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OxiClean vs. Bleach: Major Differences Described

OxiClean vs Bleach

If you are always fighting with stains or unwanted ugly-looking spots on your laundry and other areas of your home, then you certainly need OxiClean or Bleach. And if you are not sure which one to use without damaging the object you use it on, this post will tell you all you need to know about OxiClean and Bleach.

OxiClean also known as Oxygen bleach, is simply hydrogen peroxide mixed with sodium and sometimes carbon to form a stain removing compound.

Bleach on the other hand is the chemical combination of sodium hypochlorite and water. It is often referred to as chlorine bleach and it has a strong stain removing and disinfecting ability.

Oxiclean is labelled to be used on all fabrics and some hard surfaces, Bleach is made to be used on only white fabrics. However, they are both oxidizing bleaches and they do a good job at stain removal.

Comparison of OxiClean vs Bleach

Active ingredientsSodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate. Polymer and surfactantsSodium hypochlorite and water
DeodorizingyesYes but leaves a chlorine smell
ToxicYes use with cautionYes use with caution
Used forRemoving stains from white or colored fabrics, cleaning carpets, disinfecting hard surfacesRemoving stains only on white fabrics, disinfecting hard surfaces

Differences between OxiClean and Bleach

The differences between OxiClean and Bleach can be seen in their active ingredients, method of operation, uses, product offering, and costs.


OxiClean and Bleach are strong stain removal and disinfecting chemicals, but they are not of the same composition. The difference in their composition is the reason why they are used differently, and knowing these compositions will also help you use them well.

The main active ingredients of OxiClean are Sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, polymer, and surfactants. Other inactive ingredients vary with the product and the manufacturers.

Bleach on the other hand has its core ingredient as water and sodium hypochlorite which is formed when sodium and hydroxide combine chemically. The other ingredients that make up the formula also vary with product and brand.

From the ingredients mentioned, you can see that OxiClean is a friendlier chemical to use than bleach. It is gentle on both your fabric and your skin than Bleach.

Method of operation

As different products with different compositions, OxiClean and Bleach also have different methods of operation which we shall consider individually.

OxiClean becomes active when mixed in water by breaking down into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate which then work together to clean hard surfaces and fabrics. Once this breakdown happens, the hydrogen peroxide breaks down stains through oxidation while the sodium carbonate increases the alkalinity of the water to enable a quick dissolution and release of the stain. Also, OxiClean removes oils from textile surfaces without spreading them to other areas through emulsification.

To disinfect hard surfaces with OxiClean, mix it with water, apply the mixture to the surface, allow it to sit for some minutes, and rinse completely with clean water. Always look out for directions of use on the label of the package.

Bleach works differently as mentioned earlier. It works by breaking color bonds, be it stain color or the dye of the cloth. That is why it is not recommended to be used on colored fabrics because it can change the appearance of your fabric and turn them white, yellow, or orange depending on the original color of the fabric. When the color bond is broken, the stain loses the ability to absorb light and disappears.

Bleach disinfects by using sodium hypochlorite to oxidize bacteria, viruses, mold, etc. This renders them inactive and impairs their ability to reproduce and infect, thus making Bleach a better disinfectant than OxiClean.


This is the section that probably got you looking into the internet. Luckily, you are in the right place because we bring you all you need to know about how to use OxiClean and Bleach.

OxiClean offers more versatility than Bleach. It is used to fight tough stains and to brighten both white and colored laundry, fabric upholstery, carpets, and to clean certain hard surfaces. While cleaning, it also carries disinfecting activities. To sanitize and disinfect, mix 134.7 grams of OxiClean in a gallon of water, use the mixture to soak the laundry, and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes to kill bacteria and viruses.

Bleach is primarily used to remove stains and brighten whites. It is not ideal for colored laundry, upholstery, or others like that. It also needs to be mixed in water like OxiClean but should not sit for more than 10 minutes. Also, note that constant use of Bleach on fabric can cause the fabric to deteriorate.

Product offering

OxiClean offers different types of products that comes in liquids, sprays, powders, laundry packs, and gel sticks. Some of the popular products you will get are OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, OxiCleanMax Force Spray, OxiClean Odor Blasters Versatile Stain & Odor Remover, etc.

Bleach is mostly in a liquid form and the most popular producer of Bleach is Clorox. They offer lots of products too such as Clorox Precision Pour Bleach Gel, Clorox toilet Bowl Cleaner-with Bleach, and Clorox Splash Bleach Packs.


The cost of purchasing OxiClean or Bleach largely depends on the type, size, and the local store you are buying from. However, OxiClean is always more expensive than Bleach because of its versatility and popular demand.


OxiClean is best suited for both white and colored fabrics, upholstery, and hard surfaces. And, Bleach is to be used on only white fabrics because it can damage the color of the fabric. OxiClean and Bleach are toxic and should be used with caution. Always endeavor to read the safety warnings on their labels. They are not to be ingested or inhaled and the objects they are used on should be rinsed properly. Do not use them on metals, finished wood or woven materials, special fabrics made with silk, leather, argyle, suede, and wool, and on kitchen utensils like knives, spoons, pans, etc.

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