I have talked about this stuff for a long time. I really like it – and I have referred to it as if you all know what I am talking about.
However, I know that if you started talking about things that you deal with every day and seem completely normal to you, I’d be lost in translation. So, to be fair, I am going to give a good background into this stuff and why I like it. I’ll also give you an idea of what it is good for and whether you should splurge on the brand name or buy the cheap stuff.
So, we’ll start out by trying to understand exactly what it is that creates this cleaning magic. Here goes:
Oxygen bleach is referred to scientifically as sodium percarbonate. Chemically, it is like a solid form of hydrogen peroxide which releases oxygen when water is added. Quite simply, the way it is made is by simply treating sodium carbonate (baking powder) with hydrogen peroxide! Sounds simple, right?
I hope this helps explain how incredibly simple this stuff is. The inputs are not hard to come by in the slightest!
Having said that, find the cheapest stuff you can, don’t worry about brand names for this product.
Now, how does this magic powder work?
It is all a simple chemical reaction. When this product is added to water, oxygen bubbles are released and break the bond between surface and dirt (or stain, or odour). It is able to disinfect, deodorize and remove stains safely without causing bodily or environmental harm. Oxygen bleach breaks down organic stains and bacteria and completely removes them from the garment. I can’t tell you how many stains I have gotten rid of with this magic stuff. I also like that it is colour safe, meaning it won’t discolour anything.
The best comparison I can make of oxygen bleach is to chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach does kill bacteria and remove stains, and does so in a way that is harmful to animals, plants and people. It can permanently stain something too, taking out too much colour. To further explain how it works, traditional chlorine bleaches contain sodium hypochlorite, which is an oxidizer. Due to the corrosive effects of the oxidization process, chlorine bleach will burn skin and cause lung, nasal passage, skin and eye damage as well as discolour and rust metals, certain finishes and leave ‘bleach spots’ on surfaces when used incorrectly. I also feel it is important to note that chlorine bleach is seriously not good for the environment.
Oxygen bleach is just as effective as chlorine but without the unsavoury side-effects. The important thing to note here, is that the product must be fully dissolved in water before it can work. You may see and hear bubbles, and that’s a great thing (it’s kind of like hearing the ‘snap, crackle, pop’ from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies for cleaning). the bubbles mean the product is working! Also, you need to ensure you give it ample soak time. If you are trying to remove a stain, you’ll need to allow it the chance to soak. Give stains anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours, and keep soaking until the stain is gone.
Where is this stuff best used?
While oxygen bleach can be used in a number of applications, you will find it is best for cleaning up and removing organic stains (think of something that is not synthetic). So, it would not be effective in removing motor oil, but would be great at removing a grass stain. Specifically, they are best for : bodily fluids, tea, coffee, berries, wine, fruit and fruit juices, vegetables, sauces, grass, dirt, bacteria, dairy, and blood. There is a rampant debate on the net about whether it works on greasy stains or not. I’ve had it work on some oil stains, so I would say to give it a try for sure, however there are other ways to remove grease and oil stains which may prove more effective. In fact, I recently busted a bad oil stain on one of my favourite dresses (cotton) by treating it with Dawn dish liquid. I know, right? Anyway, the surfaces which are safe to use it on include tested fabrics, plastics, fiberglass, porcelain, ceramics, wood, carpets, concrete, etc.
If you use it on stains such as ink, synthetic oil, paint, etc. or anything non-organic, you won’t have luck, so don’t be disappointed. Further, it is not safe to use on silk, wool or other delicate fibers.
How else can it be used?
You can also place a scoop of powdered oxygen bleach in every load of laundry to help release stains, brighten and deodorize clothing. It has tons of household uses. It’s great when used to sanitize plastics including cleaning tools, garbage cans and kitty litter boxes, as well as a great cleaner for kitchen and bathrooms. The labels of the product go into great details as to the multiple uses of this amazing stuff.
What happens to it after?
When broken down, oxygen bleach leaves nothing more than water, soda ash, and oxygen. This part I really love. I feel better about using this product knowing that whatever goes down the drain is not harmful to my nor the environment.
One quick note, I refer to this product as ‘Oxy powder’ throughout my previous posts and videos because I don’t think the brand really matters (I would tell you if it did). In my research, I found out that Oxy Powder is the brand name of a product that is used to perform colon cleanses! =O So I want to clarify that this is indeed not the product I am talking about and would recommend an oxygen bleach powder product (aka sodium percarbonate). However, the most popular brand is indeed OxiClean.
So the bottom line here, is that it is a terrific alternative to chlorine bleach and I see no good reason to not have a pail of oxygen bleach powder lying around at home. What do you love using it on?