We’ve all seen those infomercials, the ones with that guy and his “powerful new product” OxiClean, but did you ever wonder what made it such an amazing product? Oxygen bleach isn’t your typical chlorine bleach, however, it is often confused with chlorine bleach since they both remove stains.
Because of its chemical ingredients, oxygen bleach works more slowly than chlorine bleach, is much less corrosive and damaging to fibers, and is more environmentally friendly.
Curious? Keep reading to find out more about oxygen bleach, what makes it so powerful, and how you can use it effectively for your laundry and around your home.
What is Oxygen Bleach?
Oxygen bleach, which can also be called oxygenated bleach or all-fabric bleach, is a gentle and non-chlorinated bleaching agent that removes stains and brightens laundry. Plus, it’s safe to use on almost all types of washable white or colored fabrics.
When dry bleach powder is introduced to water, the main chemical component oxidizes to help remove stains and to cut through residual detergent and fabric softener build-up that stiffens fabrics and dulls color.
Powder or Liquid Formulas. Which Is Best?
Powdered oxygen bleach generally has a shelf life of several years. Over time, and exposure to air, the active chemicals in powdered oxygen bleach will turn back into environmentally friendly natural soda ash or borax after the oxygen is released. Like Cinderella’s magic cleaning pumpkin.
Liquid oxygen bleach formulas are usually a diluted solution of water and hydrogen peroxide, H2O2. Like the powder, liquid oxygen bleach will break down more quickly after opening, especially if exposed to light.
Eventually, you will be left with only water molecules, H2O. However, even when left unopened, the shelf life of liquid oxygen bleach is about six months or less.
Popular Oxygen Bleach Brand Names
Here are a few of our favorite oxygen bleach varieties that you can try for yourself:
✨ Country Save Bleach
✨ Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach
✨ Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Bleach
✨ Amway Legacy of Clean All Fabric Bleach
✨ ECOS OXO Brite
✨ Nellie’s All Natural Oxygen Brightener
How to Use Oxygen Bleach in Laundry
Oxygen bleach can easily boost the cleaning power of your regular detergent, plus the powdered formula is often added to homemade laundry detergents in most DIY recipes. As with any product, please remember to take a moment to read the package directions because each brand is different. Follow the directions carefully so that you know how much product to use per gallon of water or load of clothes.
While oxygen bleach is safe on most fabrics, it should NEVER be used on silk, wool, or any garment that has leather trim or wooden buttons. Oxygen bleach DOES NOT disinfect fabrics of viruses and bacteria so you’ll need another method for disinfecting laundry, if needed.
Add it to Your Washer at the Right Time
Whether you have a top or front-loading washing machine, remember to add your oxygen bleach powder directly to the empty washer tub first, then add clothes. For liquid, you can pour it in the same way you would regular liquid bleach.
Mix the Oxygen Bleach Solution Properly
Oxygen bleach can be mixed with any water temperature, but some powders will mix differently. This means, if the water is particularly cold, certain powders may not dissolve easily, so we suggest mixing the powder with a cup of very warm or hot water first.
Stain Removal or Pre-Soak Solutions
Oxygen bleach works more slowly than regular bleach or detergent, so you will get the best results by allowing your stained fabrics to soak in the oxygen bleach solution for at least an hour before washing.
To use oxygen bleach for stain removal or to brighten white clothes, the best method is to mix the powder or liquid solution with the water before adding clothes and allowing the garments to soak overnight.
Household Cleaning Uses for Oxygen Bleach
Remember to follow product directions for solution strengths and always follow up after cleaning with a good rinse with plain water. Not rinsing can leave a white residue on your clothes.
Carpet and Upholstery Stains
Diluted oxygen bleach works well to remove stains from carpet and upholstery. Mix a solution of oxygen bleach and water, following package directions, and blot it onto the stained area, avoiding oversaturating the surface. Allow the solution to work for 30 minutes, and then blot away the excess moisture with a clean white paper towel or cloth. Repeat as necessary and clear the surface with water.
Cut Through Grime
Oxygen bleach can also be used to clean and brighten grout lines between tiles, shower walls, brick and exterior siding, ceramic and granite countertops, and plastic furniture. Just mix some powdered oxygen bleach with hot water until it dissolves, add the solution on the surface, and allow it to sit there for up to 15 – 30 minutes before scrubbing and removing the residue.
For more tips, tricks, and cleaning guides from your favorite Boston cleaners, check out our blog! Be sure to contact us today to find out how we can help you keep your home happy and healthy all year long.