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Homemade Oxi-Clean for Armpit Stains

(Note: if you happen to be one of those lucky people who doesn’t sweat, you can just skip right over this post.)

A white shirt before and after an oxi clean treament.

When I posted about what I’m doing about my clothes, I mentioned that I had a pile of shirts with deodorant stains that I was going to try to clean.

I had done some googling and it appeared that Oxi-Clean was indeed the ticket to success (which I vaguely remembered, though it’s been a while since I’ve bought any).

Since I didn’t have any in the house, I searched for a homemade version, and all the recipes I came across combined hydrogen peroxide, baking or washing soda, and water.

(I used the recipe that Money Saving Mom posted , which she got from this blogger.)

You just mix up the ingredients, pour it on the stained part, let it sit overnight, and then launder it.

Here’s a before of one of the bad shirts.

A white shirt with yellowed armpits.

Here it is (along with a few other shirts) with the “oxi-clean” applied.

(I put them in my cooler just to have a contained spot to let them sit. The cooler is not actually necessary!)

Shirts soaking in oxi-clean.

After an overnight soak, I washed the shirt, and it looked a whole lot better. It wasn’t quite perfect, though, so I gave it another treatment and this time it came out of the wash looking almost new.

A folded white t-shirt.

Seriously, isn’t that amazing? I would never in a million years have guessed that this shirt could look that clean again.

And it smells really fresh…no lingering odors anymore!

This gave me new hope for lots of my shirts, so I’ve been on a tear with the homemade Oxi-Clean, applying it to all the shirts I’d mentally filed in the hopeless pile. I’m so, so delighted to be able to make them like new again.

The proportions I use are as follows:

Homemade Oxiclean

1/2 cup baking soda or washing soda
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients together and pour over stains. Let garment sit overnight, then launder as usual.

A few notes-

  • Baking soda and washing soda appear to work equally well, so I’d just use whatever you have on hand.
  • This has worked like a charm on my darker colored shirts as well as my white shirts.
  • The very best results come from shirts that haven’t been put in the dryer because the stains aren’t heat-set. I’ve still had great success with previously dried clothes, though (the shirt in this post is one that routinely visited the dryer.)
  • For a less watery mixture, once I just mixed up the soda and the peroxide without the water and that seemed to worked fine too.
  • I read in multiple places that this mixture loses its effectiveness if you mix it up ahead of time, so just mix it when you’re going to use it right away.
  • Feel free to halve the recipe if you only need a small amount.
  • When I’ve mixed this up, the soda has never quite dissolved completely, but that doesn’t seem to keep it from working.

Ok. That was actually a lot of notes, not a few.

Before and after of a shirt cleaned with oxi-clean.

Hydrogen peroxide is dirt cheap, as is washing soda or baking soda. And of course, water is nigh onto free, so this mixture costs very little, and I’m sure it’s less expensive than using real Oxi-Clean.

However, a reader told me that Dollar Tree has a really inexpensive private label brand of Oxi-Clean, so if you’re comparing that to this homemade version, I’m not sure which would come out ahead.

Since I already keep these ingredients around the house, though, I’m inclined to stick with the homemade version so that I don’t have to keep another container in my laundry room.

Edit: I tried the dollar store version, and concluded that it is not as effective on underarm stains as the homemade version.


Have you ever tried this? If you haven’t, and you’ve got stubborn stains to deal with, you totally should. It’s kind of addicting, actually.

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Monday 18th of May 2020

I have a white game issued soccer jersey and I wanted to remove the name and number on the back to leave it blank. When I tried to rub it off with acetone and cotton balls, the name and number printing left a light black stain on the jersey. I'm debating on whether or not to just spot-dye the affected areas white or to use this method to remove the stains. Again, this is an old, out-of-print game jersey, meaning I can't replace it, so I'm looking into doing as much DIY as possible. Thanks in advance.


Tuesday 19th of May 2020

I think spot-dying white over black will be pretty tricky, so I'd be inclined to try removing the stain.

That said, if acetone won't remove the black mark, I'm not sure oxi clean will do much to help. Acetone is pretty strong stuff!

Just to make sure this doesn't mess up your jersey, I'd spot test it in an inconspicuous area first.


Wednesday 12th of December 2018


I have white shirts and towels that has color run dye stain from washing with dark clothes. I also put them in the dryer.

Do you know if your homemade formula will whiten the whites if I soak them for a few hours?

Thank you.


Wednesday 12th of December 2018

I'm not sure, but it's worth a try!

Ruffle saree

Thursday 29th of November 2018

Fun science facts!

The active ingredient in OxiClean is Sodium Percarbonate which is nothing more than an adduct than Hydrogen Peroxide and Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda.) So I’m not surprised that this works.

Christina Ducducan

Saturday 24th of November 2018

Oh I am going to try that right now. I have a bunch of shirts that I was only wearing inside while cleaning etc since they did not look that good. Awesome.


Wednesday 11th of October 2017

Does it work better than oxiclean?

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