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The 9 Best Household Uses for Bleach

Bleach is a classic solution for taking care of myriad cleaning projects around the house. It’s so ubiquitous, in fact, that we’re betting there are some uses that you don’t even know about yet. Check out these nine ways to use bleach for your toughest household tasks.

1. Clean your cutting boards.
Butcher block countertops and cutting boards can start harboring lots of bacteria over time. Combine one teaspoon bleach with two quarts of water, dip in a brush and use small circles to scrub boards and counters. Wipe with a damp paper towel and then dry immediately.

2. Get rid of mold and mildew
Bleach is notorious for its ability to eradicate mold and mildew, but it’s all about doing it right. Follow the following ratios to get rid of mold and mildew in these tough places:

Painted surfaces and siding: Mix one quarter bleach with two cups water and apply with a brush to any areas showing mold or mildew. Allow to set for 15 minutes and then rinse. You may need to repeat.

Shower curtains: Wash in warm water with half a cup of bleach and a quarter cup of detergent. Let the washer run for a few minutes and then dry at the lowest setting for ten minutes.

Cement or stucco: Mix one cup of bleach with two gallons of water. Scrub with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse.

3. Kill weeds in sidewalk cracks.
Stop sidewalk weeds in their tracks. While you can’t just go dumping bleach into your garden, you can use it to get rid of stubborn weeds that tend to appear in walkway and sidewalk cracks. Carefully pour undiluted bleach into cracks, being sure not to get any on surrounding grass or plants. The weeds should be gone in no time.

4. Put sparkle back in glass dishes.
Stubborn water stains on your glass dishware? Bleach can be used to remove them and brighten up glass. Add a teaspoon to hot, soapy dishwater and wash, rinse and dry as usual. Your glass should be sparkling.

5. Make a DIY disinfectant spray.
When it comes to stocking your cleaning supply arsenal, nothing beats a good all-purpose disinfectant spray. Mix one tablespoon of bleach per one gallon of hot water, place the mixture in a plastic spray bottle and use it on a paper towel or rag to clean a variety of surfaces. Just be sure not to mix it with ammonia—the number one rule of using bleach around the house.

6. Brighten white linens.
The most popular use for bleach will long be for intensifying white fabrics. But just because you don’t have to wear an item doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get the brightening treatment. Bleach can be used to breathe new life into white duvets, sheets and even curtains. Use the hottest water setting on your washing machine, add a cup of bleach and allow the linens to soak for five minutes. Then add half a cup more bleach and your regular detergent and run a regular cycle.

7. Keep flowers fresher longer.
This one is a little strange and counter-intuitive, but hear us out. Bleach can actually extend the life of fresh cut flowers when you add a little to the vase water. Just make sure you get the ratio right: think about three drops of bleach per liter of water, plus a teaspoon of sugar. The recipe works because it helps inhibit the growth of bacteria!

8. Whiten dingy tile grout.
Tile grout can get pretty dull and dingy after awhile, giving your bathroom a tired look. Bleach can help restore grout to its original luster. Just mix a little bleach into a spray bottle of water and spray directly on grout. Let it penetrate the grout for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a small bristle brush or old toothbrush. In a pinch, you can also use a bleach gel pen intended for treating small clothing stains.

9. Sanitize plastic toys.
If you have kids, you probably have hundreds of small plastic toys in your home, from Legos to figurines to doll accessories. Bleach is perfect for sanitizing all those little pieces, especially after a bout of illness has made its rounds in your household. Just add half a cup of bleach to a bucket with a gallon or so of warm water and allow the toys to soak for five to ten minutes. Then strain them, rinse them and allow them to dry completely.

 

Call National Property Inspections for a report on your home today.
Our NPI inspectors can assess your roof, foundation, electrical system, plumbing and more and prepare a full report on their condition. Find an inspector near you today!

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