Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About BleachSeptember 2, 2020
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We’ve all seen bleach in the laundry aisle for whitening clothing but did you know that household bleach is a multi-purpose cleaning powerhouse that can be used in many applications? Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about bleach.
There is more than one formulation.
The most common form of bleach is chlorine bleach; this one is used to whiten whites and disinfect various surfaces around the house. A second form of bleach is called oxygen bleach; it’s actually safe for colored laundry but it also kills germs. The most common use for this form of bleach is to boost the brightness of colored fabric.
It’s smart to dilute it.
Concentrated bleach right from the bottle can be too strong for most applications around the house. It’s best to dilute it first. A good rule of thumb is to combine 3 tablespoons of bleach per 1 quart of water; this solution can be used to kill mold and mildew in the bathroom or kitchen.
Bleach does degrade over time.
After one year, the active ingredient in chlorine bleach degrades; this reduces its germ-fighting ability. If you mix bleach with water for cleaning, then the degradation process actually happens more quickly (within a few days.)
It’s an effective disinfectant.
A good idea for whole-house disinfecting is to make a solution that includes 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach per 1 quart of water. This will sanitize sinks and non-porous countertops.
Don’t mix it with other chemicals.
Bleach should never be mixed with products containing vinegar or ammonia. Combining bleach with vinegar or ammonia could produce chlorine gas, which is toxic at high levels.
Beware using bleach with fabrics.
Only use bleach with white clothing. To get rid of stains, create a solution of 3 tablespoons bleach per 1 gallon water. Bleach is typically safe for cotton, nylon and polyester.