How to Use Bleach in Laundry

Learning how to properly bleach clothes can help you disinfect fabrics, whiten whites, as well as remove stubborn stains effectively and with ease. You can follow some general steps to use bleach on clothes, but your washing machine and bleach package may provide more specific instructions.

Remember that bleach is used as a diluted stain removal solution or in the washing machine and not used in the dryer.

What Are The Types Of Bleach Available?

For starters, there are two basic versions of bleach; hydrogen peroxide (non-chlorine based) and chlorine-based. The first can be mixed with soap powder and diluted with water, to ensure better washing of clothes and other items placed in the machine.

Because they are less aggressive, they can be used in white and colored clothes. Meanwhile, the chlorine-based product is also known as bleach, it is more abrasive and does not go well with patterned/colored and varied fabrics.

Types Of Bleach To Use In The Laundry Room

There are two main types of liquid bleach for use with clothing. It’s important to understand what kind of bleach you’re using so you don’t ruin your fabrics. Read the product package carefully to determine the type of bleach you’re putting on your clothes.

Chlorine-Based Bleach Or Bleach

Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner

Chlorine-based bleaches can only be used on white clothes. As it is a strong and abrasive product, it removes stains and lightens clothes, especially sheets, towels, white shirts, white pants, etc. this is an all exclusively white bleach.

When washing white clothes, it is worth noting that this bleach, as it is very abrasive, should be used with great care, as its constant use can corrode the fabric.

Bleach Based On Hydrogen Peroxide Or Chlorine-Free Bleach


Chlorine-free bleach is less aggressive; it is a great option to remove stains on colored pieces, which is its primary function. As it is made from hydrogen peroxide, it releases oxygen micro-particles when mixed with water. These micro-particles penetrate the dirt on the fabric and help to remove the stain very efficiently.

Let your clothes soak for a period longer than thirty minutes, and rub from time to time, the action of chlorine-free bleach takes a longer duration. After soaking, you can then complete the process with a hand or machine wash.

If you decide to apply the bleach directly to the stain, do not let the product dry, rinse, to avoid damage to the fabric.

Colored clothes washed with non-chlorine bleach should always dry in the shade to prevent them from fading easily.

Bleach based on hydrogen peroxide or without chlorine is less aggressive to clothes, does not damage the fabric fiber, and can even have a longer shelf life.

How To Use Bleach On Your Fabrics (Step By Step Guide)

How to use in washing: Use the proportion of 10 liters of water to 100 ml of chlorine bleach.

Soak the white garment you want to lighten in a mixture of water and bleach, do not add other abrasive products. Wait for about 30 minutes and then rub from time to time. You can finish the process with a complete hand or machine wash.

It can also be used in house cleanings, like cleaning dirty surfaces, whitening your sofa leathers, can act as a good disinfectant, killing germs and bacteria, it is also very suitable for washing drains and toilets.

Color Resistance Test

Before using bleach on clothing that is not all-white, test the color fastness of the fabric. This is recommended for both types of bleach.

  • Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of bleach with 1/4 cup of water. Use the hottest water the fabric will allow.
  • Place your garment on a hard surface that will not be affected by bleach.
  • Expose a hidden part of the item, such as the inside of the hem.
  • Dip a part of a cotton swab into the bleach mixture.
  • Place a drop of the bleach mixture in any remote spot on your fabric.
  • After a minute, blot the bleach stain with a white cloth until dry.

If the item’s color hasn’t changed, you can safely use bleach.

Steps To Use Bleach As A Stain Remover On Patterned Clothes

Bleach is a common tool used to remove stains from fabrics. It can help remove yellow stains from clothes or remove tougher stains like ink stains. If you want to use bleach as a stain remover for clothes, it is always necessary to dilute it with water.

Step 1: Wear Protective Clothing

You don’t need to use any special equipment when working with bleach, but it’s recommended that you don’t ruin the clothes you’re wearing or damage your skin. Before working with bleach, put on some clothes you don’t like. That way, if you spill or spill the bleach, it won’t make a difference if your current clothing becomes discolored.

Step 2: Mix A Solution Of Non-Chlorine Bleach And Water

To use bleach as a stain remover, it is best to soak the entire product in a solution of bleach and water. You can add about 1/4 cup of regular liquid non-chlorine bleach to a gallon of water in a clean bucket or trash can.

Step 3: Dip The Item

Soak the patterned fabric for about 5 hours, rinse it and hang it out to air dry. For oily stains, pre-treat the item by rubbing a small amount of laundry detergent onto it and letting it sit for 5 minutes before dipping it into the bleach solution.

Step 4: Rinse And Dry The Item

If you have other bleach-safe clothes to wash with the garment, you can wash and dry them as usual. If not, you can simply rinse the stained item well and let it air dry.

How To Wash Clothes With Bleach Using Your Washer

You can use bleach in most washing machines. For best results, follow the instructions listed in the washing machine’s user manual. You can as well follow these simple steps to wash colored clothes with color-safe bleach or whites with chlorine-based bleach.

Step 1: Set The Washing Machine Temperature

You always want to bleach using the hottest temperature your fabrics will allow. Read the laundry recommendations on each item you are washing. Find the item with the lowest recommended temperature and set your machine to that temperature.

Step 2: Turn On The Washing Machine

If you don’t have a bleach dispenser, run the washing machine without adding detergent, bleach, or laundry. You need some water in the machine to dilute the detergent and bleach.

Step 3: Add Laundry Detergent

Read the label on your washing detergent and add the proper amount directly to the water if you don’t have a soap tray. If you have a laundry dispenser, you can add detergent to it.

Step 4: Add Bleach

Follow the instructions on your bleach to add the proper amount. In general, you will add 1/2 cup or 1 cup of regular liquid bleach to one load. Incase you have a bleach dispenser; you can add bleach directly to it, filling up to the line provided. If you don’t have a dispenser, add the bleach directly to the water 5 minutes after the wash cycle starts.

Step 5: Loading The Clothes In The Washing Machine

Give the bleach a minute or two to mix in the water. Now you can add your laundry items and finish the entire wash, rinse and spin cycle.

Step 6: Dry Cleaning

Once the washing machine is ready, dry the garment according to the instructions on the labels.

Important Summary To Note

Chlorine bleach, also known as liquid household bleach or sodium hypochlorite bleach is the kind you would use for whites. It disinfects, cleans, and brightens your fabrics, but should not be used on wools, silks, spandex, mohair, or leather.

Chlorine-free bleach, also known as oxygen bleach or color-safe bleach can be used on almost all washable fabrics (even colored and patterned garments) to remove stains and brighten clothes.

Can I Use It For Other Cleaning Functions?

Yes! Bleach is a highly disinfectant and can eliminate mold, bacteria, and viruses that proliferate, especially in wet areas such as the kitchen sink. However, metal objects do not go well with the liquid, as there can be some unwanted reaction, causing toxic metal residue from the tool to spread around your home.

In the case of the sink, usually made of stainless steel, disinfectants are very welcome, but some caution is necessary.

Necessary Precautions When Using Bleach

  • Because they are very potent, they should always be diluted in water, such as a tablespoon of bleach for more than a liter of liquid.
  • To clean surfaces, such as the sink, sanitize it with soap and water before applying the bleach, as it only works as a disinfectant, not a cleaner.
  • Do not mix it with other cleaning products or homemade cleaning solutions like detergents, and vinegar including items with alcohol in their composition.

Beware of Bleach

Part of learning how to properly wash clothes is learning to use bleach products safely. Using bleach is a simple way to disinfect clothes and keep them white, but you must know how to bleach clothes the right way. If you’re careful with the bleach on your clothes, it can be your best friend and if you’re not careful, you can ruin your favorite clothes.

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