3
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Background

Another thread discusses how to disinfect laundry. This may be useful if someone in the home has a fungal infection (e.g. athlete's foot) or if it's full of feces or vomit or blood.

An answer there includes a list of about half a dozen recommendations. One of these recommendations is: "Whenever you do laundry, use activated oxygen bleach."

Activated oxygen bleach

An activated oxygen bleach (AOB) is any product which contains both oxygen bleach and an activator. These ingredients may be included as part of a laundry detergent, or they may be part of a standalone "color-safe bleach" product.

I spent quite a while searching online to try to find a product which contains an activator; but, at first, I didn't find one.

Common bleach activators

Wikipedia says that the most common activator used in Europe is tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED).

It adds that the most common activator used in the US is sodium nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate (NOBS).

My question

What's a commonly-available laundry product (a detergent or an oxygen bleach) which is labeled as containing some specific bleach activator?

"Labeled" means one of two things:

A) The box or webpage includes an ingredients list, and one of the ingredients is a known bleach activator.

B) Or the box or webpage mentions the chemical name of the actual activator which is used in the product.

1
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Summary

OxiClean products don't contain a bleach activator, so they aren't very good at disinfecting laundry.

Here are a few popular products which include activated oxygen bleach:

In the US, you can use Tide Mountain Spring powder, or probably any other Tide powder. No pre-soaking is necessary. Do not use Tide liquid or Tide gel packs.

In the UK, you can use Persil Biological powder or Fairy Non-Bio powder. You must set your machine to 30 °C or higher. Most power products in Europe contain TAED. No liquid detergents or gel packs contain an activator in Europe or North America.

Details follow.

I think you must buy powder

You can buy a powder, a tablet, or a self-dissolving film-coated pack which contains a solid portion. But you can't buy a liquid detergent.

This source says:

"Powders have more bleaching technology than liquids, and can go after particulate soils better," says Elaine Cella, principal researcher for Tide. "In powder we can put in non-chlorine bleach, which you can’t put into a liquid, because it deteriorates too quickly."

(But, the source seems to imply, liquid detergents are best at dealing with food, body oils, and other greasy soils.)

In the US and Canada

NOBS

NOBS is the best bleach activator commonly available in North America. It produces the active chemical pernonanoic acid in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. But most laundry products don't use it. Originally, the product was made exclusively for Tide's manufacturer, Procter and Gamble, but even though this is no longer the case it has not been introduced into formulas by other manufacturers.. It works fine in both warm and hot water.

I visited the P&G ingredients site. It looks like many (maybe all) Tide powders include a bleach activator. For example: Tide Mountain Spring powder includes the activator NOBS. (The liquid does not; don't use it.)

I checked the ingredients list for a few Gain powdered detergents. Ultra Gain with Oxy powder (Icy Fresh Fizz) includes NOBS. All other Gain powders, including "Ultra Gain" and "Ultra Gain with Febreze", lack an activator; don't buy them.

TAED

TAED isn't as soluble as NOBS but in the washing machine in the presence of hydrogen peroxide released from sodium percarbonate in the detergent, it dissolves quickly to produce the active bleaching and disinfecting chemical peracetic acid.

Everyone agrees that TAED works fine in hot water and it is now claimed that good performance is achieved in water as low as 15 °C.

In warm water? This source says that TAED works at 40 °C and above. In the worst-case scenario, if your cold-water supply can fall to 0 °C, your washing machine's "warm" water setting can produce water as cold as 25 °C. So I don't know whether or not TAED is always a good choice for warm-water clothes washing. This source gives me doubts about TAED's solubility. But, since the "warm" setting is usually significantly warmer than 25 °C, and since this source implies that it dissolves fully in 25 minutes even at 20 °C, therefore it may be fine to use TAED in warm water if you do the following:

Start your top-loading washing machine's "wash" cycle and let it agitate for a few minutes, then pause the machine and let it soak for ten minutes before continuing.

Or, of course, you can just set your machine to 40 °C. (Source.)

Clorox 2 Stain Remover & Color Booster powder contains TAED. Clorox 2 Stain Remover & Color Booster packs are self-dissolving film-coated packs which are made up of a liquid portion and a dry portion. These packs contain TAED. But Clorox 2 Oxi Max powder lacks TAED; do not buy it. In Canada, Clorox 2 Stain Fighter powder contains TAED.

Resolve in-wash stain-remover powder (only available in Canada) also contains TAED.

Henkel introduced Persil Proclean into the US market in 2015. The powder variants contain TAED.

Do not buy

OxiClean powder isn't a detergent; it's a color-safe bleach. I visited the Church & Dwight ingredients page. I checked the ingredients list for regular OxiClean powder; it doesn't contain any activator.

I checked the ingredients table for Walmart's store-brand Great Value Oxi stain remover powder. It doesn't include any activator either.

I checked an ingredients list for "Ultra Purex Powder Detergent with Renuzit"; I found it on the Environmental Working Group website. It doesn't appear to contain any activator.

It looks like the US Sun powders don't contain any activators. I'm sure that the Canadian Sunlight powders don't contain any: I checked all of them.

In the UK

Most powder detergents in Europe contain TAED.

I didn't do that much UK-related research, since I don't live in the UK. But I did check the ingredients list for Persil Biological Powder. It contains the activator TAED. Bold 2-in-1 washing powder granules vary. For example, "Lavender & Camomile Advanced Performance" includes TAED, but regular "Lavender & Camomile" lacks it. All Fairy Non-Bio washing powder granules include TAED, whether "Advanced Performance" or not.

Notes

Activated oxygen bleach will gradually fade many colored garments over time. (Source.)

If you're using cold water, use a Japanese detergent which contains LOBS or DOBA instead. (Source.). These detergents are primarily designed to clean oily stains like collar stains.

Finding other options

If you want to find other options: It may be helpful to do a Google search, using your country's Google search engine, for the strange-looking query [ laundry detergent with bleach activator ingredients ]. This was helpful for me.

A request

Please do edit this post, improve it, and add more information to it.

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