Most laundry rooms always have chlorine bleach on hand. We use it to bleach clothes, remove stains, and keep laundry clean. With more people buying high-efficiency washers that use less water to wash away dirt, chlorine bleach sales have also increased. This is because chlorine bleach cleans washers and eliminates terrible smells in front-load washers. But are you sure you’re using chlorine and bleach correctly, keeping yourself safe, and getting the most for your money and time?
Test Items Before Bleaching
Before you put chlorine bleach on a piece of clothing, you should test it to see how the fabric will react. First, mix one teaspoon of bleach and two teaspoons of warm water. Find a place on the clothing that will not draw attention, like an inside seam or a pocket made of the same fabric. Dab the material with a cotton swab dipped in the bleach and water solution. Wait until the spot is arid before moving on. If the colour of the fabric changes or the colour moves to the swab, you should not use chlorine bleach on it. It does not keep its colour or dye.
Never Mix Bleaches and Ammonia
Don’t mix oxygen bleach with chlorine. You can start a chemical reaction that is bad for your clothes and, more importantly, your lungs. When you mix chlorine bleach and household ammonia, you get into the most trouble. Chloramine vapours and liquid hydrazine are made when the two mix. Both can kill you by making it hard to breathe.
Dilute for Best Results
Even if you want your clothes to look bleached out, you should never pour chlorine bleach directly on them. It can weaken the fibres, eat holes in the fabric, and remove many colours. Instead, mix one cup of bleach with one quart of warm water before adding it to the washer drum or soaking tub. Start adding more water to the drum before putting in the dirty clothes. If your washer has an automatic dispenser, the bleach will be put in the tub after the water is added. This protects your fabrics by automatically diluting the bleach.
Wait to Add the Bleach
Before adding the diluted bleach, wait about five minutes after the wash cycle starts. This gives the enzymes in the laundry detergent time to do their job of breaking down stains and dirt. Adding chlorine bleach at the beginning of the wash cycle can make the detergent less effective.
Automatic bleach dispensers in washers add bleach at the right time during the wash cycle.
Make It Hot
Change the temperature of the water you use with chlorine bleach if you are not getting the desired results. The best way to use chlorine bleach is in hot water. It can be used in hot and cold water, but the results may not be what you expect.
Keep It Fresh
Both light and heat affect how chlorine bleach works. Because of this, liquid chlorine bleach is always sold in a bottle that cannot be seen through, so it does not get too much light. Extra heat can also make chlorine bleach less stable, so keeping it at about 70 degrees F is best. Do not go to the hot garage.
Even if the bottle is not opened, it will lose its effectiveness in six to twelve months. It won’t go bad and cause much damage. It will still clean and disinfect, but not as well. If you use old chlorine bleach, you are making the wash waterier.