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Sodium Perborate vs. Sodium Percarbonate — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on December 6, 2023
Sodium perborate is an oxygen bleach compound used in detergents and cosmetics, while sodium percarbonate is a solid peroxide that releases hydrogen peroxide and is also used in cleaning agents.
Sodium Perborate vs. Sodium Percarbonate — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sodium Perborate and Sodium Percarbonate

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Key Differences

Sodium Perborate is a white, crystalline chemical compound that serves as an oxygen bleach in various cleaning products, particularly in detergents. On the other hand, Sodium Percarbonate is a chemical that, when dissolved in water, releases hydrogen peroxide, making it a popular ingredient in eco-friendly cleaning products and laundry detergents.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023
Both compounds are sources of active oxygen, which is why they are effective stain removers. Sodium Perborate, specifically, is often found in powdered detergents, acting as a stable source of active oxygen. Sodium Percarbonate, in contrast, is favored for its environmentally friendly nature, as it breaks down into water, oxygen, and soda ash.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023
While Sodium Perborate needs higher temperatures to activate its bleaching capability effectively, Sodium Percarbonate can work efficiently in cooler water. This makes the latter a more versatile cleaning agent, especially for cold-water washing.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023
Sodium Perborate exists in various hydrate forms, each with different water molecules attached to them. Sodium Percarbonate, however, is a simple combination of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, making its formulation straightforward.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023
Safety-wise, both chemicals should be handled with care. Sodium Perborate can release boron into the environment, which might be of ecological concern. Sodium Percarbonate, while generally safe and biodegradable, can still cause irritation upon direct contact or inhalation.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Chemical Composition

Contains borate ion
Combination of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Activation Temperature

Requires higher temperatures
Works effectively in cooler water
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Environmental Impact

Can release boron
Biodegradable and eco-friendly
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Form

Exists in various hydrate forms
Straightforward combination
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Dec 06, 2023

Common Use

Oxygen bleach in detergents and cosmetics
Eco-friendly cleaning products and laundry detergents
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Sodium Perborate

A white, crystalline chemical used as an oxygen bleach.
Many laundry detergents contain sodium perborate as a primary bleaching agent.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Percarbonate

A chemical compound that releases hydrogen peroxide when dissolved.
Sodium percarbonate is a primary ingredient in many eco-friendly laundry detergents.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Perborate

A compound often used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
The toothpaste's whitening effect was attributed to its sodium perborate content.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Percarbonate

Effective in removing stains, even in cold water.
With sodium percarbonate in the mix, cold-water washing became just as effective.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Perborate

Can have ecological concerns due to boron release.
Environmentalists raised concerns about the boron content in wastewater from sodium perborate.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Percarbonate

Can be an irritant upon direct exposure.
It's essential to wear gloves when handling pure sodium percarbonate to avoid skin irritation.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Perborate

An effective stain remover when activated at higher temperatures.
The stain was lifted after washing with warm water containing sodium perborate.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Percarbonate

An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional bleaches.
The brand highlighted its use of sodium percarbonate to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Perborate

Exists in various hydrate forms.
The manufacturer opted for monohydrate sodium perborate due to its higher stability.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Sodium Percarbonate

Decomposes into water, oxygen, and soda ash.
One of the advantages of sodium percarbonate is its benign decomposition products.
Fiza Rafique
Oct 19, 2023

Common Curiosities

Do both compounds release active oxygen?

Yes, both sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate release active oxygen, making them effective stain removers.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Are there environmental concerns associated with sodium perborate?

Yes, sodium perborate can release boron, which might be of ecological concern.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Is sodium percarbonate environmentally friendly?

Sodium percarbonate is considered eco-friendly as it decomposes into water, oxygen, and soda ash.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

What are the primary uses of sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate?

Sodium perborate is mainly used in detergents and cosmetics, while sodium percarbonate is used in eco-friendly cleaning products.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Which compound works effectively in cold water?

Sodium percarbonate can effectively work in cold water, while sodium perborate requires higher temperatures.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Is direct exposure to these compounds safe?

Direct exposure can cause irritation; it's advisable to handle them with care and use protective gear.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Which compound is commonly found in tooth whitening products?

Sodium perborate is often used in tooth whitening products.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Do both chemicals serve as bleaching agents?

Yes, both sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate act as bleaching agents in various products.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Can sodium percarbonate replace sodium perborate in all applications?

Not necessarily, as they have different properties and activation temperatures.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

What happens when sodium percarbonate is dissolved in water?

It releases hydrogen peroxide, making it a popular cleaning agent.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Are there any safety precautions to consider while using these chemicals?

Yes, avoid inhalation, direct contact, and ensure good ventilation when using products containing these chemicals.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Are these compounds biodegradable?

Sodium percarbonate is biodegradable, but sodium perborate can have ecological concerns due to boron release.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Which compound is more common in eco-friendly products?

Sodium percarbonate is more commonly used in eco-friendly products due to its environmental benefits.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

How are these compounds different in their chemical structure?

Sodium perborate contains a borate ion, while sodium percarbonate is a combination of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

Do they have any other industrial applications apart from cleaning?

While primarily used in cleaning, sodium perborate finds use in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and sodium percarbonate can be used in aquaculture to supply oxygen.
Fiza Rafique
Dec 06, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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