Chlorine Bleach is a mainstay in most laundry rooms. It is used for whitening, stain removal and disinfecting in the washer. Here are some tips for using chlorine bleach correctly, safely and more effectively.
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1. Test Items Before Bleaching
Before you use chlorine bleach on a garment, test the fabric to see how it will react to the bleach. First, mix one part bleach to two parts warm water. Find an inconspicuous spot on the garment like an inside seam or pocket of the same fabric. Use a cotton swab dipped in the solution to dab the fabric. Allow the spot to dry completely before moving forward. If you see any change in color on the fabric or a transfer of color to the swab, do not use chlorine bleach on this fabric.
2. Never Mix BleachesNever mix different types of bleach. You can cause a chemical reaction that is harmful to your clothing and, more importantly, your lungs. This also applies to other cleaning cleaning chemicals like ammonia.
3. Dilute for Best ResultsChlorine bleach should never be poured directly on clothing. It can cause weakening of fibers and extensive color removal. Mix 1 cup bleach in one quart of warm water before adding it to the wash tub.
4. Wait to Add the BleachTo allow the enzymes in the laundry detergents time to do their job of whitening and brightening, wait about 5 minutes after the wash cycle begins to add your diluted bleach.
5. Make it Hot, Hot, HotChlorine bleach works most effectively in hot water. It can be used in warm and cold water but you won't see the results you expect.
6. Keep It FreshChlorine bleach loses its potency once the bottle is opened. Bleach should be disposed of after about six months.