3 things you should know about bleaching your clothes

July 27, 2015

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.

3 things you should know about bleaching 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!

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