Homemade OxyClean Stain Remover

homemade oxy clean stain treater remover recipe

In my house, even when we used to use commercial detergents, stains are a fact of life. I’ll likely never be able to give away hand me downs because by the time clothes have made it through my kids, they either have holes or stains that can’t be fixed.

Of all the stain removers out there, OxiClean is the most natural option that I’ve found… but it is also one of the most expensive.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for homemade OxiClean stain remover, and from my scientific testing (aka: my kids stains for two weeks) it seems to be as effective as the store bought stuff.

It’s also really easy and inexpensive to make! Please note that this is best made fresh and not stored. I keep the ingredients in my laundry area and mix small batches to use as needed.

Homemade OxyClean Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 parts water
  • 1 part hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 part washing soda

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients as needed to use them. I don’t recomend storing this mixture as it loses effectiveness.
  2. Use as a pre-treat spray on stains or add the entire mixture to a load of laundry, add water and let soak for 30 minutes before washing.

Notes

I use 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide, and 1 tablespoon washing soda. This is a liquid recipe and also reminds me somewhat of Shout spray.

Also, check out this recipe for homemade laundry detergent if you want to go complete DIY with your laundry.

What’s the weirdest stain you’ve ever had to get out? Ever made your own laundry supplies before? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I make our detergent, and we use Oxy Clean, I’m going to try this recipe out asap! Toddler man goes through a LOT of OC stain remover! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    • tried it…. doesn’t work…disappointing big time!!!!!!

      • That’s strange… did you pre-mix? If so, was it stored in an opaque container?

        •  You have to use washing soda, not plain baking soda

          • While reading this I noticed Wellness Mama gives the recipe as “washing soda” but states she used baking soda….so washing soda should bring better results…? Have you tried it?

        • Washing Soda has a higher PH therefore it should clean better.
          O2 will only last about 6 hours

      • I’ve used it over and over and it has always worked. I used baking soda and make sure the peroxide is not old.. once opened it loses it’s cleaning ability quickly.

      • I used it on old grease stains on my mechanic husbands jeans… I mean really old grease stains. This took over 75% of the stain out. Did you pre treat it?

        • It works on old grease stains?! Awesome…trying this now! Must learn to cook with apron on!! >_<

          • I completed the soak on four articles, three with old grease stains and one with fresh motor oil stains. I attempted to “re-activate” the old stains with Goo-Gone (saw this online elsewhere) and left the new stain alone. After four hours of soaking I put them through the wash per my usual (cold, delicate, eco-friendly storebought detergent and additional baking soda for our hard water). The old stains were definitely diminished but the new ones were still quite proud! I will probably try the soak again because I had to water it down a bit more than you suggested in order to get all four garments in the sink. Bonus!! My white enameled sink is the cleanest it has ever been!! XD Thanks for this scrub-free recipe!

  2. I have been making my own laundry detergent for over a year and love it.  I am definitely going to try this stain remover, though.  Thanks

  3. I’m still working my way through our original homemade batch from like a year ago! I switched from the powder to the liquid since it lasts so much longer. Often I feel like that laundry needs a ‘boost’ since the cleaning power of the homemade stuff is sometimes questionable, so I add Oxy Clean {and you’re right, it’s wicked expensive if you use it on every load}. I’m actually really excited to try this out! Do you know how it works on cloth diapers? I’ll use a bit of Oxy Clean every month or so to keep my son’s pocket inserts from smelling like ammonia. 

    • Try Sun brand oxy it is much cheaper. I make homemade laundry powder all the time and just add about half a cup of Sun to it.
      As long as the peroxide you use in your diapers is fresh it should do well. For stuborn stains soak them for a while.

    • How often are you stripping the diapers? If you get too much soap build up in the diapers it will cause that smell.

    • Try adding white vinegar to the rinse. About a cup or so. It will remove all soap and that amonia smell. Hope it helps.

  4. Have you ever used an enzyme cleaner like BumGenius Odor remover spray or Bac-out? I here they’re great to spray on cloth diapers and dirty clothes until you’re able to throw them in the wash. Do you think this would work as effectively?

    Either way, I’m going to try it. Just like several others have said, I’ve been making my own detergent for a while and I’d love to use this to boost it’s effectiveness. Thanks for sharing!

    • After looking around a litle online I haven’t yet found the answer, but I did learn that you could also use Washing Soda in place of the baking soda. I have that on hand, so I’m going to try it instead 🙂

    • Yes! An enzyme spray works excellently against biological stains like food and pee. I use the enzyme spray marketed for pet stains because it’s cheaper.

      With both kids, I had ammonia smell caused by urine residue. Using enough detergent is important, but even with high amounts of detergent I got the ammonia smell. With my first, I ended up chlorine bleaching the diapers regularly. With my second I sprayed the diapers with enzymes as they went in the wet bag and I haven’t needed to use chlorine bleach at all.

      FWIW, the homemade detergent I’ve found to be best for diapers is 2 tsp dish soap and 2 Tbsp washing soda for a small load (not HE). Recipes using real soap left a residue that compromised absorbency and recipes without any surfactant didn’t clean well enough.

  5. Is that 2c water, 1c peroxide and 1 c soda? just making sure. We have some nasty well water and even with the so-called filter, our clothes never seem clean.

    • yep… you got it! Well water is at least much healthier (usually)

      • for sure! I defininately don’t want city water! thanks for the clarification!

        I am really enjoying your site. Made some of the garden bug spray tonite. We have some very determined bugs here in south Florida!

        I’m 56 and have serious sun damaged skin, so I’m trying your advice on the coconut oil. I’ll let ya know if it helps, as nothing else has, and I’ve tried lots of products!

        • Have you also tried taking gelatin internally? It really helps rebuild skin too…

    • Just read an article that said that well water is the most toxic and harmful water in the world. Just sayin…

      • It depends on the well – it is contaminated from agricultural chemicals? does it naturally contain certain minerals because of the rocks? or is it super-duper, tasty and free of bad stuff? There is a lot of variation.

        On the plus side for “municipal” water, it is often tested frequently, and few people test their own wells on a regular basis.
        But then there can be poorly maintained systems, and as we see in Michigan and elsewhere, old pipes can result in lead in drinking water even when the water source itself wasn’t contaminated.
        And then there are all the medications in wastewater that don’t get broken down by conventional sewage treatment plants… that treated water ends up in rivers, the ocean or on agricultural fields.

  6. I haven’t tried those yet Carrie since I didn’t want to spend the money if I didn’t have to. I just did a load with Oxy Clean and a vinegar rise so we’ll see how that goes {not getting my hopes up}. Although it’s below freezing the sun is out so after church I’ll let them see the light for awhile and maybe that’ll help ::fingers crossed::
    I appreciate your help! If you find anything else, please let me know 😀

  7. Great recipe. I have a dog so there’s always stains to deal with.

  8. I just made a batch and the baking soda clogged my spray bottle nozzle.  Do you have a tip for getting the baking soda to completely dissolve into the water/peroxide? 

    Thanks, ~J

    • Hmmm…. I haven’t had trouble with this, but maybe try warm water with the baking soda first and then add the peroxide? If you can’t get it to spray, it also works to pour on or to add to the wash water.

  9. How long is this solution effective for? If it sits on the shelf for a while, does the effectiveness wear off? Just wondering, since this is a liquid solution and not a powder solution. Also, have you tried this on delicate fabrics?
    Thanks!

    • I’ve tried on some delicates and it seems just fine. As long as it is in a dark colored opaque container it seems to last a long time. I use mine within a month, but it stays effective at least until then.

  10. Has anyone ever tried this on carpet?  I have cream carpet and have used peroxide on it before but it’s a long process.  I’m wondering, if I use it on carpet, do I have to “rinse” it off with a wet washcloth or can I just let it dry?

    • I don’t have any carpet, so I haven’t tried it, but hopefully someone else can let us know if it works!

  11. how much is one part baking soda? a cup, a tablespoon, what?

    • it could be any of those. Basically, just decide how much you want to make and use the same measurement for each. In other words… if you used a cup measure, you’d use one cup of baking soda, one cup of hydrogen peroxide and two cups of water…

  12. Don’t know if someone already said it but DAWN dish soap works wonders on stains in my option- just apply to stain and wash as normal- but i don’t have a clue how natural it is

  13. Does this loose it’s umhp after sitting awhile?
     

  14. Wouldn’t bleach your clothes? since peroxide bleachs???

    • Since the peroxide is only 3% and it is in water, the bleaching action just works on the stains and doesn’t actually bleach the clothes.

    • I use hydrogen peroxide (3%) on clothes/sheets/carpet all the time because it removes blood so well (bloody noses, skinned knees, etc. x6 kids), and it has never bleached the fabric or carpet.

  15. Can you use this in a front n Loader washer?

    • I don’t have one so I haven’t tested it personally, but other readers have told me that they have…

  16. I would like to make this! But I’m a bit confused. The recipe says washing soda and yet the directions and comments talk about baking soda. Which do I use? Thanks! 

    • Technically either will work. It was originally baking soda, and then I discovered that washing soda works even better. SO whichever you have 🙂

      • OK! Thanks for your quick response! 🙂 

  17. You have to mix it when you use it… the reaction from the Peroxide and Washing Soda only last for a short time. 

  18. If the mixture is stored for more than a few hours, the oxygen is all released and it becomes ineffective. That’s why oxygen cleaners use powders that, when mixed with water, form hydrogen peroxide on the spot. Just make the amount you need for the wash you are doing and it should work.

  19. i made this with washing soda and it blew up…. yes it was in a dark bottle

    • Hmmmm… I havne’t had that happen. Let me see what I can figure out…

    • Did you let it sit a bit before putting on the top? Hydrogen peroxide does put off a gas (hense the bubbles). It will lose the efftivness anyway, though, after a few hours.

    • I so wanted to love this, but I had a similar experience. I tried this twice (using washing soda and a dark bottle) and, sadly, it was a fail for me. Both times it sort of expanded in the bottle the first day after I mixed it, leaked everywhere and made a mess. From the mess that puddled on the counter some turned to crystallized chunks. When I give the bottle a shake I can hear chunks inside, too. Maybe there’s something in my water that is reacting with the other ingredients?

      • Crystals happend to me once with washing soda when I used hot water and let it sit for a while before using. Since then I only use cold water.

  20. Aaaack… make sure you follow the directions in this post about putting in a DARK CONTAINER!!  I made too much so i stored the excess in a spray bottle… it all sprayed out during the night!  it’s ALL OVER my laundry room.  I keep wiping it up but it keeps coming back… it’s like it’s in the wood or something!  i have yet to see if it works on the stains!  

    • Did you use BAKING soda?
      Washing soda is what you needed. The instructions give a typo.

  21. I don’t know if anyone mentioned this but it’s easy to make washing soda. You just cook the baking soda on a sheet pan at 400 degrees until it goes from a powder to a grainy texture (Usually around one hour).
    On that note I made this and it had some chemical reaction that caused it to heat up! I left it out the night I made it and it bubbled to the point of spilling out all over the counter! Worked great though!!!

    • P.S. I used the hydrogen peroxide dark bottle as suggested. Still had the spillage.

    • Exactly right. The heat turns it from Sodium Bicarbonate to Sodium Carbonate. Baking Soda is usually less expensive, but remember to factor in the cost of using your oven for an hour.

  22. Is there a chemist in the house?! I’d really like to understand the reactions between all these ingredients before I decide which version to try! Maybe temperature is a factor in the exploding cases, or the order of mixing things, or the type of container used to mix in… for instance you would not want to use a reactive metal pot for any type of chemical reaction.

    • I’m not a chemist, but hopefully some other readers will weigh in. From trial and error, the way I usually do it now is to just mix the washing or baking soda with hydrogen peroxide when I need it and just mix for each load.

      • Washing soda and baking soda are NOT the same.

    • My friend had the same thing happen. I was over at her house on Super Bowl night and all of the sudden we heard something explode.
      She showed me the “white” not clear at all bottle all expanded and the mess in her laundry room. If it only lasts 6 hrs. I would think that you would make a tiny batch in a bottle, only what you will use for stains for the amount of loads you will do for that day. Then to keep the clothes colorful and white just add 1/4 C each to the load before you put your clothes in.

  23. Washing soda and Baking soda are two COMPLETELY different things. Washing soda (soda ash) is made from baking soda but it’s chemical structure is different. Like when you take a piece of wood and burn it to ash…it becomes something different.

  24. I made this yesterday and when I went to work on stains today I found the bottle had crystals foaming out of it and all around it and nothing left in the bottle. There was some sort of chemical reaction. I followed the directions so not sure what happened. Any thoughts? In the list you say washing soda but in the “how to make” section you say baking soda. I used washing soda. Was that what caused the reaction? Thanks for your help.

    • Washing soda is more effective, but it can create this reaction. I’ve started just mixing as I go to avoid the fizzing…

  25. Help!! What did I do wrong? I mixed everything in the peroxide bottle, put a sprayer on it and did some laundry. It worked fine…..but!!! I noticed the bottle was warm, I didn’t think much of it until the next morning I came back and it had leaked all over my laundry counter and left a white mess. It would no longer spray so I shook and poured it thinking I would get a new opaque bottle somewhere, but now it is a solid mass in the peroxide bottle. And yes, I used washing soda, as well as distilled water. 🙂

  26. I’d like to try this but I do have a question for anyone who can answer that has a front loading washer requiring HE products…does the washing soda produce too much suds for a front loading washer?

  27. I’m actually relieved to see that other people experienced the same problem with the chemical reaction between the washing soda and peroxide that I did. I, too, found it odd that you did not mention this in the instructions, Katie. You might need to amend them for future readers who don’t take the time to read all the comments as well as the tutorial.
    The mixture, of course, generated a LOT of heat and left a white residue all over the counter/bottles. The washing soda obviously does not dissolve as I expected it would. I tested the mixture on several pieces of stained clothing, some freshly stained and some a week old. Of six items of clothing, only one was entirely free of stains after the wash cycle. I really need a more reliable way to remove stains, because the cleaning power of the soap nuts are NOT keeping up with my three boys. I have also tried the laundry detergent recipe, but I don’t like using Borax because of the poor rating it receives from EWG. Also, I found the washing soda left white residue on our clothing. At first I thought they faded badly, but after I switched back to Tide for a short period I notices my clothes were back to there original bright/dark colors. I would love to concur this safe, natural laundry problem without spending too much more money on trial and error!

  28. Baking soda or washing soda? If you are passing your advice to people via the Interweb, don’t you think you should make it clear?

  29. I made a large batch of this and stored it in an empty distilled water gallon jug. It has crystallized for some reason. Not completely but there are what look like little pieces of glass throughout the mixture. Has this happened to anyone else? Will it melt down and still be useful during the wash?

    • It crystallized because it turned into sodium percarbonate. This is one way you can make this compound at home: washing soda (or sodium carbonate) and hydrogen peroxide. The more concentrated the peroxide, the faster you will see the sodium percarbonate forming into a grainy compound.

  30. I forgot to mention that she used the Washing Soda and not the Baking Soda

  31. One thing I used to do (with the baby’s/toddler clothes) was mix – 1 part vinegar, 1 part dish detergent and enough water to make it more viscous…pour on stain & let sit for 10 mins. If you aren’t sure which temperature to rinse it in, start with cold and work your way through to warm or hot (in case whatever you are rinsing is set by hot) – if the stain is not completely gone, re-apply and wait another 10 minutes. My sister initially gave me this recipe from her book by Karen Hogan (I think!) called “Clean House Clean Planet” for cherry stains on my husbands new beige shorts & white shirt that had baked in the sun all day the day before. Took them out completely!

  32. How do you use it on front load LG machine? & do you have a powder version?

    • You just spray it on the clothes that need the stain treatments then wash.

  33. Just made this today. Same results as most of the other commenters. Bubbled over immediately due to a chemical reaction I’m assuming from the washing soda and peroxide. Nice mess all over my laundry room. I used it immediately on my husbands work shirts and his ring around the collar. Nothing happened. Looked the same as when it went in. I threw the entire solution out including the bottle. Disappointing. I had high hopes for it working.

  34. Thank you! I tried this today (but in a much smaller quantity) and it worked. My daughter spilled blueberry smoothie on her pale pink sweatshirt. I thought it would be ruined but decided to give this a try. In a bowl, I mixed:
    – 1 tsp washing soda
    – 1 tsp hydrogen peroxide
    – 2 tsp water
    Stirred it up (no bubbles or reaction that I could see) and then poured it on the stains on her sweatshirt. By the time I washed the bowl and spoon out and came back to the laundry room (less than 5 minutes) the stains were gone!

    Make sure you use Washing Soda. The ingredient list above is correct, but the written instructions say baking soda, which is wrong. Good luck!

  35. I was wondering if I had to put the solution in an opaque bottle, or if I can wash out the old blue oxyclean bottle and use that?

    Thank you!

  36. I apologize! I found an old hydrogen peroxide bottle to use, but I tried the ingredients above and it doesn’t work! The baking soda just sinks to the bottom of the mixture =( If we are supposed to use washing soda, how come the ingredients call for baking soda? Any particular reason @Wellness Mama? =)

    Thanks for the help!

  37. Your recipe just saved my new white jeans!!!! (I dropped a container with pink dye and the contents splattered upwards) I thought the jeans were ruined and actually did not treat them for several days. After I was through being upset, I went ahead and looked up a way to possibly get the stains out, and your website was the first and last I visited. I made the solution more like a past and rubbed it all over the splatters – they completely disappeared. Thank you so much for posting!

  38. I made the solution with baking soda and it worked wonderfully. The only problem I have is that it clogs the sprayer. Any suggestions?

  39. How long does it bubble and fizz? I put it in my old spray and wash bottle. I used this on old old old grease stains in my mechanic hubbys jeans and I was amazed at how much the black oil stain is faded.

  40. Hi! What spray bottles do you use? I made a whole batch of cleaning supplies and I think the vinegar has eaten through my spray mechanism on the bottles, as the bottles don’t spray, I have used the bottles before with no problem.
    Thank you!,

  41. What strength peroxide do you need, when i typed in amazon (co.uk) it comes up with loads of different types, food grade, medicinal use, beauty products etc … Ps. I Love Your Site!

    • Something around 3% is good, higher than 10% is a definite no-no. Medical or cosmetic is fine. I just get mine at the drugstore.

  42. I LOVE your site! I made this yesterday and my bottle expanded and then it cracked. What did I do wrong? Thanks!

    • You didn’t do anything wrong. It is a reaction that happens when you mix the soda with the peroxide. Some people just make the stain remover as they need it in small amounts. That is too much of a pain for me so I found another recipe that I think works as well as this one, just remember to pre treat for about 30 minutes. 1 part original Dawn dishwashing soap and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. I keep mine in a dark cabinet and have duct taped over the entire bottle as I have heard peroxide does not like light.

  43. Baking soda and the vinegar is the most helpful trick to remove the stains from the carpets.

  44. I made mine yesterday and while it is a great cleaner…..it removed filth in grout that I couldn’t get out scrubbing on my hands and knees….well the bottle EXPLODED all over the top of my washing machine and once I wiped it off the machine, it hasn’t looked that beautiful in years…..and it caused dirt to come out of the washing machine itself. I WILL make it again, but will never store it in a bottle, I’ll just use it all at once…..and make it each time I need oxyclean

  45. Has anyone found that the washing soda doesn’t seem to dissolve? It just forms a lump in the bottom of the container I mix it in.

    Also, for things like ring-around-the-collar (IOW, discoloration from skin oils and such), I find it needs to be applied directly to be effective– putting it in the wash load or just putting the item to soak doesn’t seem to work (which is a problem when it is a large area, because you can go through a lot of this stuff in a hurry). So, making a paste of the washing soda/peroxide and applying directly to the stained portion is necessary. (I haven’t tried it yet on other stains because I don’t get those too often, but having oily and possibly-acidic skin means whites are doomed, and things like OxyClean are my best friend.)

  46. Katie-In list of ingredients, you state washing soda but then in written instructions you wrote “baking soda”. You should swap out that error so folks can have clean clothes and not ones ready for baking….

  47. How is this called oxiclean spray and pictures oxiclean in photo but its not in ingredients???

  48. Would distilled water be better than tap water for this or does it matter?

  49. Regarding making ones own “OxyClean Stain Remover” as per the recipe.
    When the resultant mix is placed in a spray container, it continues to bubble and pressurise the container.
    How does one stop this so that the homemade Stain Remover can be used over a number of days?

  50. Hi. I just see this blog. very nice and people are joining in is very nice to see. I did read about oxyclean and making own formula and seems to be still some dilemna so until it is finalized I will continue to us Shout which works well for me. I am confused about ‘washing-soda’ and ‘baking-soda’… I usually add baking soda to my wash except for black items. I think baking soda affects the color black and I like my black clothes to stay the same shade of black and I found baking soda did affect the color black. Nice website – Best wishes. I read your ‘my comment policy’ and if I make a mistake of all your rules – I hope you will notify me before “banning” because there was alot to read and some was a bit confusing to me. Please let me know if my words here are confusing because I know sometimes my writing may not be clear. Thanks… wonderful idea for a website. I am always searching for tips for housekeeping and organizing………………………………… e

  51. What is washing soda & where can l buy it?

    • Most people say wal-mart, but the one here does not offer it. I can order it from their website at their price or go to the laundry section of the local grocery and pay three dollars more a box for it. Where ever you shop, check with the laundry products…or look online for how to bake your baking soda to make your own washing soda.

  52. What is washing soda, how to make it or where to buy?

  53. Look at all the folks that failed to pay attention in science class.

  54. Love the post. Great job. One thing irking me right now is when did oxyclean change to oxiclean with an I?