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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Using bleach at home

How much bleach should you mix with water? Read on to find out the amount appropriate for each household task.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - February 8, 2010
By: Adele Ong
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Using bleach at home

Bleach should always be diluted with water before use, to prevent permanent damage to furnishings, surfaces and your own health.

Most home owners do not bother with precise ratios and measurements when it comes to diluting bleach in water for general cleaning. Experienced housekeepers gauge an amount, tipping in a quarter of a cup or so into a big pail of water.

However, recommended ratios actually vary according to the purpose of the solution. If the solution is meant for disinfecting, the ratio of water to bleach is lower (some sources recommend 10 parts of water to one part of bleach); if it is for general cleaning, the ratio of water to bleach is higher (some sources go as high as 68:1).

To lighten white clothes in the laundry, use the bleach distribution feature in your washing machine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you have no specific manufacturer’s instructions available, or if your machine has no bleach distribution feature, fill the machine with water first, add one cup of chlorine bleach for a full load of white clothing, mix the solution well, then add the clothes. Never pour the bleach directly into a machine that already has clothes in it, unless you want uneven patches over your garments and linen!

For coloured clothing, never use chlorine bleach. Instead, use products based on oxygenated bleach, which is safe to use on coloured fabrics.

For cleaning and disinfecting of toilets, tip half a cup of bleach into the toilet bowl, let it sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub well with the toilet brush and flush it all away. The water inside the toilet bowl dilutes the bleach, so in this case, there is no need to pre-dilute it before using it.

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