ALG's Journal

You will be assimilated...

I posted this in my natural groups but am posting it in a journal for my own references.



I was searching on google today trying to find a brand name of sodium percarbonate that could be found in pool stoors, lumber stores, or hardware stores in order to make homemade oxyclean, but  I didn't find that information

However, I learned something I hadn't can also buy a much purer (less water less need to use a lot for the same power) form of washing soda (also called soda ash) in pool stores under a brand name called pH Up or if you are lucky you can get it at a farmer's coop apparantly as soda ash.  What is even better is that you can MAKE washing soda simply by baking the baking soda.    

Yes, I said that right you can MAKE the stuff.

It never occured to me that washing soda is simply baking soda with water and some carbon dioxide burned off.  That's why it makes things rise when you bake with it! Duh.   Apparantly film developer hobbyists, clothing dyers, and salt water reef tank obsessive types know about this simple chemistry trick.

You simply get an enameled or pyrex container and spread out about an inch of baking soda and bake for two hours in a 400-450 degree oven (or on the stovetop).   Stirring from time to time.      This will create an anhydrous washing soda..which means you can use less of it than the stuff you can buy in the story because it doesn't contain as much water.    Once baked it must be kept in an airtight container or else it will reaborb water from the air.

It isn't recommendated to make a huge batch (you wouldn't want too much carbon dioxide released at once), but how much washing soda do you really need anyway?    Make enough for your purposes.   You can even buy baking soda in bulk.

Some other tidbits I found:

"Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) slowly turns into washing soda (Sodium Carbonate, a.k.a. soda ash) when heated above 140 degrees F. The carbon dioxide released is what makes things rise. If you heat baking soda to 350-400 degrees, it’ll turn into washing soda fairly quickly. "

"When you swirl the pot, it feels like it has liquid in it untill the gasses are gone. A sure way to tell is to weight the baking soda before and after. For every 168 grams of baking soda you will get 106 grams of anhydrous sodium carbonate. That's about 10 oz per pound."

"Use a stainless steel or Pyrex container. The lid should be a loose fitting one to allow gasses to get out. It's fun to watch the little volcanoes, but everything gets covered with powder if you do too much watching. "

"The temperature required is quite high (350-400F). You can use a stainless steel saucepan on the stove top. Put about an ounce in a pan and heat over the stove.  When the baking soda is hot enough, you will see little geysers of steam and carbon dioxide which are fun to watch, but which spray powder around.  Keep stirring until ALL of these jets stop. At this point you have sodium carbonate. WARNING: the pan gets VERY hot-much hotter than if you were boiling water. "


Homemade "Oxyclean"

I was thinking, why buy the pre-mixed diluted stuff if it is so easy to make?    I hate Oxyclean because it is a marketing gimmick.   I've never liked it and I hate the guy who sells it.  He shouts too much!   Hello, I'm not deaf.

So, in another thread I mentioned that oxyclean is just glorified washing soda.   It consists of sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium percarbonate (washing soda + hydrogen peroxide).  Sodium percarbonate is just a way to "hold" hydrogen peroxide as a stable powder rather than a liquid.    You can use a 1/2 cup of a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and 1/2 cup washing soda  to your dingy whites to similar effect.

I was googling and found that you can buy sodium percarbonate in pure form from a chemical supply company, or from a  pool supply story, or a hardware store that sells pools supplies, or janitorial supply.  As far as I can tell either it is sold as "sodium percarbonate" or under some brand name like "oxy-" something or "per-"something.  I imagine it varies store to store.

You can effectively make an oxy-clean product by mixing 50% washing soda and 50% sodium percarbonate.   You could make it as ultra concentrated or as economy as you like with no waste, no fillers, and no mystery ingredients.

Anyone care to look around their areas to see how much sodium percarbonate would be buying it pure and report on their findings?  An online sources sells it for $5 for 2lbs

Ecover non-chlorine bleach IS just pure sodium percarbonate.          Where I live it is $3.19 for a 400g box.   You can do 13-26 loads of laundry depending on if you use 1 or 2 tablespoons per regular load.  I generally don't mix things but if you wanted to, you could make a homemade oxyclean with Arm and Hammer Superwashing soda and Ecover non-chlorine bleach by mixing them about 50/50.  Remember not to use washing soda for wool.      


I also found this info:

1.  Ultra-Concentrated Oxygen Bleaches
Ultra-concentrated bleaches generally contain from 80-100% oxygen bleach (usually sodium percarbonate).  While the most expensive to purchase they are also the most effective products for bleaching and cleaning.  Ultra-concentrated products are more versatile in the type and severity of jobs they can tackle.  Simply, the more oxygen available for cleaning the better. (oxy boost, oxy power)

2.  Concentrated Oxygen Bleaches
Products sold in this classification generally contain 40-70% sodium percarbonate.  Infomercial sold oxygen bleaches which used to be sold as ultra-concentrated are now sold under this classification.  While now more reasonably priced they do not work as well on really tough cleaning jobs where a more concentrated product is needed. (oxy clean, oxy magic, oxygen8)

3.  Oxygen bleaches with additives and other cleaning agents 
One approach that some manufacturers have made is to add surfactants, additives, fillers, detergent builders and other cleaning agents.  These additives are used to maintain and assist the oxygen bleach's cleaning ability but lower the overall cost of use.  This is especially the case for products targeted for laundry use.  Generally these products contain 20-40% bleach.  (natural oxygen bleach, white wave, oxobrite)

4.  Cleaning products that contain oxygen bleach as an ingredient 
The vast majority of oxygen bleaching products fall into this category.  They include laundry and dishwashing detergents, toilet bowl cleaners, cleansers, deck and siding cleaners, concrete cleaners, carpet cleaners, etc.  Generally these products contain 25% or less oxygen bleach.  (bio kleen, ecover, seventh generation, oxiwash)


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Jan. 11, 2009 at 3:35 PM

Thank you for sharing !

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Jan. 11, 2009 at 3:46 PM

mmm Soda... oh Washing soda! Nevermind! LOL Thanks for posting this. Since Oxyclean is like 10 dollars for a huge thing of it I am going to be trying my hand at this.

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Jan. 11, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Amilee, you've done it again! 

Thank you so much for this information.  I'm tucking it away for a moment when I can get right on it & make up a batch of homegrown Oxy*Clean. 

Many thanks with hugs...Ceci  tea

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