22 Great Uses for Household Bleach
Household chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite): A lot of people worry about the safety of this chemical, but it comes in a child-proof container, and so long as you keep it in that container, no-one should be at risk of accidentally swallowing it, unless you leave the lid off. All household cleaning products should be kept in the one area in your home. I choose the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink, and all children, from toddlers onwards, should be taught to never go there, nor touch any of the products.
Household bleach is safe if used correctly, and its cleaning/disinfecting power is second to none. Here are 22 things that I use bleach for.
- Sanitize toilet bowls. Just pour a little bleach down the toilet each evening as you retire to bed, leave it to work overnight, and your toilet bowls will not only remain sparkling clean, but sterilized. Don’t do this if your toilet flushes to a septic tank, which depends on anaerobic bacteria to break down the waste.
- Sanitize floors. Once a week, change your usual floor-cleaner to bleach. Keeps your floors clean.
- Remove tea and coffee stains from the inside of mugs and cups. Add a little bleach to a basin-full of water, add the stained cups and leave to soak for a few minutes. Rinse well.
- Add a sparkle to glasses and crystalware. Soak in a light bleach solution for a few minutes, Rinse well.
- For cut flowers. Add a few drops of bleach to the water in which you place cut flowers, and the water will stay clearer for longer.
- Kill weeds. Add undiluted bleach to weeds growing through cracks in your walkways. Kills them and prevents re-growth.
- Keep swimming pool water crystal clear. Add a 5 liter drum of bleach to your swimming pool water once a month during the winter months when you pool is not in use, to keep the water crystal clear all winter. Revert to chlorine one month before the good weather arrives when you may wish to use your pool.
- Whiten clothes. A little bleach add to your washing machine whitens white clothes that have grayed.
- Stain removal. Soaking individual items of clothing or bed sheets in a light bleach solution can get rid of stains.
- Sterilize plant cuttings. Dipping plant cuttings in a very light bleach solution sterilises them, and inhibits mold or diseased growth.
- Clean plastic garden furniture. Cleaning plastic with a bleach solution brings out the original color while removed stains or mildew. Great for garden furniture.
- Get rid of mildew and mold. Mildew in bathroom tiles can be removed by spraying with bleach, then wiping off, after a few minutes.
- Clean shower curtains. Mildew on shower curtains can be removed by soaking in a basin full of a bleach solution, before washing normally.
- Disinfect garden tools. Annually soak your garden tools in a bleach solution to keep them sanitized, to reduce the risk of spreading plant diseases.
- Disinfect plant pots. Re-use plant pots by washing them, then soaking them in a bleach solution to sterilize them. Many plant diseases live on in untreated pots.
- Kill moss and algae. Moss and algae on your garden paths can be got rid off by bleach.
- Clean garbage bins. Plastic dustbins or trashcans can be sterilized easily with a bleach solution, left soaking for an hour or so.
- Clean kitchen cloths. Kitchen cloths used for wiping down surfaces can have a new lease of life, simply by soaking in a light bleach solution for 10 minutes or so.
- Clean wooden chopping boards. Bleach is fantastic for cleaning chopping boards, especially wooden ones. Place your board over a basin in the sink and pour on straight bleach from the bottle. Listen to it crackle and pop as it eats any grease. You will see stains simply disappear before your eyes. Rinse and dry well before use.
- Make windows sparkle. A little drop of bleach in your final water when you wash the windows will leave them shining.
- Disinfect second-hand toys. Anything plastic you bring into your house that is second-hand, would benefit from a one-off sitting in a bleach solution for a few minutes, to kill any possible germs.
- Sterilize drinking water. A few drops of bleach added to drinking water will quickly kill any harmful bacteria that could be lurking there, should you visit a country where the water sanitation is less than scrupulous. 1/2 teaspoon bleach to 4 gallons of water will do the trick.
Germs are mostly harmless, but within families, we have the germs we are used to and the ones that are strangers. That is why when we bring a new baby home, we sterilize everything we put in its mouth, or anything it might put in its mouth. We gradually introduce babies to our germs and the germs from our home.
Bleach kills all germs, both good and bad. Overuse of bleach in the home can inhibit a healthy autoimmune response. In other words, if we kill too many germs, our bodies never learn how to fight them off, making us more susceptible to disease and illness, not less.
Please do not use bleach as a daily cleansing solution anywhere in your home, except maybe down the toilet pan. It really should be used sparingly, and the uses above I have mentioned are mostly pretty specific, and that is fine.