We all know that bleach is a powerful cleaner, but what is it actually made of? Why does it work, and why are there all these warnings about it? If you’re wondering how to use bleach in your home, or you simply want to learn more, keep reading.
Has your lifestyle during the Covid-19 lockdown affected the type of stains you get on your clothes?
What is bleach?
Bleach is a name for a collection of chemicals. They’re not all made using the same substances, but they have two main things in common: they’re very effective at killing bacteria and they remove staining from surfaces and fabrics – usually turning them white.
From sunlight to chemicals, humans have been using different types of bleaching things for thousands of years.
Thanks to the scientists of the 18th century for inventing the safest & easiest household bleaching substances for routine purposes at home that make our life easy.
What is Bleach made of?
When you’re using bleach, it’s important to know what’s in it. There are two main types of household bleaches i.e., chlorine bleach and peroxide bleach. Chlorine bleaches tend to be stronger, so they’re used in household cleaning and water treatment. It is the reason why swimming pool water smells so different.
Peroxide bleach uses oxygen, releasing it when the bleach powder comes into contact with water. This makes it easier to dilute and is often gentler, so you’re more likely to find peroxide in laundry detergents or skin and hair lightening products. Peroxide bleach is sometimes known as oxygen bleach because of how it works.
There are some cases where you might want to avoid using household bleach – for example, if you or someone in your household is sensitive to it. In these instances, natural disinfectants like lemon, salt and white vinegar may help you but they might require a bit more elbow grease to achieve the same results as bleach.
How to use bleach in routine home purposes:
There are thousands of household uses of bleach, so pick a few from this list that seems relevant to you:
1) Cleaning toilets
Most popular toilet cleaners, like Domex, contain enough bleach to kill most of the bacteria that live in your toilet bowl.
2) Restoring whiteness of clothes
Keep in mind that some bleaches are too strong to be used for clothing. Choose one that lists clothing among its potential bleach uses.
3) Sterilising kitchen utensils
From chopping boards to tiled floors, bleach can be used to keep you and your family healthy and safe from many common germs. Again, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to bleach these surfaces safely and follow dilution instructions carefully.
4) Removing mould
Whether you’re cleaning grout or you’ve noticed a bit of a damp problem on your walls, bleach can stop mould and mildew from growing and restore brightness to white surfaces.
5) Keep cut flowers looking better for longer
Strange but true – adding a couple of drops of bleach to your vase water will help bouquets stay fresh. It also keeps that weird scum from developing at the bottom of the vase!
6) Brighten white clothes
Certain fabrics can be bleached at home to make them brighter. This should only be done with white clothes (otherwise you’ll be left with unsightly stains) and you must always check the care label and complete a patch test first. If you’re not sure how to do bleach patch tests on your clothes, simply dilute the bleach as instructed on the packaging and apply it to a hidden area of the clothing (like the seam). Leave for a few minutes, then rinse the area and check for signs of damage or discolouration.
If you want to harness the power of bleach, but you’re worried about safety, you can look for a cleaner that contains bleach alongside other cleaning agents. Domex is one example.
Here are some key things to bear in mind while you learn how to bleach your house clean:
- Check that you’re using the right product for the task.
- Wear gloves whenever you use household bleach.
- Patch-test a small hidden area of your surface before you start cleaning.