What is Sodium Percarbonate and What is it Used For?


Sodium percarbonate is also referred to as sodium carbonate peroxide. It is a salt characterized as a temperately strong oxidizer. When it comes into contact with air, sodium percarbonate looks like white crystalline powder. Its chemical formula is Na2CO3·1.5H2O2, meaning that it comprises sodium, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

It does not occur naturally; it is created from hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. When dissolved in water, sodium percarbonate is an oxygen-based bleach agent that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. According to Mistralni, this oxidation process makes the cleaning, bleaching, freshening, and stain removal, among other related cleansing activities possible.

It effectively kills microorganisms such as bacteria, fungus, viruses, and algae while removing unpleasant odors. It is important to note that it can also be home-based and not just a commercial product. According to Wikipedia, sodium percarbonate has several advantages, among them being a granulated powder, which is ideal for scrubbing stains. It can also be made into a paste which can be used to clean the tiles.

Sodium percarbonate is also easy to carry as it is powder form and can be made into a solution for different cleaning applications. Most importantly, it is environmentally friendly as oxygen, water, and sodium carbonate, which are products of its decomposition, are non-environmental hazards. This is the reason why many people prefer to use it as a household cleaning agent.

Laundry Cleaning

One of the major uses of sodium percarbonate is for your laundry. You should use it together with your laundry detergent. According to Chemistry Store, you should add about 30gms to your laundry detergent of each load if the soiling is light. In case of moderate soiling, you should add 60gms and 120gms for heavy soiling or those stubborn stains.

You should add 120gms to 180gms of the detergent to bleach and refresh diapers or remove stains from reusable menstrual pads. You can use it to soak clothes before washing, especially for stubborn stains. In this case, soak in hot water for more than 30 minutes or overnight, if possible.

You should then wash normally after the presoak. Another area that sodium percarbonate may be useful to your laundry is lightening your old linens or removing armpit stains on your shirt or blouse. Add about 60gms of detergent per 4 liters of water, soak for an hour or overnight, and rinse.

When the mixture is made, it remains in an active state for 5 to 6 hours, after which it should be discarded. However, you can discard it through your normal drainage or flashing through the toilet, as it will help clean and deodorize your system. Sodium percarbonate is usually more effective when mixed with warm or hot water. However, there are different laundry instructions for your linen; hence you should confirm before applying to avoid damaging your clothes.

Carpet, Couches, and Upholstery cleaning

Sodium percarbonate is used to clean carpets, couches, and upholstery. To remove stains and deodorize the carpet, mix ¼ liter of water and one teaspoon sodium percarbonate. Start by cleaning as much dirt as possible by brushing it off before adding the mixture.

Spray the solution on the spot you intend to clean. You will notice that it starts to foam up. Scrub the area with a brush and leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water and a clean cloth or towel. Allow your carpet to dry completely, then vacuum. Always remember to test for colorfastness before using sodium percarbonate solution. This is also applicable to your car carpet.

In this case, remove as much of the dirt or liquid as possible before spraying the percarbonate solution on the stained parts of the carpet. You should then work into the area with a brush and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly by pouring clean water over the spot, blot up with a clean cloth or towel. Vacuum thoroughly when completely dry.

Kitchen Cleaning

Your kitchenware, be it crockery or cutlery, will usually stain when used over time. The good news is that sodium percarbonate can remove those stains and give your kitchenware a shiny look. For stained plastic ware, cutlery, crockery, dish towels, and dishes, add about 30gms to 60gms of the detergent to the dishwater or the container to clean, such as pots.

Soak the kitchenware for about 15 minutes, after which you should clean and rinse properly. This is also applicable for your kitchen surfaces, especially those made of stainless steel. To ensure that your kitchen drainage system is clean and deodorized, mix 30gms of sodium percarbonate with ¼ liters of hot water and allow the solution to sit in the drain overnight.

Coffee Pots

Coffee usually gets stained due to build-up over long use. However, this should not be a problem because most of them are made of stainless steel. To remove the stain from your coffee pot put hot water into it and add about 30gms of sodium percarbonate. You should leave this to soak for about 10-15 minutes and then wash and rinse properly.

This shall not only remove the stains but shall also ensure that your coffee pot has that newer look. If the stain build-up is on the coffee maker itself, you should put the solution on a spray bottle and allow it to cool. Pour the cooled solution into your coffee maker, turn on the coffee-making machine and allow the solution to run thoroughly in the machine. Rinse and run cold, clean water.

Cleaning of Refrigerators

The presence of stains, rusts, mildew, and molds are common occurrences in refrigerators. What makes even cleaning of refrigerators more challenging is that they are already fixed. To remove these stains, mix the sodium percarbonate in a spray bottle.

Using a soft cloth apply the mixture, and leave it for 10 to 20 minutes, after which you should wipe and rinse completely. If the racks are stained, you may consider removing them and cleaning them separately. This will enable scrubbing where necessary. If you find the staining is due to peeling off of paint, such as rust, repainting the rack will make them appear new once more.

Cutting/chopping boards

Cutting or chopping boards, if not properly cleaned, can cause cross-contamination during food preparation. Stained boards are most dangerous as it may be hard to tell when food particles or soiling are left after washing. Therefore, you must have a detergent that does not only clean but can eliminate all the stains.

Sodium percarbonate is very effective as it cleans and removes the stains and kills bacteria and fungi, which can cause contamination when cutting or preparing food on your cutting board. To clean and deodorize your chopping board, put the percarbonate solution on chopping boards and leave it for about 5-10 minutes, after which you should rinse thoroughly. If the stains are very stubborn, enhance the concentration of your cleaning solution and leave it on the surface for a longer period than you did in the first place, then rinse.

Cleaning molds and removing mildew on walls

Sometimes, you may find the walls have been damaged by water, such as the cases where there are pipe leaks. This calls for repainting after necessary repairs. However, applying new paint without removing the mold first will give you a poor finish, and the paint may peel off after a very short time.

A sodium percarbonate solution shall help you remove molds and mildews, ensuring you have a better surface for repainting. Make the cleaning solution by mixing the detergent with warm water. Apply to the affected surface and scrub using a brush or sponge. Leave it on the surface for 20-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water while ensuring that the surface is completely dry before embarking on a painting. This will ensure that you have a perfect paint finish, and also, there is uniformity with the other parts of the wall giving it a professional look.

Outdoor cleaning

Your outdoor facilities, such as a fence, concrete, and pavement, are likely to have weather-based stains. These are usually very strong stains due to the prolonged effect of the sun. Removing them can be very stressful, and at times you end up losing the original appearance of your facilities. The cleaning tip, in this case, is to ensure regular cleaning rather than waiting for the stain to build up or become very strong.

However, if you have those strong stains, a solution of sodium percarbonate will do the magic. Apply the solution using a bottle sprayer and leave it on the surface for 10-30 minutes and rinse thoroughly, scrubbing where necessary, like the case of pavements. Nevertheless, you need to be cautious when cleaning wood decking, as wood can be easily decolorized. Dissolve about 60gm of the detergent in 1 liter of warm water. Use a bottle sprayer and leave it on the surface for a while before rinsing thoroughly.

Cleaning Fireplaces & Bricks

Sodium percarbonate is also known to clean fireplaces and bricks. Before cleaning your fireplace and firebricks, it is recommendable to check inside for soot build-up. Before you clean using sodium percarbonate, you should start by sweeping the soot failure, to which the cleaning will leave the place worse than it was before the cleaning.

After removing the soot, you should wet the bricks before you apply the sodium percarbonate solution. Add about 50gms of the detergent to 4 liters of water. Apply it to the fireplace or bricks using a brush or soft broom. Scrub and leave it on the surface for 10-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. If the stains are stubborn, you can increase concentration and leave them on the surface longer before rinsing.

Yard cleaning

Your yard is an important part of your property. This is where you are likely to keep items that are not for immediate use and refuse to wait for disposal. The place, therefore, should be cleaned properly to avoid attracting rodents to your house. To clean and deodorize your garbage bins, add about a tablespoon full of the detergent for every 4 liters of hot water.

Pour the solution into your garbage bins, and scrub if need be. Leave the solution on the surface for about 15 minutes if the stains are very stubborn. Ensure that you wear protective gloves to avoid infections or chemical burns if you use a strong concentration.

Cleaning of camping materials

Camping activities involve making the gear involved, such as cushions, ropes, and tents to be heavily stained. Removing these stubborn stains may be a daunting task. However, this can be easily achieved using sodium percarbonate solution. To clean and deodorize your camping gear add about 120gms of percarbonate per 4 liters of hot water. Soak for 30 minutes and then rinse properly.

Cleaning of Black Molds

These molds usually occur on food cans or utensils, especially when you forget to cleanse them for a while. Since the molds occur over a period of time, it becomes difficult to remove them by using the normal dish wash soap. In some cases, people have discarded the utensils and, especially the cans thinking the stains are permanent; hence impossible to remove. However, soaking the stained items on a mixture of sodium percarbonate and water for about 2 hours shall work for you. You can then clean with your normal dish soap and rinse thoroughly with water.

Washing towels

Towels are very critical when it comes to personal hygiene. Since they are used regularly and also in the indoor environment, it is possible to have molds and bacteria growing. This can be very dangerous as it is the same towel you will use to rinse water from every part of your body. Knowing that sodium percarbonate can clean the towel and leave it free from fungus and bacteria should give you peace of mind. All you need to do is to mix sodium percarbonate with warm water and soak the towel in it; leave it for about 15 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

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