It is a product that has proven to be effective, inexpensive and safe to use on a wide range of fabrics and porous surfaces. Oxygen bleach beats out other stain removers and traditional liquid chlorine bleach.
It's a relatively easy cleaning detergent to make and can take down tough stains such as slicks of grease, splotches of protein-based spots such as blood and pools of wine or fruit juice. Always test a hidden or out of the way spot before applying any cleaning agent to fabrics in the home.
Liquid Bleach vs. Oxygen Bleach
It's effective and common in most laundry rooms, but liquid bleach is a harsh detergent.
Traditional bleach is that wide-bodied white bottle that eats through fabrics and leaves whitish-yellow stains on dyed fabrics. It uses the highly toxic sodium hypochlorite as an oxidizer that breaks chemical bonds to pull stains from clothes, towels and materials.
Homemade oxygen bleach uses the gentle ingredient of sodium percarbonate. Once the sodium percarbonate is mixed with water, it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, which is water and oxygen with soda ash. It contains no phosphorous or nitrogen and is odorless and colorless.
Fabrics That Like Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach can be used on nearly all fabrics without adverse reactions. Silk and wool don't enjoy the powerful cleaning product, so don't use it on delicates or heavy wool clothing items.
It is gentle enough to be used to clean cloth baby diapers, bibs and blankets to bring them back to their bright condition. It can be used on:
- Some leathers and natural grains
Make sure to test the product on the item before going over a large area out in the open or on the main body, pants leg or sleeves of a favorite piece of clothing.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Laundry
Using hydrogen peroxide on laundry can help to take out those stubborn stains that are ground into the fibers of the clothes. It works beautifully on wine stains on clothes, carpets or upholstered furniture as well. Use the following:
- 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 cup of liquid dish soap
Put the mix in an opaque spray bottle and store it in a dark cupboard, and it should keep its potency for about a week.
Oxygen Cleaner Recipe
This is a version of a homemade clothes stain remover that uses hydrogen peroxide in laundry emergencies to pull up ground-in dirt and sweat from shirts and pants.
It can be made in small batches for simple stains or in a large bucket to brighten up, deodorize and thoroughly clean big areas. Use the following:
- 1 part hydrogen peroxide
- 1 part baking soda
- 2 parts hot water
Oxygen Bleach Recipe With Washing Soda
For serious stains, this mix will get to work quickly and will not damage the item:
- 1 part hydrogen peroxide
- 1 part washing soda
- 1 part hot water
Shake it or mix it well before using. The powders tend to settle quickly. Always store a hydrogen-based mix in a light-excluding container to ensure it doesn't lose its strength.
Oxygen Bleach Uses Other Than Clothes
Oxygen bleach can be used for much more than cleaning clothes. It whitens all your whites to a high shine and brightens colored fabrics while lifting everyday stains such as grass, dirt and food splatters.
A large batch of oxygen bleach can be used to brighten dull decks and house siding. It works wonders on smelly diaper pails that are ringed with discoloration. It is also good for:
- Mop heads
- Throw rugs
- Decorative pillows
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.