Chlorine Bleach

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  • This laundry aid is also an effective disinfectant, but be careful.


  1. The liquid bleach available for sale on store shelves is most often a 5-percent solution of sodium hypochlorite. In addition to its laundry uses, chlorine bleach is an inexpensive, highly effective disinfecting agent on many surfaces around the home, particularly in the kitchen and bath.

    In most cases, dilute bleach with plenty of water. It’s an effective germ killer even at very low concentrations. When highly diluted, its fumes are also less likely to irritate nose, eyes and skin.

  2. A little bleach goes a long way. Instructions for laundry use help to illustrate this: Most liquid bleach makers advise using 8 fluid ounces (240 ml) in a full load of laundry, which includes up to 20 gallons of water (75.7 l) in a typical top-loading machine. You’re diluting one part of bleach into roughly 300 parts of water!
  3. Use bleach only in well-ventilated areas. Take a break in the fresh air at the first sign of any irritation from chloride vapors; wear eye protection and a face mask if necessary.
  4. Chlorine bleach is a reactive agent. Bleach reacts badly with many other strong chemicals. Combining liquid bleach with ammonia, drain cleaners, automatic dishwasher detergent or other strong acids or alkalis may set off chemical reactions that release toxic fumes, or produce hazardous solutions that can burn skin and eyes or harm the environment. Mix bleach with water, mild soap or laundry detergent only. If you don’t know all of the ingredients used in a cleaning product, it’s safest to avoid mixing chlorine bleach with it.

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