If you notice a funky smell coming off your gym socks or find a splotch of chocolate ice cream on your favorite dress, you may want to bleach the clothing right away to get it clean again. But what if the strong chemicals in chlorine bleach ruin the fabric of your clothes? To avoid this issue, you may want to learn how to use OxiClean in your washer.
OxiClean can clean any clothing that can withstand hot water in the washing machine. It does not contain bleach and uses chemicals that create hydrogen peroxide to remove most stains from clothing. OxiClean will work in front-loading, top-loading, or high-efficiency washing machines.
In this article, you will find out what makes OxiClean different from chlorine bleach. You will discover six methods for using OxiClean with your laundry. Finally, you will find out whether you can use OxiClean in place of laundry detergent.
What is OxiClean?First sold in 1997, OxiClean is a household cleaning product made without toxic chemicals or ingredients that can harm the environment. This popular stain removing solution does not work the same way as Chlorine bleach. Instead, it contains chemicals that break down into hydrogen peroxide when activated by hot water.
OxiClean does not contain any traditional bleach and does not eat at fabric fibers the same way as traditional bleach.
So, what exactly is OxiClean made of? It contains two types of chemicals called sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide. This combination of chemicals can accomplish several different stain-removing tasks.
First, sodium bicarbonate can negatively charge natural fabrics, which essentially removes the static electricity that can make dirt or bodily fluid stains stick to the cloth. This does not touch oil-based stains, however.
This is where the hydrogen peroxide comes into play. The strong hydrogen peroxide component can easily remove most types of stains, including coffee, wine, and oil stains. It does this by interfering with the molecular structure of the stains because hydrogen peroxide lets lose an extra oxygen molecule when it reacts with the hot water in your washing machine.
In some cases, the hydrogen peroxide does not remove the staining matter from the fabric. It just changes the chemistry of the stain so that the color disappears.
Today, you can find multiple different OxiClean products for sale. Some of these come in liquid form and others like the original Versatile Stain Remover come in a powdered form. If you use a powdered form, you will want to make sure it dissolves in water before coming into contact with your clothing.
Several popular OxiClean products include:
- White Revive, which has the extra power to brighten white clothing. This product contains slightly less sodium percarbonate than regular OxiClean. It also has additional ingredients like Tinopal CBS, which acts as an optical brightener.
- Baby Stain Soaker does not have that many differences from the basic OxiClean, but it is intended for use as pre-soak on difficult baby stains made by formula or diaper accidents. Most experts agree that regular OxiClean also works for this purpose and does not contain any perfumes or dangerous chemicals that could harm an infant.
- Laundry Stain Remover does not have the huge popularity of OxiClean’s newer product, the MaxForce spray. However, it does have a great reputation as a pre-treatment for tough stains. It sets that extra oxygen created by the hydrogen peroxide to work before you even start your washing machine!
- Triple Power Stain Fighter is a laundry detergent with special color brightening properties. Unlike chlorine bleach, it will not damage your clothing. That said, it may not work on stains as effectively as regular OxiClean.
- MaxForce Spray is often considered the best non-toxic stain remover you can buy. It typically costs quite a bit more than other commercial stain removers, but it can quickly remove almost all stains such as blood, dirt, oil, or sweat when applied before washing.
- Power Paks work like regular OxiClean, but they come in little pods of powder for convenient use.
How To Use OxiClean in Laundry?
OxiClean works most effectively in your laundry when you follow a few simple steps. Of course, if you choose to use one of the brand’s specialty products, such as a pre-treatment stain remover, you will want to make sure you follow the instructions on the package!
But for general laundry use, keep these guidelines in mind.
First, you should use OxiClean with hot water. Hot water will easily dissolve powdered OxiClean and activate its hydrogen peroxide stain removing ability.
Second, while you can also purchase OxiClean detergent if you want, if you use the regular Versatile Stain Remover in powdered form, you generally do need to combine it with a regular laundry detergent for the best results. In most cases, you should not use the powder by itself in your laundry.
Powdered OxiClean comes with a scoop that holds two tablespoons of powder. Typically you should add only one scoop to your washing machine. You may need to add the powder at different points during the wash cycle depending on the type of machine you have, as you will learn later in this article.
That said, you want to make sure the powder gets a chance to dissolve into the hot water before it comes into contact with your clothing.
If you have heavily stained clothing going into the wash, you might want to consider adding a soak to your wash cycle. For this method, you can add anywhere from one to four scoops of the powder to the wash and then add a thirty-minute soak to your normal wash cycle.
As a final guideline, you need to use a little care to choose which garments you can wash with OxiClean. The company warns against using this cleaning product on wool, silk, or dry-clean only materials. You may also find that OxiClean can damage any garment that is not color-fast.
How To Use OxiClean In Your Washer: 6 Methods
The kind of washing machine you use may require slightly different procedures for using OxiClean in your laundry. Here you can find quick guidelines for using OxiClean in specialty washers such as a top load vs a front-load machine.
1. Top Load Washer
Using OxiClean in a top-loading washing machine is super easy.
- Turn on your washing machine and make sure you select a hot water temperature.
- Then check out your machine to find out if you have a special dispenser for bleach and fabric softener products. If you do, mix one scoop of OxiClean with two cups of hot water before starting, and make sure the powder dissolves in the water. You will want to use a disposable container for this mixture!
- After dissolving the powder, pour this solution into the bleach dispenser in your machine, and then proceed as usual to add the detergent and clothing before you start your wash cycle.
- If you do not have a dispenser, don’t worry! You can add the powder straight into the basin of the machine. In this case, you will want to start the washing machine filling up, add the laundry detergent as usual, and add one scoop of OxiClean before you place any clothing in the machine.
- Finally, set your machine to your normal wash cycle and allow it to run through as usual.
2. Front Load Washer
You can also use OxiClean in your laundry if you have a front-loading washer, but you do have to follow different guidelines. If you have a front-loading washer, you cannot put anything in once it starts filling up! Instead, you can choose from several different options for adding OxiClean to your front loader.
- You can mix one scoop of powdered OxiClean into powdered laundry detergent if you use this kind of detergent. Then just add the detergent to your laundry as you normally would.
- If you have a front-load machine that comes with an external dispenser, you can mix one scoop of OxiClean with two cups of hot water and pour that into the external chute after the hot water begins filling up your wash.
- Finally, the manufacturer suggests adding OxiClean powder directly to the washing machine bowl before putting clothes i. You can try this if you do not have an external spout option, though it is less ideal than the previous two options.
3. High-Efficiency Washing Machine
You can use OxiClean safely in HE washing machines as well! High-Efficiency washing machines use much less water than standard washing machines. Sometimes they also have a greater capacity as well and can handle larger loads of laundry at one time.
In general, you should make sure to use high-efficiency detergent with your HE washing machine. This necessity may make you think you can’t use bleach or OxiClean with an HE washer. But actually, you can still use OxiClean–you just need to follow a few different steps.
- If your HE washer has an external dispenser for adding bleach, measure one scoop of OxiClean into this dispenser. Then add your usual one teaspoon of high-efficiency detergent and your dirty clothes to the washer before starting the cycle.
- If you have a front-loading HE washer that does not have an external hatch for adding wash supplements, you can mix the OxiClean powder and one teaspoon of HE detergent, then add that mixture just as you would normally add the detergent.
- Finally, if you have a top-loading HE machine, you can also try the boiling water method. For this technique, boil four cups of water and then stir in one scoop of OxiClean until the powder dissolves. Pause your machine once it has filled up with hot water and pour in the OxiClean and water mixture, then restart the machine and allow it to finish its usual wash cycle.
4. With Detergent
One of the easiest ways to use regular OxiClean powder is to add it with your laundry detergent.
- First, set up your washing machine for a normal hot water wash cycle. Allow it to start filling up with water.
- Add just half of the normal amount of laundry detergent you like to use.
- Next, measure in one scoop of OxiClean powder while the hot water is still filling up the basin of the machine.
- Add the dirty laundry. For the best outcome, only fill up the machine halfway full with clothing.
- Run the wash cycle all the way through. Check your clothes before you put them in the dryer. You will almost certainly discover that all the stains have vanished!
5. On Colored Clothes
You can use OxiClean to clean and brighten colored clothing so long as your garments are colorfast. That said, you may want to spot test these colors before throwing them in the wash with this strong cleaning product.
To do this:
- Mix a teaspoon of OxiClean with enough hot water to dissolve it.
- Apply this to a hidden spot on the garment, such as on an inside seam.
- Let it rest for five minutes, and then rinse it away.
Examine the test site to see if the garment stained or grew discolored. If it did not, you can safely use OxiClean in the wash with that piece of clothing!
To use OxiClean in the washing machine with colored clothes, you can follow the guidelines for a top load, front load, or HE washing machine from earlier in this section. Just make sure you use cold water instead of hot water. Colorful clothing will remain bright and vivid for much longer if you do not wash it in hot water!
6. On Linen or Delicates
If you use a special handwash method, you can use OxiClean on many delicate clothing items, such as anything made of linen.
You can also use this technique for shoes or baseball hats that might get squashed or mishappen in the washing machine!
- First, fill up a bucket with cool water. You can use hot water if you plan to wash only white clothing, but if you have any colorful clothing, you will want to use cool water to protect its vibrancy.
- Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
- Measure in one to two scoops of OxiClean, depending on how much water you put in the bucket. Stir this around to let the powder dissolve.
- Wash your delicate garments by swishing them through the water one at a time. If you see any stains, gently rub these areas with your fingers. (You can also pretreat these areas with an OxiClean stain remover if you want).
- Rinse the garments one at a time in your sink under cool running water.
- Do not wring out the water when you finish. Instead, lay the wet garment on a clean towel and roll up the towel to press out the water.
Can You Use OxiClean Powder as a Detergent?
OxiClean works as a powerful detergent booster, but you should not use it on its own in the washing machine. This product will brighten your clothes and remove stains, but it does not provide the degreasing and scent removing that a good laundry detergent can offer.
Regular powdered OxiClean also does not necessarily kill germs and viruses.
That said, you can buy a variety of OxiClean products. OxiClean laundry detergent offers both brightening and cleansing properties. In addition, OxiClean offers a new product called OxiClean Sanitize that has the additional virus-killing ability, at least according to the company website!
For normal, everyday laundry, you will want to mix a scoop of OxiClean in with your regular laundry detergent, though.
Does OxiClean Bleach Clothes?
OxiClean does not bleach clothes when used correctly. It does not contain any chlorine bleach or even any very strong chemicals.
That said, it will discolor any clothing that is not colorfast. Many modern clothing manufacturers use synthetic dyes that will remain colorfast forever. But some cheap clothing and some expensive all-natural clothing will bleed dye when it gets wet or when it is exposed to cleaning products. These kinds of clothing are not colorfast and will look bleached if you expose them to OxiClean.
Plus, in some rare cases, you could remove the color from your clothing if you use way too much of an OxiClean product. To avoid this, make sure you always read the instructions on the cleaning product package. That way, you can apply just the right amount to your clothes or your washing machine.
OxiClean Clumping in Washing Machine
OxiClean powder sometimes remains clumpy and undissolved when used in cold water. This could leave grainy bits of powder stuck to your clothing, which might feel uncomfortable or even cause an allergic reaction. Plus, the undissolved powder will not remove stains from your clothes!
To avoid this, you can use hot water in your washing machine so long as you plan to wash white or light-colored clothing.
If you need to wash dark-colored or brightly colored clothing, try mixing the OxiClean in water first. Measure the powder into two cups of hot water. This way, you can stir the powder into the hot water and make sure it all dissolves before it gets near your clothes!
If that seems like too much trouble, you can also buy liquid forms of OxiClean or even just buy OxiClean boosted laundry detergent. These products typically cost a bit more, but you may find it worth the investment to save some time.
Does OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Work on Old Stains?
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover works well on old stains and fresh stains. For the best success on old or stubborn stains, you may need to soak the clothing in a solution of OxiClean powder and water for several hours.
Follow these simple steps:
- Do a spot test to make sure your garment is colorfast. Otherwise, this method will bleach away the color from your clothing and remove the stain!
- Either use a liquid spray form of OxiClean or mix one teaspoon of OxiClean into two cups of warm water in a spray bottle.
- Rinse the stained area in cold water to get the fabric damp.
- Spray or dab the OxiClean onto the stain.
- Let the garment sit. Check it after five minutes to make sure no discoloration has occurred on the fabric. If the stain has not faded, you may need to allow the garment to sit for several days.
- Once you see the stain fading, wash the clothing in your washing machine using your normal laundry detergent.
- Examine the garment before putting it in the dryer to make sure the stain is gone for good!
You can also use any of the washing machine methods described in this article for difficult stains. To remove old stains using OxiClean in your washing machine, follow the steps in the washing machine method of your choice, but add a soak before the first rinse. This will allow the clothing to sit in the washing machine water mixed with OxiClean and detergent, which will remove most stains!
OxiClean vs Chlorine Bleach: Which is Better?
When you compare OxiClean vs Chlorine bleach, you find that each product has strengths and weaknesses.
The biggest advantage to OxiClean is that it is a kind of oxygen bleach that does not contain dangerous chemicals. This product will not harm you or the environment. The biggest advantage of chlorine bleach is that it can kill germs and remove the color from even the darkest clothing!
For everyday laundry, though, OxiClean offers a safer laundry process. Oxygen bleach will not damage the fibers of the fabric in your clothes. It also will not remove the color from any colorfast clothing.
Chlorine bleach will strip color from any kind of clothing and can also eat away at the fabric in your clothes, weakening it or even creating holes in it! Plus, you have to take many safety measures when using chlorine bleach to avoid spilling it on yourself or breathing in its fumes.
For these reasons, OxiClean is often the better choice for most everyday laundry and stain removal.
OxiClean uses hydrogen peroxide to remove almost all stains, including old or set-in stains. Regular OxiClean, called Versatile Stain Remover, comes in a powdered form that acts as a booster for normal laundry detergent. You can also find many specialized OxiClean products such as stain removers or laundry detergents.
You can use OxiClean in top-loading, front-loading, and high-efficiency washing machines. Hot water in the wash will dissolve the powder more effectively than cold water. You can also add OxiClean mixed in water through the external bleach spout in some washing machines.
Have you ever used OxiClean in your laundry? Did it remove stains from your clothing? Leave a comment below to let us know!