Sunday, November 11, 2012

DIY Oxy-Clean Really Worth It?

DIY Oxy-Clean really worth it?

Wow, this was an eye opener.  There are many many sites talking about making home-made Oxy-Clean and how cheap it is and how great it works, but I decided to do my own test and share the results.  Turns out, the home-made Oxy-Clean is NOT cheaper.  It's not better either, in my opinion.  I think it came in close behind it though. if you need some in a pinch and don't have any, go ahead and whip up a small batch.   

Honestly, this is the first time I bought OxyClean. I normally just put laundry detergent in the wash, occasionally spray something with Shout, and that's it.  (I don't have kids.)  When I first heard about cheap home-made OxyClean, I thought that's neat; and, like I normally do, I went all out and whipped up a big batch!  Well, it turns out it doesn't store well.  It was all a waste.  The soda sort of sits in the bottom like cement, but I also learned that the home-made version is only effective for up to 6 hours, something about the oxygen evaporating off.  If you make it, just make a small amount at a time as you need it, which is easy since it only has two ingredients plus water (or put it directly in the washer when it is filling).  Also, most instructions tell you to use baking soda.  You can, but it doesn't work as well.  It is best to use washing soda.  (It's in a box in the laundry aisle, most likely by the box of borax.  It is at Wal-Mart.) 
I wanted to be thorough and as accurate as possible, so I used a dropper to be sure each stain had the same amount in it, soaked them the same amount of time, and rubbed them the same amount of time each.  I was careful, also, to measure out how much was recommended for each product and used 1/4 since I was just doing a test in a small bowl. 


Chocolate and mustard

Chocolate, mustard, ketchup, and (blood) raw steak drippings.

Ding ding ding!  In this corner... DIY Oxy-Clean... "dollar store" version... name brand Oxy-Clean.

Getting ready to take a bath.

Ahhhh Jacuzzi time!

Note, I reached in the bottom of the bowl of the home-made version to see if it was settling at all (as it did that the last time I made it after it sat a long time in the container) and there was a crunchy round disk of it in the bottom already. It had soaked for around, I think, 1-1/2 hours.  (Maybe an argument to use the baking soda if you are going to soak something for a while.)  

The results:  (Note, I made sure the stains set well as I didn't actually want them to get the stains completely out as I wouldn't be able to compare them then.) They all took the chocolate out.  Oxy-Clean won on the mustard and steak drippings by a little.   Ketchup was won by the home-made version, by a hair.  Kind of weird how they made the ketchup stains look. Looks like food coloring. 

To me, it comes down between buying the original (best price-wise also) or making the DIY version.

Number crunching:

Note, I measured out the entire container of each to see exactly how many uses I would get per their recommendations. Yep, told you I was trying to be thorough.  lol

The washing soda was $3.24 at Wal-Mart and the hydrogen peroxide is around 90 cents, so it came out to .395 cents per use.

The Oxi-Clean was $3.86, so it came out to .26 cents per use.

The Dollar Store version was, well, $1.00, duh.  It came out to .07 cents per use.

In Summary:  Stain-wise, my personal impression is that the brand name is the best.  The home-made version came in close behind, and the dollar store version was worse.  Price-wise, the brand name Oxy-Clean wins.

Home-Made Oxy-Clean:
1/2 cup washing (or baking) soda
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1 cup water (or put the above two directly in the washer while it is filling)

I've heard people rave about the DIY version and $ store version, so I'm sure people will disagree; but that's ok. I'm just going by my own experience and sharing.  

(Note, washing soda gets hard in the box after a while, after you open it; so I'm going to try storing it in another container this time.)

Please feel free to leave a comment, tip, or suggestion below.   :)

Coming Soon!  DIY Shout and home-made laundry detergent. 


  1. thanks for doing the work for me

  2. You answered alot of questions for me! Thank you.

  3. What percent of hydrogen peroxide did you use? It could make a difference. I have 35 percent food grade for the "the 3 minute cure". I'm going to try that.

  4. It doesn't say anything on the front. On the back, it says "Hydrogen Peroxide (stabilized) 3%."

  5. THank you SO much for doing a side-by-side comparison. It is very helpful. I would be interested in comparing the 35% to the 3% peroxide, if you want a follow-up experiment. - KR

  6. Are you able to buy unscented oxyclean? I can't, so the homemade version is the only one available to me.