How To Use Bleach in Laundry? – Learn All The Basics

How much bleach to use in Laundry

How Much Bleach To Use In A Load Of Laundry?

Laundry bleach aids detergents in removing soil and stains from clothes. Through an oxidation process, bleach transforms soil particles into soluble ones removed with detergents during washing.

Whitening and brightening washable fabrics is achieved by bleach, and some bleaches kill bacteria by killing them. It is essential to know how much bleach to use in laundry to clean materials, remove stains, and make whites whiter.

The instructions on the bleach packaging and your washing machine can give you more specific directions on using bleach in laundry. Remember that bleach is used as a dilute solution to remove stains or in the washing machine, not in the dryer.

Let’s find out the amount of bleach you can use in laundry!

How Do Bleach Chemicals work?

Bleach that oxidizes breaks the chemical bonds between chromophores (parts of a molecule with color). As a result, either the molecule is colorless or reflects colors outside the visible spectrum.

The chromophore’s double bonds are converted into single bonds when bleach is used as a reducing agent. Thus, the molecule becomes colorless.

Energy can also disrupt chemical bonds, thus bleaching colors out. As a result of ultraviolet rays, chromophores in sunlight can become discolored due to the disruption of their bonds.

Types of Bleach

Liquid bleach comes in three basic types for use in laundry. Understanding what kind of bleach you are using will help you avoid damaging your fabrics. Make sure you read the package carefully.

  1. Chlorine Bleach

With chlorine bleach, you dilute sodium hypochlorite with water. Sometimes chlorine bleach is available in powdered form, but usually, it is known as a liquid. It is a powerful bleach. However, it is not suitable for many fabric types, notably colored or patterned clothing.

  1. Oxygen Bleach

In some cases, oxygen bleach is referred to as color-safe bleach or all-fabric bleach. Most types of colorfast clothing do not lose color or patterns with this bleach, unlike chlorine bleach.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide Bleach

A powerful bleaching and cleaning agent, hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound. It acts as a high-level disinfectant in water, dissolving into hydrogen very quickly.

Hydrogen peroxide releases free radicals, which oxidize and disinfect pollution in water.

Colorfastness Test

Test a garment’s colorfastness test before using chlorine bleach. Have a quick look at the steps!

  • Add one teaspoon of bleach to two teaspoons of warm water.
  • Pick an inconspicuous location on the garment, such as an inside seam.
  • Dot the fabric with the bleach water solution using a cotton swab.
  • Allow the spot to completely dry.
  • Avoid using chlorine bleach on this fabric if you see any color change or transfer of color. (This usually occurs with chlorine bleach when tested on colored things).

How Much Bleach to Use in Laundry?

Bleach is a standard tool for removing stains from clothes. Remove difficult stains such as set-in ink stains with this solution, such as yellow stains on clothes. In order to use bleach to remove stains from laundry, it needs to be diluted with water.

Objective Standard Washing Machine High-Efficiency Washing Machine
Sanitization ½ cup ¼ cup
Normal Soil (Whitening & Stain Removal) ⅓ cup Max line in dispenser
Heavy Soil (Whitening & Stain Removal)  ⅔ cup Max line in dispenser

Wear Protective Clothing

When working with bleach, it’s not necessary to wear special gear, but it’s recommended to avoid destroying your clothes or damaging your skin.

Don’t worry about your clothes before working with bleach. In this way, even if you spill the bleach on your clothes, you won’t have to worry about your current ensemble getting stained.

Make A Solution

Bleach is the best stain remover if you soak the item entirely in bleach and a water solution. In a clean bucket or container, mix 1/2 cup of regular liquid bleach with one gallon of water (Standard washing machine). If you use a high-efficiency washing machine, you can add 1/4 cup of liquid bleach with one gallon of water.

Soak the Items

Put the clothes in the water for 5 minutes, rinse, and let them air dry. You can pretreat oil stains by applying a small amount of soap to the item and letting it sit for five minutes before soaking it in bleach.

Rinse & Dry the Clothes

As long as you have another bleach-safe garment to clean with, you can wash and dry the item as usual. When the stained item hasn’t already been thoroughly rinsed, you can let it air dry.

How Much Bleach to Use in A Load of Laundry?

To a load of laundry, you should add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of regular liquid bleach. You can fill your bleach dispenser directly with bleach by filling it up to the indicated line if it has one. Alternatively, you can add the bleach now to the water 5 minutes after the wash cycle has begun if you do not have a dispenser.

How Much Bleach to Use in White Laundry?

  • Make sure to wear rubber gloves first.
  • Pour in a bit of amount of bleach.
  • Add in a small amount of powder detergent.
  • Put in some water (recommended bleach to water ratio 1:90)
  • Stir to mix them well.
  • Put white cloths in the bucket.
  • Move and shake it a few times.
  • Soak for at least 15 minutes (longer for the more challenging stain on the cloth).
  • Squeeze out the remaining solution.
  • Put it in a washing machine (Do not mix with other colored clothes).
  • Run the regular cleaning cycle in the washing machine

How Much Bleach to Use in Color Laundry?

It’s essential to check the colorfastness of your clothes before using bleach on them. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Add two teaspoons (10 ml) of bleach to 1/3 cup of water.
  • Place a drop of this solution on the hem, cuffs, or inside seams of the colored item.
  • Leave for a minute, rinse, and then dry.
  • If you applied bleach solution to an area, check it. If no color changes occur, you can safely bleach the item.

Bleach is the proper amount for colored clothes when washing (top-loading machines) or front-loading machines. You should do this for white dresses as well as bleach-safe colored ones. It is important not to let undiluted bleach contact your clothes when you add bleach.

Before adding the pack, it is good to mix the bleach in with the agitator when the washer is about half full. While it’s filling up, add bleach to the washer before you add the load. You are also more likely to avoid spills if you use a measuring cup.

Important Note

Following a bleach wash, you should wash the same clothing with a regular load. If it is functioning correctly, you should not find any bleach residue inside your washing machine, so any non-bleachable items you wash next should be unaffected.

Key Points of Using Bleach in Laundry

Here, I would like to share the additional tips for using bleach. Take a closer look!

  • First, take steps to protect yourself. To prevent harmful fumes from escaping, ensure you have good ventilation when using bleach. Use gloves when handling bleach, and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Do not use it on soft surfaces. You should not use bleach on fabrics or clothes. Bleach can seriously damage them. Always make a solution and then soak the clothes.
  • Soap and water are good places to start. Use soap and water to clean the area first, followed by bleach to disinfect. In addition to removing dirt and grime, soap and bleach kill bacteria and viruses.
  • Only use water to dilute. Do not use alcohol when diluting your bleach. A chemical disaster can occur if another compound such as ammonia and vinegar is used.
  • Be sure you allow enough time for contact. For the product to be effective, it must remain wet for the duration of the cleaning process.
  • You should not dry the surface immediately after bleaching it. Usually, bleach requires 10 minutes of contact time.


Is laundry bleach the same as household bleach?

It doesn’t make a difference! The bleach you use to clean the rest of your house, and your laundry is essentially the same. One difference may be that oxygen bleach is sometimes used instead of chlorine. Chlorine bleach is much more potent than oxygen bleach.

Can you use too much bleach for laundry?

You can use bleach to fight stains and whiten your whites, but you can use too much when washing your clothes. In the long run, over-bleaching your laundry can affect the strength and quality of the fibers. It is essential to read the care instructions on the clothing carefully.

Will the bleach damage my washing machine?

The fact that bleach is highly reactive means that you should never use it in conjunction with any other cleaning product since it can cause an adverse reaction and damage your machine.

How much bleach to use in the laundry for shoes?

You should make a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. Scrub the dirty parts of your shoes with an old toothbrush dipped in the solution. Keep scrubbing the stains with a wet scrub brush while rinsing them with water.

Can I use lemon-scented regular bleach to sanitize my laundry?

No. To sanitize laundry, only bleach products that are EPA-registered must be used. Make sure the bottle includes a claim that it will kill germs.

Can you use bleach and laundry detergent together?

It is possible to combine laundry detergent and bleach to wash various items. It is possible to wash bleach- and detergent-safe fabrics such as whites and light colors. To ensure chlorine bleach is appropriate for a fabric type, it is always best to check the label.

In Conclusion

Learning how much bleach to use safely is an integral part of washing clothes properly. You can disinfect laundry and keep whites white by using chlorine bleach, but you need to know how to bleach your colored clothes and whites.

Read Also: What happened to Era Laundry Detergent?

About the author

Anthony Perfetti
Owner | long island laundry company

Anthony Perfetti is the owner of Long Island Laundry Company and has over 20 years experience professionally processing laundry for many customers throughout Long Island. He often contributes his knowledge to the community about the laundry service industry and laundry best practices. With this blog he will be sharing with you some interesting laundry facts he has learned along the way.

Trust the Experts! Let Long Island Laundry Company do your laundry for you. We are the premiere Wash and Fold service on Long Island.