Can You Use Bleach in a Washing Machine to Whiten Clothes?

If your white clothes are beginning to look a little grey or they have stains that simply aren’t coming out in a normal wash, then you may want to try adding a little bleach to your washes.

There are two different types that you can try in your washing machine: chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach. Both types remove stains and can kill some bacteria too. You can also use hydrogen peroxide – a bleach commonly used in cosmetics to bleach hair, etc.

How to Use Chlorine Bleach

This is the most powerful type of home-use bleach and needs to be mixed to make a water solution before being added to your fabrics. This bleach is perfect if you are looking to kill bacteria on your clothes as well as remove stains. It comes in the forms of both powder and liquid, but the liquid form is far more common. You want to add the bleach a small amount of time into the wash when the detergents have had a chance to soften the stains already.

This bleach should not be used directly onto clothes as it can damage the fibres. The best way to use this bleach is to add the bleach-water solution into the detergent drawer so that it washes the entire item of clothing rather than leaving blotches on the clothes. Be sure to use up the bleach or no longer use the same bottle after 6 months as the bleach loses its disinfecting and stain removal power after this amount of time.

How to Use Oxygen Bleach

Although oxygen bleach does not contain antibacterial properties, it is still good at stain removing and safe to use on fabrics. It cannot be used on leather, silk or wool, but you can add the powder directly into the washer before you put the clothes in, making it very easy to use. This type of bleach isn’t as strong as chlorine bleach, but if you’re patient with it, it can give you just as good results.

You can mix the powder with warm and then cold water to create a solution to soak your clothes in. As oxygen bleach isn’t as strong, you can leave them to soak for hours before washing in a machine to truly remove the tough stains. You can also use oxygen bleach on coloured clothing without it removing the colour and as soda-ash is the only by-product makes it environmentally friendly.

How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is often found in the pharmacy for disinfecting cuts or in hair bleach, but it can also be used to remove stains and disinfect your clothes. You can add a small amount to the washing machine on top of your clothes and wash to remove stains and kill bacteria. Be careful to test it as it can permanently remove colours from fabrics too.

Extra Tips for Using Bleach on Your Laundry

Be sure that you do a small patch test on the clothes, perhaps inside a pocket to check that the fabric does not react badly to the bleach. You should also always check the label on your clothes to decide the best way to wash them, whether in the machine or hand wash only.

Always wear gloves when washing your clothes or being in contact with it as it can be irritant and even corrosive in the case of chlorine bleach. To best remove stains and keep your whites sparkling white for longer, be sure to wash them on a high heat for successful results.

Choose the bleach that best suits the kind of washing you are looking to do, whether it be handwashing delicate clothing or adding it to a wash to remove tough stains.

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