How to Make and Use Oxygen Bleach at Home

Homemade Oxygen Bleach is the laundry stain remover you didn’t know you needed. Made from two simple, nontoxic ingredients for pennies, we will show you just how easy it is to make and use Oxygen Bleach.

hydrogen peroxide in spray bottle and washing soda in jar

What is Oxygen Bleach?

Oxygen Bleach, also known as Sodium Percarbonate is a natural, chlorine-free, color safe bleach that releases oxygen when exposed to water which is what lifts stains and dirt from your clothing. It is made with Sodium Carbonate (Arm & Hammer Laundry Booster) and Hydrogen Peroxide.

The Difference Between Clorox and Oxygen Bleach

Why bother with oxygen bleach if I can just use Clorox? Clorox Bleach is made with one main ingredient: Chlorine (Hypochlorite). This is great for disinfecting, whitening and deodorizing, but it also weakens fabric, releases toxic compounds and you can’t mix other soaps with it. Oxygen Bleach is simply Sodium Percarbonate. This is a biodegradable, gentler option that only releases oxygen when exposed to water. It also can disinfect and whiten and is in general more environmentally friendly.

While both are extremely helpful for stubborn stains and laundry, Oxygen Bleach is safer and less toxic.

Is Oxygen Bleach the Same Thing as OxiClean?

No! It’s not the same thing! While Oxiclean is mostly made up of oxygen bleach, it also has other added ingredients like sodium chloride (salt), alcohols C12-C15 ethoxylated, colorants and fragrances. So it can definitely work in a similar fashion to Oxygen Bleach can, it’s not a straight apples to apples comparison.

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How to Make Oxygen Bleach

The typical grocery or super store might not carry oxygen bleach but you can make it at home with two extremely common, inexpensive ingredients.

Only Two Ingredients Needed!

Believe it or not, you only need these two ingredients to make oxygen bleach:

Yes, you can substitute Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) for the Sodium Carbonate, just know it won’t be quite as strong.

How to Use Oxygen Bleach

Spot cleaning is the name of the game when it comes to using this homemade Oxygen Bleach. Here is how I remove stains on towels, whites, clothing, etc..

  1. Start with Peroxide. Wet the stain with hydrogen peroxide. You can spray it using a spray bottle or pour it on. You don’t need it soaking, but you do need it to be at the very least damp.
  2. Add Sodium Carbonate to the stain and use a toothbrush to gently scrub. This isn’t a devoted effort to remove the stain with the scrubbing; you should be more focused on mixing the two ingredients together than scrubbing.
  3. Set this aside to soak for 30+ minutes, then launder as usual.

PRO TIP: If you’re working to get your whites whiter, use a hot cycle with your usual laundry detergent and 1/4 cup borax.

If you notice the stain wasn’t removed completely with the first wash, don’t stick it in the dryer to dry and set the stain! Take the damp clothes, add another round of oxygen bleach, soak and laundry again. Depending on the severity of the stain, you may need multiple rounds, but it will come out.

hydrogen peroxide in spray bottle and towel in towel

Can I Use Oxygen Bleach on Colors?

Yes, you absolutely can use this on colors! Another reason why Oxygen Bleach is fantastic: it is color safe! Be sure to test it on a small swatch of the fabric to ensure it is color safe for your particular garment before using.

My daughter had permanent marker on a pair of jeans that she washed and dried multiple times before telling me she wanted to remove the marker stains…after she had set the stain. Doh! I tried lots of different tricks, but the only thing that lifted the stain while keeping the jeans blue was this oxygen bleach. I had to do it multiple times, but it worked. It was amazing!

Moral of the story: we LOVE making our own Oxygen Bleach at home and know you will appreciate this eco-friendly laundry tip too.

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