What is Oxygen Bleach?
Natural or Oxygen Bleach (Sodium Percarbonate Na₂CO₃·1.5 H₂O₂) has a pH of between 9.5 and 10.5 and is a safe, non-toxic and biodegradable alternative to chlorine bleach.
It is composed of sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda or soda ash) and hydrogen peroxide.
When dissolved in water it breaks down harmlessly to oxygen, water and sodium carbonate, the oxygen that is releases lifts stains and dirt off whatever you’re cleaning.
It is suitable for both white and colourfast fabrics and unlike chlorine bleach it doesn’t weaken fibres, it brightens colours and prevents fabrics from becoming. It also makes a great alternative to chlorine bleach in the bathroom as you can use it to safely cleans and deodorise the loo and drains and it is safe for septic tanks.
Oxygen Bleach is also very good at removing organic stains such as coffee, tea, wine, fruit juice, food sauces, grass stains, pet stains and blood; although it’s not as effective on grease or ink stains so check out my Laundry Tips on How to Remove Stains Naturally
- Oxygen bleach needs to be mixed with water to work and it needs time to completely dissolve and turn in to peroxide to do its work so always dissolve in hot water.
- Once you mix with water, do not leave in a sealed container as it continues to release oxygen and may explode!
- Once mixed with water use within 4 to 5 hours as it loses it’s effectiveness but if you have any left just pop it down your loo or sink.
- As with all cleaning products, keep out of the reach of children and in case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical attention if irritation persists.
5 Ways to Use Oxygen Bleach
Now that you know what Oxygen Bleach is here are some of my favourite ways that you can use it around your home.
Oxygen Bleach can be used as a booster to whiten and brighten your laundry (whites and coloured fabrics) and also makes an excellent stain remover.
To whiten and brighten your laundry and for light stains use as a laundry booster by adding 2 tablespoons (approx. 30g) to washing machine dispenser drawer or drum per load. For tougher stains add another 2 tablespoons (4 tablespoons or approx. 60g) per load.
As a pre-soak for heavy stains add roughly 4 tablespoons (approx. 60g) to 5 litres of warm water and ensure the Oxygen Bleach is full dissolved before adding your laundry to the pre-soak. The natural bleach will remain active for 4 to 5 hours after which time it should be discarded. For heavily stained items repeat the process. Wash as normal.
Note – you shouldn’t use oxygen bleach on silk or wool but it is very good at cleaning white canvas shoes as you can see from the pic of my Converse Trainers below
Toilet and Bathroom
To clean and disinfect your toilet add 2 tablespoons (approx. 30g) to 500ml of hot water and mix until fully dissolved. Pour into the loo and leave for 30 – 60 minutes or overnight for heavy stains and brush before flushing.
For a general toilet / bathroom cleaner you can also make up this spray:
- Glass bottle with spray
- 1 tablespoon Oxygen Bleach (sodium percarbonate)
- Squirt of Castile Soap
- 300 ml Warm / hot Water
- 10 drops of essential oils (optional)
- Mix the oxygen bleach with the warm water until dissolved
- Add the castile soap and essential oils, mix thoroughly
- Pour into a spray bottle
- To clean the toilet spray around the bowl and under the rim and leave for a few minutes, brush and flush.
Can also be used as a general cleaner for baths and sinks.
Note – Be careful when mixing the oxygen bleach with water as it fizz up so make sure you have a large enough container
Tiles and Grout
Oxygen Bleach is very effective at killing mould and mildew which means it’s perfect for tackling it on tiles and grout in the bathroom or just generally giving them a good clean.
- Add enough warm water to form a paste
- With a sponge or cloth wipe it over the tiles until the grout lines are full
- leave to work for 10 mins
- Rinse with warm water.
For heavy stains use a toothbrush to give the grout and scrub before rinsing.
Oxygen Bleach is very effective at cleaning, disinfecting and deodorising and has so many uses in the Kitchen. You can use it to:
- chopping boards – use the spray or paste
- fridges and freezers – spray, leave for a few mins and rinse off
- kitchen utensils – soak in a bowl of warm water with a a tablespoon of oxygen bleach
- mugs and cups – works brilliantly at removing stains,
- kitchen worktops – spray, leave for a few minutes and wipe off.
- floors – dissolve 50g of oxygen bleach in a bucket of hot water and use to mop the floor
- bins – use the spray to
- sinks / drains – Put 2 or 3 Tablespoons in the your sink, add hot water with the plug in. Wipe the solution around the sink, wait few minutes, let the sink drain and rinse.
See the “How To” above on how to make up the Spray and Paste cleaners.
Outdoor Decking and Patios
Because Oxygen Bleach is so effective at killing a wide range of bacteria, mildew, algae and fungi it makes a great deck, path or patio cleaner.
- Bucket and cloth / mop
- 100g of oxygen bleach (sodium percarbonate)
- 2 litres of hot water
- Dissolve the sodium percarbonate / oxygen bleach in the warm/hot water.
- Brush decking / patio first to remove all loose debris, leaves, rubbish etc.
- Apply solution to the surface and allow to work for 30-60 minutes
- Scrub with stiff brush
- Rinse off with a hose.
Each litre will clean approx. 5m2 of surface.