What is an Oxygen Cleaner?

B. Miller

An oxygen cleaner, also sometimes called oxygen bleach, is a popular product that uses oxygen bubbles to lift stains and clean. This type of product is generally non-toxic and more environmentally friendly than traditional household cleaners that use chemicals such as ammonia or bleach. Most reviewers say that these cleaners are surprisingly powerful and successful at removing stains, though it may take a little longer to do so than traditional cleaners.

A number of laundry detergents contain oxygen cleaners.
A number of laundry detergents contain oxygen cleaners.

These cleaning produces generally use one of three possible active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, or sodium perborate. Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid, but the others are powders; this is why consumers can find both powdered and liquid versions. Shoppers can find oxygen cleaners to perform just about any cleaning task in their household, including laundry detergents, carpet cleaners, stain removers, dishwashing detergent, glass cleaners, general household cleaners, and even outdoor cleaners for the deck or patio.

A woman cleaning a window using an oxygen window cleaner.
A woman cleaning a window using an oxygen window cleaner.

The oxygen cleaner is applied and rubbed in, causing the oxygen bubbles to essentially "effervesce" and release. One benefit to this type of cleaning product is its versatility, since one or two types of oxygenated cleansers may be used for a wide variety of household tasks. This cuts down on waste and also saves money. Most eco-friendly cleaners come in recyclable bottles.

Oxygen cleaner is an excellent stain-removal product.
Oxygen cleaner is an excellent stain-removal product.

People can make their own oxygen cleaners with a little effort, too. Mixing one part baking soda, one part hydrogen peroxide, and two parts hot water can help remove stains from clothing. This mixture should not be used on silk or wool, as it can damage the fabric.

Oxygen cleaner is often used in dishwashing detergent.
Oxygen cleaner is often used in dishwashing detergent.

It is especially important to follow directions when using an oxygen cleaner. Using too much or leaving it on the stain for too long can damage fabrics and carpeting, potentially voiding any manufacturer's warranty on the carpet. Often, less is more with these products, and doubling up the amount called for will produce disastrous results. When used properly, this type of cleaner is especially successful on typically hard-to-remove stains, such as blood and pet stains.

Oxygen cleaners are relatively easy to find in stores due to a recent resurgence in popularity. They may be purchased in a powdered or liquid form, which needs to be diluted, or in a ready-to-apply mixture. Many consumers have also seen infomercials selling these products. While they can be more expensive than traditional cleaners, they may provide people peace of mind to know that they are not toxic to people, animals, or plants.

Baking soda can be used in a homemade oxygen cleaner.
Baking soda can be used in a homemade oxygen cleaner.

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Discussion Comments


I really appreciate how detailed this article was. I have been doing a lot of research into household cleaner products recently after reading an article about how many harmful chemicals there are in most store-bought ones, and I have just been really surprised to see how biased most of the information out there about things like this is.

I mean, on the one hand you've got the eco-warrior who swears that home made oxygen cleaner can do everything from descale your washer to improve your love life, but on the other hand there's the hardened cynic who says that the whole thing is bunk and that chemical cleaners are the only way to go.

I really like how you guys took a very neutral, yet informative stance. It really made this article very helpful for me.



I'm really glad that you mentioned how easy it is to make your own oxygen cleaner at home. It always amazes me how people shell out just massive amounts of money to buy cleaner products that they can make at home for a fraction of the cost and still get the same effect.

The same thing applies to enzymatic cleaners, lime scale removers, and laundry detergent too, not just oxygenated cleaners. I've even heard that you can make your own denture cleaner, with a little bit of baking soda and salt!

Of course, you do have to take these things with a grain of salt. There are a lot of very ineffective recipes out there, and you can end up wasting a lot of time trying to get one that works, especially if you're trying to make something super-specific like leather cleaner or hair dye.

But for stuff like oxygenated cleaners, enzyme solutions and the like, you really can get very good results with home made products...and save a ton of money too!

So the next time you run out bleach, why not google a recipe for an environmentally-friendly oxygen cleaner? You might be surprised at just how similarly it works to the expensive name brand cleaners.



So explain to me the difference between an oxygen cleaner and other cleaner products. I understand that the oxygen makes the cleaner effervescent, which makes it easier to loosen dirt, etc, but aside from that, is there any real difference between an oxygen bleach cleaner and your regular, run of the mill cleaners?

I just ask because it seems like every time I see an advertisement for an oxygen cleaner, it's on some really sketchy looking infomercial, which always makes me wonder if the oxygen is just a gimmick, or if it actually works properly.

So can anyone explain this to me?

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