7 Brilliant Uses for Bleach
More than just a trick on CSI to help the criminals literally get away with murder, bleach is extremely handy around the house, and even outdoors. You need to stock up on some today, and get cleaning!
Remember Mom saying, “Put that down, you don’t know where it’s been!” She had a point, especially when it comes to toys and kitchen utensils you feed Fido off of. Just to be on the safe side, take your waterproof items and soak them for 5-10 minutes in a solution containing 3/4 cup bleach, a few drops of dishwashing liquid, and 3.7 litres warm water. Rinse well, then air-dry, preferably in sunlight.
Use Bleach to Shine White Porcelain
Want to get your white porcelain sink, serving dishes, or - dare we say it - toilet looking good as new? In a well-ventilated area on a work surface protected by heavy plastic, place several paper towels over the item (or across the bottom of the sink) and carefully saturate them with undiluted bleach. Let soak for 15 minutes to a half hour, then rinse and wipe dry with a clean towel.
Note: Do not try this with antiques; you can diminish their value or cause damage. Never use bleach on coloured porcelain, because the colour will fade.
Use Bleach to Keep Cut Flowers Fresh
Freshly cut flowers will stay fresh longer if you add 1/4 teaspoon bleach per litre of vase water. Another popular recipe adds 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 litre water. This will help keep the water from getting cloudy and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Use Bleach to Kill Weeds
Do weeds seem to thrive in the cracks and crevices of your walkways? Try pouring a bit of undiluted bleach over them. After a day or two, you can simply pull them out, and the bleach will keep them from coming back. Just be careful not to get bleach on the grass or plantings bordering the walkway.
Clean Butcher's Blocks
Don’t even think about using furniture polish or any other household cleaner to clean a butcher block cutting board or countertop! This is germ heaven! Instead, scrub the surface with a brush dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach diluted in 2 litres water. Scrub in small circles, and be careful not to saturate the wood. Wipe with a slightly damp paper towel, then immediately buff dry with a clean cloth.
Brighten Up Glass Dishware
The festive season approaches, and with it an endless stream of used glasses to cheers to your health. Before you cry over polishing another tumbler, put the sparkle back in your glasses and dishes by adding a teaspoon of bleach cleaner to your soapy dishwater as you’re washing your glassware. Be sure to rinse well, and dry with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Mould and Mildew
- Wash mildew out of washable fabrics: A winner for patio cushions you left out in the rain! Wet the mildewed area and rub in some powdered detergent. Then wash the item in the hottest water setting permitted by the clothing manufacturer using 1/2 cup chlorine bleach.
- Remove mould and mildew from the grout between your bathroom tiles: Gross be gone! Mix equal parts of bleach and water in a spray bottle, and spray it over grout. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush and rinse off. You can also do this just to make your grout look whiter.
- Get mould and mildew off your shower curtains: Wash them (along with a couple of bath towels to prevent the plastic curtains from crinkling) in warm water with 1/2 cup bleach and 1/4 cup laundry detergent. Let the machine run for a couple of minutes before loading. Put the shower curtain and towels in the dryer on the lowest temperature setting for 10 minutes, then immediately hang-dry.
- Get mildew and other stains off unpainted cement or patio stones: Mix a solution of 1 cup chlorine bleach in 7.5 litres water. Scrub vigorously with a stiff brush and rinse. If any stains remain, scrub again using 1/2 cup washing soda (this is sodium carbonate, not baking soda) dissolved in 7.5 litres warm water.
- Georgina Roberts