How to Use Detergents and Bleach on Laundry

Donna Pullen

With all the different types of laundry detergent and bleach on the market, washing laundry can be a bit overwhelming. But knowing which product to use and when to use it should make this daunting task a little simpler.

How to use laundry detergent and bleach on laundry

  1. Sort soiled laundry into piles according to color and type. Whites and nearly whites should be washed in the hottest water possible. Before loading the items into the washing machine, the machine should first be filled with enough hot water to completely cover the items. If you put the laundry in the machine before adding the water and detergent, the detergent may not fully dissolve and the detergent will not be mixed with the water well, resulting in uneven cleaning and soap spots in clothing.

  2. Add detergent according to the manufacturers instructions after the machine has filled. Let the water agitate for a second or two to allow the soap to dissolve and mix with the water.

  3. Place the clothes in the washer, carefully distributing them around evenly to prevent a lopsided load. Chlorine bleach makes fabrics whiter and cleaner, and also sanitizes and deodorizes.

  4. Pour in the bleach about 5 minutes after the clothes have begun to agitate, being careful not to splash or pour chlorine bleach directly on the fabrics as this can cause discoloration and sometimes holes.

  5. Use detergent with non-chlorine bleach to brighten colored clothes, but it should be first tested in an inconspicuous spot for colorfastness. When washing colored clothing, anything other than whites, the use of chlorine bleach is not recommended. Follow the same procedure as in the previous steps for filling the washing machine and adding detergent. Add clothing after the water and detergent have thoroughly mixed.

  6. Hand wash lingerie and other delicate fabrics in cool water with a mild soap such as Woolite. Follow the manufacturers recommendation for usage amount.