Graphic: Shep McAllister5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “[Ask a Clean Person](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ask-a-clean-person/id996183661?i=1000382315226&mt=2).” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.
OxiClean is an oxygen bleach, which is different from chlorine bleach in that it’s safe to use on both whites and colors. The powdered formula (as opposed to the liquid and gel formula stain removers, or the laundry detergents the brand offers) is intended to be used in conjunction with laundry detergent in the wash, or dissolved and used as a pre-soaking agent for very badly stained or dingy textiles. But! There are several different formulas and it’s not always clear which one will best suit your needs. Until now, of course!
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover
The original OxiClean is a jack of all trades that’s appropriate for most laundry duties, though not always the absolute best choice.Graphic: Shep McAllister
When someone (okay, me) namechecks ‘OxiClean’ they’re most likely referring to this stuff, the OG standard formula. This, as the name plainly states, is the most versatile of all the Oxis. It can be used in laundry to remove stains and dinge from white- and light-colored items, or as a pre-soaking agent for badly soiled or stained clothing, sheets, towels, etc. It also has a number of other household cleaning uses, including and especially for use on tile floors to clean and brighten up grout.
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Best For Whites & Light Colors
OxiClean White Revive
If you’re looking for a product specifically to brighten up whites and light colored items — things like white t-shirts, duvet covers, towels, etc. — OxiClean’s White Revive formula is the stuff you want. While you can use a scoop in the wash alongside regular detergent to keep whites white, where the White Revive really shines is as a pre-soaking agent. Dissolve a scoop in a gallon of hot water and soak dingy or stained whites for 6 hours prior to laundering. One thing to note: While White Revive can be safely used on dark colors, it’s not recommended because the product contains optical brighteners that can lend darks a dingy, faded appearance over time.
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Best For Darks
OxiClean Dark Protect
Add OxiClean Dark Protect to your load of darks to keep them from fading. Just be sure to use cold water, and tumble dry on low (or air dry, better yet). Graphic: Shep McAllister
Perhaps you have a wardrobe entirely consisting of black and navy clothing? In that case, OxiClean’s formula designed to help preserve dark colors from fading in the wash is the stuff for you. In addition to using Dark Protect along with regular laundry detergent, wash dark clothing in cold water and dry on as low a heat setting as possible to help reduce the appearance of color loss.
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Best For Odor Elimination
OxiClean Odor Blasters
OxiClean Odor Blasters excels at removing that stubborn sweat smell from your workout gear. Graphic: Shep McAllister
People who spend a lot of time at the gym, SoulCycle, yoga, and so on know this problem well: That lingering sweat smell that can cling to otherwise clean workout gear. There are all kinds of solutions to this problem, including avoiding the use of fabric softeners on athletic clothing and low-heat or air drying, but the use of an odor-eliminating booster like OxiClean Odor Blasters can also help to remove odor-causing bacteria. It can also be used as a pre-soaking agent to remove stains.
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Best For Sensitive Skin
OxiClean Baby Stain Remover
OxiClean Baby is meant for common baby stains, but it’s great for anyone with sensitive skin that struggles with fragrant or dyed detergent. Graphic: Shep McAllister
You needn’t have a baby, or be a baby, to use OxiClean’s baby formula — though it is very good for parents to know about for removing typical baby stains like spit-up or diaper blowouts. If you have skin that is sensitive to fragrances and dyes, or a nose that simply doesn’t prefer the perfumes that are used in other OxiClean formulations, Baby Stain Remover is the stuff you want.
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