Chemistry help: sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate

I have a Breville automatic tea maker. The inside is glass, stainless steel, some other metal (aluminum possibly, it’s the tea basket) and a little plastic. I love it. But after a while even the stainless steel gets discolored from exposure to the tea.

With it came one packet of cleaner. One must heat a full pot of water to boiling, put in the contents of the packet, which foams up, leave it for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. This works really well. However, it is an expensive cleaner, with shipping it costs around $3.50 per packet when ordered online. The packet says the contents are sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate.

So, I’m wondering why this is so expensive, and if there is a good substitute that is both safe and effective.

Or could I buy these ingredients in bulk and make my own? 10 pounds of sodium percarbonate costs $21.50 plus shipping, and the same amount of sodium carbonate costs $19.50 plus shipping. This would be a several lifetime supply, for the cost of maybe 10 packets of the finished product.

That sounds identical to OxiClean which, while not as cheap as the bulk ingredients, is certainly much cheaper than $3.50 a packet. The actual active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, which is bound up in the sodium percarbonate and released on exposure to water. I’d say just grab a container of unscented, powdered OxiClean.

Perhaps this is a good alternative? Much cheaper and still meant specifically for tea stains.

Both excellent seeming suggestions. I’ll try the OxiClean first, since I can pick it up locally. Thanks.

You can make sodium carbonate from sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda). Just spread it on a baking sheet and bake it for about an hour at 450 F. If you want a solution of sodium carbonate, just add baking soda to boiling water and stir until it quits fizzing.

You can also get a solution of sodium carbonate by dissolving bicarbonate. The solutions you get by dissolving m moles of carbonate and by dissolving the same amount in moles of bicarbonate are actually the same, a buffered solution including both. It’s not possible to have a solution which will have only one of the two anions.

I have used sodium percarbonate for all sorts of cleaning for decades. I started when I had kids and discovered that the sterilizing stuff for their bottles got stains off cookware and food containers. A little study showed that percarbonate breaks down into harmless things. A little comparison shopping showed that really cheap brands of laundry powders are available that contain n other active ingredient and I was away.

At work at the end of the week we chuck all the cups and coffee making gear in the sink with a spoonful or two of Aldi Di San pre treatment soaker (same stuff I use in my washing machine). On Monday we rinse them all. They are cleaner than if they had been through a dishwasher.

The Australian soapy water industry has just applied to have you declared an enemy of the state.
Well played Sir!

Denture cleaner tablets also work well.

Sodium bicarbonate and sodium hydrogen carbonate are synonyms.

Here is the balanced equation for the reaction. The CO[sub]2[/sub] given off is what makes baked goods rise when NaHCO[sub]3[/sub] is used as baking powder.

2 NaHCO[sub]3/sub + heat —> CO[sub]2/sub + H[sub]2[/sub]O(g) + Na[sub]2[/sub]CO[sub]3/sub