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Homemade Oxiclean: Is it Cheaper??

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I’m a lover of all things homemade. If I can make it myself at home, I’m usually going to try it. Does that always work out? Nope. Sometimes there’s a mess in the kitchen and I have to scramble around to clean it up before Barry gets home so I don’t have to explain the blubber experiment or the blown up plastic jug. *Cough*

However, my mama taught me that just because you can make it at home doesn’t make it cheaper – and sometimes the cheaper cost isn’t worth the time and effort. For example, take deer meat. We usually get a deer each fall. I could just process it at home myself and freeze it. Do I? Uh, no. I don’t want to fiddle with it. I send it to the meat processor who does it for me and has it all nicely packaged up – for $40. Could I do it for less? You betcha. Would I rather shell out the $40? You betcha.

I happened upon a recipe for homemade Oxiclean over at The Grocery Cart Challenge. Of course I had to check it out….and of course I had to tally it up. I’m weird like that.  It calls for 1 cup water, ½ cup peroxide and ½ cup baking soda for one batch (some people prefer washing soda). You mix that up and let your laundry soak in it overnight or just skip the water part and pour those other two things into your wash (only one batch is made at a time). That made me a bit nervous – I know what peroxide does to colors I’ve heard from OTHER PEOPLE what peroxide does to some colors.

I did the math, and turns out making homemade Oxiclean is NOT cheaper than buying it at the store. So, you can scratch this off your list of stuff to make homemade. Let’s keep in mind that Stacy buys Awesome Oxygen from the Dollar Tree (it only costs $1, can you believe it?)  instead of name brand Oxi-Clean. In a side-by-side test, it performed the same for me. Here’s the math:

Washing Soda 55 ounces = 5 1/2 cups ($2.79 at Food City) OR baking soda (see comments below) 13.5 pounds = 25.18 cups ($5.25 at Costco)

Peroxide 16 ounces = 2 cups ($.50 at CVS on sale)

That equals out to 11 half-cup portions of Washing Soda so they are $.25 per half cup OR about 50 half-cup portions of Baking Soda that equal $.10 per half cup.

There are 4 half-cup portions of peroxide so they are $.13 per half cup.

In total this means you pay $.38 for one batch of homemade oxyclean using Washing Soda OR $.23 for one batch using baking soda.

There are 12 scoops (one scoop per load) in one16 ounce container of Awesome Oxygen for $1.

In total, this means you pay $.08 for a batch of Awesome Oxygen – a $.30 difference!

This math may not work out in your favor if you purchase name brand Oxi-Clean. But if you’re shopping at the Dollar Tree, you’re golden.

BUT (there’s always a but, isn’t there?), what if you like using this handy dandy Oxiclean spray? I LOVE THIS STUFF. It’s expensive. I think I paid a little over $5 for this job. Yipes. It’s enough to make me cry in the aisle at Target. Is it cheaper for me to make my own homemade spray? YES!!!!

On the bottle of Awesome Oxygen it gives you a break down for how much to add if you want to make it into a liquid for spraying. It assumes you want to make a gallon. Well, I don’t want to make a gallon, I want to make 12 ounces because that’s the size of my bottle. It says to use 1 scoop (equal to two tablespoons) per gallon of water and mix together for treatment of stains.

I broke it down and that equals out to ABOUT ¾ teaspoon for 12 ounces of water. I put it down in my empty bottle, shook it up and I was good to go. I’ve been using it to treat stains occasionally and it’s working great. Mostly I use Fels Naptha for treating stains, but this is nice to have around. I’ve used it on bright reds with no sign of color dulling.

What does this end up costing? Doing the math, I estimate that it costs about $.01 to make a batch of this Awesome Oxygen stain treatment. Shocked?  😀

*This post is linked at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Barn Hop #49 at Homestead Revival, at Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFGLINS, and at Weekend Whatever on Your Thriving Family.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. They sell awesome oxygen stain remover at the dollar tree too. That’s what I buy.

  2. You go, girl! I am Math stupid, so I’d be sitting around like Patrick Star trying to figure out what to do.

  3. Oh dear. Someone’s never watched Spongebob…

  4. I have been trying to figure out a cheaper stain remover that is also more natural – this is awesome! Thanks!

  5. I miss your meal planning…have you stopped?

    • My new email service sends out an email each time I put up a new post…instead of only one per day. I’m still trying to get it figured out. I didn’t want to send out two emails on Monday because I was afraid it would upset people. I hope to have it back soon. :-)

  6. Tina Whitman says:

    Patrick is Spongebob’s less than smart friend. :)

  7. Becky Norvell says:

    I see that you buy your Washing Soda at Food City. Do you think that Food City is cheaper than Ingles or Walmart?? I’m all about local business so I’ve started shopping at Ingles in Eliz. but someone said that FC is better. What’s your opinion?

    • I LOVE Ingles…’s my favorite grocery store locally. But, I haven’t actually checked the price of the Washing Soda there. I will have to do that. I’ve lucked up on Washing Soda at Food City and found it on sale most of the time. :-)

      • Becky Norvell says:

        Yay! I’m glad. I think they’re B1G1 Free deals are amazing. I got a ton of whole wheat pasta for free a few weeks ago! I need to price compare and see who’s cheaper, but Ingles is closer to me. However, FC has the 15 cents per gallon deal on gas.

        • Sometimes Food City gas makes my car act funny, so that’s not a factor for me. :-) But yes, Ingles has great deals!

  8. Hi, I was wondering if you are using baking soda (recipe says baking) or washing soda (cost analysis has washing). I use washing soda in my laundry, and baking soda for much of my cleaning. I get a pretty good deal at Costco on baking soda, but have to go to a regular store for washing soda, so not such a good deal. I get 13.5 lbs (25.18 cups) of baking soda for $5.25. So baking soda is 10 cents per 1/2 cup.

    • That’s a good catch, and I need to fix it. :-) I didn’t really clarify in the post – some people like baking soda and some like washing soda. Even if you use the baking soda instead of the washing soda, that makes it $.23 for homemade oxi-clean and $.08 for Awesome Oxygen…so the homemade isn’t cheaper either way. I’ll use your cost analysis for the baking soda and add it to the post. Thanks!

  9. Micki Samson says:

    I recently made the homemade oxyclean stain stuff and it turned brownish in the bottle befode I even used it. Is it supposed to do that or is it my well water? Thanks!

    • Micki, I’m not sure….I’ve never tried it since I use Awesome Oxygen. I think you’re just supposed to dump it straight in the washing machine, so maybe no one else knows either. LOL :-)

  10. Do you think it might be healthier to make it since the ingredients aren’t listed on Oxiclean?

    • Lisa, after a lot of reading a research, we feel safe using oyxclean. The ingredients combine to make a “hydrogen peroxide” which is what gives you the cleaning action. It has no carcinogenic ingredients. I would much rather use it than bleach. :-) Good question!

  11. I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for a while and just discovered the homemade oxiclean recipe. FYI you can buy washing soda, aka soda ash (sodium carbonate), in bulk at pool supply stores for really, really cheap. It is used to soften the water and raise alkalinity in pools. The Arm & Hammer washing soda in the laundry aisle at the grocery store costs about 5-7 times as much. Granted, the pool supply version comes in 20-pound buckets, but it doesn’t go bad as long as it’s kept cool and dry, it’s really cheap and you have a bucket with a lid to use after the washing soda is gone!

    • That’s a great tip to know! However, I’d have to say for the normal consumer and mom, they wouldn’t buy a 20 pound bucket of soda ash – so it still makes the Awesome Oxygen cheaper for them.
      But I’ll admit, being a bucket lover, that bucket with lid is VERY appealing to me. LOL

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t be making the homemade fake OxiClean if I didn’t already have the soda ash on hand from making the homemade detergent. And yes, the buckets come in very handy! LOL

  12. I just made the liquid using the Sun brand oxygen cleaner I picked up at Walmart several months ago (which is 96oz -6lbs- and I think I paid less than $5 but not sure. If it was less than $6 it might beat out the dollar tree version per ounce so I’ll have to check next time I am at Walmart!). I don’t know if I used too much powder (I did a slightly higher concentration and used the bigger refill sized container) or maybe I shouldn’t have used scalding hot water to dissolve the powder. I ended up with a bubbling, oozing mess! Thankfully I contained it for the most part and when I added cold water it helped stop the bubbling. Did you experience this at all? Do you think it affects the effectiveness of the cleaner if the oxygen has been bubbled out in the process?? Thanks!

    • Hmmmm. No. I haven’t had that happen – yet. :-) You could try it once and see if it still worked. I would definitely do that before I poured it out.

  13. Brittany Gerren says:

    Tell me more about this Fels Naptha…

    • It’s a bar of soap that you can find in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store or department store. Works great and it’s cheap!

  14. I wanted to learn how to make the spray from the powder and put it into an empty Oxiclean bottle. So you’ve solved that problem for me. Thanks for doing the math. Love your blog layout and design and content!!!

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