Sodium Percarbonate (DeeAnna please help!)

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Saponista

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I just contacted a chemical supplier as I wanted to purchase sodium Percarbonate to add to homemade laundry powder along with co soap and washing soda. He already lets me have cheap small quantities of washing soda so I thought the Percarbonate would be fine. He was really weird about it, said it was massively dangerous and explosive and that people used it to make bombs so he wasn't willing to sell me any. He also said something about it being very reactive with salt so if I did buy some from somewhere else to be really careful with it. Now I have found a supplier of Percarbonate, but the conversation with him has left me rattled. What if I inadvertently mix it with something I'm not supposed to and explode myself!!!! I would love a chemists explanation of why it's so dangerous and what not to mix it with (things that I might put in laundry powder) to make sure I stay safe. I have seen it as an ingredient in store bought laundry powder containing washing soda and soap so how dangerous can it really be?
 

DeeAnna

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I suspect it is the purity of the sodium percarbonate (SPC) that your chem supplier has that is the key issue -- he's probably got the really pure chemical intended for industrial use and his knowledge about high-purity SPC is fueling his concerns.

Oxyclean and its clones have SPC in them, that's true, but the SPC is mixed with other ingredients and the other ingredients would lessen the chemical reactivity of the SPC. Why not stick with an SPC blend like Oxiclean or one of its clones? From what I can gather on a quick look, oxygen bleaches intended for laundry use contain somewhere between 10% to 50% SPC. Industrial forms of SPC are in the range of 85% SPC -- quite a bit stronger.

Some tidbits from this source: http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Sodium_percarbonate#section=Eye-Hazard
"...Decomposes on contact with water. This generates fire and explosion hazard...."
"...the powder was considered a severe irritant...."
 
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