The Biggest Mistakes You're Making Using Oxiclean

Whether it's by accident or on purpose, day-to-day life can get messy. If your activities include rolling around freshly cut grass, enjoying chocolate ice cream in your favorite white shirt, or just living as a human being in a dirty world, chances are that you've encountered some tough stains. Luckily there are plenty of products on the market that can get rid of those blemishes so you can go into your next day smudge-free.

If you are afraid of making cleaning mistakes with chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach, then maybe a brand-name product is right for you. Oxiclean has been busting stains for over 20 years and impressing the masses with how they make dirt disappear in their almost magic-like commercials. The product uses a powerful combination of stain-removing ingredients, including sodium carbonate and percarbonate, and of course, oxygen bleach. As opposed to chlorine bleach which is fairly abrasive, oxygen bleach has the ability to slowly lift tough stains while also being less harmful to the environment, according to The Spruce.

Oxiclean is not limited to just getting tough dirt and grease out of your clothing, and it can also be used to clean your carpet, patio, garbage cans, and even hard-to-tackle grout grime. However — like any household product — you have to be careful how you use Oxiclean to make sure you don't harm yourself or damage the items you are trying to keep clean. Here are some of the biggest mistakes you could be making using Oxiclean.

Not wearing protective wear

Oxiclean can help to rid your clothing, carpets, and other items around the home of a wide variety of stains. But — just like any bleach-like product — you need to take extra care to avoid making any detrimental mistakes. First and foremost, make sure you wear proper rubber or latex cleaning gloves when using this product. Chemicals such as sodium carbonate and sodium percarbonate can cause skin irritation if you are in contact with it for a long time. If you use Oxiclean to scrub a stain from your carpet or clean up the grout in a tiled shower, you may also want to wear protective eyewear and a face mask. According to BISM, the ingredients that make up Oxiclean can cause serious injury if breathed in, swallowed, or gets in your eyes.

As well as wearing protective equipment, make sure the area where you are using the product is adequately ventilated, either by opening a window or running a fan with the doors open. This can help to alleviate any dust from the Oxiclean getting into the air and entering your lungs or getting in the eyes, which could cause irritation. If the product is splashed in your eyes, accidentally ingested, or is causing skin discomfort, it is recommended that you immediately wash out the area thoroughly with water then seek medical help if needed. In case of an emergency, call 911 or contact poison control at 1-800-222-1222.

You can't use Oxiclean to clean everything

It may seem like a miracle how Oxiclean promotes being able to tackle "almost every stain-fighting need you have," however, there are a number of things that you should absolutely not use the product on. Although Oxiclean ingredients are very useful at removing tough to get out stains from your clothing like grass, makeup, dirt, and even grease, there are a few types of fabric that you should keep away from the cleaner. The Environmental Working Group warned that materials such as silk, leather, and wool should not be cleaned with Oxiclean. Instead, you should follow the recommended washing instructions on the label or have them dry-cleaned. If you are unsure what kind of reaction Oxiclean could have on a garment or when cleaning your carpet, always try a tester spot before you do a full clean. This will ensure that you don't make any unfixable mistakes.

When it comes to cleaning the gunk off of certain metals, just be wary that you aren't leaving Oxiclean on it for too long. Once you have removed any build-up from the item, make sure to thoroughly rinse the area after you are done cleaning. This will help avoid any oxidization of the surface, leading to the formation of rust. Also, avoid the temptation to clean your precious jewelry with Oxiclean. Again, the reaction of chemicals could tarnish and ruin your valuables. Instead, opt for other methods of correctly cleaning your jewelry.

Do not mix Oxiclean with other household chemicals

As a rule of thumb, you should never mix any household chemicals together unless you have properly read the warning labels and are absolutely sure it is safe. In the case of chlorine bleach — which is a typical household cleaner — if it comes into contact with an ammonia-based acid like vinegar, it could release chlorine gas which can be incredibly dangerous, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Exposure to chlorine gas could cause irritation to the throat and eyes, extreme nausea, breathing difficulties, and could even result in death.

When using Oxiclean, you should always read the warnings on the label before performing any kind of cleaning with the product. This will ensure that you are using the cleaner properly in order to wield the best results. When you are done using Oxiclean, be sure to tightly close the container and store it in a cool, dry area. It should also be kept away from other chemicals to avoid any kind of reaction and be out of the reach of children and pets to avoid close contact or possible ingestion.