For those who don’t use it often, bleach can be a little intimidating. First of all, there are different types to consider. Then, you need to know how to properly use it or you may run the risk of damaging your clothes, or in a worse-case scenario, doing harm to yourself. To get to the bottom of bleaching, let’s first take a look at the two types of bleach, chlorine and non-chlorine bleach:
The most common and most powerful bleach. Chlorine bleach whitens, disinfects, and deodorizes. It can be used on almost every washable material, except for silk, wool, spandex and other delicate fabrics. To use: NEVER directly pour bleach onto the fabric or stain. Dilute bleach in a mixture of water and then add clothes to it. When using a washing machine, fill the bleach dispenser up to the specified marker. If you don’t have a dispenser, manually pour 3/4 cup of bleach into the machine. Load the washer with laundry after the detergent and bleach are completely diluted in water. Once the clothes are in the machine, run an average wash-cycle to get results. Chlorine bleach is strong stuff, so avoid letting it have direct contact with your skin, and use it in a well-ventilated area. Be careful using it around other household cleaning agents, such as ammonia, which can produce a toxic, deadly gas when combined. Always store bleach in a secure place in your home, where children won’t be able to access it.
Also called oxygen bleach, non-chlorine bleach is gentler, less toxic, and more environmentally friendly than its chlorine counterpart. Despite these upsides, it’s not as powerful as chlorine bleach. To use: Pour it into the water before adding the clothes (unlike a regular wash, when clothes go first). Use warm or hot water; it’s less effective in cold. Oxygen bleach is sold in both powder and liquid forms, but the powdered version will last for longer, while still staying effective.
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