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How to bleach your clothes

Not sure how to use bleaching powder to keep your clothes looking bright and new? This guide to bleaching clothes is here to help.

Check your clothes are suitable for fabric bleach


This might seem like an obvious step when you’re bleaching clothes, but it’s amazing how easy it is to forget to check clothing labels! Delicate fibres like silk or synthetics such as rayon and nylon can be badly damaged by bleach. Make sure you use a fabric bleach from a brand you trust to take good care of your clothing by washing it with a detergent like Surf excel.

If you’re wondering how to use bleaching powder for clothes with coloured fabrics, look for a bleach product with “colour safe” on the packaging and take extra caution when using it.


How to bleach white clothes


Bleaching white clothes in the washing machine is easy if you follow these steps:


  1. Check your clothes label to see if the garment is safe for use with bleach.
  2. Put your clothes in the washing machine and add your normal detergent.
  3. Add your chosen bleach product according to the instructions on the packaging. Bleaching powders can normally be added to the detergent drawer at the start of the wash while liquid bleach should be added a little later when the drum has filled with water.
  4. Run your washing machine on a normal wash cycle. You may want to add an extra rinse.
  5. Once finished, allow your clothes to air dry naturally.


Of course, bleaching clothes isn’t just something you’ll do as part of a whites wash. It can also be used as a pre-treatment to help remove stains and restore transform dingy officewear into gleaming, bleached shirts. Here’s how to use bleaching powder in this way:


  1. Make a paste of water and bleach powder according to the instructions on the packaging
  2. Rub the mixture into any stains on your clothes with a soft toothbrush while wearing gloves
  3. Leave the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes before rinsing clean
  4. Wash the item immediately


Alternatively, if you want to bleach certain items of clothing rather than your whole laundry basket then you can soak clothes in a tub of water and a little bleach powder or liquid bleach overnight. Again, just wash as normal afterwards.


Now you know how easy it is to learn how to use bleaching powder for clothes and how to bleach white clothes until they’re sparkling, you’ll never have to worry about watching your white clothes turn grey or not having perfectly bleached shirts ever again!

Cleanipedia recommends:

Bleach is a harsh chemical and needs to be handled with care, especially when bleaching clothes. Always wear gloves, keep the room well-ventilated, and store the product away from kids and pets.


Always test fabric bleach on a small part of your garment, like an inside seam, before using it. Do this by making a paste of bleaching powder and water or diluting liquid bleach in water and leaving it on the fabric overnight before rinsing well.