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 (Like Oxiclean)
- 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.
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!