Can You Mix Borax and OxiClean?

Can You Mix Borax and OxiClean?

Have you ever wondered if you can combine Borax and OxiClean for supercharged cleaning power? These popular laundry boosters offer stain-fighting benefits, but is mixing them in the wash safe and effective, or will it cause issues? When tackling tough laundry messes, using every weapon in your arsenal can be tempting. However, it’s essential to understand how the ingredients interact before haphazardly throwing in scoop after scoop of different cleaners. Find out if this dynamite laundry duo is recommended or best avoided. You may be surprised at the answer and handy tips for maximizing their cleaning superpowers correctly!

Executive Summary

Borax and OxiClean are both beneficial laundry-cleaning boosters and stain removers. It’s understandable to think that mixing these two products would provide even more stain-fighting power. However, combining Borax and OxiClean in the same laundry load is not recommended.

While these cleaners are effective individually, Borax and OxiClean have conflicting chemical properties that make them incompatible for mixing. The main issue is that Borax has an alkaline pH of around 9.5, while OxiClean is formulated to work best in a pH-neutral environment.

When you combine the alkaline Borax with OxiClean, it disrupts OxiClean’s critical pH-neutral setting. This alkaline environment prevents the OxiClean from activating properly and releasing its hydrogen peroxide bleach. So, you lose out on its full whitening and stain removal capacities.

Additionally, using Borax and OxiClean together can leave behind a harsh residue on clothing that can gradually cause damage over time. This is because neither is fully able to work as intended, resulting in incomplete cleaning chemical reactions.

The good news is you don’t have to miss out on the useful perks of Borax and OxiClean! The best approach is using them separately in different laundry loads for maximum effects. Add Borax to your whites and OxiClean to your color loads, adjusting amounts based on the size of the load and degree of soiling.

With some tweaking of your laundry routine, you can take advantage of Borax’s whitening power and superior stain fighting of OxiClean. Just be sure to keep their potential open by mixing them together. Appropriately employed on their own, Borax and OxiClean can be invaluable laundry-cleaning allies!

Executive Summary

Difference Between Borax and OxiClean

Borax and OxiClean are both commonly used laundry additives and stain removers. However, some key differences between these two products are important to understand. Knowing their distinct properties provides insight into how and if they can be used together effectively.

What is Borax?

Before learning how to use Borax for laundry, it helps to understand what it is. This natural mineral compound has many chemical properties, making it an effective fabric-cleaning booster.

Chemical composition

  • The chemical formula for Borax is Na2B4O7•10H2O
  • Also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate
  • Comprised of the elements boron, sodium, oxygen, and water

Natural origins

  • Mined directly from the ground, mainly from dried lake beds
  • Found in concentrated deposits in California, Turkey, and Tibet
  • Borax deposits are then refined for different commercial applications

Physical properties

  • It appears as a fine white powdery mineral
  • Crystalline structure with low solubility in water
  • Alkaline with a pH around 9.5

Cleaning uses

  • Natural bleaching, whitening, deodorizing, and stain-removal
  • Softens hard water to amplify sudsing and rinsing
  • Disinfects by killing bacteria, fungi, and molds

Safety considerations

  • It can be irritating to the skin and eyes in a concentrated form
  • Should not be ingested due to potential toxicity
  • Understanding what Borax is helps us understand how it works properly as a laundry booster.

OxiClean is a popular laundry additive known for its stain-fighting abilities. But what exactly is this cleaning booster made of? Understanding its key ingredients and properties provides insight into how OxiClean works.

Difference Between Borax and OxiClean

Key active ingredient

The main cleaning compound in OxiClean is sodium percarbonate.

  • Made up of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide
  • Provides controlled release of hydrogen peroxide when dissolved in water

Additional ingredients

OxiClean also contains:

  • Surfactants and detergents to loosen stains
  • Enzymes that break down proteins and oils
  • Sodium silicate to prevent dye transfer
  • Sodium carbonate for water softening

No harsh chemicals

  • OxiClean contains no phosphates, chlorine bleach, ammonia, or dyes
  • Considered environmentally friendly and biodegradable

Powder or tablet form

  • Sold as white granulated powder in cartons or plastic jugs
  • They are also available as coated tablets that dissolve in wash cycles

pH neutral formula

  • When added to water, OxiClean produces a neutral seven-pH solution
  • This allows its ingredients to activate most effectively
  • Knowing what makes up OxiClean provides a greater understanding of properly using it for laundry.

How They Work


  • Borax works as a laundry booster in several ways. Its alkaline pH helps lift stains, especially those from grease, oils, and bodily fluids.
  • The sodium tetraborate component acts as a natural bleaching agent to whiten and brighten fabrics. This makes it effective at restoring whites.
  • Borax softens hard water by binding to magnesium and calcium ions. This allows detergents to suds and rinses better.
  • It disinfects laundry by killing bacteria, mold, and fungi. This helps remove odors and prevent them from returning.
  • The abrasive crystals can help mechanically remove stubborn dirt and stains when used in a pre-treatment.


  • OxiClean’s sodium percarbonate releases hydrogen peroxide when dissolved, cleansing and whitening clothes.
  • The hydrogen peroxide acts as a stain-fighting oxidizing agent, breaking down and lifting organic stains.
  • Enzymes in OxiClean attack protein-based stains like food, sweat, and grass. Surfactants help loosen grease stains.
  • Sodium silicate captures loose dye molecules and suspends them to prevent transferred stains.
  • OxiClean enhances detergent performance by removing dirt and odors, returning brightness to fabrics.
  • It works best in warm or hot water, which accelerates the oxygen-based cleaning reactions.

So, in summary, Borax works through alkalinity, abrasion, and disinfecting, while OxiClean uses oxygen bleach, enzymes, and anti-transfer agents.

Safety Precautions

Taking safety precautions when using cleaning products like Borax and OxiClean is important. While extremely useful, these laundry additives can cause harm if improperly handled. Being aware of risks and taking preventative measures will allow you to use them safely.

Safety Precautions


  • Wear gloves to protect your skin from irritation or chemical burns. Rubber, latex, or nitrile gloves are recommended.
  • Wear eye protection like goggles to shield your eyes from splashes, which can damage the cornea.

Avoid mixing with other chemicals

Borax and OxiClean should only be mixed with water or laundry detergent.

  • Never mix or add to bleach, which creates toxic chlorine gas.
  • Do not mix with ammonia-based cleaners, which produce dangerous vapors.

Use proper ventilation

  • Use Borax and OxiClean only in well-ventilated areas.
  • Avoid breathing in any airborne powder by wearing a protective mask.

Store safely

  • Keep Borax and OxiClean tightly sealed and away from children and pets.
  • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Dispose correctly

  • Do not pour powder forms down the drain. Can accumulate and clog pipes.
  • Soak up spilled powder and dispose of it in the garbage.

With some basic safety practices, Borax and OxiClean can be extremely effective without putting you at risk. Remember, never mix or use other chemicals.

Bottom Line

When it comes to using Borax and OxiClean for laundry, the bottom line is that it’s best to keep these two products separate. Though both are useful cleaners and stain fighters, combining them reduces their effectiveness and can even cause damage.

Why not mix

  • Borax is alkaline, and OxiClean needs a neutral pH. Mixing disrupts their chemistry.
  • OxiClean won’t activate properly to release its whitening peroxide.
  • It can leave harsh chemical residues on clothes, leading to deterioration over time.
  • The combination provides only some added benefits compared to using it separately.

Use them effectively separately.

To gain the maximum cleaning power of Borax and OxiClean, use them independently:

  • Add Borax to whites and OxiClean to colors for enhanced effects.
  • Adjust amounts based on load size and level of soiling.
  • Always mix with water first and use gloves and eye protection.

Read product labels

Be sure to read the product labels and follow usage directions fully:

  • Check clothes care symbols for any fabrics that can’t be used with these products.
  • Adhere to amount recommendations and safety precautions.
  • Never use them on their own without detergent.

Used properly on their own, Borax and OxiClean can take your laundry cleaning to the next level. Just keep the process intact by mixing them together.

Bottom Line


What is Borax, and what are its laundry uses?

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a natural mineral compound. In laundry applications, it is often used as an alternative to bleach as a whitener, brightener, and odor remover. Borax helps remove stains on white fabrics and can help deodorize by killing odor-causing bacteria. It also acts as a water softener and detergent booster when added to laundry loads. While harsh as a stand-alone cleaner, small amounts of Borax can enhance cleaning and rinsing when added to laundry detergent. It is especially effective at lifting stains from laundry sourced from the body, like sweat and urine.

What is OxiClean, and what are its laundry uses?

OxiClean is a stain remover product containing sodium percarbonate as the active ingredient. When dissolved in water, it releases hydrogen peroxide, which acts as a powerful bleach and stain-fighting agent. OxiClean works well at lifting set-in organic stains like food, grass, wine, and blood. It can both remove staining and whiten fabrics by boosting your regular detergent. OxiClean needs a pH-neutral environment achieved through the detergent you pair it with for best results. It is most effective in hot or warm water temperatures. OxiClean adds stain-fighting and whitening abilities beyond typical laundry detergent alone.

Should Borax and OxiClean be mixed together in the washing machine?

Mixing Borax and OxiClean together in the same laundry load is not recommended. While both can enhance cleaning performance individually, combining them can actually make them less effective and cause issues:

  • Borax is alkaline with a pH of 9, while OxiClean needs a neutral pH of around 7 to work optimally. When combined, the alkaline Borax deactivates the OxiClean.
  • The combined residues can damage clothes fibers and elasticity with prolonged use. It is harsher than using either separately.
  • Adding Borax to OxiClean affects its controlled release of hydrogen peroxide for whitening and stain removal.

For the best results, Borax and OxiClean are better used separately in different loads of laundry.

How should you properly use Borax on laundry?

Use Borax in the following ways to benefit from its cleaning powers safely and effectively:

  1. Add 1⁄2 cup Borax to whites for deodorizing and whitening. Borax brings out the brightness in white clothes.
  2. For hand-washing stains, make a paste with Borax and cold water. Gently scrub onto the stained area and rinse.
  3. Boost your regular detergent by adding 1⁄2 tbsp per load. Aids in washing powders.
  4. Use with hot water to maximize its effects. The heat activates the Borax.
  5. Please don’t use it on delicate or colored clothes, which harshness can damage.
  6. Start with smaller amounts and increase slowly to avoid residues on clothes.

How should you properly use OxiClean on laundry?

Follow these tips when adding OxiClean to your laundry routine:

  • Add directly to machine drum before clothes for even distribution.
  • Use 1-4 tbsp per load, depending on size and soil levels.
  • Mix OxiClean with detergent so the pH is neutralized. Detergent allows controlled release of peroxide.
  • Add to wash cycle for stained or heavily soiled loads. OxiClean needs time to work.
  • Use in hot or warm water, which activates the hydrogen peroxide for maximum stain removal.
  • Pretreat badly stained areas with a paste of OxiClean and water. Allow to sit before washing.
  • Avoid using wool, leather, silk, or existing bleach stains, which can be damaged.
  • Don’t use OxiClean alone without detergent, as the pH will be too high.

Can you add both Borax and OxiClean during laundry?

You can still benefit from Borax and OxiClean in your laundry routine. The key is using them properly in separate cycles:

  • Use OxiClean on a white cycle to brighten and remove stains.
  • Use Borax on a colors or delicates cycle to deodorize and lift stains.
  • Alternate between them based on your laundry needs.
  • Adjust amounts downward if using on consecutive loads.

With some rotation between loads, you can take advantage of their respective cleaning superpowers without diminishing their effects by mixing them together.

By understanding the proper uses for Borax and OxiClean separately, you can incorporate them into your laundry routine for maximum cleaning results on different types of fabrics and stains. Used individually in moderation, they can boost your detergent without issues.

Related Video: Borax vs Oxiclean: What is the difference?

Final Thoughts

While Borax and OxiClean are both useful cleaners, mixing them together is not recommended. The alkaline Borax disrupts the intended neutral pH that OxiClean needs to activate properly. Using them separately as intended allows each product to tackle stains and whiten fabrics through its own cleaning mechanisms. With some adjustment to your laundry routine, you can still reap the individual benefits of Borax for deodorizing and OxiClean for brightening – don’t combine them in the same wash! Appropriately employed on their own, these two cleaning boosters can be powerful allies.

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