bottles are another option, it has a small squeezable opening. Any ideas? Do you think that the bleach will cause a problem? I do not plan to store the solution in if a long time, just a few days, as I am not sure I will do all the walls on the same day- it is a HUGE shower. I guess I will try, not much lost of the plastic melts.

    • says

      So I made the gel today. I had a BIG problem with lumps and clumps of the gel, even after adding water to thin. I ended up putting it in an old dish soap bottle I had washed well. The bottle worked well for dispensing, but I kept having problems with clumps! I did forget my water/ cornstarch solution while it was boiling, so it might have boiled for a while. Could that be the problem?

  22. Shanna says

    The last time I made laundry detergent (not the no-grate version) I put about two cups so the mixture into a wide mouth jar and didn’t add any water. It set up pretty firm and is definitely the best stain remover I’ve ever used. It even got red fruit punch stains out of a brand new sweater.

  23. Cheryl says

    Another Cheryl asked about getting out greasy stains. Now this isn’t organic, or natural but… goop gets out grease stains. Goop is the white gel cleaner that mechanics use to get the greasy filth off of their hands. It’s good for laundry too! Auto Zone has a different name for the same stuff. I’ve gone through countless jars of it, with my husband owning an auto repair place. It’s good for when he drips greasy foods too!

    • Zoquara says

      My dad used to have a gravel pit, and I’d help him work on the trucks, clean up greasy parts, and generally end up covered in grease. A little Goop or Go-Jo, and the grease was just gone. No idea what’s in the stuff, but it just liquefied and it and the grease were gone. Barely needed to rinse afterwards! I even used it on my clothes to get the grease out.

  24. Janet L. says

    I love your blog, Jillee, and read it daily. I’ve also told many friends about you. We all need all the help we can get for cleaning, cooking, etc.!!Thanks so much for sharing your talents!

  25. MtnHarmony says

    One other idea is to put the mixture into an empty bleach based toliet scrubber bottle. You might have to use pliers to get the spout off but it seems to work great for cleaning under the rim of the toliet bowl.

    I used 4 T cornstarch, about 11 T bleach and 2 cups of water. I was in a rush and did not let the suff cool like it should because I was afraid it wouldn’t slide down my small funnel, into the empty bottle if I let it cool completely. I used it while warm so I am not sure if it thickens. The downside is you can’t see where you applied it. BUT you know what you are using instead of wondering what else is in those bleach gels!

    I also had issues with the cornstarch clumping and never unclumping after boiling, so I strained it using a metal wire strainer while hot and it worked great.


  26. Jennifer E. says

    I made the bleach gel this weekend and added a little squirt of Dawn to it too. Then I went crazy cleaning my kitchen and bathrooms! Great stuff! Thanks for yet another “good thing!”

    • Kristin says

      I don’t mean to be a naysayer but it says right on the label of Dawn that you shouldn’t add bleach to it. Maybe the ratios you used weren’t a big deal but the chemical reaction can emit a harmful gas.

  27. Helen Neher says

    Would you consider making a page-a-day calendar for us to buy next year? It would be great to have a new thing already printed each day in a concise way. This would make great presents for new brides too.

  28. says

    Fig Newtons!! I am inspired!.. in the mid 1940′s my Mom took me on the train from Pasadena, Ca.. to San Diego to visit Grandma/Grandpa and all her many brothers n sisters. Trains at that time were for military so a Navy friend would meet us and get us on the train.. anyhow. . each way a person would come down the aisle with a basket of snacks to buy.. I can still see the basket!.. Fig Newtons were the most affordable snack. .a nickle.. that was my choice because one got 6 Newtons in the cellophane sleeve!.. What a treat with my Mom. .we also shared a small glass bottle of ice cold Coke!.. I am 70 soon. .and never will forget those memories with my Mom..
    Thanks for .. I just can’t say it! LOL. .I will ! The Memories! LOL

  29. Sarah says

    So I made this this morning but I didn’t have enough time to let it cool before adding the bleach (I clean houses and wanted to take it with me). It was thick before I added the bleach and after I mixed it in, but when I put it in the bottle it got super liquidy :/ will it set up once it’s cool or will it stay all liquidy? :( I really want this to work! It just looks like cloudy water right now :( do you think if I heated it back up and added more cornstarch it would work or so I have to start all over again?


  1. [...] Bleach Pen!  Gel bleach pens can be expensive, but they sure come in handy in a pinch.  One Good Thing By Jillee shares a super easy bleach pen recipe that is well worth trying, and you probably have most of the items on hand in the home.  You will use a squeeze bottle for this, and you will definitely want to label it and keep it out of reach of children, but follow this link to check it out. [...]

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