I am a huge fan of bleach in my laundry. I use pure bleach in every load of towels that I wash (I only purchase white towels so that I can use hot water and bleach to get them really clean) and color-safe bleach with each load of clothes. Over the years I have made a few mistakes such as using regular bleach for my daughter’s sheets – – this ended up being a great things because they were “tie-dyed” after that, which she loved. I have purchased laundry detergent with bleach additives; however, I find that my clothes feel cleaner and fresher if I use separate bleach. Furthermore, by using bleach rather than a laundry detergent with bleach, I control the amount of bleach and the type of bleach I use with each load of laundry.
Bleach is an essential part of my stain removal process and prevention. I use bleach with the warm water setting to remove stains. Of course, stains on whites can be removed with ease by using chlorine bleach but always check the washing instructions and fabric-care guides because bleach is not safe for all fabrics (such as wool, silk, mohair, leather, Spandex and non-fast colors).
If you use bleach on whites, and they turn yellow, test your water. If you have poor water quality because of metals in the water or pipes, the iron or manganese can react with the sodium hypochlorite in bleach turning the clothing yellow. If you cannot treat your water, you may need to discontinue using bleach until the metals in your water system have dissipated. Yellowing will also occur if you have touched up a stained area and destroyed the fabric whiteners. There is not much you can do in this situation other than continue to wash the item and hope the yellow fades over time.
If you are one of the fortunate individuals to own a HE front-loader washing machine, make sure that you wash at least one load of whites each week with the recommended amount of chlorine bleach for that load. HE front loaders save energy and water; however, because of their design they can develop an odor problem from a buildup of biofilm, bacteria and mildew. Manufacturers recommend doing a chlorine bleach rinse once a month; however, if you wash at least one load of whites with bleach each week that should take care of the problem.
Never pour any type of bleach directly into your load of laundry – – always use the bleach dispenser to add bleach into the wash. The bleach dispenser dilutes the bleach and disperses it into the wash so that it is not exposed to clothing in a concentrated strength.