Homemade OxiClean Stain Remover

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DIY stain remover
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In my house, even when we used to use commercial cleaning products, stains are a fact of life. I’ll likely never be able to give away hand-me-downs. 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 one of the most natural options I’ve found. I started making my own because it was even less expensive than the store brand.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for homemade OxiClean stain remover. And from my scientific testing (aka my kid’s stains for two weeks) it seems to be as effective as the store-bought stuff. It’s also really easy and inexpensive to make!

Why Choose Natural Laundry Stain Remover?

Between grease stains, food stains, and grass stains, kids can really do a number on clothing. Many years ago I would have thought natural laundry products wouldn’t remove stains and opted for conventional detergents in my laundry room. Plus there are the convincing ads for instant stain remover and stain remover pens that promise ease of use.

I quickly learned those chemicals aren’t an option I want in my home and I don’t need bleach for white clothes. Then there are the phosphates that cause toxin-releasing algae blooms. While most countries and states ban the use of phosphates in laundry products, not all do.

Our clothes lay right next to our skin all day long, so that can add up to a lot of chemical exposure over time. My older kids do their own laundry now, so I don’t want them handling toxic stain remover either. Thankfully there are plenty of healthy (and effective!) options.

OxiClean Stain Remover Powder

I discovered Oxiclean at my local grocery store when my kids were little. Their ingredients are simple enough and the Free version is cleaner than the regular version. It’s essentially a mix of washing soda and hydrogen peroxide. Once mixed together these ingredients react to form sodium percarbonate.

If you mix them together yourself you’ll notice a lot of bubbles and foam. This is why I mix and use this as needed for fresh stains. Once the mixture settles down it’s still releasing gas which can cause your spray bottle to expand or explode!

Want to Buy it?

Since I first started using this recipe I discovered a new brand of laundry products, Truly Free. They meet all my strict standards and are a great prepackaged option if you don’t want to make your own. You can check out their Oxyboost stain remover here and use code wellnessmama for a discount.

The Best Stain Remover for Different Types of Stains

Not all stain removers work best for all clothes. I’ve found that this DIY Oxiclean though works well for most things. Here’s a quick guide for how to best remove certain stains.

  • Blood stains – rinse with cold water and then use hydrogen peroxide or DIY Oxiclean.
  • Food stains – For tomato stains use vinegar, for coffee use boiling hot water. For everything else use either hydrogen peroxide or DIY Oxiclean.
  • Oil stains – Grease stains from oil-based products are some of the worst to get out in the wash! Dish soap and warm water work well here though.
  • Red wine – For red wine stains, I use this DIY natural stain remover. Plus it even works on upholstery!

It’s best to treat stains as soon as you see them since old stains are harder to get out. It’s also important to not put your stained t-shirt in the dryer until the discoloration is removed. For set-in stains, I like to soak clothes in warm water and DIY Oxiclean (or Oxyboost) for several hours. Then wash as usual.

How to Use DIY Stain Remover Spray

In the past, I used baking soda as a spot remover and odor remover, but I’ve found washing soda does an even better job on linens and clothes. For tough stains, I’ll pretreat the fabric with a paste of the below recipe before laundering. You can mix the ingredients together and dab it on the stained area.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or need to apply the stain remover to a larger area, then use a spray bottle. After it’s soaked add it to the washing machine. This stain remover shouldn’t be stored in the bottle for longer than a few hours. If there’s extra once I’m done treating everything I like to throw it in the washing machine with the clothes.

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.

DIY stain remover
4.50 from 4 votes

DIY Stain Remover (Like Oxiclean)

This fast and easy homemade cleaner works like Oxiclean with even simpler ingredients. Works as a spray or a paste for tough stains.
Prep Time3 minutes
Total Time3 minutes
Yield: 2 ounces
Author: Katie Wells



  • Combine the very warm or hot water and the washing soda and mix until dissolved. Mix in a spray bottle for a liquid version, or in a bowl if using it as a paste.
  • Add the hydrogen peroxide.
  • Use as a pre-treat spray on stains. You can also add the entire mixture to some water in a small basin and let the stained clothing soak for 30 minutes before washing.


  • This is a liquid recipe and reminds me somewhat of Shout laundry stain remover spray.
  • You can also mix and use it like a paste for more stubborn stains.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some frequently asked questions if you run into problems with your DIY stain remover.

Help, my bottle expanded/exploded!

Don’t mix up a full bottle and do use it as needed or within a few hours after mixing. The hydrogen peroxide releases a gas once mixed with the washing soda that continues to expand. It also starts to lose effectiveness if stored.

My ingredients clogged the bottle

Try using it as a paste instead. The washing soda may not have dissolved all the way first, so try using hotter water.

The washing soda didn’t dissolve/ there are clumps in the bottle

Dissolve the washing soda in hot water before adding the hydrogen peroxide

It didn’t do anything

The hydrogen peroxide may be too old or the clothing may need to be treated again.

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

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


113 responses to “Homemade OxiClean Stain Remover”

  1. Breanna Avatar

    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!,

  2. Diana Avatar

    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.

  3. Jen Avatar

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

  4. Candy Avatar

    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!

  5. Brittney Avatar

    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!

  6. Brittney Avatar

    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!

  7. Ray Avatar

    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!

  8. Christy Avatar

    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.

  9. Allison Avatar

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

    1. Layla Russum Avatar
      Layla Russum

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

  10. Melisa Avatar

    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!

  11. sheri Avatar

    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?

    1. Jake Avatar

      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.

  12. Mona Avatar

    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?

  13. Rachel Avatar

    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!

  14. Tammy Avatar

    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?

  15. Alison Pruitt Avatar
    Alison Pruitt

    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. 🙂

  16. Joy Shank Avatar
    Joy Shank

    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.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

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

  17. Heather Gibson-Broyles Avatar
    Heather Gibson-Broyles

    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.

    1. Susan Avatar

      Just read that you can BAKE the baking soda and it will turn into washing soda. Might try this. 🙂

  18. Erin Avatar

    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.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      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.

    2. Cyndi Avatar

      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.

  19. Jenny Avatar

    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!!!

    1. Jenny Avatar

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

    2. Don Avatar

      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.

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