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How to Disinfect Clothes with Bleach

Did you know that you can and should disinfect certain items of clothing to keep them hygienically clean? Bleach and other laundry powders and detergents can work to not only keep white and bright clothes brighter but they can also help to get rid of germs and bacteria that may be lurking in the fabric fibres.


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How to Disinfect Clothes with Bleach

Think about your kids clothing after they’ve been on a play date outside, or your apron after a particularly messy food prep experience in the kitchen. Stains and dirt can carry germs and bacteria too and it’s important to learn techniques on how to use laundry bleach to kill these nasty bugs.

In this guide you will learn what bleach disinfectant is and why it’s so powerful. We will also unpack the safety precautions needed when using this chemical product on your laundry and how you can use it to both brighten and disinfect your clothing.

Understanding the Properties of Bleach

Bleach is a broad term that refers to a variety of chemicals used for cleaning, disinfecting, and whitening. The most common type of household bleach is sodium hypochlorite, which is a clear, slightly yellowish solution that is highly reactive and corrosive. It can be found in varying concentrations, typically ranging from 5% to 8.25% in household bleach solutions.

In addition to sodium hypochlorite, bleach may also contain other chemicals, such as surfactants, stabilizers, and fragrances, which can vary depending on the brand and intended use. You get two main types of bleach that are formulated for use in the home:

  • Bleach for clothes, otherwise called laundry bleach

  • Bleach for surfaces, also called household bleach.

  • There are industrial grade bleaches available too, but these are meant for use in commercial, medical, and industrial environments.

Safety Precautions when Using Bleach

Bleach is a powerful chemical that can be hazardous if not handled properly. Here are some safety precautions to follow when using bleach:

  • Wear protective clothing and equipment: Wear rubber gloves, goggles, and protective clothing to avoid skin and eye irritation. Avoid wearing clothing that may react with bleach, such as wool or silk.

  • Ventilate the area: Use bleach in a well-ventilated area or open windows and doors to allow for proper airflow. Avoid using bleach in enclosed spaces or areas with poor ventilation, as this can cause fumes to build up and become dangerous to breathe.

  • Read and follow instructions: Always read the label and follow the instructions on the bleach bottle. Follow the recommended dilution ratios and never mix bleach with other cleaning chemicals, as this can produce harmful gases.

  • Use bleach in the appropriate concentration: Use bleach in the appropriate concentration for the task at hand. For example, a stronger concentration may be needed for disinfecting surfaces, but a weaker concentration may be sufficient for laundry.

  • Never mix bleach with other chemicals: you should never add bleach to other chemicals or substances, and vice versa, because you are not trained to understand what potentially hazardous concoctions you might be creating.

  • Store bleach safely: Store bleach out of reach of children and pets, and away from other household chemicals. Make sure the cap is tightly closed and the bleach is stored in a cool, dry place.

  • Clean up spills immediately: If bleach spills, clean it up immediately with paper towels and dispose of them properly. Rinse the area with water to ensure all bleach has been removed.

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How to Disinfect Clothes with Bleach

There are a few ways you can work safely with bleach detergent and get the best results on your laundry.

#1 - Choosing the right type of bleach

Choose a laundry bleach when working with clothing rather than a household bleach. It’s also important to use a whitening detergent or bleach detergent that is formulated to make white clothing whiter. At Cleanipedia, we like the Surf range of hand-washing powders because they are formulated with whitening granules that offer super whitening power to every wash.

#2 – Always measure the right amount of bleach

Always follow the correct dosage when it comes to bleach. Never exceed the amount of bleach recommended.

#3 - Adding bleach to the washing machine

Never mix your bleach-wash liquid with your laundry powder or detergent. Rather add the correct amount of bleach in the rinse cycle of your washing machine, directly into the drum.

Keen to know more about how to get the best out of using a laundry bleach wash? Read our blog on How To Use Bleach in Laundry now.

Alternative Methods for Disinfecting Clothes

There are alternative methods to use alongside a laundry bleach which can disinfect clothing and help get rid of any germs that might be lurking in them.

  • Hot water & Steam Disinfection. Soaking and washing your clothing in very hot water can help to kill any germs. Using a steam iron or steamer on dry clothes can also kill a large amount of leftover germs and bacteria.

  • UV light can be used to disinfect clothing. You can purchase a UV disinfection wand or use a UV disinfection bag that is specifically designed for disinfecting clothes.

  • Essential oils like tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil have natural antibacterial properties. Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to your laundry during the wash cycle.

  • Sun-drying clothes in the sun can work to disinfect clothing thanks to the combination of heat and solar UV rays working together.

The main thing to remember when disinfecting your clothing with bleach is to always follow the care label instructions on your clothing and any instructions that come with the disinfectant product you are using.

For more laundry tips and tricks, visit Cleanipedia now.


Is it safe to use bleach to disinfect clothes?

Yes. Just make sure you follow the correct usage directions and always work with bleach safely.

What type of bleach is best for disinfecting clothes?

We always recommend using a laundry bleach. We also love Surf Washing Powder with super whitening power for great results too.

How much bleach should I use to disinfect my clothes?

Always follow the usage instructions on the laundry bleach you choose to use for best results.

Can bleach damage my clothes?

If you use too much bleach or don’t follow the correct usage guidelines, you can damage your clothing with bleach.

Originally published