Bleach has replaced many of the products I use to purchase to clean around my home. It works great, it’s inexpensive, you just make a fresh solution for what you need as you use it and I get a feeling of clean when I smell the scent of bleach. The only drawback I see on is to remember to wear clothes you won’t care about if you get bleach on them, as it will discolor.
Household chlorine bleach, sodium hypochlorite, has some great uses around the home. Household bleach is safe if used correctly, and its cleaning/disinfecting power is second to none.
A lot of people worry about the safety of this household chemical, but it comes in a childproof 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 products should be kept in the one area in your home and all children, from toddlers onwards, should be taught to never go there, nor touch any of the products.
50 Uses for Bleach
1. Sanitizing 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.
2. Sanitizing floors. Once a week, change your usual floor-cleaner to bleach. Keeps your floors clean.
3. 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.
4. Add a sparkle to glasses and crystal ware. Soak in a light bleach solution for a few minutes, Rinse well.
5. 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.
6. Kills weeds. Add undiluted bleach to weeds growing through cracks in your walkways. Kills them and prevents re-growth.
7. Keeps 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.
8. Whitens clothes. A little bleach added to your washing machine whitens white clothes that have grayed.
9. Stain Removal. Soaking individual items of clothing or bed sheets in a light bleach solution can get rid of stains.
10. Sterilizes plant cuttings. Dipping plant cuttings in a very light bleach solution sterilizes them, and inhibits mold or diseased growth.
11. Cleans plastic garden furniture. Cleaning plastic with a bleach solution brings out the original color while removed stains or mildew. It’s great for garden furniture.
12. Gets rid of mildew and mold. Mildew in bathroom tiles can be removed by spraying with bleach, then wiping off, after a few minutes.
13. Cleans shower curtains. Mildew on shower curtains can be removed by soaking in a basin full of a bleach solution, before washing normally.
14. Disinfects garden tools. Annually soak your garden tools in a bleach solution to keep them sanitized, to reduce the risk of spreading plant diseases.
15. Disinfects 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.
16. Kills moss and algae. Moss and algae on your garden paths can be got rid off by bleach.
17. Cleans garbage bins. Plastic dustbins or trashcans can be sterilized easily with a bleach solution, left soaking for an hour or so.
18. Cleans 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.
19. Cleans 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.
20. Makes windows sparkle. A little drop of bleach in your final water when you wash the windows will leave them shining.
21. Disinfects 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.
22. Sterilizes 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.
23. Extend the life of freshly cut flowers, by adding one-quarter teaspoon of bleach for every quart of water used in your vase.
24. Deodorize coolers and thermos bottles.
25. Remove mold and mildew from outdoor siding, tile, brick, stucco, and patios. Remove coffee or tea stains from china.
26. Disinfect garbage cans.
27. Bail a boat. Cut off the large round end and you have a bucket with a handle.
28. Make a scooper. If you keep the cap on an empty, clean bleach bottle, you can cut it diagonally across the bottom and use it to scoop up dry goods like flour, sugar, rice, dog food, fertilizer, cat litter, and what not.
29. Make a pooper-scooper.
30. Clean butcher blocks to prevent bacteria from breeding. After you wash your cutting boards, apply a solution of three tablespoons per gallon of water.
31. Make a hot cap. One site recommends cutting off the bottom of the bottom of a bleach jug and then putting it over seedlings at night.
32. Remove stains from baby clothes.
33. Make a carrier for small children’s toys and crayons. Cut a hole in the side of an empty, clean Clorox bleach jug opposite the handle.
34. Make a clothespin holder. Cut a hole in the side of an empty, clean Clorox bleach jug opposite the handle, and punch a small holes in the bottom for drainage. Hang your new clothespin holder on the clothesline.
35. Make an anchor. Fill an empty, clean Clorox bleach bottle with cement.
36. Make a hip bucket for harvesting fruits or berries. Cut a large hole in the side of an empty, clean Clorox bleach bottle opposite the handle, and then string your belt through the handle.
37. Make dumbbells. Fill two empty, clean Clorox bleach bottles with sand.
38. Make a megaphone. Remove the cap and cut off the bottom of an empty, clean Clorox bleach bottle.
39. Clean mildew from grout. Mix three-quarters cup Clorox bleach with one gallon of water, and use an old toothbrush to scrub off the mildew.
40. Use bleach instead of jet dry. Apparently, a capful of bleach added to your dishwasher will make your glasses sparkle and your silverware shine.
41. Purify Water. If you can’t boil water and there are no other water purification methods available, you can opt to purify water and make it safe to drink with regular, unscented bleach. According to epa.gov “Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1⁄8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.”
Water to Bleach Ratios for Water Purification
1 quart of water add 2 drops of bleach
1 gallon of water add 8 drops of bleach (1/8 teaspoon)
5 gallons of water use ½ teaspoon of bleach
10 gallons of water use 1 teaspoon of bleach
50 gallons of water use 5 teaspoons of bleach
(Disclaimer – I found all of this information from various sources on the web and I am not a health professional or chemist, so if you choose to attempt purify water with bleach, you should do your own research first.)
NOTE: Don’t use scented bleach for water purification, because this has added chemicals that are unnecessary for water purification. Also, avoid bleaches with dyes and other additives. You can use regular household bleach from that only have between 5 percent and 6 percent chlorine and sodium hypochlorite as active ingredient. Don’t use pool chlorine to disinfect water.
42. Sanitize your infant’s eating utensils. Clean baby bottles, nipples, sippy cups, etc. with soap and water. Prepare a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Submerge the baby utensils in the solution for 2-3 minutes and then drain and air dry.
43. Disinfect cutting boards. After cleaning your cutting board with soap and water, soak it in a bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water) for five minutes before draining and allowing it to air-dry.
44. Remove stains from china and porcelain. Those stains in your china and porcelain are a breeding ground for germs. Remove those by soaking clean dishes in a bleach solution (2 tablespoons of bleach to 1 gallon of water) for 10 minutes. Rinse china and air dry.
45. Wash questionable vegetables and fruit with bleach solution.
Washing vegetables and fruits in a bleach solution gets rid of germs that may be in them. Mix 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water and soak vegetable or fruit in it for 2 minutes before cooking or eating.
46. Kill airborne viruses. You can get rid of any viruses that can cause illness by spraying a bleach solution in the bathroom, kitchen or sick room. Mix bleach half by half with water in a misting bottle then liberally spray into the air to destroy germs.
47. Get rid of mold and mildew. Remove mold and mildew on surfaces by flooding the area with ¾ cup of bleach per gallon of water. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing lightly and sensing off.
48. Deodorize water containers. Thermos bottles, ice coolers and other containers can be deodorized by soaking them in a bleach solution (1 tablespoon of bleach to a gallon) for 2 minutes. Drain and air dry.
49. Use bleach to kill insect pests. Pour some bleach into standing water to kill young mosquito. Bleach can also be used to kill bed bugs (bed bugs must come in direct contact with bleach to kill them).
50. About once a month I fill my sinks to the top with a bleach and water solution and let them sit for 30 minutes then drain.
Some Important Things to Know About Bleach
1. Sodium hypochlorite is poison! When diluted in volumes, sodium hypochlorite is acceptable for human consumption. However, if swallowed undiluted, it can lead to poisoning. Sodium hypochlorite is a dangerous corrosive substance so you must be cautious when choosing to use bleach to purify water and make sure you stick to recommendations. See table above and visit the EPA page as well. Never mix bleach and ammonia because it produces a noxious vapor. Read more about sodium hypochlorite here.
2. Bleach expires; make sure you rotate your stock. The shelf life of bleach is about 6 months. Expired bleach cannot be used to purify water but can be used for other things like removing mold from surfaces, getting rid of toilet bowl stains or cutting the smells of sewage.
3. Always have bleach alternatives. Since bleach expires, you need to have alternative means to purify water like water purification tablets and filter systems.
(Disclaimer – I found all of this information from various sources on the web and I am not a health professional or chemist, so you should do your own research when using bleach for any task.)
Information from the following sources on the web; Hub Pages by Health Visitor, ABDPBT by Anna and Before It’s News.