Secrets/details of using Oxiclean

I promise I spent 3 minutes searching and didn’t really find much of a consolidated thread about the exact uses, applications, tips etc. for everyone’s best friend: Oxiclean. I thought it might be wise to ask.

If I understand it, somehow the powdered product (bought in Oregon at Costco, “Oxiclean”, fine white granules with about 1% blue granule) is able to create ‘free oxygen’ (i.e. dissolved O2 gas, if I remember my chemistry) when mixed with water. It also contains sodium carbonate the create an alkaline (high pH) solution, and I believe some amount of detergent as well (to help “wet” the fabric, and dissolve fats – though I don’t think theres much detergent in it).

I’ve always tried to keep my oxiclean container (I transfer to a large plastic jar with clamping lid) tightly closed when not in use. Theory being that humidity will slowly react with the oxiclean and it will lose its potency over time. Not sure if that’s necessary – what do you all think?

Fresh batch: whenever I use it, I always make it fresh. Not sure how long the O2 remains available.

Paste: this “seems like” it would be pretty powerful…though if I’m honest I’m not sure its much better.

Combine with sunlight: If I have something that really doesn’t respond, I’ve tried oxiclean solution then laying it out in the bright direct sun. Again, not scientific but I think its helped.

I tend to use it in conjunction with a soap or detergent of some kind.

I generally throw a scoop in with my laundry, in with the regular powdered detergent.

Curious what you all have learned in your centuries of stain removing… :wink:


Wow who knew using cleaning products in the US is so complicated @doughpat :grin:

I’ve learnt that I’m glad our cleaning products aren’t such a faff to use as yours :grin::grin::grin::grin:

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I’m just today trying it this morning on a new material that I’ve never stained before: a jute shopping bag with a wine stain. I had very good luck with it a few years ago when I spilled wine on my carpet. I immediately blotted up the excess with paper towel and poured the OxiClean solution on the stain. It literally instantly disappeared before my eyes.

I tend to like it for treating smelly things like dumping a scoop into the drains.

I may be the only one who finds the analysis of how it actually works interesting. I seem to be the only one who prefers cash to gift baskets so all my opinions should be so considered as somewhat fringe.


Coupons, how to videos, reviews (good & bad), tips & warnings are available at:

Some of the negative reviews are eye-rollers like “has a strong smell”, yep that why rinse is important and more isn’t always better. Some are valid.

Oxiclean is my go-to for laundry, patio & patio furniture mildew, & carpet cleaning (rinse required).

I really like it for outside cleaning because it doesn’t kill plants.


Some people don’t really care how things work, just that they do work. I find that the former ensures the latter :slight_smile:

Oxiclean really is a remarkable product. When you look at the sheer number of cleaning products one could find in all of the stores in one’s town (not to mention online!), I think there are really just several (less than 10?) that can pretty much take care of anything a host would need. Oxiclean being one of them.

I’d really like to learn more about the kinetics of the reaction…i.e. the speed of the formation of the reactive oxygen, as well as its breakdown. I’m assuming (bad idea of course) that it breaks down into a salt and maybe the oxygen just offgasses into the atmosphere? I’d like to know how long that takes. I.e. if I were to make a solution of oxiclean and hot water…do I have 3 minutes before it really starts losing its oxidative abilities ,or 3 hours (or 3 days!)?

I’m also curious about the ‘ready to spray’ stain treatments marketed as Oxiclean. Not sure how the whole “it breaks down and loses its oxidative power” works with something shelf stable…?

I have also had poor luck dissolving it well enough to use in a spray bottle. Tends to have bits that clog up the sprayer – maybe making a solution in a separate container and then decanting it into a spray bottle would be wise.

And yes, @KKC, it really is remarkable to watch it in action. Does the same thing to blood – takes maybe 10 seconds and its gone (hydrogen peroxide works similarly).

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I don’t know if this is best, but works for me. Dissolve Oxiclean in hot hot water. Leave sprayer top off. Let cool completely before replacing the sprayer lid & using. The Oxiclean will stay dissolved when cooled.

I alternate/ use Borax for the same purpose which is as a laundry detergent additive. I must stir the powders in water vigorously with a bottle brush before adding clothes. Soaking in oxyclean works pretty well, the longer the better!

@doughpat has given us some interesting stuff there about how Oxyclean works but I’m afraid that I’m one of those people who just need it to work properly, not how it does. :slight_smile:

I don’t use it in conjunction with a detergent, I use it on its own in cold water. If there are still marks after a cold wash, then items are soaked in Oxyclean until the next wash. (With two back-to-back apartments and an average stay of just a few days, there are many wash days every week.)

I’ve never, ever (hard to believe, I know…) lost any item because of stains. Things have worn out, but stains have never caused me to consign anything to the rag bag.

I think (unscientifically) that cold water, Oxy and soaking if necessary are the ways to go.


This was not a great outcome: The oxiclean either bleached out the jute or interacted with the wine to bleach out the jute. It’s not a big deal, the wine stain was more charming but it’s just a shopping bag.

@KKC time to oxiclean the whole bag! (Kidding not kidding…)

That is an issue. Reminds me of when I spot clean carpet…makes the rest of the carpet look bad!

I may do that just to see if it’s just the Oxiclean or if the wine played a factor.

It is not just a shopping bag, it is a token from your travels


I would go another direction, dye it with coffee

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But I would be interested to know if Oxiclean bleached out the color in the jute or if it was a reaction with the wine. I’d have thought the bag was a natural color but perhaps not.

It looks pretty much like undyed jute, although they may have used a vegetable/plant based dye to even out any colour variations. I suspect the chemical reaction has, as you said, bleached the colour out.


This is a pretty accurate image of raw, woven, jute.


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That’s OxyClean’s active ingredient!