Tide vs. Homemade Laundry Detergent: A Stain Test

Well, you can’t be on Pinterest or read mom blogs for too long without coming across recipes for homemade laundry detergent.  So as my Tide pods were running low,
I decided to give it a try. After a little research, I landed on this recipe because it was the prettiest (and also got great reviews by the commenters). For only $25, the mixture should last a year or so for a medium size family, however, after using it for a couple weeks, I wasn’t convinced it was working well, so I wanted to put it to the test.
Homemade Detergent stain test
First I made three test fabrics from an old white t-shirt with: Dirt, Mustard, Catsup, Grass Stain, Washable Marker, and Sharpie and let them all sit over night.
The next morning, I washed each with the same load of clean laundry, with cold water in my mid-grade, front-load, high-efficency washer and then dried.
Here is what I tested:
Tide Pods vs. Homemade Detergent (HM) vs. Homemade & Oxy Clean Spray
And here are the results:
Homemade-Detergent-TestWhat you can’t see from the pictures, is that the clear winner was the HM + Oxy Clean combo. I wanted to test this because combined, this would still be a less expensive, less toxic alternative to Tide. Tide came in second, but I was disappointed by how poorly it did with the marker, mustard and dirt.
And in a distant third was the HM. The stains were considerably more obvious with the HM (again, hard to tell in the picture.)
However, I wasn’t ready to give up just yet on the HM, so I made a slight adjustment to the recipe: I added one more bar of soap and more powdered oxy clean. I then made an additional test fabric and washed it. And, I am very happy to report that it was now able to compete with the tide (even without the spray oxyclean)!
Homemade Detergent IngredientsSo here is my recipe (All found in the detergent aisles at Walmart):

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax

1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 (96 oz.) Bucket of Sun Oxygen

3 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle next to the powdered detergents (not by the fels naptha if you find that)

1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

1 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener

For a few tips on making the detergent click HERE.
What has been your experience with homemade detergent? Any tips, suggestions or questions? Please post below!