Today, environmental awareness has increased exponentially compared to a few years ago, and the number of people who care about the impact their daily actions have on our planet is constantly growing. Even actions such as doing laundry or cleaning our house can cause significant damage if you do not use environmentally friendly detergents, but fortunately there are effective and economical solutions, such as the increasingly used sodium percarbonate. Let's see together everything there is to know about this magic component or almost.
What is sodium percarbonate
Those who are familiar with chemistry know that sodium percarbonate is the compound resulting from an addition reaction of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. At room temperature it appears as a colorless solid compound that does not contain any type of enzyme, surfactant or optical brightener, nor any type of allergen or phosphorus. Sodium percarbonate has the ability to decompose in water without having any kind of impact on the environment from the point of view of pollution and this aspect, combined with its whitening, sanitizing and stain removing, disinfecting, antifungal and antibacterial properties, makes it perfect as an eco-friendly alternative to household detergents, dishes and laundry.
What sodium percarbonate is used for
Unknown to most until a few years ago, today sodium percarbonate is increasingly used in the detergent industry as an environmentally friendly and non-irritating alternative to sodium perborate. It is not only the detergent industry, however, that has increased its interest in sodium percarbonate.
Those who have chosen to say goodbye to pre-packaged products in favor of do-it-yourself compounds for home and laundry cleaning have found sodium percarbonate to be the perfect solution to their needs: not only does it not pollute, but it is also economical and can really replace a variety of products, from stain removers to sanitizers, from fabric softeners to anti-limescale.
The properties of sodium percarbonate
The success of sodium percarbonate is linked to its numerous properties that make it the perfect ally even at home. As we have already said, it is a real ecological whitener that also has a cleaning and sanitizing action. Contrary to the more traditional whiteners, defined as optical whiteners because they only create a whitening effect by modifying the wavelength of UV rays to make the reflected spectrum of blue richer and giving us only the impression of a brighter white, sodium percarbonate is able to naturally whiten fabrics because in contact with water it breaks down into calcium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide.This reaction occurs already at 30 degrees and this aspect makes sodium percarbonate also suitable for washing at low temperatures, thus increasing savings and reducing the impact on the environment even more. And its effectiveness is not limited to white garments: sodium percarbonate acts on stains and is able to revitalize the colors of fabrics and give them a natural brightness. To its whitening properties are added those sanitizing and stain removing, but the sodium percarbonate boasts
also disinfectant, antibiotic and antibacterial properties depending on the dosage and its concentration.
How to use sodium percarbonate
Used alone or in combo with other eco-friendly detergents, sodium percarbonate promises miracles. Let's see how to use it at home in total safety, remembering that it is not recommended to use it on woolen, linen, leather or silk clothes.
- In the washing machine. Insert a tablespoon of sodium percarbonate directly into the basket of the washing machine, alone or in addition to detergent, and proceed with a normal washing program at a temperature of at least 30°, although for greater effectiveness we recommend washing at 50°-60° depending on the fabrics to be washed.
- Hand washing. Add a tablespoon of sodium percarbonate to laundry soaked in warm water (30° or more) and proceed to hand wash. Also in this case it can be used together with an ecological detergent or alone.
- Pre-wash or difficult to remove stains. If it is necessary to pre-treat clothes or to remove stubborn stains, it is advisable to soak the clothes with a tablespoon of sodium percarbonate for a maximum of 2 hours in case of white clothes and for a maximum of one hour in case of colored clothes. Then proceed with machine washing
- Dishes: For washing in the dishwasher, instead, it is possible to put a spoon of percarbonate directly in the dishwasher - alone or in addition to the normal detergent to increase the washing power - and proceed with a program without pre-washing.
- House cleaning. Sodium percarbonate is perfect for cleaning all surfaces in the home, from tiles to stoves, from kitchen countertops to bathroom fixtures. We can prepare a sprayer by dissolving 2 tablespoons of percarbonate in half a liter of water and use it like any other detergent. To wash floors, instead, we dissolve a tablespoon of percarbonate for every liter of water used, better if warm or hot, and proceed to clean as we would with another detergent.
- Washing machine care: Add the dose directly into the empty drum and start a wash at 60°, without pre-washing.
Where to buy sodium percarbonate
Compared to a few years ago, sodium percarbonate is becoming more and more popular even in the largest Italian supermarkets with a greater range of products compared to neighborhood stores. Alternatively, it is possible to find sodium percarbonate, also marketed as whitening percarbonate or more simply percarbonate, at:
- Housewares and household cleaning products stores
- Bulk product stores
- Natural products stores
- Organic product stores
- Suppliers of products for cosmetics and self-production
If you don't have a physical store stocked with sodium percarbonate on hand, online you will be spoiled for choiceboth in powder form and in convenient single doses.