If your home is constructed from red cedar siding, you may have noticed that it has discolored over the years. The black or darken spots that you see on your siding are usually caused by natural mold growth. This is because the most commonly used oil based stains contain substances which can actually feed the mold. Although you may be tempted to use the chlorine bleach you have in the laundry room to clean these mold growths off your siding, oxygen bleach may be a much better choice. Here's why.
Oxygen Bleach Is Safer
Oxygen bleach is composed of natural soda ash or natural borax and hydrogen peroxide. When combined with water this compound releases oxygen that can be used for cleaning and bleaching. This family of bleach can usually be found in three different forms. They are:
- Hydrogen Peroxide -This is found in liquid form and can be used to disinfect, deodorize, and sanitize. It can also be used as a oxidizer used for whitening and bleaching.
- Sodium Perborate - This is in powder form and when combined with water is most commonly used in household and cleaning products. This dissolves the best in water. This form is most effectively used in cleaning your cedar siding. In it's purest form it contains 13-14% oxygen.
- Sodium Percarbonate - Also in powder form and most commonly used in your laundry or dish-washing products. It is comprised of 10-15% oxygen.
When the product breaks back down into the natural product once the oxygen is released. This makes it safe to be used around plants and animals.
Oxygen Bleach Is Non-Damaging
Both chlorine and oxygen bleach have great anti-microbial qualities that allows them to clean and disinfect the surfaces they are applied to. Unfortunately, even in small amounts chlorine bleach eats away at the material it is applied to and in the case of your cedar siding, it can weaken your wood's fibers.
This is not the case for oxygen bleach. It is safe to be used on almost any type of material for extended periods of time without causing any damage. It will clean but it will not strip, or fade your siding.
Oxygen Bleach Is Shelf Stable
Because it is in powder form, you can use as much or as little as you need at a time and then store the dry power until you need it again. It can be kept for an extended period of time without it losing any of it's effectiveness.
Oxygen bleach is a good all-purpose mixture that will be able to clean all of your outdoor stains and mildew. As with any cleaning product, make sure that you spot check a small piece of your siding prior to applying it to your whole house.