Using bleach in the laundry helps kill bacteria, brighten and remove stains from clothing. While this is a useful ingredient to include in your laundry routine, it is also a highly dangerous chemical if not handled carefully. You could even end up ruining your clothes if you fail to follow the directions pertaining to your garment’s color or fabric. Follow these safety tips to help you properly use bleach in your laundry without damaging your clothes.
- Always store bleach securely in your home, away from small children and pets
- Ensure you are using bleach in a well-ventilated room or outdoors
- Wear a plastic apron over your clothes and rubber gloves to avoid contact with bleach
- Never pour undiluted bleach directly onto clothes
- Refrain from repeated use of chlorine bleach as it can weaken fibers
Types of Bleach
Chlorine bleach is the most efficient at fighting stains and odors, but cannot be used on delicate fabrics such as silk or wool. It can weaken fabrics, resulting in fading or burning holes. Chlorine bleach should be used in your laundry to brighten your whites.
Oxygen bleach, or color-safe bleach, is much less toxic and safer than chlorine bleach. While it works much slower, it is gentle enough to be used on almost all fabrics. It works best for colored garments. For people who have sensitive skin, this is a good alternative to harsher chlorine bleach.
Tips for Using Bleach on Clothes
- Read the Labels: Always check your garment’s label before washing and treating stains. Also, read your bleach’s product label as well to make sure you are using it correctly.
- Start with a Test: Before you bleach your garment, use a 1:2 solution of bleach to water on the inside seam. If you see that the fabric has changed color, do not use bleach on this garment.
Maintain Safety: Never mix any type of bleach with ammonia or ammonia-based products. This combination can produce dangerous, potentially deadly toxic fumes.