Bleach is a common household product that can be used to disinfect surfaces, kill germs and viruses, remove stains from fabrics, and even leave clothes odor-free. But did you know there are 2 different types of bleach? Below, we will discuss oxygen bleach vs. chlorine bleach: their differences, the pros and cons of each, and which we at Charlie’s Soap recommend.
What is chlorine bleach?
Chlorine bleach is a water solution of sodium hypochlorite. Typical household bleach that you might use for laundry or as a disinfectant is usually 5 to 6 percent sodium hypochlorite, depending on its “strength.” The chlorine in bleach is the same chlorine in drinking water or in a swimming pool.
Due to its low cost and strength, chlorine bleach is popular in many households. Chlorine bleach can be used to disinfect a number of high touch surfaces in the home like kitchen countertops, food prep areas, doorknobs, tabletops, and more. Chlorine bleach also deodorizes, so it’s great for smelly fabrics or clothes.
What are the downsides of using chlorine bleach in your laundry? Because it’s so strong, chlorine bleach can weaken or damage fabrics. According to the Cleveland Clinic, chlorine bleach and its vapor can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. When it comes in contact with skin, chlorine bleach can cause dermatitis, and ingestion can cause severe digestive tract damage.
It’s also important to avoid mixing chlorine bleach with ammonia; mixing can release poisonous gases that lead to serious breathing problems. If released straight into the water, it may be harmful to the environment. If not handled or stored correctly, it can be dangerous to those in your home, especially young kids.
What is oxygen bleach?
Oxygen bleach, also called non-chlorine bleach, is hydrogen peroxide with sodium and sometimes sodium carbonate (washing soda) added. You’ll often find oxygen bleach in both liquid and powder form at your local grocery store, but the powder form is usually more popular (and lasts longer).
Oxygen bleach is a gentler and less toxic alternative to chlorine bleach, so it can be used on all sorts of washable fabrics, including colored fabrics, wool, silk, and more. It can also be used to clean your home and offers a non-toxic way to clean surfaces inside and outside your home. It may also be less harsh on the skin, so if you’re prone to skin reactions from laundry or cleaning products, oxygen bleach may be the best option for you.
What are the downsides of oxygen bleach? It may not be as powerful at removing stains as chlorine bleach. It may also not work as effectively when added to warm or cold water. Oxygen bleach works as a disinfectant but is not as effective as chlorine bleach.
Which one is better?
Chlorine bleach certainly works as a disinfectant and deodorizer. As far as laundry is concerned, it will get your whites whiter, but at what cost? We don’t think it’s worth having damaged fabrics that won’t last as long. Chlorine bleach can also serve as a respiratory irritant and corrosive chemical. And if you don’t ventilate the area or store chlorine bleach properly, it can be downright dangerous, as its vapors can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. If you have respiratory challenges like asthma, chlorine bleach can cause chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, and more.
While the majority of chlorine bleach does break down and turn back into salt water, the manufacturing and production of bleach can have a negative impact on local ecosystems and water supply.
That’s why our pick for best bleach for cleaning surfaces and laundry is… oxygen bleach!
Oxygen bleach is safer to use on nearly any fabric and many surfaces, and it doesn’t require extra care to prevent damage to clothing. It can be used to brighten and remove stains from colors. Oxygen bleach is gentler on the skin and lungs, too, making it the best choice for those with bleach sensitivity. It can also be used to clean and disinfect surfaces with less concern about the effects of vapors or contact irritation.
As a less toxic and more eco-friendly bleach option, oxygen bleach is a great option.
Start using oxygen bleach today
Ready to make the switch from chlorine bleach to oxygen bleach? Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Bleach is formulated with washing soda and hydrogen peroxide. It’s strong enough to tackle stains and remove odors, yet gentle on your septic tank and the environment.
Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Bleach is best used when combined with our Laundry Liquid or Laundry Powder. It’s color safe, but always remember to check and follow garment care instructions before use!
Get Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Bleach today, or browse the rest of our eco-friendly cleaning and laundry products!