How to Use Oxygenated Bleach

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Have you decided to stop using chlorine bleach in your home? Here’s why oxygenated bleach is the perfect, safe alternative for cleaning more than dirty clothes. You can even make your own.

homemade oxiclean

What is Oxygenated Bleach?

Oxygen bleach, sometimes called color-safe bleach, is a chlorine-free alternative in powdered and liquid forms. It is essentially hydrogen peroxide with sodium, and sometimes carbon added. In its liquid form, it also contains water.

Brand Names

You can find oxygenated bleach in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores and supermarkets. Some stores have their own generic version, usually labeled “Non-chlorine bleach” or “Oxygen-based bleach.” If you prefer to shop brand names, some you might recognize are:

Why Stop Using Chlorine Bleach?

Chlorine bleach poses several hazards in your home. Bleach is a harsh and corrosive irritant that can cause permanent damage to your skin, throat, lungs, and eyes. It adds fumes to your indoor air, which can burn your throat and esophagus, and is particularly toxic for children and pets.

Many people experience rashes, itching, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulties when exposed to chlorine bleach fumes. Combining chlorine bleach with other everyday household cleaning products, or even using them at the same time, can be fatal.

Oxygen Bleach is a Safe Alternative to Chlorine

Given the potential dangers associated with chlorine bleach, it’s not surprising that many people choose to stop using it. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to put up with dingy laundry or stained household surfaces, though. You just need to know how to use oxygenated bleach to accomplish the same tasks.

How to Use Oxygenated Bleach in Your Laundry

From whitening whites to brightening colorful clothes, oxygenated bleach is safe for almost every load of laundry. Don’t use oxygenated bleach on wool, silk, or leather clothing or garments embellished with those materials, or if the manufacturer’s label says not to use it.

In the Wash

Oxygenated bleach works with any water temperature, but it needs time to dissolve if you’re using the powdered form. You can add the liquid form at any time. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach and your usual laundry detergent for regular loads. For heavily soiled loads, add up to 1/2 cup.

As a Pre-Soak for Stains

Use a pre-soak to tackle stubborn laundry stains. To make a pre-soak with oxygenated bleach, dissolve 2 tablespoons of it in a gallon of water. In general, you’ll want to use cold for blood, mud, and body oils and warm for everything else. But check this guide on how to remove stains from clothing for specifics.

What is washing soda? Washing soda is sodium carbonate, and it’s different than baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate. In this recipe for homemade chlorine-free bleach, washing soda amplifies the hydrogen peroxide, so it whitens clothing more. When making homemade oxygenated bleach for dark clothing, use baking soda so it’s color-safe.

How to Use Oxygenated Bleach to Clean Your Home

There are many ways to use chlorine-free bleach to clean, but you should always consult the package label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re using the homemade oxygen bleach recipe as a spray cleaner, be sure to spot test the surface in a hidden area first. Never use oxygen bleach of any kind on silk, wool, leather, or unfinished wood surfaces.

In the Kitchen

Pot scrubber: Sprinkle a bit of powdered oxygen bleach on burned food in or grimy baking sheets, then use the corner of a sponge dipped in hot water to scrub away the mess.

Sponge soak: Kill stubborn odors and stains in your kitchen sponge by soaking it in 1 teaspoon of oxygenated bleach stirred into 2 cups of boiling water. Let the sponge sit until the water cools completely, then rinse it well and squeeze it dry.

In the Bathroom

Grout cleaner: Get your grout white again with a toothbrush and a paste of oxygenated bleach powder and hot water. Scrub the paste onto the grout and let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then scrub again and rinse the paste away.

Toilet stains: To remove toilet stains effortlessly, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach powder into your toilet, let it for 2 hours, and then scrub and flush. For very stubborn stains, leave the oxygen bleach in overnight — but don’t use the toilet in the meantime.

Tub brightener: Dingy acrylic tubs get bright again if you fill them with cold water and 1 cup of oxygen bleach. Let this sit overnight, drain the tub and scrub it, then rinse.

In the Bedroom

Mattress brightener: You can use the homemade oxygenated bleach spray recipe above to brighten dingy mattresses or dissolve 2 teaspoons of powdered oxygen bleach in a spray bottle filled with 2 cups of cool water. Lightly mist the surface, but do not drench it, and wait 5 minutes before wiping it away with a clean, dry cloth. For more stubborn stains, see how to clean your mattress.

Grimy sheets and pillowcases: First, follow these steps to clean grimy bedding, then use 1/2 cup of oxygenated bleach in your wash every time you launder bedding to keep the waxy, greasy feel from returning.


Since oxygenated bleach is not harmful to plants, you can safely use it outside to clean stained cement, wash your deck, or clean your home’s siding.

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