Bleach Tips almost seem unnecessary since bleach is so commonly used. Bleach is so effective for sanitizing and stain removal but before you start to use it check out our Best Pennywise Tips. There are important safety and environment information you need to understand before you start using bleach in your housecleaning.
Perhaps the most important Bleach Tips are to do with health and safety, in main about preventing the spread of infections. For some things, like cleaning up any body waste products, like blood, bleach is second to none but you must use a proper solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and clean up immediately. These are part of the Universal Precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
Bleach is also commonly used to whiten white clothes, to remove mildew and mold and even for killing weeds so many bleach tips revolve around household and yard cleaning.
First, a really important bleach tip is to find out what bleach is:
household chlorine bleach (a solution of approximately 3–6% sodium hypochlorite, NaClO)
A Word of Warning:
“Bleach is sold extremely concentrated and must be diluted to be used safely when disinfecting surfaces and when used to treat drinking water. When disinfecting most surfaces, 1 part bleach to 100 parts water is sufficient for sanitizing; stronger solutions may be used with caution.
In an emergency, drinking water can be treated: the ratio of bleach to water for purification is 2 drops of bleach per litre of water or 8 drops of bleach per gallon (3.79L) of water; 1/2 teaspoon bleach per five gallons (19L) of water. If water is cloudy, filter the water before adding the bleach. Let treated water stand covered for 15 minutes before drinking. Additional bleach will not kill more bacteria and can endanger health.”
from: Wikipedia For further information regarding Disinfectants, please go to Wikipedia, Disinfectants.
General Bleach Tips:
General Bleach Tips will help you to use these products appropriately and safely.
1. Use only in well ventilated rooms.
2. Wear rubber gloves.
3. Mix in small quantities. Bleach evaporates fairly quickly so mix only enough to use at once.
4. Do not overuse to avoid environmental harm. In other words, use to sanitize (for instance, a cutting board after it has had raw meat on it), not just to do your regular cleaning.
5. Rinse everything well and air dry if possible.
6. If you are unsure if it is safe to bleach something, test it first in an inconspicuous place on the fabric. Dip a cotton swab in 1 part bleach to 2 parts warm water and dab the fabric. Let dry completely to see final results. If there is fading, do not use that bleach.
7. Again, of all the Bleach Tips, this one, too, is extremely important. These Bleach Tips CANNOT ever be ignored.
NEVER mix bleach with any of the following: ammonia, oven or toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, lye, or vinegar. If in doubt of any product check the product label, phone the company’s hotline and if you are unsure, do not use with bleach. Bleach can give off toxic chlorine gas fumes which can be deadly. Some people will not even use bleach in a toilet in case there is a residue of urine left: in that case, opt to use ammonia instead.
8. Washable whites (for instance, if they are made of acrylic, cotton, linen or polyester) can often be bleached. Do not use on drip-dry cotton, leather, wool, mohair, cashmere, rayon, nylon, silk or spandex. Always check the label on the fabric or garment. Follow it’s instructions.
9. Remember: soaking your clothes in a bleach solution may remove stains but if you soak them for longer than 5 minutes, the fabric may weaken.
10. Wash Clothes Tips: Bleach works best in hot water. The hotter the water the more effective it is. Dilute the bleach in a quart or more of water before adding it to the wash cycle. Add it about 5 minutes after the wash cycle has started. This allows the detergent to start working.
11. NEVER combine different types of bleach.
Types of Bleach:
There are more than one types of bleach. You want to choose the one that is best suited to your needs.
The two main types of bleach are: chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach.
Chlorine bleach is what you normally would buy at the grocery store in a 5 or 6 % solution.
Oxygen bleach is what you would normally find in a powdered form; it may be labeled as an "all-fabric bleach”. It often has additives included. Oxygen bleaches are supposed to be safe for all fabrics. Always reach all labels though.
Hydrogen peroxide is another type of bleach. Normally you would find it is the pharmacy section of your grocery store or at a drugstore. It can be used for mild bleaching and stain removal. You may have to use another product to release its stain removing powers.
Lemon juice is also another type of bleach and many people boil lemons with their white athletic socks to keep them fresh. (I have not had very good success with this but the house smelled wonderful!)
The next 10 Bleach Tips are about how to use this handy cleaning product:
10 Ways to use Bleach:
1. Extend the life of your cut flowers by adding ¼ tsp of bleach per quart of water.
2. A solution of 1 TBSP per gallon of water is good for sanitizing children’s dishes, pet food dishes, baby bottles, water bottles, juice jugs, cutting boards, kitchen counters, plastic picnic plates and picnic tables. Put the solution in a clean spray bottle.
For toys, soak for 5 minutes in a solution of ¾ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water.For baby bottles, water bottles, cutting boards, food prep areas, etc. let sit or soak for 2 minutes.
3. For a stronger solution suitable for garbage cans, to 2 quarts of water add a drop of dishwashing detergent and 1/2 – 1 cup of bleach. Give it a good scrub. Empty (pour onto weeds you would like to remove) and rinse well. Air dry.
4. For laundry, pre-soak in a solution of ¼ cup per gallon (if washing separately in a basin) or ¾ cup for a full load in a standard washing machine. Always check the labels on the clothing first.
5. Add 1 tsp to your soapy dishwater to brighten and shine your glass dishware and vases.
6. Soak your rubber shower mat in a solution of 1/8 cup bleach to 1 gallon (3.8 L.) water for 3 to 4 hours. Rinse well. This will rid the mat of mildew.
7. To remove mold and mildew from the grout around your bathroom tiles put equal parts of bleach and water in a spray bottle and spray it over the grout. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush and rinse well. Make sure the room is ventilated.
8. A solution of 1 cup bleach to 2 gallons of water can also be used to get mildew and stains off cement (unpainted) or even stucco. Scrub well with a stiff brush and rinse well.
9. Clean wooden butcher block counter tops and cutting boards with a solution of 1 tsp bleach in 2 quarts of water. Scrub well, in small circles, wipe with a damp paper towel, then dry with a clean dry cloth. Be careful not to saturate the wood.
10. Use to kill weeds in your driveway or between the blocks in your sidewalk or patio. You can use a small amount of undiluted bleach and leave for a few days before pulling out the plant. Do NOT get bleach on any nearby plants you want to keep or soil that you plant to plant soon.
(Frankly I’ve used boiling water for this and it works just fine, but you may not like running in and out with kettles full of boiling water.)
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