Can You Use Toilet Bleach In The Washing Machine? (read this first)

When it comes to bleach, there are two main types which are chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach. The type you use in the toilet is chlorine bleach which can be used in the washing machine as long as you use it in the correct way.

Chlorine bleach will have a totally different effect on your clothes than oxygen bleach. To find which bleach to use in your washing machine and the correct way to use it, keep reading.

What Are The Differences In The 2 Types Of Bleach?

Let’s look at the main differences between chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach.

Which Bleach Is Stronger?

When it comes to washing, chlorine bleach is far stronger and can easily remove tough stains (and dyes) from clothes. It is really only suitable for heavy cleaning and disinfection but can damage the fabric of many materials. It should also never be used on any dyed or coloured fabrics as it will cause the material to discolour or stain.

So chlorine bleach should only be used on tough stains and heavy fabrics and non dyed items.

Which Bleach Is Safer?

Chlorine bleach might be the best for cleaning but it can also be dangerous. It can;

  • Irritate the nose, throat, eyes and skin
  • Cause dermatitis
  • Cause damage to the digestive tract if swallowed
  • Cause breathing difficulties
  • Damage clothes
  • Harm the environment

Chlorine bleach should always be diluted for safety before use.

However, oxygen bleach is far safer and won’t cause any of the problems mentioned above.

SEE ALSO: What Is Oxygen Bleach (and how to use it)

Which Bleach Is Better?

Toilet Bleach

When you consider all of the safety factors and concerns, oxygen bleach is the best bleach to use around your home and in your washing machine. It will clean and disinfect your clothes and surfaces without causing any damage and is suitable for use on lighter fabrics.

Oxygen bleach can also be used on clothes that are coloured and not only on white clothes.

However, there are some stains that will not be removed by just using oxygen bleach. This is because it is not as strong as chlorine bleach.

Chlorine bleach on the other hand, will remove tough stains as long as the fabric is tough enough to withstand it. If you decide to use chlorine bleach you should always;

  • Dilute it with plenty of water
  • Use in a well ventilated space
  • Always wear protective gloves
  • Never mix it with any other chemicals

SEE ALSO: Can You Use Household Bleach On Your Laundry?

Can Toilet Bleach Be Used To Clean Clothes In The Washing Machine?

You can use chlorine bleach in the washing machine to clean your clothes as long as you are careful. You should be aware that this poses considerable risk both to your clothes and to your health unless used in the proper way.

Always Check The Wash Care Label

Firstly, always check the care label on your clothes before even thinking about using bleach. You should then dilute the bleach in a ratio of at least 4:1 with 1 part bleach to 4 parts water.

Always Dilute The Bleach Before Use

Under no circumstances should you ever pour undiluted chlorine bleach directly onto clothes. Try spot checking the items first by using a small amount of the diluted bleach on a small unobtrusive area of the garment.

Don’t Use Too Much Bleach

Never over bleach any item as the bleach can cause yellowing if you over use chlorine bleach.

Use The Dispenser Drawer To Dispense The Bleach

Never pour chlorine bleach directly onto clothes. Not even diluted chlorine bleach. You should always add the diluted bleach mixture to the detergent dispenser and allow the machine to dispense it at the correct time of the cycle.

Can You Use Chlorine Bleach To Clean The Washing Machine?

Washing Machine

If you want to give your washing machine a thorough clean, you can use chlorine bleach. However, bleach can be corrosive and could damage your machine’s rubber hoses, door seal etc.

Check in your handbook first to ensure it is safe to use bleach and if it is, follow the instructions in the handbook on how to use it.

To remove mould and bad smells from your washing machine, add ½ a cup of chlorine bleach to the detergent drawer and run a hot service wash (with no laundry). This will remove all germs and unwanted mould, bacteria and smells.

You should also remember to clean the detergent dispenser drawer by soaking it in a bucket ½ filled with hot water and a ⅕ of a cup of bleach. 

Allow to soak for around 60 minutes and then scrub the dispenser using a toothbrush to remove any stubborn limescale. Then rinse the dispenser drawer off and replace it into the washing machine.

Don’t forget the rubber door seal which could also harbour mould and mildew. The best way to tackle this is to use a cloth with some of the diluted bleach solution and gently rub the door seal all around. Before rinsing with a clean cloth and warm water.

How To Stop Your Washing Machine Getting Dirty

To help prevent mould from forming, you should always leave the washing machine door open after use to allow the interior to dry out. Plus you should never leave wet or damp items in the drum as these are the perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew spores.

Before reusing the machine to wash clothes, it’s always a good idea to run an empty rinse cycle to ensure there are no bleach residues left in the machine.

If you want to give the outside of the appliance a clean too, just use soapy water. Bleach could be too abrasive for the painted surface of your washer and it’s even worse for stainless steel machines.

Are There Any Safer Alternatives To Clean The Washing Machine?

If you want to clean your washing machine and remove germs, bacteria and bad smells but don’t want to risk using bleach, you can use distilled white vinegar.

You can use white vinegar with your clothes or to clean the washing machine during a service wash.

For more information on how to use white vinegar in the washing machine follow this link.

Is It OK To Use Toilet Bleach In A Washing Machine?

While it is OK under certain conditions to use toilet bleach in a washing machine, it’s not the safest thing you can do. We would recommend exploring alternative means if possible. 

You should use oxygen bleach on your clothes and when it’s time to clean the washing machine, consider using white vinegar instead of chlorine bleach.

SEE ALSO: How To Run A Clean Cycle On A Washing Machine

Frequently Asked Questions

Will toilet bleach whiten clothes?

Toilet bleach is chlorine bleach, and it can be used in a diluted form to whiten certain fabrics and materials. However, it can be corrosive and should be used with caution. It is far safer to use oxygen bleach to whiten clothes.

Is it OK to put bleach in a washing machine?

It is OK to put bleach in a washing machine as long as it is diluted correctly and the laundry is bleach safe. However, bleach is corrosive and could damage your laundry and discolour certain items if too much is used.

Can I leave bleach in my washing machine overnight?

As bleach is corrosive, we would never recommend leaving bleach in a washing machine overnight. Not even diluted bleach. It is always a good idea to run an extra rinse cycle after using bleach in a washing machine to ensure there is no residue.

What happens if you mix bleach and laundry detergent?

If you mix bleach with laundry detergent, your laundry will get even cleaner as long as the clothes are bleach safe. You should always check the wash care label first.

Can you use bleach on coloured clothes?

You can use bleach on coloured clothes as long as it is colour safe (oxygen) bleach, However, you should always consult the garments wash care label first.

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