Personal Finance

5 Surprising Uses for OxiClean Around the House

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OxiClean in stores
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When you think of OxiClean, do you envision fresh, clean-smelling and stain-free laundry? That is, if you even have time to stop and daydream about clean laundry when a million other items in the house need to be cleaned.

Oxygen bleach, which is best known by the brand name OxiClean, can do the work of many other cleaners and products without harsh chemicals or lingering smells.

Read on for some uses for oxygen bleach that might surprise you!

What is oxygen bleach?

Laundry powder
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Oxygen bleach is an alternative to chlorine bleach. The key ingredient in oxygen bleach is sodium percarbonate, which, when dissolved in water, breaks down into two tried and true cleaning compounds: hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate (aka washing soda or soda ash).

As a result, oxygen bleach is safer and more versatile than chlorine bleach — just what you need when you’re tackling other cleaning projects.

How to use oxygen bleach

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Oxygen bleach can be used not only as a laundry additive but as a cleaning paste (when mixed with a little water) or as a cleaning spray or soak (when diluted with more water).

When mixing oxygen bleach, start with hot water. As the Toronto-based cleaning service Clean My Space explains:

“Make sure that you’re always using hot water to mix up your solutions, this way the product can completely dissolve. If you need to use the solution on something where cold water is necessary, that’s fine, whip up the solution and then let it cool.”

A word of caution

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Make sure you check the cleaning instructions before using any cleaning product, and follow any warnings that might be listed on the product containers as well.

Also, since oxygen bleach essentially become hydrogen peroxide, you should take the same precautions with it. This includes remembering not to mix oxygen bleach with cleaning products like vinegar — which creates a toxic substance called peracetic acid, as we detail in “Never Use These Cleaning Products Together.”

1. Spot-treat carpets

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Just a small mix of OxiClean in hot water can help lift spots. Test the solution first in a small hidden area of your carpet.

After spraying the spot enough to saturate the carpet, OxiClean itself advises that you let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, use a clean sponge or cloth to pick up any excess and let the area air dry.

If the stain isn’t gone, you can repeat this process once more.

2. Remove jar labels and sticky residue

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OxiClean is also great for removing labels, and the sticky residue they can leave behind, from glass jars.

Fill your sink or a large bowl with hot water and one scoop of OxiClean, and let the jars fill with water and soak for at least an hour. The labels and any remaining residue should easily scrub off.

3. Brighten up tile grout

Woman cleaning grout with toothbrush
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Find your cleaning toothbrush and apply OxiClean as a concentrated paste to dingy grout lines. Let them soak for at least 10 minutes and brush away the mold and mildew. Apply a second coat for heavier stains.

Consider spraying your grout lines occasionally to keep mildew at bay.

4. De-grease your range hood filter

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Dilute OxiClean in enough hot water to cover your range hood filter, using about one scoop per gallon of water. Let that greasy filter soak about 10 minutes. Rinse and replace when dry.

5. Remove scum from shower curtain liners

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Soaking your plastic shower curtain liner in diluted oxygen bleach can help remove soap scum and mildew buildup. Clean My Space recommends doing this in your bathtub:

“Let the liner soak for 10 to 15 minutes then glove up and gently rub the curtain together removing any stubborn stains. Finally, give it a good rinse and then hang it back up to drip dry.”

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