Can You Put Bleach in Washing Machine

Can You Put Bleach in Washing Machine? Helpful Tips!

Apart from putting laundry detergent in your washing machine, you can add fabric softener to give your clothes a fresh fragrance. But can you put bleach in the washing machine, considering how reactive it is?

The answer is yes. You can put bleach in a washer to clean it or whiten your stained clothes. It does not matter whether you have a top or front loader. The important thing is to use the correct type of bleaching agent and in the right amounts. 

So then, how do you use bleach to clean the washing machine or your clothes? In this guide, we will discuss this and much more. 

Can You Put Bleach In Washing Machines? If So What Will Do?

Yes. You can put bleach or bleaching agent in a washing machine whether you have a top or front loader type machine. What is important is knowing how to use it correctly.

But before adding it, you must check your washer’s user manual to confirm if the specific brand permits bleach usage. Also, you will have to consider several things, including the following.

Purpose and Quantity

For starters, you need to consider the purpose of putting the bleaching agent in the machine. Is it to clean clothes or the washer itself? This is because depending on the purpose of using the bleach, the quantities and type of bleach you use may vary.

Additionally, you must consider the amount of bleaching agent to put in the washer. This is because too much of it can damage the clothes as it is highly reactive. 

Generally, you can use half a cup of regular bleach in a standard washer to clean lightly soiled clothes. If cleaning heavily soiled clothes, you can add up to 2/3 cup of bleach. And to clean the machine, use a half cup. 

Type of Bleach

You must consider what type of bleaching agent you will use. Generally, there are two common types, chlorine, and non-chlorine, which are available in liquid or powdered form.

Chlorine, known as regular bleach, is commonly used to remove stains from whites. Its active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, making it very potent. Don’t use chlorine bleach in colored clothes directly. Better avoid using it in colored clothes. 

Non-chlorine, oxygen, peroxide, or color-safe bleach helps eliminate stains from white and colored clothing. Its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, making it gentler on clothes. 

Where To Put?

Another thing to consider is where to put the bleach in the washing machine. This is because not all washers come with a bleach dispenser.

Generally, you can put the bleaching agent in the detergent drawer when cleaning clothes using a front-loading machine.

But if using a top-loader machine, you put the bleach in the water before adding the clothes to the washer. And if using the bleach to clean the machine, you can put it directly into the drum.

When To Put It?

The timing is also equally important. Typically, experts recommend putting the bleaching agent in the washing machine 5 minutes after the wash cycle has started. This is when using a front-loader. If using a top-loader, you add the bleach before putting the clothes in the water.

However, when using oxygen bleach, you can put it in the washer before adding the clothes. Similarly, you can add the bleaching agent to the machine before starting the cycle if cleaning the drum.

How To Use Bleach In Washing Machines?

Now that you know you can put a bleaching agent in the machine, how do you use it to clean clothes and the drum? Here are step-by-step instructions to help you.

Method 1: Cleaning Clothes

See how to use chlorine or non-chlorine bleach in your front or top loader machine to clean clothes.

  • Step 1: Start by putting your laundry into your front-loading machine. However, in a top-load washer, fill the drum first with hot water.
  • Step 2: Set your front or top-load machine’s temperature to the highest level. This is to ensure you use the hottest water.
  • Step 3: Add a cupful of laundry detergent to the dispenser of your front or top load washer.
  • Step 4: Add about 3/4 cup of bleaching agent (chlorine or oxygen) into the bleach dispenser of your front loader. However, the exact amount may vary, depending on the brand you’re using. So, check the instructions on the package.
  • Step 5: If your front-loader machine does not have a bleach drawer, add it to the detergent compartment. And if using a top-load washer, add the bleach directly into the water.
  • Step 6: Next, put on gloves and submerge your clothes into the machine already filled with water if using a top-loader.
  • Step 7: Adjust your front or top-load machine to the regular cycle and press the start button.
  • Step 8: Let your laundry dry as usual once the wash cycle is complete.

Method 2: Cleaning the Washing Machine

Putting bleach in a washing machine can help kill bacteria or mold lurking inside. So, here is how to use the bleaching agent to clean your washer:

  • Step 1: Remove the detergent drawer. Then, soak it in a bucket of hot water with a half cup of bleach for at least an hour. Next, use an old toothbrush to scrub away stubborn dirt.
  • Step 2: Put the drawer back and put about a 1/2 cup of bleaching agent in the detergent or bleach drawer of your front-load washer. But if using non-chlorine bleach, put it directly in the drum.
  • Step 3: Clean the rubber gasket and disinfect it with bleach. Then, rinse it thoroughly with warm water.
  • Step 4: If using a top-loader machine, set it on a regular wash cycle and fill it with the hottest water. Then, add your bleaching agent to the water as it is filling.
  • Step 5: Set your machine to regular or drum clean cycle and press the start button.
  • Step 6: Once the cycle is complete, run an extra rinse cycle to remove any bleach residue in the drum.
  • Step 7: Open the washer’s door and let the drum air dry. 

Tips to Using Bleach In a Washing Machine

If you plan on putting bleach in your washing machine, there are several crucial things to keep in mind. These include:

  1. Always check the clothing’s labels to confirm if it is safe to use bleach on the fabric. Some clothes made of leather, wool, and silk fabrics are not bleach-safe.
  2. Before putting the bleaching agent in the machine, conduct a small test on the clothes. This will help you know how the bleach reacts with the clothes.
  3. Wear gloves before using the bleaching agent, especially if your skin is very sensitive.
  4. If using liquid detergent, use liquid bleach in the machine. Similarly, use powdered bleach with powdered detergent.
  5. Don’t use regular bleach in the washing machine, together with ammonia-based cleaners. The combination can produce toxic gasses.
  6. Don’t put bleach directly in the washer’s drum when the clothes are already inside, as it can damage them.
  7. Always use the hottest water possible when using a bleaching agent in a washing machine.

People Also Asked

Before we conclude this guide, let’s check out some commonly asked queries about putting bleach in a washing machine.

Will bleach damage the washing machine?

No, as long as your washer allows for bleach and you use the precise bleach amounts. Therefore, always check your machine’s user manual before using any bleaching agent.

Can you put bleach in the washing machine to get rid of smells?

Yes. Apart from using bleach to clean your washer, you can use it to remove horrible smells. This is because bleach is a disinfectant. Therefore, it can kill germs and get rid of odors.

Can you put bleach in the fabric softener dispenser?

No. This is because it will not release evenly or rinse out entirely. As such, the bleach residue could damage your next load. Also, your clothes could smell like chlorine. 

The Bottom Line

Bleach is one of the best cleaning products because it can kill mold, germs, and bacteria. More so, it can remove even the toughest stains on clothes. The best part is that you can safely use it in a washing machine to clean it or your clothes.

The crucial thing to remember when putting a bleaching agent in a machine is to use the correct amounts. Also, you must know where to put it if your washer lacks a bleach compartment. And more importantly, you should know the type of bleach to use depending on your clothing color.

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