I first wrote about using OxiClean, or really its active ingredient sodium percarbonate, last year when I wrote about washing towels. Since then, I have found so many other ways to use OxiClean in my home.
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Skip to the list or keep reading about what kind of OxiClean I use.
OxiClean vs. Sodium Percarbonate – what’s the difference?
I purchase the bulk ingredient that is the active ingredient in OxiClean: sodium percarbonate. I use it like OxiClean, I simply use about half as much since it has none of the additives of OxiClean. Like OxiClean, the solution of sodium percarbonate in water is a base, and it can be harsh on skin so I avoid direct contact. From my research, I was unable to find justification to add sodium carbonate (also called soda ash and super washing soda) to my sodium percarbonate for the “OxiClean” soak benefits, so I use plain ol’ sodium percarbonate.
I buy this sodium percarbonate from Amazon, and recommend either a pure sodium percarbonate, or OxiClean Baby (I typically find the best price for it at Target or Walmart, but have had to order online). I will not use any other OxiClean product, or other oxygen based cleaners, because all the others I have found are not pure sodium percarbonate/sodium carbonate, and the additives are (at least possible) skin irritants and harmful to the environment. The Environmental Working Group evaluates multiple different OxiClean products here, and OxiClean Baby is the only one to get an “A” rating – the best possible.
Here’s a reminder why I love powdered OxiClean, or Sodium PerCarbonate as a “bleach”
Oxygenated bleach can be liquid or powder. Liquid has a shelf life of only a few months, or less. Powdered is more stable, with a shelf life of a couple years, therefore I prefer powdered form. When oxygenated bleach breaks down, the resultant products are quite safe: liquid becomes oxygen and water, powdered becomes oxygen and natural soda ash (also known as washing soda, or sodium carbonate). So there is no danger to the break down, but the product becomes ineffective at cleaning the way that oxygen bleach cleans.
How long does OxiClean stay “active”?
The active ingredient in OxiClean, sodium percarbonate, is active for about 6 hours after first being dissolved in water. Therefore, when soaking anything in OxiClean, anything over 6 hours has no added cleaning benefit unless the water is dumped out and new OxiClean-water solution is added.
9 ways to use OxiClean (sodium percarbonate)
- Soaking towels before washing to kill any mold or bacteria that is growing on the towels. See my post dedicated to washing towels for more details.
- Soaking sheets before washing, for the same reasons I soak towels. More information is in this post dedicated to washing sheets.
- Removing blood stains (even dried! even heat-set in!) from fabrics. I basically spot-clean by soaking the stain. I dampen the stain with water and put a high concentration of sodium percarbonate on the stain. Detailed instructions are in one of my previous posts.
- Killing black mold. I like trying to use oxygenated bleach any time I normally think to use bleach, because oxygen bleach is gentle on the environment. In my hot car I found a mason jar that had been previously used for storing my lunch. There was black mold on the top of the jar and on the inside of the lid, including the red part that allows the lids to seal. I soaked the jar with the top upside down in a bowl with a little water and sodium percarbonate, and I soaked the lid in a bowl of water and sodium percarbonate. I allowed about 2 hours soaking time and when I checked on them, the mold was gone. I washed the jar and lid with my castile soap and water and it was all clean again!
- De-stink sweaty clothes. I soak exceptionally sweaty/smelly clothes in oxi-clean before normal laundering. They come out smelling completely fresh!
- Soak handkerchiefs. When I am at home I use handkerchiefs in place in tissues. To get them really clean and not smell, I sprinkle a little sodium percarbonate in a small container of water and put the handkerchiefs in with the cover on. I add a little more sodium percarbonate each day when I add handkerchiefs. When I do laundry, I just scoop out the handkerchiefs, toss them in the washing machine, and dump the remaining soak water down the sink.
- Cleaning reusable pads. To kill any germs and clean stains, I soak reusable pads in water with sodium percarbonate before laundering.
- Soak cloth baby diapers. Soaking cloth baby diapers in a sodium percarbonate & water solution is great for removing stains, smells, and (I assume) bacteria and other unpleasantness associated with human waste. Along the same lines, using OxiClean to soak baby spit-up stains on cloth works great, too!
- Update 10/2019: Cleaning mouth guards/night guards. I soak my night guard in a solution of sodium percarbonate and water daily to sanitize before wearing again each night, and it’s clean looking and smelling after each soak.
I would love to make this list even longer. Do you have other uses for OxiClean? Please share in the comments below!