In the spirit of randomness: Oxiclean
While I know that this may sound like an advertisement, it really is not intended to be. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that this product doesn’t work. However, that’s not actually true. The spirit of this article is intended to help people understand just how to properly use this product (and possibly other similar oxygen based laundry cleaners).
In the spirit
I’ve had some people actually ask me how I get my whites so white… and I thought that only happened in commercials. Well, after I started using OxiClean, that’s when it started happening. But, there is a trick to using this product. However, some people who’ve asked me what I use are usually also the ones who are quick to fire back, “It doesn’t work for me”. Yes, because you’re not using it correctly.
Regardless of what the commercials or packaging may tell you about this product, it really is only good at doing one thing: cleaning white cotton materials. It may work on colors to a degree, but probably no better than any other product on the market.
Ok, so what is the trick?
It’s very simple, the trick to using OxiClean effectively is hot water (the hotter the better) and time. OxiClean is most effective in hot water. In fact, it’s much more effective in hot water than bleach is in any temperature of water. OxiClean also doesn’t eat away at your clothes like bleach. But, you need to keep the water hot. Additionally, you need to give the garments adequate time to wash/soak. Running it in the shortest wash cycle will do nothing. For example, I have one of the European style front loading High Efficiency (HE) washers. When I place the dial to start on the Hot (regular) cycle, this cycle lasts at least 2 hours.
I then combine my regular tide HE detergent with about a half a cup of OxiClean and let it run the entire 2 hours with hot water. So, adding your standard detergent also helps the OxiClean.
But, but, but …
There’s no buts here. This product does work. Although, it doesn’t work without hot water. Don’t put it cold water washes. That’s a complete waste of OxiClean. So, if you have a garment that can’t tolerate hot water, there’s no point to using OxiClean as it won’t do much, if anything. This is probably why people generally think this product doesn’t work and is also the wrong way and reason to use it.
OxiClean works better the hotter the water is and the longer you let the garment soak. So, for heavily stained whites, you’ll want to let them soak at least 3 hours, if not overnight. For minimal to average discoloration, 1-2 hours should be sufficient to remove most stains.
Remember, use hot water and combine it with your longest hot water cycle (and your regular detergent) and your whites should whiten right up. The first time I used OxiClean like this, I realized that this would be the way I wash my whites from now on. I’ve been using OxiClean like this for at least 2 years now. No, it’s not the best product on the market for laundry overall, but it is the best product on the market for washing whites.