Knowing how to bleach clothing will bring your laundry to a different level. Bleaching can brighten and remove stains from a piece of clothing. In this article, we’ll cover a variety of safe and effective ways to remove stains and dullness from your clothing without damaging it.
Types of bleach
There are many types of bleach on the market, and choosing the right one can be a challenge. If your goal is to make your white button-down shirts look brand new or disinfect your gym socks, your cleaning task should guide you in your choice of cleaning method.
There are two main types of laundry bleach to choose from: chlorine bleach and non-chlorine bleach or oxygen bleach. If you’re unsure about which type of cleaning method to use, check out our guide below.
Bleach Made From Chlorine
The most common form of chlorine bleach is liquid, but it can also be in powdered form. Sodium hypochlorite, diluted with water, is the active ingredient in chlorine bleach. Bleach of this caliber is highly potent. It kills germs in clothes, but it’s not safe for many types of fabrics, especially brightly colored or pattern-printed ones.
The irregular fading of color and holes and damage to clothing can occur when chlorine bleach is used on certain clothing items. Chlorine or non-chlorine bleach is usually indicated on the clothing tag, but this isn’t always the case.
Bleach that uses oxygen
Oxygen bleach, also known as color-safe bleach or all-fabric bleach, is safe for use on a wide variety of textiles. Most types of colorfast clothing are not affected by this bleach, unlike chlorine bleach.
Before putting your clothes in the washer, make sure you test them for colorfastness. To make sure you’re using non-chlorine bleach on the right fabric, check the tag on your garment to be sure.
Things to do before bleaching your clothes
- Because of its corrosive nature, bleach can leave stains on clothing if used incorrectly. There are a few precautions you should take before using it on your whites due to the strength of the chemical.
- If you intend to use bleach, make sure the room has adequate ventilation.
- Keep in mind your clothes can withstand the powerful cleaning properties of bleach before using it. You should first test the bleach on a small spot of the fabric.
- Use a moist washcloth up any bleach spills as soon as they occur.
- The method or format in which you intend to use bleach should influence the type of bleach you choose. Use liquid detergent in the washing machine if you’re dealing with large stains, otherwise use a pen or sprinkle.
- When working with bleach, it’s best to protect your skin by donning a plastic apron and protective gloves.
- Always check your clothing labels before bleaching to see if they do not have the do not bleach sign.
- If you can find laundry bleach, use it. Laundry bleach can be used if it is available. Mixing bleach and ammonia can result in the release of toxic gas.
- Bleaching is not recommended for natural fibers such as leather, wool, and silk.
- If you apply concentrated bleach to your clothes, it can do a lot of damage. Make sure you dilute the chemical thoroughly before using it to putting your clothes into it.
Bleaching Clothes By Hand
Step 1. Need a bucket, fill it with cold water, and put your clothes in it
- You can use any container like a basin, a pail, a bucket, or any other durable and appropriate container. Please consider how much room your clothes will need to move around in the container before you begin to soak them.
- See to it that the white clothes are submerged in water to prevent them from fading. An inch or two above the clothing
- If you prefer to wash your white t-shirt with other white items, you can do so. It has the potential to increase bleaching efficiency.
Step 2. Add bleach to the water in which your white clothes or other clothing is currently submerging. This will remove any remaining stains
- Each bleach product has its own set of instructions and measurements for use due to the fact that bleach products come in different concentrations. Using the label on your bottle of bleach, you can determine how much bleach you need to use.
- The general rule of thumb is to add 1/4 cup of detergent to a gallon of water. For a single white fabric, use one tablespoon of bleach; for multiple white fabrics, use up to a cup of bleach.
- Stains on white clothing may be removed with the help of other household items such as dishwashing soap, baking soda, dish soap, or laundry soap.
Step 3. Mix all of the ingredients in the bucket or basin
- To ensure that your clothes are drenched equally, it’s best to stir the water every several minutes.
- Toss the clothes in the water for 10 minutes, then set a timer. Bleaching your clothes longer can cause them to become weak or damaged.
Step 4. Used cold water to wash the clothes
- Suppose you want to prevent the formation of undesirable residues in the cloth after dipping white clothing for approximately 10 minutes in bleach and detergent. Alternatively, As a result, you will need to remove any remaining residue from these materials.
- Make sure to wash the garment in cold water before hanging it to dry.
Step 5. Remove any lingering moisture
- Remove any excess moisture from the clothing by squeezing it.
- Dry the clothes by using a dryer or in a natural way.
Bleaching Clothes in The Washing Machine
Stains should be removed as soon as possible and pre-treated with laundry detergent before using a washing machine to bleach your whites, if necessary. Fill the machine with water and add bleach to clean your clothes. After a few minutes, wash and dry the clothes. Detailed instructions are provided in the following section.
Step 1. Remove the stains as soon as they appear on the white cloth
- Remove any remaining spilled substances from your clothing with a tool you have on hand. It is possible to use a utensil or a piece of paper towel.
- A bicarbonate powder and water solution work wonder on tough stains. With a brush, baking soda can be applied directly to the stain. Dirt that has accumulated over time should be removed.
Step 2. Pre-treating stains with liquid soaps and detergents is an option
- After applying the detergent, use a soft bristle brush to scrub the stain.
- It’s also possible to mix powdered detergent with water and pour it into the stain.
Step 3. Make sure your clothing’s labels are easy to read
- All clothing isn’t safe to wash in a machine. Before using a washing machine, make sure that the clothing can be cleaned in hot water.
Step 4. To complete the process, add water and soap to the washing machine in step four
- Your washing machine needs water to operate at its full capacity.
- Dissolve some detergent in the washer’s water. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the amount of detergent you should use.
Step 5. After you’ve measured the amount of bleach you’ll need, put it in the dispenser of your washing machine
- The bottle’s cap or a measuring cup can be used to measure bleach.
- Even if the machine is not full, only about 3 quarter cups of bleach should be used. If the load occupies more than half of the machine, more bleach should be added.
- If your machine has a dispenser, you can put the bleach in there.
Step 6. The sixth step is a hot wash cycle. Add your dirty clothes to the machine and turn it on
- Bleach, water, and detergent should be mixed in the washing machine for a few minutes.
- Prior to loading the machine, allow the agitation cycle to complete.
- Remove the clothing after a few cycles to check if the bleaching has been successful. Try it again if that doesn’t work.
Step 7. After that, wash the clothes and hang them to dry
- The clothes can be re-bleached if you’re not happy with the results.
Bleaching Colored Clothes in a Safe and Effective Way
Remove stubborn stains and brighten your clothes with bleach. If you’re using bleach, make sure you use the right kind and that your clothing can handle it. The non-chlorine bleach, also known as oxygen bleach or color-safe bleach, should be used to clean colored clothing.
- If you’re not sure whether your clothes can be safely bleached, look at the care tag. Check the label on the clothing you intend to bleach first. If you see a triangle with an open center, you can use regular bleach. If you see a triangle with two diagonal stripes, you should use non-chlorine bleach. Your clothes’ tags will have a triangle with an X through it, indicating that they can’t be bleached.
- Non-chlorine bleach is recommended for most colored clothing.
- Some garments cannot be bleached with any bleach at all. Cloth made of these materials should be treated with care to avoid bleaching.
- To remove stubborn stains, use colorfast bleach. Look for colorfast bleach when purchasing bleach so that you can use it on colored clothing without fear of fading. Non-chlorine bleach, or oxygen bleach, is also known as colorfast bleach.
- Colored clothing should not be washed with chlorine bleach, as it removes the color from the fabric and leaves white stains behind.
- If you are concerned about damage, try bleaching a small area first. Non-chlorine bleach can be applied to a small area of clothing that will be hidden when worn. Remove the bleach by rinsing it with water after 3 minutes. Bleach will not remove the color from clothing that has changed.
- If you don’t know if your clothes are safe for bleaching, you should test the bleach first.
It is unquestionably challenging to keep white clothes forever. However, bleaching your white garments by hand or machine can make a big difference. Bleaching your whites can help keep or restore their color. When bleaching delicate fabrics or colored clothing, you’ll need to use extra caution with bleach to avoid fading the colors.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.