Many of you have known and probably used some form of oxygen bleach/sodium percarbonate as a stain remover on your clothes and furnishings. It is little known that it can be used with great effect in the garden as a moss and algae killer, with the added benefit of being a very efficient eco cleaner.
The proper name for oxygen bleach is sodium percarbonate. Despite it’s technical sounding name, it is an environmentally safe product.
It is NOT a chlorine bleach, Chlorine bleaches are corrosive and toxic!
When mixed with water, sodium percarbonate releases oxygen – and lots of it!
This naturally breaks down dirt, odours, bacteria and fungus.
How Sodium Percarbonate can be used in the Garden.
Moss and Algae attach themselves to surfaces like wood and tarmac by tiny hair-like structures called rhizoids. Sodium percarbonate breaks these rhizoids, effectively cutting off the moss and algae’s support system.
Try not to use a pressure washer to remove moss, this just increases the chance of the moss returning. Simply spray or sprinkle Tarmac, Drives and Paths with Sodium Percarbonate to kill moss completely.
Organic matter like algae is broken down which makes sodium percarbonate an effective and inexpensive method for cleaning indoors and out. Some of the best ways to use it are:
- Cleaning wooden garden furniture
- Algae killer on patios
- Kills algae in ponds and water features Further Reading
- Cleaning Decks
- Lifting Bird muck
- Killing Moss on Tarmac, Drives, Patios and Paths
- Moss Killer for Tiled and wooden Roofs
- Sanitising pots
- Stain remover
- Kills Moss on Tennis Courts
- Cleans Artificial surfaces
- Tile Grout Cleaning
- Worktops (Except solid wood worktops, as they have usually been treated with Danish oil)
- Put half a teaspoon in a tea or coffee stained cup and fill with warm water, leave then rinse. The cup will be as clean as the day you bought it.
- Do not use on pure or untreated wool, silk or leather.
What else can Oxygen Bleach be used for?
We always have a bag of Sodium Percarbonate handy, It can be used together with other detergents and improves their performance. We use a scoop in our laundry, a scoop in our bucket when we mop the floors. It is great for deodorising bins, septic tanks, cleaning dishwashers, washing machines, de-staining tea and coffee cups/pots and general sterilising.
Oxygen Bleach in action.
Sodium Percarbonate comes in powder form and needs to be mixed with warm water. This creates a bubbly reaction so if you are using it in a sprayer you need to be careful not to mix up too much at one time. Spray all over and leave for 10 to 15 minutes, you will see the oxygen lifting the dirt, use a brush for very soiled areas and then simply rinse with the hose.
If you are treating moss on roofs we have found that simply spraying the oxygen bleach on and just leaving it is very effective. After 2 – 3 days the moss blackens, loosens it’s grip and gets washed down by the rain.
- Sodium Percarbonate can be used with other detergents
- Use a capful in your washing machine to keep your whites whiter and coloureds brighter!
- Mix 30 grams with 1 litre of warm water
- Spread by hand use approximately 50 grams per square metre.
- Sometimes the mix leaves white mineral deposits on the cleaned area. This will disappear after rain or an extra rinse, it is not permanent!
- Always try a small test patch first.
- One of the advantages of this great natural product is that it does not affect plants or grass as a commercial chemical would. If you over spray near these you have no need to worry!