All About That Bleach

Bleach. You either love it or hate it. You either douse it on everything (and hope for the best) or completely avoid it in fear of bleach stains and pink socks. But, either way, you can’t deny it works. If you follow a few simple tips, you can safely and effectively use this product for a wide variety of cleaning.

Bleach Cleans Mold and Mildew

Wet your mildewed fabrics and apply powdered detergent to the mildewed spot. Then wash your laundry on the hottest setting using ½ cup of chlorine bleach. (If you can not use chlorine bleach on the type/color of fabric you have, you can use “color safe” oxygen bleach.)

For showers and tiles, you can mix equal parts bleach and water to spray the grout. Let it sit for fifteen minutes and then use a scrub brush. This is good for cleaning mold and mildew, but it’s also good just for brightening the grout too!

For painted surfaces and siding, mix at a 8-to-1 water to bleach ratio and apply with a brush to mildewed areas. Allow it to set for 15 minutes and then rinse and repeat as needed.

Feel Confident in those Secondhand Items

Toys, kitchen supplies, and other objects picked up at garage sales are a great way to save money, but you’ll want to give them a once-over with some bleach water. Throw any waterproof items in a tub with one cup of bleach per one gallon of water. Rinse well, and then air dry outside in the sun.

Feeling extra ambitious? Just toss all of the kids plastic toys in a bathtub full of bleach water, especially after anyone in the house has been sick. It never hurts to be extra cautious!

In the Kitchen

Counter tops, cutting board and kitchen utensils are generally all safe for a good bleaching. Wood items (butcher blocks) are especially hard to clean, so bleach will give them the sanitizing they need. Just use 1 teaspoon of bleach per 2 quarts of water and scrub all surfaces.

Glasses and dishes will also benefit by adding a teaspoon of bleach while you’re hand-washing. Don’t forget to rinse well!

While you have that sink full of bleachy-soapy water, go ahead and throw in the pets’ water and food bowls too. They often get neglected during the nightly dishes.

While you’re at it, clean trashcans, plastic furniture, and porcelain as well.

Take it Outside

After your done cleaning everything inside, take that bleach outside to kill weeks and get rid of algae. Be careful not to get bleach on the grass or the plants you want to keep.


  • Never mix bleach with other cleaning products without checking first to see if it’s safe.
  • Bleach and Ammonia create a deadly mix and the fumes from bleach and other cleaning supplies can make people very sick.
  • Always use bleach in a well-ventilated area and make sure to take breaks if the fumes start to give you a headache.
  • In case of accidental exposure, call poison control. Learn more about bleach and safety from MSDS.