If you’ve never used bleach and have questions about it, we’ve got you covered. Bleach is great for disinfecting surfaces, clothes, and linens. Other types of soaps and detergents are better for routine cleaning. Bleach is for when you want to sanitize, as well as get your clothes nice and bright.
Here are the basic ins and outs. Of course, always read the label for additional information, especially if it’s your first time using any product.
- Before using bleach to disinfect a surface (countertop, bathtub, etc.), read the label instructions carefully. TIP: Consider using bleach after preparing raw chicken or other foods that can become dangerous if not cleaned properly.
- Create your bleach/water solution (per the label instructions), and let it sit on the surface for about five minutes. TIP: Bleach is one of the most economical disinfecting agents, and you often need just a tablespoon to a quarter cup of bleach per gallon of water.
- Rinse the surface with warm water (not hot) and wipe it dry.
- For laundry, if your machine has a bleach dispenser, they’ve measured it for you – great! If not, first add your regular detergent to the wash water before adding the clothes or bleach. Add half a cup of bleach to the wash water and add your clothes once the wash cycle has started. More can be learned here.
IMPORTANT: It’s dangerous to mix bleach with other cleaning agents – even vinegar. When using chemical agents like bleach, you should wear your kitchen gloves to protect your skin. And, when you’re doing a lot of cleaning with bleach, ventilate the room.