Oxiclean. A Whiten Your Whites Experiment.

How to whiten clothes, linens and fingernails with Oxiclean. Yep.  It does it all and this little experiment with a sweaty pillowcase will show you just how well it works.

White pillow case hanging on a clothes line.

What you are witnessing is an illusion.  Like heat waves on the pavement,  a rigged carnival game or any 25 year old girl’s Instagram profile pic.

The pillow case you’re looking at looks like a thing of beauty, blowing in the breeze in a tranquil backyard.  Gathering up the heat of the day, drying to a fresh, crisp swath of fabric ready for a good night’s sleep.

It is not.

It is a horror.

Years ago THAT was the fella’s pillow case.  The fella is my ex boyfriend/husband/partner whatever you want to call him. And he head sweated on that pillowcase for years.  A beautiful 100% handmade linen pillow case from Rough Linen stained with 2 years worth of head sweat, drool and nightmares.  After 2 years my pillow case on the other hand had remained clean and white.  Like the pillowcase of an angel.

I know it’s hard to believe judging by the picture above but believe me. That pillow case was a mess in that photo. The problem with my particular front load washer is the fact that you can’t use bleach in it. Ever. Also, you should never use bleach on linen.

Also bleach has a tendency to yellow clothes over time. In fact because of this whole front load washer not accepting bleach I started using this solution to keep my white facecloths clean (which as you’ll see if you read the post works incredibly well).

That left me with quite a dilemma. So I did a little research (as I am want to do) and discovered that Oxiclean will whiten whites, but isn’t the same as bleach. It’s a chlorine free bleaching agent.  It whitens by some kind of magical oxygenating process.

The active ingredient in Oxiclean is actually sodium percarbonate, (a sort of powdered form of hydrogen peroxide). Water is what activates it, releasing oxygen and then the product decomposes into water and oxygen.

Oxiclean also has a few other things like filler and soda ash, but the real worker in the situation is the sodium percarbonate, which you can buy on Amazon but at the time of writing this post it’s sold out. If you feel like ordering it and experimenting try this link to see if it’s become available again.

Because of all of these things (no chlorine, environmentally friendly, gentle but effective) it can be used safely on linen.

So I bought some Oxiclean with absolutely NO hopes of it actually working.  Because let’s face it, most products that claim to do something amazing usually do very little other than produce very convincing television commercials.

This is NOT a paid post. Nobody asked me to do a post on the miracle of Oxiclean. I wish they had. Because I will now and forever sing the praises of Oxiclean to anyone who will listen.

Behold the miracle of Oxiclean … I soaked the left side of the pillow overnight, leaving the other half of the pillowcase out of the solution. That way I would know EXACTLY how much the product worked.

Side by side comparison of a yellow stained linen pillow case half treated with oxiclean.

 

Holy crap is right! I didn’t do any magical lighting trick, or Photoshop shenanigans. It is not an illusion. THAT is the difference Oxiclean made on the head sweat pillowcase.

Which means all those white tee shirts with yellow arm pits you own aren’t a lost cause. There’s another Oxiclean now, Oxiclean White Revive which I haven’t tried because the regular Oxiclean works for me.

In the past few years I’ve even started using it to clean my hands when they’re a disaster and stained after weeks of gardening. I just mix a tiny bit up in some water, soak my fingers in it for a minute then scrub them with a nail brush.

This is DEFINITELY an off label use for Oxiclean and since it’s basically powdered hydrogen peroxide you probably don’t want to soak your hands very long, but it works to remove soil stains around nails and nail beds which are almost impossible to get clean otherwise.

Oxiclean for linens, clothes and hands …  so you too can look like the angel you are. Or even better, you can look like the angel you aren’t.

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

Oxiclean. A Whiten Your Whites Experiment.

208 Comments

  1. Dee says:

    Try swimming pool supply stores or http://www.chemistrystore.com for the Sodium percarbonate. The main ingredient in Oxyclean.

  2. Lynn says:

    All I can say is wow!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so I hope I’m not repeating here. My two cents and tips!
    I have used Oxiclean myself for years . I live rurally with hard water which does a number on whites. I found I use the powder ( quite a lot of it) in the bathtub with hot water and soak white sheets and whatever’s that need a refresh. The water turns brown! Then I wash it in the machine. I don’t ever put in the machine, it doesn’t seem to work as well.
    I use the spray for spot stains although it can leave a little lightening around the stain to some clothes.
    I ONLY buy the Oxiclean for BABIES because the other smells way too strong for me and I’m betting for some of you.
    Final tip, for Man Head on pillows: I get the white pillowcases ( actually a silk one) and the hunny gets an old coloured one.

  4. Kim says:

    I make a miracle paste of water and Oxiclean and leave it on my daughter’s white Van’s overnight. Miracle! They look brand new and her friends are amazed.

  5. Can you get Biz in Canada Karen? I prefer it to Oxiclean because it has enzymes which dissolve proteins and fats, the real culprits.
    I agree with you, a long soak in a well dissolved solution does wonders. I have known some people apply such a concentrated paste they damage the color, be warned.
    Years ago my mother struck up a conversation with some sailors at a port because she admired how white their trousers were (that’s her story and she’s stuck to it). They used something called Nappy San.

    • Karen says:

      I just looked it up and it still exists! It’s Napisan (as in cleaning a baby’s napis). It doesn’t look like it’s easy to get at the moment but that could be because of Covid. ~ karen!

  6. Jenny Durling says:

    I love oxyclean and have used it for years. Unfortunately, my current washing machine thinks it is smarter than I am. It has all of these fancy settings and it’s not possible to soak anything for more than 20 minutes in that giant, agitator-free tub. Even if I fill it with hot water and turn it off, the machine “thinks” that I left it accidentally and will drain after 20 minutes. Really frustrating!!

  7. Ann Visco says:

    It’s also the only thing I’ve found that takes out the smell of cat pee. I love it and have used it for years. Have you ever tried bluing? Also works great but do not go over the recommended amount or else you’ll be trying to remove blue stains and yellow stsins.

  8. Ei Con says:

    Sodium Percarbonate is available from Amazon in the US.

    Sodium Percarbonate UNCOATED 99% Min. Purity 5lb https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010CEGS72/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apip_vNE2saQTcLR43

  9. Sara says:

    If you think this oxiclean is good the one for whitening is MIRACULOUS! No kidding… It is amazing!!

  10. Victoria Marsh says:

    2 MORE USES FOR HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (H2O2) –

    Tried both and both 100% successful:
    1) dog pee stain on wood floor … brush on H2O2 (used regular H2O2 from drug store), being careful not to cover unstained floor, check every 5-10 minutes and remove once it’s lightened enough (I think my stain took about 20-30 minutes), no need to wash off.
    2) bedwetting pee stain on mattress … pour directly from bottle onto the stain and let set overnight … next day, mattress dried (heat was on in the house) & stain almost gone … applied again … day two all gone.

  11. Susan says:

    Okay, Karen, now that you’ve tried the Oxiclean, try an experiment with 20 Mule Team Borax. It’s sodium tetraborate, must be related but it’s a lot cheaper. I’d like to see OxiClean on one side of a pillowcase and Borax on the other side.
    I throw half a cup into my laundry and would really like to know if I’m doing a good thing or wasting my money! One thing I do know is that it gets rid of doggy smells.

  12. Mick says:

    Hydrogen Peroxide = H2O2 if I recall

  13. Dana says:

    Haven’t been able to get my mitts on this since before Covid and lockdown started. It makes our IKEA Ektorp chairs and sofa slipcovers so beautiful.

  14. Kippy says:

    It is great stuff. I’ve also had really good results using FelsNaptha(rub it into wet fabric, leave it for 30 minutes, rinse and launder as usual). However I will not admit that my fella was right-he’s the one who told me how well FelsNaptha works on fabric.

  15. Ben says:

    Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing is incredible. Made tshirts new again. I was very skeptical but It’s a life saver.

  16. Judith says:

    The active whitening stain removing agent in Oxyclean is Sodium Percarbonate. It’s all that is necessary to do the job unless you like the perfume. soap and fillers used to bulk up Oxyclean. Save some $$ and buy Sodium Percarbonate. Use less of this to replace Oxyclean.

  17. Irene says:

    I use to use oxy clean from 2001-2006. It clean my old over, and over stained, clothe dryer, white socks, and training underwear. I was in love with it. I just south it again year2018. I don’t want nothing to do with it, it does nothing like I remember it use to do. I’m very discouraged on how so many products are not what they use to be. Very sad prices go up, and the potency is less.

  18. Lorrie Jamieson says:

    Hi Karen … first of all, I love your posts!

    Second, you mentioned the problem of adding bleach to a front loader. (Although now I know about OxyClean I might never do it again!) Anyway, I’ve come up with a sorta solution — (1) fill a large measuring cup with 1/2 cup of bleach and the rest of the cup with water (at least 1-1/2 and better more) and swish around to mix it up; (2) throw laundry into tub and move it over to one side; (3) pour the bleach/water combo to the other side, BESIDE the laundry; (3) close the door and start the machine immediately.

    It’s always worked for me and hasn’t left any bleach skids on the clothes. But that being said, I’m going to try the OxyClean to totally replace the bleach!

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  21. lindsay says:

    Okay so you soaked it? Can you please tell me the specifics? I was just planning to add it to the wash???

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  30. Rosemary says:

    Wahoo! Tried this recipe/method on men’s dress shirts that got coloured by a crayon that somehow made it into the washer. It worked with the first one so I am trying them a couple at a time now. Everyone in my family is getting a gift of Oxiclean and your method.
    THANKS so much

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  34. Rosemary B says:

    Wow! It really worked. I had tried chlorine bleach before with no luck . Thanks so much.

  35. Christy says:

    Why did my white cotton shirt turn blue in Oxyclean and how do I get it out?

  36. Jm says:

    Oxiclean works! I just washed 10 undershirts and every single one came out brand-new. Follow the directions but soak for 24 hours, that’s the key and then just wash as normal.

  37. Gwen says:

    I have a question, is it ok to us oxic degent to gown my old wedding dress clean

  38. Mike says:

    I have a linen duvet cover with coffee and major cat barf stains from the other day. Soaked in oxy for a few hours in the bathtub, washed in cold, dried gentle, looks like new! Oxy did an epic job. Thanks so much for the tip!

  39. Jeff says:

    oxy type products are derived from hydrogen peroxide, which is chemically very nearly water, in fact a survival tip, you can drink it if you’re stranded, and have a first-aide kit with it, but run out of water. i use it on my white work clothes, it removes fat, blood, etc. like magic. see peroxide dissolves proteins. which is why it works on most stains very well, in first-aide it dissolves the proteins in bacteria, and dead tissue, so it’s good as an antiseptic agent.

  40. KD says:

    Can I use Oxyclean on clothes that have color? I have a white and black stripped sweater I’d like to wash & whiten (the white has gone a bit yellow due to improper storing) and I don’t want the black to fade.

  41. Diane says:

    I tried oxy clean several times and it’s never worked. I guess if you have pit stains and head grease, it’s wonderful. But I don’t have those problems. Most stains I can remove with Fels Naptha or just rubbing in a little laundry detergent, so I’ve tried it on the stains that those won’t remove. It has never worked. Not once.

  42. Johnson says:

    Same issues happened with me before on my linen cloths after that one of my friend suggest me to use a oxiclean to whiten a linen cloths it was an amazing experience for me.

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  44. Candice says:

    My man accidentially mixed his beige linen blazer into the dryer with gum in the pocket. (It usually g3ets dry cleaned so I don’t know how this happened). But I froze it and scraped the gum off but there were a few pink stains. I soaked it in oxyclean and all the stains came out… however there was one place on the arm where I place a lot of oxuclean and pre-soaked it overnight. Now it has a slight discoloration of a pinkish on this beige blazer. It is his favorite deoes anyone have any ideas how i can get the discoloration out that was caused by oxyclean? Can I dye linen maybe? I appreciate any help, im new at all this. Thanks! :)

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  46. Nicole says:

    You had me at “holy crap”. Lol I’m also trying to get my pillowcases clean. I stupidly let my husband use the “show pillows” at night and now they have sweat shadow.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah. Men have sweaty heads. Try the oxiclean. It really did work great. (now I use it allll the time). Double up on the dosage and give it a double soak. ~ karen!

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  48. Darcy says:

    Karen, another tip for you. Sometimes the oils on a pillowcase won’t whiten because it is an oil. I love Dawn dish detergent. First I scrub the pillowcase with dawn and rinse it good, then launder it, many times using oxiclean. I figured if Dawn can get the oil out of duck feathers (hazard from an oil spill) then surely it can take the hair oils out of a pillow case!!! Love your blogs!!!!

  49. Zoe says:

    Been waiting to do this forever – moved house – have a bath where the plug works – oxicleaned my lovely white dressing gown and all the coffee stains etc are now gone and it’s back to it’s glorious white!! I <3 oxiclean.

  50. Tanya says:

    Also, has anyone dared to soak clothes in warm or hot water that have instructions to launder in cold or gentle? My mom with dementia has not been washing her clothes (except underclothes) for maybe years. I’m horrified after going through her closet and inspecting each item. But a lot of the items have instructions to wash in cold water. Frustrating!

    • Karen says:

      Most laundry tags say wash in cold. There are two reasons for this. Cold water is easier on fabrics and hot water makes things shrink or lose their shape. Hot water will shrink cotton, ruin wool and cause certain synthetic fibres to go limp. But honestly, I wash all my clothes on cold now, so I’d make a bet that washing them in cold water would do just fine. ~ karen!

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