If you’re anything like me, the amount of laundry within your household can be extreme. The huge mounds of dirty laundry littering your laundry room floor can come to resemble something like Everest’s base camp on any given Tuesday! Which in turn, means the amount of laundry detergent us moms use on a monthly basis can rise to massive proportions.
With all those detergent fumes running wild and consistent throughout your household; amongst your pets, and cherished little ones, you may very well start to look for a cleaner alternative then just the regular old detergents and laundry bleach that you’re normally used to. And I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you did!
So what is oxygen bleach? If you’re not familiar with it, oxygen bleach is widely considered the more natural alternative to chlorine bleach, and can be used as a promising laundry detergent. It’s usually found in fine powder form. It kills any bacteria on clothes or fabric, just like its counterpart does, and has been known to brighten, lighten, and whiten your clothes. When the oxygenated bleach gets exposed to warm or hot water during your rinse cycle, it releases oxygen, which makes for a versatile stain remover to keep your fabrics looking great.
Oxygen bleach’s technical name is sodium percarbonate, and it’s derived from plants. It’s made from sodium carbonate, as well as hydrogen peroxide. It’s very similar to chlorine bleach, meaning it’s mostly used as a laundry detergent, or cleaning product, and it certainly does its job well, but what makes it different is the very important fact that it’s without the drawbacks of the harmful chemicals used in traditional bleach. It’s completely non-toxic as it contains natural ingredients of salt, water, and chalk.
This means, at the very least, you don’t have to worry about damaging your household surfaces, or burning small patches of your skin, like how you sometimes do when your bleach goes haywire as you pour it out, and small drops of it find a new home on any exposed patch of skin! It’s free of that utterly unpleasant chemical smell that we associate our regular liquid bleach with, as well. (I don’t know about you, but that, in and of itself, was enough for me to start using it!)
There are quite a few advantages to oxygen bleach, over the traditional laundry that we use on a weekly, sometimes even daily, basis. The first of which, is when held up against almost any other laundry detergent, or modern cleaning agent that we use around our households, it usually always comes out as the winner of what is simply safer for your health! Think of traditional chlorine bleach. Even something as simple as innocently inhaling some of the fumes, which you certainly can’t help but doing as you’re working with it, can end up causing respiratory issues in the long run. With oxygen bleach, that concern isn’t present at all.
Another rather simple, but nonetheless, important advantage of oxygen bleach is that it has a much better shelf stability than the liquid hydrogen peroxide products we’re familiar with. Meaning, it can sit cozily on your laundry room shelf without expiring or turning rancid, quite a bit longer than other traditional laundry detergents. You definitely get more bang for your buck with this product!
Perhaps my favorite advantage of oxygen bleach is that, when washed on your clothes, it acts as a disinfectant against both bacteria and viruses that you may have encountered out in the world, or may still be lingering in your home. As a mom with toddlers, who as everyone knows, pick up every sort of sickness that they come into a football field’s length of, the fact that this product can lift stains, and disinfect any germs that are still lingering on my little one’s clothes, is a huge thumbs up from me!
Oxygen bleach does take a little longer to dissolve in water, therefore it takes longer to do its job than the normal laundry products, so if you’re wanting a really quick load of laundry done, then you might want to rethink using it for that particular wash. However, remember it’s extremely effective for lifting stains, dirt, or just about anything else your family can grace their clothes with! It just depends on what you’re after. Also, note that oxygen bleach is safe for almost all types of washable whites and colored fabrics, it isn’t well suited for some of the finer cuts of cloth. Delicate fabrics like silk or wool should have a different plan of action for getting clean.
The way I use oxygen bleach for tough stain removal on clothes, is to mix one tablespoon of oxygen bleach in a glass of warm water and pour it directly onto the stained fabric. If it’s a light stain and I’m in a rush, soaking for at least one hour will often do, but for tough stains, I’ll let them soak overnight. After soaking, throw it in with the rest of the laundry in the washing machine.
If you have stains on your carpets and upholstery, oxygen bleach is amazing too! Take your same oxygen bleach solution from above and dip a white cloth in and apply it to the stain. Wait about 5 minutes, and then rinse the area with a fresh, wet cloth.
Of course, as with everything, there are a few disadvantages, or things to keep in mind with oxygen bleach. The products can cost a little more to use than the standard laundry detergents or cleaning agents. (But don’t forget that oxygen bleach lasts significantly longer, so in terms of that, the fact that it costs a bit more seems fair to me!)
Among the many benefits of using oxygen bleach as your laundry detergent, is the numerous uses it has, and the number of other things you can do with this diversified product. Not the least of which is cleaning other surfaces of your home!
Also see: How to keep your house smelling good all the time
There are so many ways to use oxygen bleach to clean around the house.
It’s extremely effective for cleaning those otherwise hard to clean surfaces in the bathroom, including the toilet, sink, shower, and even as a glass cleaner!
My favorite use as a bathroom cleaner is to clean and disinfect the inside of toilets. To do so, I add 2 tablespoons of the oxygen bleach to one gallon of hot water and mix it thoroughly until it’s fully dissolved. Pour it into your toilet bowl and leave it for at least 30 minutes. For heavier stains, this oxygenated bleach and water mixture can be left overnight inside the toilet bowl to soak and take the brush to out anything remaining out! (And if you’d like a bit of a fresher smell to your mixture as it soaks, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil!)
Also see: Spring cleaning checklist for the bathroom
Another, lesser-known use, is the ability it has to make any decking and patio spaces sparkle like new. Because oxygen bleach is so incredibly effective at making any type of bacteria, mold, mildew, algae, or fungi meet their premeditated demise, it’s a wonderful cleaning agent for your outdoor spaces! All you need is your oxygen bleach, hot water, and a bucket and mop heads. You and your family will be ready to make some lifelong memories on that shimmering, clean, outdoor patio deck for sure!
Also, if you have any grout in your house that needs cleaning, oxygen bleach is the way to go. It’s an extremely quick and easy way to get rid of any moldy sections of your grout by stretching its clean, powdery fingers deep into the porous grout and removing any mold or mildew that may be hiding inside it.
All that to say, oxygen bleach can be a wonderful, natural alternative to any other laundry detergent out there, and an amazing cleaning agent for any of your household needs. The next time you reach for that toxic laundry detergent, or cleaning agent, remember that oxygen bleach can be a safer, healthier, better environmental choice than anything else out there you can find. And don’t stress those huge mounds of laundry; with the incredible cleaning power of oxygen bleach, they won’t be around for long!