Is OxiClean Toxic or Safe?

OxiClean makes some of the finest household cleaning products. They are well-known for their high-quality odor blasters and stain removers.

While their cleaning products are marketed as safe and environmentally friendly, a lot of people still worry if they are really safe or not.

So, is OxiClean toxic? Here, we will try to find the answer to this question.

What Is OxiClean?

OxiClean is a range of cleaning products that serve the same purposes as washing soda.

OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Powder, 7.22 Lbs.

The active ingredients that make OxiClean products are used for the following purposes.

  • Removal of tough, organic, and deep stains to keep clothes clean.
  • Removal of stubborn stains from dirty, hard surfaces.
  • Removal of wine stains and tea/coffee stains from carpets, furniture, and upholstered items.
  • Cleaning outdoor and indoor appliances.

OxiClean is known for being harmless to the fabrics and the surfaces it is used to clean.

So to answer the question – Oxiclean is a non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning agent that suits most messes.

Are OxiClean Products Environmentally Friendly?

That answer is “yes,” OxiClean is environmentally friendly.

Therefore, people trust it over other cleaning product brands. Part of that has to do with its consistent green rating.

One question that often comes up is whether or not OxiClean is safe for septic tanks.

As discussed, it contains eco-friendly ingredients like sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate, which make it safe for use in homes with septic tanks.

As far as septic tanks are concerned, the problematic ingredient is phosphorus. Luckily, OxiClean products have no phosphorus, making them safe for septic tanks.

What Are the Ingredients in OxiClean?

Oxiclean is a popular cleaning product that aids in removing stains and brightening fabrics.

The main components of OxiClean are sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide, surfactants, polymers, fragrances, and dyes.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients and their role in the effectiveness of Oxiclean.

Sodium Percarbonate

Sodium percarbonate is the primary active ingredient in Oxiclean, accounting for 50 to 60 percent of the product’s composition.

When mixed with water, sodium percarbonate breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate.

This chemical reaction releases oxygen, which helps to loosen and remove stains from fabric.

Sodium Carbonate

Sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda, is a common ingredient in many cleaning products, including OxiClean.

It works by softening water, allowing other cleaning agents to work more effectively. Sodium carbonate also helps to break down greasy and oily stains on the fabric.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide, AKA oxygen bleach, is a powerful oxidizing agent that is formed when sodium percarbonate is dissolved in water.

Its primary function in Oxiclean is to break down and remove stains from fabric.

Hydrogen peroxide is safe and breaks down into water and oxygen, leaving no harmful byproducts.

Hydrogen peroxide has anti-inflammatory properties, and it is an eco-friendly cleaning solution.


Surfactants are substances that reduce the surface tension of water, allowing it to penetrate and clean fabrics more effectively.

They help to remove dirt and stains by lifting them off of the fabric’s surface and preventing them from redepositing on the fabric during the washing process.


Polymers are added to Oxiclean to improve its cleaning performance.

These compounds work by binding to dirt and stain particles, making it easier to rinse away from the fabric during the washing process.


Fragrances are added to Oxiclean to provide a pleasant scent during and after the cleaning process.

The exact composition of the fragrances used in Oxiclean is proprietary, but they are designed to leave fabrics smelling fresh and clean.


Dyes are added to Oxiclean to give the product its distinctive color. These dyes are safe and do not impact the cleaning effectiveness of Oxiclean.

The color also helps users visually confirm the product’s presence in their laundry or cleaning solution.

Sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate are the two primary ingredients in OxiClean products. Other OxiClean ingredients include C12-15 alcohol ethoxylated polymers and surfactants.

OxiClean ingredients are minerals that naturally occur and contain no harsh chemicals. Effectively, OxiClean products are effective cleaners with harmless compounds.

That said, all the ingredients in OxiClean products are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. These compounds combine to formulate a natural soda that doesn’t harm the environment.

Also read: How to Dispose of Rit Dye

Oxiclean Uses and Applications

Oxiclean is a versatile cleaning product that can be used for various applications around the house.

It contains sodium carbonate (washing soda) and hydrogen peroxide, which are safe and natural ingredients that effectively break down stains.

This makes Oxiclean a great alternative to harsh, toxic cleaners that often contain chlorine.

In this section, we will explore some of the primary uses of Oxiclean, focusing on laundry and stain removal, dishwashing, and kitchen cleaning, as well as mold and mildew removal.

Laundry and Stain Removal

Oxiclean is an excellent laundry additive, providing powerful stain-removing abilities without compromising fabric. It is particularly effective on organic stains such as:

  • Grass
  • Blood
  • Wine
  • Coffee

When using Oxiclean in your laundry, follow these simple steps:

  1. Pre-soak stained items in a mixture of warm water and Oxiclean for a few hours before washing.
  2. Add OxiClean to the detergent compartment of your washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent.
  3. Wash clothes as usual, following the care label instructions.

In addition to laundry, Oxiclean can also be used as a spot stain remover by applying a diluted solution directly to the stain and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. Then, gently scrub or blot the area to remove the stain.

Dishwashing and Kitchen

Oxiclean is not only useful in the laundry room but also in the kitchen. It can help remove tough stains and grime from various kitchen surfaces and appliances, including:

  • Countertops
  • Pots and pans
  • Tile floors
  • Sinks

To use Oxiclean in the kitchen, mix a small amount of the product with warm water to create a cleaning solution.

Apply this mixture with a cloth or sponge, scrubbing gently to remove stains and dirt. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward.

For dishwashing, simply add a scoop of OxiClean to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment, in addition to your regular dishwasher detergent.

This will help to break down any food particles and make your dishes come out sparkling clean.

Mold and Mildew Removal

Mold and mildew can be tricky and persistent problems in many households. Thankfully, Oxiclean can effectively combat these issues with the power of oxygen.

Mix OxiClean with water, following the package instructions, then pour the solution into a spray bottle to apply it to affected areas.

Let it soak in for a few minutes before scrubbing the surface with a brush or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water, and repeat the process if necessary.

The oxygenating action of Oxiclean will help to break down and remove mold and mildew, leaving your surfaces clean and fresh.

Also read: How to Dispose of Bleach?

Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate: How They Work

Sure, OxiClean products are used for breaking down grime and dirt to remove stains, but how does it happen?

When water acts on sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate, they enter the stain, thus loosening it.

The surfactants contained within OxiClean serve as detergents. These detergents are ion-neutral and produce minimal lather.

This means they can remove stains after the dirt and grime loosen.

OxiClean also contains polymers that bond with the grime and grease forming these stains, thus lifting them off materials like fabric, wood, plastic, and glass.

Are OxiClean and Bleach the Same?

Technically speaking, OxiClean shares properties with bleach, but it is most commonly used as an alternative to conventional bleach.

While they both are used to remove stains on delicate and fibrous fabrics, they contain different ingredients.

Clorox, chlorine bleach, and similar products have an ingredient called sodium hydrochloride, which is used only to attack the color in organic/inorganic stains.

On the flip side, OxiClean contains sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, and hydrogen peroxide.

These ingredients are used for breaking down the stain compounds while emulsifying the oils in the fabric.

Because they are made with different recipes and ingredients, bleach and OxiClean aren’t the same.

However, they are used as washing soda for stain removal, disinfecting harder surfaces, and brightening fabrics.

Also read: How to Dispose of Chlorine Tablets (the right way)

What if Oxiclean Is Ingested?

Sadly, many household cleaning products like those by OxiClean aren’t safe for ingestion, and that is mentioned on their packaging.

If you, your friend, or a loved one has ingested OxiClean or a similar cleaning product, your best bet is to seek medical attention right away.

Therefore, it is best to keep OxiClean and other cleaning products out of children’s reach. Some acute side effects of OxiClean exposure are as follows.

Skin: Skin irritation caused by prolonged exposure.

Eyes: Severe irritation and potential damage.

Ingestion: Potential burns in the throat, mouth, and stomach.

Inhalation: Potential irritation in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.

When using OxiClean and other cleaning products, make sure to wear gloves and also cover your face with a face mask.

That said, OxiClean mustn’t be ingested in any manner, whether through the nose or the mouth.

While it isn’t necessarily dangerous to breathe in or ingest, it is better to exercise caution.

Besides humans, it can irritate smaller animals like dogs and cats. These animals have smaller, weaker lungs and are likely to be affected.

Therefore, make sure to lock away your OxiClean products after use, as they could harm your pets.

Do OxiClean Products Break Down?

Like other organic materials, OxiClean tends to break down when left unused for a long time.

Prolonged air and water exposure breaks OxiClean into hydrogen peroxide or H2O2.

All of the ingredients in OxiClean tend to break down without leaving behind any toxic byproducts.

Also read: Can You Recycle Silicone?

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to OxiClean

By now, you must have understood that OxiClean is eco-friendly. However, it is still important to be aware of other eco-friendly alternatives to OxiClean, like the ones mentioned below.

Existing Oxiclean Products

Oxiclean is a popular line of cleaning products well known for their effectiveness in removing tough stains and brightening laundry. They offer various products, including:

  • OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover: This powder form can be used for laundry and general household cleaning. It effectively removes a wide range of stains, making it a versatile cleaning agent.
  • OxiClean Max Force Laundry Pre-Treater Gel Stick: Specifically designed for treating tough stains on clothes, this gel stick helps to loosen and remove stubborn stains before washing.
  • OxiClean Baby Stain Remover Spray: A gentle formula designed for removing stains on baby clothes and bedding, ensuring that your little one’s items are clean and safe.
  • OxiClean Laundry Stain Remover Spray: An easy-to-use spray that can be applied directly to stains on clothes, fabrics, and upholstery for quick and effective stain removal.

Alternative Cleaning Agents

If you’re looking for alternatives to Oxiclean, there are several other cleaning agents on the market that can be effective in removing stains and brightening your laundry.

Some of these alternatives include:

Sodium Hypochlorite

Also known as bleach, this powerful cleaning agent can be used for general household cleaning and laundry. However, it is not color-safe and can cause damage to colored fabrics or surfaces if not used with care.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Mixing equal parts of baking soda and white vinegar creates a natural cleaning solution that can help remove stains and freshen fabrics.

This is a budget-friendly and eco-friendly alternative to commercial cleaning products.

Baking soda has been used as a household stain-removing cleaning product for decades.

Baking soda serves as a multi-purpose cleaning product for removing hard stains from dishes, hard surfaces, and fabrics.

Baking soda creates a more effective cleaning paste when coupled with vinegar.

Distilled white vinegar serves as a viable alternative to OxiClean, especially when washing linens and white clothes.

In a container, add six parts warm water and one part of distilled white vinegar.

Submerge your white clothing in the mixture, and make sure every edge is perfectly drenched. Allow the clothes to sit in the water-vinegar mixture overnight.

Distilled white vinegar can also be used for cleaning dust stains from hard surfaces like tables, countertops, and glass windows.

You can also use cider vinegar as an alternative to OxiClean.

Lemon Juice

The natural acidity of lemon juice can help to break down and remove stains on a variety of surfaces.

Simply apply the juice directly to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse or launder as usual.

When washing clothes, all you need is a cup of lemon juice to add to the washer. White cotton socks have a habit of becoming dingy and stained.

Slice up a lemon, and add it to a pot of boiling water. Now, soak your dirty socks in the boiling lemon water.

Turn off the flame, and allow the socks to sit in hot lemon water overnight before washing.


This naturally occurring mineral can be used as a laundry booster to help brighten and freshen clothes.

It can also be mixed with water to create a versatile cleaning solution for general household cleaning.

Oxygen-Based Bleach

Unlike chlorine bleach, oxygen-based bleach effectively cleanses your clothes and is also 100% safe for the environment. It is known for its stain removal and whitening properties.

It can be used on a variety of washable fabrics, except wool, silk, and anything containing a leather trim.

While chlorine bleach eats up the color from dyed fabrics, oxygen-based bleach helps the fabric retain its color while removing the stains only.

To get the best results, soak your clothes for two hours in a tub containing a mixture of water and oxygen-based vinegar before washing.

Remember, powdered oxygen bleach is better than liquid ones. Liquid oxygen bleaches are helpful but not as effective as the powdered ones.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties used for stain removal and whitening clothes. Unlike chlorine bleach, it has a lesser environmental impact.

Exposure to light breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, which turns it into a biodegradable oxygen-based bleach.

To clean dirty laundry, add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to a laundry washer load. Hydrogen peroxide is safe for white and colored clothes.

You can either fill it up in your washer’s bleach dispenser or pour it slowly into the washer as the water fills in.

By doing so, you will mix it evenly into the water before soaking the clothes. It is worth noting that you must never pour hydrogen peroxide on colored clothing while it is dry.

Concentrated hydrogen peroxide can make your colored clothing lose color, leaving behind dark spots.

By considering the effectiveness, safety, and eco-friendliness of various cleaning agents, you can choose the best option to meet your specific needs.

Whether you opt for an Oxiclean product or an alternative, it’s essential to carefully follow usage instructions to achieve the best results and protect your fabrics and surfaces from damage.

Also read: How to Dispose of Hydrochloric Acid? The Safe Way!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Oxiclean Harmful to Humans?

OxiClean is generally considered safe for humans when used as directed. However, prolonged direct exposure and ingestion of the product can be harmful.

It is essential always to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take precautions, such as wearing gloves, to minimize skin contact.

Is Oxiclean Safe for Sensitive Skin?

OxiClean offers a Versatile Stain Remover Free variant that is free of perfumes and dyes, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.

However, it is still essential to conduct a patch test if you have extremely sensitive skin or a history of skin reactions to cleaning products.

Is Oxiclean Toxic to Cats?

Although OxiClean is not specifically labeled as toxic to cats, it’s essential to keep cleaning products out of your pets’ reach.

Ingestion or exposure to the product can cause irritation and potentially harm your pet.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep the area well-ventilated for the safety of your pets.

Is Oxiclean Safe for the Environment?

OxiClean’s primary ingredient, sodium percarbonate, breaks down into water, oxygen, and soda ash, which are environmentally friendly by-products.

However, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives some OxiClean products a low rating due to the presence of other ingredients that may be harmful to the environment.

Is Oxiclean Bad to Breathe In?

Breathing in OxiClean in small amounts is generally not harmful. However, prolonged exposure can affect the respiratory system.

It’s essential to use OxiClean in a well-ventilated space and consider wearing a mask if you’re using the product for an extended period or are sensitive to dust.

Does Oxiclean Contain Harsh Chemicals?

OxiClean’s main ingredient, sodium percarbonate, is a combination of hydrogen peroxide and washing soda.

While these ingredients are effective in removing stains, they are considered less harsh than traditional bleach or ammonia-based cleaning products.

However, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure the safe and effective use of the product.

Final Word

By now, we can confidently deduce that OxiClean is by no means toxic. It is eco-friendly and safe for our environment. However, exposure to OxiClean can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.

Ingestion of OxiClean can also result in irritation in the respiratory tract, the esophagus, and the stomach. Therefore, it is best to use gloves and face masks when using OxiClean.

Furthermore, it should be locked away after use and kept away from the reach of children and pets.

If you or a loved one ingests OxiClean, seek immediate medical attention. Different people have different levels of tolerance.

Therefore, it is important to be careful when handling OxiClean and similar cleaning products.

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