Bleach is a laundry additive used to get clothes whiter. But if you’re not careful, bleach can do a lot of damage to your clothes. Here are some tips on how to efficiently and safely use bleach on your clothes.
1. Bleach: what is it?
White clothes are prone to all sorts of stains, from spaghetti sauce to wine. Bleach helps remove stains and it also works as a disinfectant.
- Chlorine bleach is a liquid; non-chlorine bleach is available in either liquid or granular form.
- Chlorine bleach is safe for all fabrics except wool, spandex, mohair and silk, but not for non-colourfast items; following label instructions is always the best policy.
- Chlorine bleach is fast-acting and strong; used improperly, it can severely weaken and damage fabrics.
- For convenience, some detergents include bleach.
2. To use bleach safely
- To use bleach safely, add it to the machine’s bleach dispenser before loading. This avoids spilling undiluted bleach onto clothes.
- Should this happen, damage might not show up immediately, but clothes could eventually develop holes, rips, yellowing or colour loss.
- If the washer doesn’t have a dispenser, dilute the bleach as recommended by the manufacturer, adding it to the wash after the load is completely wet.
3. When not to use bleach
- Do not use bleach if your water has a high iron content; it will spot your clothes.
- Never use bleach and ammonia at the same time, the combination can generate hazardous fumes.
- Non-chlorine, all-fabric or oxygenated bleach is simply a milder form of bleach. Because it is milder, it doesn’t remove stains or whiten as well, but it is safe for all fabrics.
- All bleach works faster in warmer water.
Next time you need to use bleach, keep these tips in mind and keep your clothes stain-free!