Home & Garden
10 different ways you're not using bleach but you should be
You can use bleach for much more than just brightening white clothes.
1. Keep your Christmas tree alive for longer
Keep the holiday spirit around just a bit longer with the help of bleach. According to Julia Byrne, a product developer, bleach at Clorox, you can prolong the life of your freshly cut tree with an easy mixture. Use a solution of two teaspoons of bleach per two litres of hot water, plus one cup of corn syrup, and an eighth of a cup of powdered iron from your local nursery. This mixture goes into your tree stand bowl instead of plain water, Byrne says.
2. Let your garden flourish
Try using bleach to clean flower pots and plants. “By cleaning your containers it helps prevent the transfer of moulds and diseases from old plants to new ones,” Byrne says. To disinfect, wash and rinse pots and planters by soaking them in a solution of half a cup of bleach to four litres of water for at least five minutes before rinsing with water.
3. Freshen up your garbage bins
Although garbage bins hold your garbage bags, the bins themselves need a good clean with bleach, too. Wash with soapy water and rinse. Then deodorise and sanitise the bins with a mixture of half a cup of bleach per three litres of water. Swish this solution over the inside of the bin and let it sit for two minutes before rinsing.
4. Keep fresh cut flowers alive
If you don’t have a green thumb, you can still use bleach to keep store-bought flowers alive. Smell your freshly cut flowers for longer by keeping them in cold water with a quarter teaspoon of bleach per litre of water, according to Byrne.
5, Eliminate litter box odour
Put an end to unpleasant cat box odours with bleach because it kills odour-causing germs, Byrne says. Wash the litter box with sudsy water and rinse. Then wipe it down with a solution of half a cup of bleach to four litres of water. Wait five minutes before rinsing.
6. Clean off mould and mildew
Bleach not only removes mould and mildew stains, but also kills the fungus, according to Byrne. “By killing the fungus, you no longer have to worry about the harmful effects that mould can have to your family’s health,” she says. Remove mould and mildew from your bathroom tiles with a mixture of equal parts bleach and water in a spray bottle. Let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing it off and rinsing.
7. Clean toys
Legos and other hard, non-porous objects such as kids’ toys could definitely benefit from bleach, especially if they are second-hand. “Bleach is perfect for disinfecting second-hand products because you can disinfect a lot of items with a small amount of bleach at a time,” Byrne says. Here’s what to do: add half a cup of bleach per four litres of water. Then wipe the surface with the bleach solution and let it sit on the surface for at least five minutes. Rinse it well with water and let it air dry.
8. Brighten and clean second-hand white linens
So you want to keep high thread count hand-me-down sheets without handing down any gross germs or bacteria. When washing, add two-thirds of a cup of bleach to your standard machine or one-third of a cup of bleach to your high-efficiency machine along with regular detergent. Ensure that the bleach contacts the clothes for ten minutes, Byrne says.
9. Clean most things in your kitchen
Sanitise second-hand food contact surface in the kitchen such as stainless steel utensils, plastic cutting boards, glassware, dishes, or baby bottles, Byrne says. Wash with water first, then rinse and wipe the surface with a solution of two tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water. Let the solution stand for two minutes, rinse well, and air dry.
10. Make a DIY spray to use on most surfaces
Sealed tile, wood, countertops and plastic are all hard, non-porous surfaces that are safe for bleach. Create your own disinfecting spray with a combination of two cups of water and one tablespoon of bleach. Plus, bleach is good for cleaning glass dishware and porcelain because it doesn’t streak as much as some other cleaners, according to Byrne.
Republished with permission of Handyman.
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