Move over OxiClean®…there’s a MUCH CHEAPER stain remover in town!


OK…I promised I would share my experience with the homemade OxiClean recipes I found….and I am now sufficiently prepared to do so. :-)

I couldn’t bring myself to post about it until I had given it a thorough test.

I made my first batch on Saturday. It was kind of a mess. The most common recipe you will find when you Google “Homemade OxiClean” is this one:


Of course, me in my infinite wisdom thought that didn’t seem like very much. So I decided to quadruple the batch!  My personality type tends to think….if ONE of something is good…then TEN of something must be much better! :-)  Hmmm…might have played a part in my stint in rehab…ya think? lol.  Well…that’s another story….for another day.

So I quadrupled the “recipe” and put it in a big mason jar.  It immediately separated into what looked like a layer of baking soda on the bottom of the bottle…topped with water.  I shook it up REAL good and poured it in a load of laundry.  Seemed to work ok.  But nothing to write home about.

I wasn’t ready to give up on it though…so, I decided to do a little more research on the subject.  While I was waiting for my son’s prescription to be filled at the pharmacy….my Droid and I found some interesting thingsabout “faux” OxiClean:

Most of the recipes out there call for BAKING Soda…but what the ingredient SHOULD be listed as is WASHING Soda.  Baking soda will work…but it’s a lot less effective.  Washing soda has a pH of 11 (with 7 being neutral), while Baking soda has a pH of around 8.1.  That being said….if you are laundering baby diapers…I might stick with the Baking soda…but for normal dirty clothes…I would recommend the WASHING soda.

Another thing I learned is that once mixed together….the hydrogen peroxide and washing soda only remain effective for up to 6 hours.  If it sits around, it will loose it’s efficacy because the oxygen boils off.   I guess that explains why the original recipe was for such a small amount. :-/ So I basically wasted my “quadruple” batch.

Finally, for maximum effectiveness you need to let the clothes SOAK in the solution for awhile, preferably overnight…but at least for a couple of hours.

Soooooooooo…….all that having been said.  I had a MUCH better experience with the homemade OxiClean recipe today! In fact, it isn’t really a “recipe” at all.  This morning before work I tossed in 1/2 cup of Washing Soda (already had a box from my detergent-making) and 1/2 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide (I pay .88 cents for a 32 oz bottle) to the load of whites I was washing, along with the homemade laundry detergent I made, and after letting it agitate for awhile…I left the load to soak until lunch time.  When I came home for lunch I finished washing the load, threw it in the dryer and tonight when I got home from work I was extremely happy with the results!!!!

The whites I washed were NOTICEABLY whiter and brighter!  I thought about posting a picture….but since they were my “delicates”, you’re just going to have to take my word for it! :-)    Or better yet……TRY IT YOURSELF!  I can’t wait to hear what your results are!



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Comments

  1. Jill says

    Hi Terri! So glad you liked! I continue to use this stuff and continue to be really really pleased with the results. Even my hubby noticed a difference…and THAT is something! lol.
    I actually posted the "recipe" for homemade laundry detergent here.
    http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2011/07/brand-name-laundry-detergents-last.html
    I am really enjoying this stuff too…and it just gives me a certain feeling of satisfaction when I walk through my laundry room and see that jug of soap on my shelf, that *I* made! Good thing. :-)

    Let me know what you think if you try it out! And thanks for posting!

  2. Anonymous says

    Peroxide and baking soda also works when a dog has been sprayed by a skunk! Do NOT get the paste in their eyes, avoid the head just to be safe. The smell won't be completely gone but they will be tolerable.

    • Krystal says

      This is good to know! As my husky has been sprayed twice and we tried everything down to tomato juice, which did nothing but turn her pink. If she decides to chase another skunk I will remember this.

      • Patty says

        Another tip for washing your dog when they have been sprayed by a skunk is douche. I know it sounds funny or weird but we had two dogs and the one always decided he should play with the skunk. I had used tomato juice, then used the dog shampoo. This did work but it was getting expensive to always get tomato juice and waste it that way. So I called the vet they are the ones who read out of there first aid book that douche (vinegar & water one) would also work. One bottle to a gallon of water. I still used the dog shampoo afterwards and didnt have to worry about getting it in there eyes.

    • ShelBel says

      Just a note on the peroxide on a skunky dog. Be careful what you do with the dog after soaking him/her in the peroxide and baking soda mixture. If you leave the dog out in the sun to dry IT WILL BLEACH THE FUR! My black and white mixed breed turned brown and white after drying off in the sun for 20 minutes after I soaked him in peroxide and baking soda. It took away most of the skunk spray but it also took a long time for his bleached fur to grow out! Luckily, he’s color-blind! lol

    • marcia says

      When de-skunking your animal-you must first use a de-greaser to break up the skunk’s spray residue, the best one is DAWN, it is very effective, after the Dawn and a rinse, use the peroxide and baking soda and rinse again. I have used this method on both the dog, who was very patient and the cat, who was miserable and sounded like I was killing him, but he eventually figured out I was helping him and the second part of the cleaning went much better, not so much yowling and crying…

    • says

      Question. I have an HE washer also and would like to know if you use this in place of regular detergent? If used with detergent where do you put the oxyclean? My washer has a compartment for detergent and one for softener, also a bleach dispenser.

      • Chelsie says

        I either put the oxi clean directly in w/the clothes, which sometimes causes clumping if the load is really full or I put it in the same slot at the same time as the detergent and that seems to work fine.

  3. Anonymous says

    Have you used this on a load of colors? I usually throw OxiClean in with all my laundry and I just wanted to be sure the hydrogen peroxide wouldn't cause bleaching. This question stems from some memory of mine as a child and girls putting it in their hair for "highlights"? I was tired of boring, unscented laundry with the homemade laundry detergent, and your blog convinced me to try out the Downy Unstoppables and I think I'm in love! :) -Liz

  4. Anonymous says

    Jill, do you then just make up your "oxiclean" on the fly for each load since it only stay potent for 6 hours..

    Found your blog via Pinterest..Love it..gonna definitely be trying these!!

    Carrie, Southern Indiana

  5. Jill Nystul says

    Liz…I too am in a love affair with Downy Unstopables. shhhh. ;-)

    kajo…right on. I use this on colors all the time.

    Downing D….Thank you! Can't ever hear that kind of thing enough. ;-) I will definitely keep sharing my homemade alternatives with you.

    Carrie…that's exactly what I do now. After I put in the laundry soap…I pour in approx 1/2 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Peroxide for a full load and let it do its job.

    • Suze says

      So.. you just pour both straight into the washer rather than mixing them together separately prior to adding? Also, have you tried this as a pre-treatment stain remover also? Is it safe for that?

  6. Karla M says

    I love it when my higher power helps me find a place I need to be. I found your place! Love it! You are so much like me. I see we are blessed to be the lucky ones(recovery) Happened to me at about the same age. Thank you for your recovery and thank you for giving back. I have learned so much reading your info! What you have done is truly tried things out and investigated. I always seem to get half way there. I am truly grateful! May God keep blessing you!

  7. Pam says

    Thank you for this great info. I wash dirty softball uniforms for 18 college girls. I'm looking for ways to keep our white uniforms white and not be dingy and stained by the end of the season. Will this work on these uniforms?

  8. Jill Nystul says

    Karla…so happy to hear there is another lucky one out there. :-) We truly are blessed. Thanks for dropping by! Hope you'll keep coming back.

    Pam….18 uniforms????? yikes! This will save you tons of $$ over the name brand stuff! Should work really well on uniforms. I would let the soak in it for awhile before washing. Hope this helps!

    Natalie…If you have the washing soda and the hydrogen peroxide on hand…go for it! It's super easy. :-)

  9. Anonymous says

    I love these laundry recipes! The thing you have to watch with hydrogen peroxide is that, if you leave exposed to any light, it will actually turn into water. That's why it comes in the brown bottle. If hydrogen peroxide is really important to keep this "Oxi-Clean" working, then you'll probably want to store the stuff in an opaque, dark-colored bottle or at least in a dark cupboard.

  10. Jill Nystul says

    Anony…interesting info! I did not know that. Explains the ugly brown bottle! :-) thank you!

    Haley…my washer is quite large and 1/2 cup of each seems to be working well! Course I don't actually MEASURE it…I usually just eyeball it…so I guess there's the chance I might add a titch more. ;-)

  11. Michelle Bell says

    I will have to give this a shot! I've already been using my own homemade laundry soap for about 6 months and love it. I've heard that a little vinegar in place of fabric softener works great and is much cheaper (they swore the clothes wouldn't smell like vinegar). I'm still working on a large jug of softener I got on sale so I haven't tried it.

    About the Peroxide and people worried about it bleaching…
    As a Vet Tech I get blood on my clothes, shoes, etc from time to time. I learned from my first clinic that you can put peroxide-straight from the bottle-directly on the blood and it dissolves it. Peroxide bursts the cells (which is why it can do more damage to our wounds than good when we use it to clean them-and why it bubbles and hurts) so it works great to remove blood from fabric! In the many many times I've used large amounts on my scrubs and shoes it has never left any sort of bleach mark or stain. Even if I don't wash that item immediately afterwards; or for days until it's my laundry day. We use it to get blood out of dogs and cats hair as well. It just dissolves and wipes away. I hope this gives some people more confidence in giving it a chance!

    • Liz says

      Yes peroxide works great for getting blood out if things. My 2 year old had cut off the tips of her finger one night on a hinge on her dresser. Needless to say there was a lot of blood all over both of us and the carpet :/ When we got home the next day I poured it on the carpet and all the spots of our clothing that where yucky. Didn’t damage anything and the stains where well over 24 hours old by the time I got to them. And I have cheapo carpet that if you look at it wrong it stains, I Always have a couple bottles on hand :)

  12. Jill Nystul says

    Thanks Michelle Bell….that is very useful information!

    Angela…I hardly ever use bleach anymore. I still have a bottle…but after using the detergent and the homemade oxi-clean or homemade shout…I haven't had to use any bleach for the longest time!

  13. Anonymous says

    I'm going to fess up here and say that I tried this and I put the remainder back into the peroxide bottle and left it sitting in my living room. I happily went out and did my laundry (at a laundry mat) When I came home the bottle had exploded and splattered everywhere from the front door into the kitchen and of course the living room. It took the rest of the day to clean it up. Soooooo, although I was extremely happy with the results may I recommend learning from my mistake and using a bigger container and leaving some room for air.

    • LaLonne says

      ******In her instructions she says NOT to store it, because it’s cleaning properties lose their effect after 6 hours. (And that’s why her quadruple batch was wasted when she made it.) So it makes no sense to pre-make it and try to save it, and that’s why she just adds it straight into the washing machine each time. (It’s so simple to just do that, I don’t know why anyone would need to pre-make it anyways.) I’m posting this for people because reading through the comments there are an extremely high amount of people who asked about or tried storing it and it exploded – so apparently they got so excited about this recipe that they didn’t finish reading her entire post. lol (I’m excited too, as I just found this site today – so I’m off to read the post on the homemade Shout! YAY! :P )

  14. Anonymous says

    The last post on the explosion… wow… whoops! I agree… I just started using the homemade laundry soap and I am addicted to the savings I am getting. I do the dry mix so I don't worry about melting and pouring and shaking. It works fine, however. I do notice that my clothes don't get completely clean like they had before. But I still love it overall. I also add straight vinegar to my softener cup and love the results. By doing this step, it eliminates the mildew smell off of towels that sat wet too long or even the pee smell from my kids clothes. (they still leak once and a while). I have not tried the oxi-clean homemade version… I never really needed an oxi-clean and I always skipped that step. I may, however try pouring some peroxide in the mix too.

    • martha says

      I can’t wait to try the dry laundry detergent and I too use just plain white vinegar in the softener tray. The vinegar also keeps my front loading machine from smelling bad.

  15. Cheryl says

    Hi There. I just found your blog because I was looking for the oxi clean recipe on pinterest. I have enjoyed reading all of this valuable money saving information. Here is a question for you: I have used the homemade laundry detergent for over 6 months and like a few previous posts, found that my clothes didn't get quite as clean (bright) as I want. I LOVE the idea of saving money, though. I get a funny smirk on my face when I am clipping coupons and skip the TIDE coupons. ha! Anyway, since the homemade detergent I use already contains the aforementioned washing soda, I'm wondering if you can just add 1/2 cup of peroxide with the laundry detergent and do a pre-soak with all ingredients for an hour or so, then finish the wash as usual. I guess I'm asking if you think you could save that extra 1/2 cup of washing soda per load? Additionally, with regard to fabric softener. My recipe has vinegar and backing soda, and as others have mentioned, it does eliminate that mildewy smell, but I do not notice anything with regard to actual softness. I have seen a recipe that adds hair conditioner to the mix, but would like your comments on how that would work.
    Thanks so much! Cheryl

    • MatZ says

      Hi Cheryl

      I suppose by now you’ve sorted out your problem (your comment was posted almost 6 months ago!); using baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid) together simply leads to the formation of a mineral salt and water while releasing carbon dioxide – the fizz you’ll notice. The baking (or washing) soda – the base – is the cleaner (“soap”) while the vinegar neutralizes any access base. So the rinsing should be done using only vinegar :D

  16. Denise from Ark says

    Here's my thought about the washing soda – remember that you're using a couple of tablespoons of the laundry soap at a time, but the recipe for the booster calls for an extra 1/2 cup of washing soda. So I'd say, yes, you'd still need to add the 1/2 cup of washing soda along with the peroxide.

  17. Jill Nystul says

    Cheryl…I would have to agree with Denise…I think the extra washing soda and peroxide are BOTH needed in order to get that extra cleaning boost you are looking for. I hardly do a light/white load without this combination anymore and I think my clothes are every bit as clean/bright as ever. :-) Hope this helps.

    Oh…and on the homemade fabric softener…while I don't use it…yet. I will do a post about it soon. And yes, the recipe with the hair conditioner in it is the one I have seen the most with the best reviews.

  18. Anonymous says

    You can buy Sodium Percarbonate powder, which is the active ingredient in Oxyclean. It is available on ebay rather cheaply. From what I understand, it is a powder that releases hydrogen peroxide in water, so you could actually make the "dry" oxyclean by mixing this and the washing soda together.

  19. Anonymous says

    When water is combined with hydrogen peroxide it loses its effectiveness because of the chemical make up of the items. So adding a cup of peroxide to a load of wash is actually wasting money. You need to treat each stain before adding to the washer where you can control the amounts of each ingredient.

  20. Anonymous says

    peroxide will get dried blood out of cloths even if its been in there for months … a vet tech told me this … its how she cleans her scrubs … i dont use it unless i have an accedent…or like cut my self … i use home made laundry soap … you use your favorite bar of soap i use dial and use very small amounts i also include 1 cup of oxi in a double batch of laundry soap works great even on my monkey wrench husbands cloths … very good on sensitive skin too as the main thing that iratates the skins are the dyes and perfumes there are very few and if your already useing the bar of soap your good

  21. Jill says

    Do you add this mixture directly into the wash or into the holder where the laundry detergent goes? I am new at this, but my little baseball player has white pants this year, so I need to find something that will get these stains out. Thanks!

    • says

      Who ever decided that putting baseball players in WHITE PANTS to play on RED DIRT/CLAY was a good idea?????? Obviously someone who doesn’t have to do the laundry! :-)

      Jill….I put this directly into the wash and let it SOAK. The longer, the better. If you are finding you have extra stubborn stains…you might want to try this:

      MIRACLE LAUNDRY WHITENING SOLUTION

  22. Jen says

    I’m heading out to pick up washing soda and hydrogen peroxide. I remembered this post when I was using my last scoop of OxiClean for a load of lights and looking at strawberry stains that had been setting in a delicate white knit shirt for 2 weeks. I dabbed hydrogen peroxide on the fuschia dribbles and thew it in with the rest of the wash, not expecting much. I could not believe how white in general the shirt came out! And the stains? Can’t see them, under any light, even if you know what you are looking for. They are completely gone, without a trace. WOW!!!!

  23. Tracy says

    My hubs cut his hand a couple of weeks ago. He dabbed dripping blood with a white towel until he could find a bandage. Then he threw the towel in the laundry basket and never mentioned it to me. On laundry day I pull out this blood-spotted towel. Hey, this is the perfect opportunity to try Jillee’s homemade oxi-clean recipe. I put some washing soda in a cup and poured in some hydrogen peroxide. Stirred it around with my finger until it made a nice paste (by the way, the paste got very warm!). I scooped blobs of it with a spoon onto the blood spots, let it sit for a couple of hours, then washed in my homemade laundry detergent. BINGO! Clean as a whistle! Thanks, Jillee!

    • Dianna says

      Tracy, Hydrogen Peroxide (neat) is another great way to remove blood from fabric. Simply pour it over the blood stain (prior to wetting or washing) and it will bubble right out. Then wash or rinse the stain away. I learned this trick from an E.R. nurse

    • Adria says

      Kristy,
      I had trouble finding it, as well, and finally bought it online (drugstore.com, I think). Recently, I discovered that washing soda is sometimes called ‘soda ash’ and can be found where pool supplies are sold, as it is used as a water cleanser. Then, just yesterday, I found a blog that actually had a recipe for homemade washing soda (pennilessparenting.com). All you do, basically, is bake baking soda in the oven. Seems easy enough, but I haven’t tried it. Hope this helps!!

    • Amy says

      You can buy it on alice.com if you don’t have it locally. I actually called my local Kroger store to see if they have any and was told they did not. However, the next time I went in, there it was on the laundry aisle. I think most people think it’s going to be near the baking soda, but it’s not. Wal-Mart here carries it on one of the laundry/cleaning aisles.

  24. deniseinark says

    I have to do laundry at the laundrymat, so I’m using a Steri-lite tub for the soak. It actually might be the way to soak things when you have a machine that won’t let you control the water level. I have just enough water to make sure that all of the clothes are only just covered up. The other issue here is that if the mixture is only active for six hours, it’s probably going to do as well as it can only soaking a half day. This morning I put the tub in the shower, put the hot water and chemicals in it, mixed well, added the clothes, then added a little more water because I didn’t have quite enough to start. I’ll dump it after lunch and let the clothes drain in the shower for a while, then wring them out, put them back in the plastic tub, and take them with the rest of the laundry to wash as usual. Oh, and FYI – my favorite hat is white and of course my makeup is decidedly NOT white. I’ve washed it and gave up and even threw it in with the bleached items and the inside lining was still orange. After 10 minutes in the Oxy-soak, it’s already cleaner than after it was washed with a bleach load.

  25. Myra says

    Just a note: The large batch that you made that lost it effectiveness it partly due to sticking the mixture in the mason jar. Peroxide comes in a brown bottle to block out light. Light does something to peroxide to make it ineffective (also over time peroxide become ineffective anyway). But if you are wanting to try a large batch again try putting the mixture in a dark container

  26. Elisa says

    Nice blog, and great recipes. Thank you. I would like to try this one,however, here in Australia Hydrogen Peroxide is expensive($6 for 500ml /2 cups), I don’t know why! .88cents for a litre would be fantastic. So, I buy Sodium Percarbonate (active ingredient in Oxi-Clean, and I believe it is the solid more stable form of hydrogen peroxide) in bulk for around AUD$30- no fillers added from a cleaning supply store, stored in a bucket. It lasts a long time because you use so little. I add around 2 TBs to a load in my HE washer, or 1/4 Cup to a bucket of hot water to soak whites. I add washing soda to the wash as well, around half a cup along with my homemade coconut castile liquid laundry soap. Long, hot wash for whites.

    • Robyn says

      Elisa, Hi … I’m up in Queensland. Where do you get your Sodium Percarbonate from ??? I’ve rung just about every cleaning supply / pool supply / produce store in town … nobody seems to have heard of it ! Strange. I may have to buy it online.

      The cheapest I can get liquid hydrogen peroxide here is 3% solution 200ml for $3.39 … now that’s not even a cup !

      Any help appreciated.
      Cheers
      Robyn

  27. Ryan says

    I doubt I’m the only guy on here asking questions, but just in case, I’ve hid my man-card to avoid losing it for saying, YOUR BLOG IS AWESOME!

    With that said, I just made up a batch of your no-grate laundry detergent, and can’t wait to try it out. I do have a question about the homemade OxyClean. From reading your blog, I gather you use it in pretty much every load of laundry. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume you could just increase the amount of washing soda in the homemade laundry detergent recipe, to the point of not having to add a half cup for each load later. In other words, the amount of washing soda in the homemade laundry detergent would then be potent enough that you would only need to add a half cup of hydrogen peroxide to each load of laundry, and you’d get the same effect of adding the OxyClean. Keeping in mind the no-grate laundry detergent is very watery to begin with; would that work, or is that still waaaaaay too much washing soda to dissolve in the laundry detergent recipe?

    One more question please. Our 3 year old son has a lot of allergies, so we’ve always had to purchase the free and clear types of laundry soap, babywash, etc… If we use a store bought laundry detergent that contains dyes or fragrance, within a day or two, areas of his skin start breaking out in little bumps. You mentioned the pH of the washing soda being high, so given the fact that the homemade OxyClean calls for a half cup in each load, should we be using the homemade Oxyclean in our laundry at all? I’ve never heard anything about the pH of laundry water having an effect on allergies, but you mentioned not using it for washable baby diapers.

    • says

      Thanks Ryan! Your man-card is safe here! :-)

      I will try to answer your questions.
      I guess you could just add extra washing soda to the laundry detergent…but then that essentially means you are going to be using oxi-clean in every load of laundry you do.
      I like the option of being able to add it if I want to…or not.

      As far as the washing soda and allergies is concerned…I would be careful with that. Although I think this formulation is much less irritating/caustic than any of the commercial stuff. If you notice any irritation…you could try using baking soda instead. I think it would still do a good job…just not quite as strong.

      Hope this helps. :-) And so glad you like the website!

  28. tussockgal says

    I live in New Zealand and here we buy hydrogen peroxide in different strengths i.e. starting at 3% solution right up to 30% – I buy the latter and dilute it down to my requirements. What is the dilution that you use? I’m guessing 3%…? Love your blog :o)

  29. Jennifer says

    Hi Jillee! k

    I am a little confused… I have a front load HE washer… so at which point would I “throw in” this mix? Reading through the comments, it sounds like it makes a paste? If so, how and when…. and how would I get my machine to agitate and then stop at the rinse cycle? Or are you just monitoring your washing machine and then pausing it right before the rinse cycle?

    Aloha,
    Jennifer

    • Amanda says

      I just wanna say I have fallen in love with making my own cleaners because of you. :)

      I was wondering the same thing as Jennifer though. I have an HE washer. Should I pour the mix over the dry clothes before I close the door or mix it and pour in my detergent slot. Also, have you considered what Ryan said and just increase the amount of washing soda in the no grate detergent. Thanks a bunch,
      Amanda

    • Maureen says

      I have the same question as Jennifer. I have a HE washing machine. I don’t know when or where to “throw in” the mix of OxyKleen? Should I throw it in the tub before I start the wash, or should I put it into the prewash/auto soak detergent compartment?

    • Jackie says

      Charlotte, I have had amazing results with Grandmas Secret Spot remover. It did not work on the yellow breast milk stains on my babies whites but it did get out old grease stains on a favorite shirt and my daughters pants. Both had been washed and dried several times using other stain removers and online recipes that didn’t work. And both had been soaked in store-bought Oxy Clean overnight to no avail. It also gets out berry and blood stains. I found it at ACE hardware. ACE is the only place I found the Arm&Hammer super washing soda for this oxiclean recipe that I am trying out tonight too. Seriously, try the grandmas stuff. Sounded like BS to me but I thought what the hell and now I use it all the time.
      http://www.grandmassoap.com/

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