Using Sodium Percarbonate: a dry granulated form of hydrogen peroxide
Sodium percarbonate is very neat stuff. It is a powder that releases hydrogen peroxide, and it is very concentrated.
To be complete, sodium percarbonate releases hydrogen peroxide and soda ash. As we know, hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water. As you may expect, then, sodium percarbonate breaks down into oxygen, water, and soda ash.
Advantages of using sodium percarbonate
How about disadvantages?
Sodium PerBORATE is not as environmentally friendly
Sodium percarbonate is generally considered environmentally friendly. However, don’t get it confused with Sodium Perborate – which is made from borate, is NOT good to get on plants, and is considered somewhat harmful to the environment.
But, Sodium CARBONATE is okay
Many sodium percarbonate products also contain sodium carbonate. Sodium carbonate is soda ash. Sodium percarbonate is hydrogen peroxide and soda ash. So, sodium carbonate is kind of “more of the same”.
How to use sodium percarbonate
Sodium percarbonate is really easy to use for cleaning, stain removal, and laundry. Most products come with a chart that shows how much to use.
Sodium percarbonate is great for applications with HOT water – such as mixed into the soap solution in a carpet cleaning machine, or mixed with HOT water to mop the floor.
Sodium percarbonate is great for cleaning and disinfecting – for things like cleaning out the cat box, the birdbath, bedpans… Just mix sodium percarbonate in HOT water, fill your (empty) cat box or birdbath or bedpan, and give it time to soak. Just like hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate needs to have time to do its work. The suggested amounts for this are usually small – so, one or two scoops (2 tablespoons per scoop) is probably enough to clean a whole cat box (filled with water), or a whole birdbath (filled with water). Use HOT water for this.
You can also mix sodium percarbonate into a thick paste to use on tile grout.
If you think of sodium percarbonate as and alternative form of hydrogen peroxide, that pretty much covers it. It can be used for most of what hydrogen peroxide is used for, bearing in mind it is a powder, and breaks down into peroxide plus soda ash.
All those OXYGEN products……
”Oxygen” products seem to be really “in”, and thank goodness!
When I see "oxygen products" -- like “oxi-something", “oxo-whatever” and “oxygen water” -- right away I want to know “what is it?” Is it hydrogen peroxide? (Sometimes it is.) Is it sodium percarbonate? (Yes, sometimes it is sodium percarbonate.) And sometimes it is something else.
Looking for “sodium percarbonate” on the label will “solve the mystery” in at least some of the cases. A lot of the "oxygen" products are sodium percarbonate products.
How much sodium percarbonate is in products made with sodium percarbonate?
Unfortunately, different products contain differing amounts of sodium percarbonate, so it is hard to make direct comparisons of price or of the amount to use. Most products use sodium percarbonate mixed with additional sodium carbonate. The amount of sodium percarbonate varies.
However, with that said, sodium percarbonate is generally very concentrated, so a few tablespoons of a cleaning product in a gallon of water is what’s recommended for most general cleaning applications.
Sources of sodium percarbonate
If you are wondering where to get this amazing powder, well, you may already have some around the house. Check your laundry detergent.
Below are a couple of sources for sodium percarbonate powders. These are mixed with additional sodium carbonate.
Oxo Brite Sodium Percarbonate Powder
After you click on the link, be sure to read the customer comments about this product. Interesting stuff. (I’m going to try what “Anonymous” suggests about letting laundry soak in sodium percarbonate solution for as long as possible, several hours or more before washing. This makes sense to me!)
OxiClean Sodium Percarbonate Powder
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover (3.5 pounds)
Sodium Percarbonate for sale at eBay
I've been asked about where to buy "pure" sodium percarbonate, so I'm including a source for that, too. It's from eBay! I checked with one of the eBay sellers, and the product was 97% sodium percarbonate. However, this may not apply to all the items for sale, and different people may sell sodium percarbonate than when I asked. So please check the listing and feel free to contact the seller if you have any questions about the items here. eBay seller are usually happy to answer questions.
Also, in case you are not familiar with eBay, the "Buy It Now" items have a fixed price -- you don't need to "bid" on it and wait to see if you "win" -- you just pay the price that the seller set (if it says "Buy It Now".) (I hope that helps.)
Sodium percarbonate “soak” test
I noticed that my oven pads were looking kinda dirty. I’ve had them forever. They are thick square woven pads (not the “glove” type). So, I mixed up some sodium percarbonate powder with very hot water. (I didn’t even measure how much, it was the very end of a tub of powder, and I tossed it all in.) I put the hot pads in, and left them to soak. (Notice here, I did not use any other soap – I just used sodium percarbonate powder – that’s it!)
I noticed a plastic cat brush that looked a little dirty, and tossed it in, as well.
Now, you never really know how dirty something is until you clean it, don’t you think? Actually, it was the color of the wash water that was the big thing. Oh my, gross indeed. Gross, but it also gives me the feeling I’m accomplishing something!
Everything came out nice and clean (after thorough rinsing, of course.) The cat brush looks great too.