Household Hacks: Bleach

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bleach
(Photo: Photo Credit: Walmart)

Bleach is a cleaning staple in many households, especially when it comes to mold and mildew. But did you know there's more you can do with Clorox than clean mildew out of the shower and bathtub? Check out our household hacks below. You'll want to exercise caution when using bleach, however; you don't want to sanitize so many things that you kill your immune system!

Sanitize the toilet bowl: Simply pour a little bleach down the toilet every night before going to bed. It will work its magic overnight so you can wake up to a clean and sanitized toilet bowl. Don't use this household hack if your toilet flushes to a septic tank, however, as the tank relies on anaerobic bacteria to break down waste. (via Health Visitor)

Sanitize floors: Substitute your regular floor cleaner for a bleach solution every once in a while to ensure they're fully sanitized. (via Health Visitor)

Remove coffee and tea stains from mugs: No matter how long or hard you scrub those old coffee mugs, the stains are never really fully gone. Soak them in a water and bleach solution for five to ten minutes and let the bleach work its magic! (via Health Visitor)

Add sparkle to glasses and crystal: Hosting a fancy dinner party? Want to impress your mother-in-law? Soak your crystal glasses in a water and bleach solution for a couple minutes to give them the sparkle that puts the finishing touch to your meal. (via Health Visitor)

Kill weeds: Pour some bleach on the pesky weeds growing through the cracks in your driveway or sidewalk to ensure they never bother you again. (via Health Visitor)

weeds growing out of cracks in sidewalk

Clean plastic garden furniture: Cleaning plastic with bleach actually brings out the color of the plastic, especially if it's hidden by layers of dirt or mildew. Spring cleaning has never been so easy with bleach! Or pull them yourself — weeding is a great calorie burner. (via Health Visitor)

Clean the mildew off your shower curtain: Soak a moldy or mildewy shower curtain in a bleach solution before laundering as normal to ensure that all the green stains are removed. It's cheaper than buying a new shower curtain and doesn't require any elbow grease! (via Health Visitor)

Disinfect garden tools: Before you get into the spring landscaping, soak your tools in bleach and water to reduce the risk of spreading any festering plant diseases. The same goes for old plant pots as well; this way you won't have to spend the big bucks on expensive pots every spring. (via Health Visitor)

Clean your garbage cans: Sometimes garbage bags break and things can get pretty icky inside the kitchen trash can. Even worse: the outdoor garbage cans. Soaking the garbage cans in a solution of hot water and bleach for an hour or so should do the trick! (via Health Visitor)

Make your windows sparkle: Add a drop of bleach in the water you usually use to wash your windows and watch them shine like never before! (via Health Visitor)

Sterilize secondhand items: This is especially useful for toys your kids are playing with. Babies will put just about anything in their mouths, so make sure what they're playing with is clean! Soak the toys for five to ten minutes in a solution made of 3/4 cup bleach, a few drops of Dawn dish soap and one gallon of warm water. (via Reader's Digest)

Clean the butcher's block or cutting board: Think of all the germs and bacteria on the cutting board — gross! Ensure that it's sanitized by scrubbing the surface with a brush dipped in a solution of one teaspoon of bleach diluted in two quarts of water. Scrub in small circles, careful not to let the bleach soak into the board. (via Reader's Digest)

>>Read more: 6 Steps To Disinfect Your Kitchen

Increase cut flowers' longevity: Next time you have a vase full of flowers on display, pour 1/4 teaspoon bleach per liter of water into the vase to ensure the flowers' longevity. It will also make sure the water stays clear! (via Reader's Digest)

flowers tulips in vase

Household disinfectant spray: Skip the expensive store-bought disinfectants and make your own homemade spray. Mix one teaspoon of bleach with one gallon of hot water. Once it cools down, pour it into an empty spray bottle. Make sure you're not using it in the presence of ammonia or other cleaners! (via Reader's Digest)

Deodorize coolers and Thermos bottles: Sometimes the food in your cooler can get a little stinky, and that stink just does not come out easily. Clean the cooler or Thermos with bleach and water. You'll have a clean and fresh-smelling cooler in no time. (via ABDPBT)

Make a scooper: Use an empty, clean bleach bottle to make a scooper for dog food, fertilizer, cat litter, etc. Simply cut off the top portion of the bottle! (via ABBPBT)

Make a clothespin holder: If you use a clothesline to dry your clothes, you'll never have to struggle with clothespins again. Cut a hole in the bleach bottle opposite the handle and small holes in the bottom of the bottle for drainage. String the bottle on the clothesline and throw your clotheslines in the bottle. (via ABBPBT)

Make a hip bucket for gardening: Harvesting your fresh fruits and veggies? Cut a large hole in the side of the bottle opposite the handle and string your belt through the handle. You now have a bucket attached to your hip for all your goodies! (via ABBPBT)

Want to learn about more alternative uses for household items? Check out our other stories in the Household Hacks series here.