Household Cleaning Tips Using Sodium Percarbonate

Sodium percarbonate is very neat stuff. It’s eco-friendly and can be used for a variety of household cleaning tasks. Sodium percarbonate is an oxygen-based bleach agent that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate when dissolved in water. Found in many home and laundry cleaning products, sodium percarbonate effectively kills microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus, viruses, and algae while removing unpleasant odors.

On average, “Oxy” products found in the supermarket contain about 35–40% sodium percarbonate with about 5% active oxygen. As a granulated powder, it’s great for scrubbing stains and stuck-on-gunk off of dishes. Think of scouring powder, but made out of hydrogen peroxide. It can even be made into a paste and used on tile grout and tough stains. It’s also super cheap and since it’s very concentrated, the recommended amounts are small. 

Mixing Solutions of Sodium Percarbonate 

Sodium percarbonate must be mixed with hot water to work, otherwise, it won’t dissolve and release the active ingredients:

  • For a general cleaning solution: mix 4 ounces of percarbonate in a gallon of warm or hot water. (1 oz per quart). 
  • For a heavy cleaning solution: mix 8 oz of percarbonate in a gallon of warm or hot water. (2 oz per quart) 
  • For a soaking Solution: mix 2 to 8 oz percarbonate in a gallon of hot water. 
  • For a paste solution: mix 1 to 2 ounces of percarbonate with just enough water to make a paste. 

Sodium Percarbonate solutions will remain active for 5 to 6 hours, after which they should be discarded. Unused solutions can be poured down the drain or toilet and will actually help clean and deodorize your disposal and toilet bowl. Percarbonate solutions are most effective when mixed and used in warm to hot solutions (100 to 150 F).  

Laundry Application

In addition to general household cleaning, sodium percarbonate is a great additive to laundry. Sodium percarbonate, also known as oxygen bleach, is used to de-stain, deodorize, and whiten. It is also very effective as a laundry presoak for heavily stained items. The benefits of using sodium percarbonate in your wash include:

  • No environmental hazards – breaks down to oxygen, water, and soda ash in your wash water 
  • Color-safe and fabric-safe. It brightens colors 
  • Continual use will not cause yellowing or graying of cotton fabric 
  • Effective stain removal in a broad range of water temperatures 
  • Lengthens time between linen replacement 
  • Prevents fabric from becoming yellowed or darkened 
  • Does not weaken the strength of fabrics like chlorine bleach

For lightly soiled items, add 1ounce of percarbonate with your laundry detergent per load. For moderate soils, use 2 ounces and for heavily soiled articles use 4 ounces. To whiten and deodorize items, add 4-6 ounces of percarbonate into the soak cycle and let items soak in hot water for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, then complete the wash cycle. For whitening old linens and yellowed window shears, deodorizing and cleaning tennis shoes, or to get rid of yellow armpit stains on shirts, soak in 2 ounces of percarbonate per gallon of water for at least one hour, or overnight, then rinse. 

Cleaning Carpet & Upholstery 

For de-staining and deodorizing carpet & upholstery, start by mixing a general cleaning solution of sodium percarbonate. Remove as much of the dirt or liquid as possible. Spray the solution on the spot, work into the area with a clean rag or brush, and let stand 5-10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly by pouring fresh water over the spot, then blot with a clean cloth or towel. Vacuum thoroughly when completely dry. Be sure to always test for colorfastness before applying the percarbonate solution. For carpet & upholstery cleaning machines, add 1 oz of sodium percarbonate per gallon of warm water to the solution tank.

Cleaning the Kitchen  

Sodium percarbonate can be used to tackle a variety of kitchen cleaning jobs. It can clean, disinfect, and deodorize, making it the ideal alternative to commercial chemicals. Your kitchenware, be it crockery or cutlery, will usually stain when used over time. Sodium percarbonate can remove those stains and give your kitchenware back its shine.

For stained plastic ware, cutlery, crockery, dish towels, and dishes, add about 2 ounces of sodium percarbonate to the dishwater to clean. Soak the kitchenware for about 15 minutes, after which you should clean and rinse thoroughly. This is also applicable to kitchen surfaces, especially those made of stainless steel.

  • Kitchen Drain: To ensure that your kitchen drain is clean and deodorized, mix 1 ounce of sodium percarbonate with 2 cups of hot water and allow the solution to sit in the drain overnight.
  • Coffee Pot: Get rid of coffee pot stains by adding one ounce of sodium percarbonate directly into a coffee pot of hot water, soak for 10-15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. To remove build-up inside the coffee maker, mix a general cleaning solution of percarbonate into a squirt bottle. Allow the solution to cool completely, then pour it into the coffee maker. Turn the coffee maker on and allow the solution to run through the machine, then rinse with clean water through the cycle.
  • Refrigerator: The presence of stains, rusts, mildew, and molds are common occurrences in refrigerators. To remove these stains, mix a general solution of sodium percarbonate in a spray bottle. Using a soft cloth, apply the mixture, and let it sit for about 10 to 20 minutes, after which you should wipe and rinse thoroughly. 

Cleaning the Bathroom 

Cleaning the bathroom or toilet is one of those chores that no one ever wants to tackle. Fortunately, this is another task that sodium percarbonate can help out with. For cleaning and disinfecting the toilet, mix 2 tablespoons of sodium percarbonate with 16 ounces of hot water, and mix until the percarbonate has completely dissolved. Then, pour the solution into the toilet and leave for at least 30 to 60 minutes before flushing. If the staining is stubborn, leave the solution to sit overnight and brush before flushing.

For septic systems, add 4 ounces of sodium percarbonate to the toilet and flush it into the septic system twice a week. Percarbonate can also be used to make a multipurpose spray that can be used all around your bathroom. You will need :

  • Spray bottle
  • 1 tablespoon sodium percarbonate
  • A squirt of dish detergent liquid 
  • 10 ounces of warm or hot water
  • 10 drops of essential oil (optional)

To make a spray solution, mix the sodium percarbonate with the water until thoroughly dissolved. Stir in the dish detergent liquid and essential oils (if you are using them). Pour the solution into the spray bottle and use it around your bathroom immediately as needed. The sodium percarbonate will fizz when you mix it with water, so make sure you’re mixing the solution in a large enough container to avoid spillage.

Cleaning Tile Grout (Mold & Mildew)

Sodium percarbonate is an alkaline substance, which mold doesn’t like. It prefers slightly acidic environments. When sodium percarbonate is mixed with water, it basically becomes a highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide that, when applied to the mold, breaks its bond to grout. Although you may need to scrub the surface a bit, the oxygen bubbles from the sodium percarbonate will help clean it up easier.

To make the solution, start by mixing 2 tablespoons of sodium percarbonate in 2 cups of warm water. Pour the percarbonate solution onto the grout, making sure to cover all the lines. Let the mixture soak into the grout for 10-15 minutes. For darker or more visible mildew staining, dip a toothbrush into the sodium percarbonate powder and continue scrubbing, then rinse the surface and dry thoroughly. 

Cleaning Indoor-Outdoor Carpets, Concrete, Siding, Wood Decks & Stucco 

For removing weathered stains from wood decking, fencing, siding, concrete, and stucco, use a general cleaning solution of sodium percarbonate and apply it with a clean lawn sprayer. Let it stand 10-30 minutes, scrub if necessary, and rinse thoroughly. You can also mix a general cleaning solution of sodium percarbonate in a bucket and apply it with a broom or brush, then scrub and rinse thoroughly. 

Important Considerations Using Sodium Percarbonate

Sodium percarbonate is an excellent ally for cleaning everything in your home. However, with any cleaning product, you’ll want to test it out in an inconspicuous area before committing to a full clean. Also, take adequate precautions to keep it out of reach of children or pets as you would with any other cleaning agent in your home. Exposure to sodium percarbonate can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Ingestion should be avoided at all concentrations. 

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