bleach clothes safely

When should you Bleach Clothes?

Bleach. When should you bleach clothes? How much is too much? Is it okay to use bleach to remove an olive oil stain on your favorite green shirt? Do you find bleach to be a confusing cleaning tool? Have you ever poured any down your drain to kill off odors? 

Bleach will definitely assist in keeping your whites bright. The question is, can whites handle it? The answer is in the label. Read your clothing labels to make sure bleach isn’t going to ruin them. Bleach will strip color out of fabric and will ruin any colors it comes in contact with. Unless, of course, it is color-safe bleach.  

Read the label before you bleach clothes

The clothes labels have confirmed that yes, you can bleach them. Now what, you may ask? Well, let’s get those clothes into a hot water cycle and add bleach to the bleach receptacle. Follow the directions on the bottle and washer for the proper amount to add. Your whites will come out sparkly and bright, but anything with color will have some problems. The colors in clothes don’t get along at all with standard bleach. 

There are bleach alternatives out there that are more environmentally friendly, and that smell far less caustic. Take a look at your local detergent aisle to find one that works for you.

When going through colors, read the labels to see if you can use color-safe bleach. Many shirts allow it, and it will definitely help brighten up your colors, as well as get a lot of different stains out. The big difference between standard bleach and color-safe bleach is that standard bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, which will strip the color out of fabric. Color-safe bleach uses hydrogen peroxide instead. It doesn’t strip color, nor does it kill all the bacteria that standard bleach does.

Approaching Stains

If you have been out to dinner with a toddler, you’ve experienced a stain before.  Let’s assume that the toddler decided it was time to go home and let you know with a bowl of chocolate ice cream splashing all down your white shirt. That stain would be a good candidate for bleach. The bleach, along with hot water and detergent, will do a good job of removing the stain. Never forget about pretreating the stain. Try to get as much out as possible while it is fresh.

The same goes for a colorful shirt. Try to get as much of the stain out as possible when it first happens, then pretreat with a color-safe treatment. Once it has been pretreated, wash it with color-safe bleach and the stain should be gone. 

Main takeaways:

  1. You should always read the labels in your clothing. 
  2. Never wash colors with standard bleach.
  3. Wash whites with bleach on the hot water setting