(Today’s post is sponsored by iHerb. All opinions are my own.)
It’s the holy grail: a natural bleach alternative that actually works (but doesn’t make your eyes water or require airing out the house after using it!). Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! Oxygen bleach is the safer, non-chlorine bleach alternative you’ve been looking for.
Oxygen Bleach vs Chlorine Bleach
First things first: what is oxygen bleach? Let’s get a little bit technical:
Oxygen bleach is sodium percarbonate. When it’s mixed with water, it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. This acts as a gentle bleaching agent, cleans away stains, and is generally color safe.
Traditional chlorine bleach is sodium hypochlorite. It’s highly toxic (even the fumes can cause health problems). Chlorine bleach is irritating to the skin, nose, and eyes, and has to be used with caution. If spilled or not diluted properly, you can end up with bleach splotches on things like your favorite shirt or your expensive new flooring (!!!).
Long story short, oxygen bleach is much safer to use in the laundry and around the home, and can be safely used on most fabrics and surfaces.
NOTE: Yes, oxygen bleach is safer and more gentle than chlorine bleach, but it still acts as a bleaching agent. Just to be safe, please spot test on a small area before using oxygen bleach on a surface or fabric. (For the record, I’ve had absolutely zero problems with it on any fabric or surface in my home.)
First, the Right Tools
The right tools make the job so much easier. Along with the ingredients in the recipes below, I used the following tools to help me work smarter, not harder – and still get everything squeaky clean.
- Grout + Tile Brush – for general scrubbing on grout and tile
- Detail Brush – for smaller corners and crevices that are hard to clean
- Walnut Scrubber Sponges – for general cleaning and scrubbing (these are plant-based and sustainable!)
- Walnut Shell Scouring Pads – for icky messes that need extra elbow grease (also an amazing earth-friendly cleaning tool)
Now, onto the recipes!
Laundry and Stains
Use Oxygen Bleach Powder as a Laundry Bleach Alternative
I had my doubts that oxygen bleach could work its magic on my pure white bath towels – but I was honestly impressed. A couple scoops of oxygen bleach powder right into the washer with the towels, and they came out bright, white and smelling clean.
How to use oxygen bleach in the laundry:
- Simply add 2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach powder to your regular detergent.
- Wash your laundry as usual – that’s it!
Oxygen bleach powder is safe for both whites and colors. As always, wash whites and colors separately, and use cold water with colors to prevent fading or bleeding.
(Spot test when in doubt.)
Homemade Stain Remover for Carpet, Clothing, and Upholstery
I use this spray as a general DIY stain remover on everything from shirts and pants to my carpet or sofa.
- Add ingredients to a 16-ounce spray bottle.
- Gently “swirl” around until mixed (if you shake it, the mixture can produce suds and make a mess.)
- Spray stains and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
- For clothing, throw in the laundry as usual.
- For carpet and upholstery, use warm water and a washcloth to wipe clean.
In the Bathroom
DIY Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Get your toilet bowl back to its porcelain glory (smell and stain free!) with this homemade toilet bowl cleaner:
- Stir together 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup oxygen bleach.
- Pour along the water line inside your toilet bowl.
- Scrub gently with a toilet brush.
- Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Scrub again and flush away the yuck!
DIY Tile and Grout Cleaner
Tile and grout stains can be such a pain, but oxygen bleach makes an excellent DIY tile and grout cleaner.
- Form a paste with ingredients.
- Use a grout brush or detail brush to scrub the tile and grout with a small amount of paste.
- Leave for 20 minutes.
- Scrub again and rinse away with a sponge.
In the Kitchen
Drain and Garbage Disposal Deodorizer
Oxygen bleach powder is the best bleach alternative for cleaning your drains! Gone are the days of pouring chlorine bleach down the drain and smelling up the whole house in the process (ew!).
Here’s how you can naturally clean and deodorize your drains and disposals:
- Dissolve into one cup hot water and pour down the drain.
- Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, or leave it overnight for deep cleaning.
- Rinse the drain with hot water and you’re done!
Clean Your Coffee Carafe
I don’t think it’s any mystery that I adore my coffee. So my coffee carafe is well-loved… which means it often needs a good cleaning!
This quick recipe will return your glass carafe to its former shiny, sparkling glory. I was surprised by how shiny and new my carafe looked when I was finished!
- Put the oxygen bleach powder and citric acid powder into your coffee carafe.
- Add hot water to fill (don’t worry if it foams a bit – that’s normal).
- Soak for about 5 minutes.
- Empty most of the water into the sink. Leave a small amount at the bottom.
- Use a walnut scouring pad and the remaining water to wipe away all stains and residue from your carafe.
- Rinse very well.
Naturally Disinfect and Remove Stains/Odors
Oxygen bleach can also be used to naturally disinfect, clean, and deodorize all kinds of items around the kitchen. This method works wonders on cutting boards, plastic storage containers, washcloths, measuring cups, and almost any other random kitchen items you can think of!
- Fill your sink with very hot water.
- Add the following ingredients to the water:
- Soak items in the sink for 20-30 minutes.
- Lightly scrub hard surfaces with a cloth or walnut sponge.
- Rinse thoroughly.
Where to Buy Oxygen Bleach
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Elizabeth is the founder of The Nourished Life and has been writing about natural living for 12 years. Her work has been featured at Shape, Bustle, and Mother Earth Living. Her mission is to help you lower your stress levels and find fun ways to become happier and healthier. Read more about Elizabeth here.