So you thought bleach was only good for laundering eh?  Well, so did I... until I discovered otherwise.

Bleach refers to a number of chemicals that remove color, whiten, or disinfect, often via oxidation.

Bleach is sold extremely concentrated and must be diluted to be used safely when disinfecting surfaces and when used to treat drinking water. When disinfecting most surfaces, 1 part bleach to 100 parts water is sufficient for sanitizing; stronger solutions may be used with caution. In an emergency, drinking water can be treated: the ratio of bleach to water for purification is 2 drops of bleach per liter of water or 8 drops of bleach per gallon (3.8L) of water; 1/2 teaspoon bleach per five gallons (19L) of water. If water is cloudy, filter the water before adding the bleach. Let treated water stand covered for 15 minutes before drinking. Additional bleach will not kill more bacteria and can endanger health.

The Many Uses Of Bleach:

  • Use (Regular-Clorox) bleach to keep a wooden cutting board free of bacteria.  Wash the cutting board in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.  Then mix 3 tablespoons bleach with 1 gallon (3.8L), warm water.  Soak or brush the solution onto the cutting board, keep it moist for at least 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Get rid of stains on wooden cutting boards and butcher-block countertops by soaking a white dishcloth in undiluted bleach, then laying it over the spots for 10 to 15 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly or wipe area down with a clean, damp dishcloth.
  • Remove odours from your garbage disposal by pouring bleach down the drain.  then run hot water for 2 minutes.

  • In some regions, it's not uncommon to see flies in the sink of the bathroom or kitchen. These flies live in the drains. To kill flies living in the drain, pour a bit of bleach down the drain on a weekly basis. This will also help prevent odors.
  • Porcelain sinks that haven't been cleaned for ages can look good as new by making a solution of equal parts bleach and water. Cover the surface of the sink with a thick layer of paper towels and saturate them with the solution.  Remove towels after approximately 5 minutes; rinse sink with clean water.  Be sure to wear rubber gloves.
  • Soak stained china cups in a mild solution of 1 tablespoon bleach and 1 gallon, (3.8L), water.  This will also make glasses and flatware shine.
  • Plasticware, especially food containers, often takes on a greasy feeling.  Put a capful of bleach in the dishwater with your usual dishwashing liquid. Problem solved!
  • Clean grungy caulking around a bathtub or shower.  Just mix 3/4 cup bleach with 1 gallon water, then scrub the caulk with a toothbrush dipped in this solution.
  • Clean your toilet while you're not even home!  Pour 1/4 cup bleach into the bowl, but don't flush the toilet until you return - even days later, so long as you remember to close the bathroom door to keep pets out!
  • Revitalize old, smelly sponges by soaking them for 10 minutes in a solution of 3/4 cup bleach and 1 gallon (3.8L), water.  Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Health and Home
  • To soothe the itch of poison ivy, combine 1 teaspoon bleach with 1 quart of water.  Dip a cotton ball in the solution and pat it on the red blotches.  For an immediate treatment, swab affected areas with undiluted rubbing alcohol, finish by washing with soap and water.
  • To remove fungus that causes athlete's foot, just soak your feet twice a day in a mixture of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water.  Relief from itching and burning will arrive in no time. (Attention, diabetics:  Always consult your doctor before you sak in or apply anything on your feet.)
  • Sanitize baby bottles, teethin rings, sippy cups, and feeding spoons with bleach.  Mix 1 tablespoon bleach with 1 gallon water and soak the pre-washed items for 2 minutes.  Rinse well, drain, and air-dry.  (Before draining, pour the solution through each bottle's nipple.  Rinse well.)
  • For a super whitening mix, dissolve 1/2 cup automatic dishwashing detergent in 1 gallon warm water and add 1/2 cup bleach.  Soak whites for 1 to 8 hours (the longer the better), then launder as usual.
  • Get rid of mildew on plastic lawn furniture. Test for colourfastness on a hidden spot before using: Add 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water.  Scrub away then rinse well with clean water.  Let the pieces dry completely before storing.
  • Brighten mildewy or moldy wicker furniture using the same bleach-to-water ratio.  Using a small to medium-size paintbrush, brush on a solution of 1/4 cup bleach and  1 quart water.  Let the wicker air-dry in the shade.  Rinse.
  • Bleach can help kill dangerous bacteria in a portable humidifier.  Once a week, clean the reservoir with a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach and 1 pint water.
  • Clean, empty bleach bottles make great buoys for boating or swimming areas.  tighten the cap on one, tie a rope around the handle, and attach the other end of the rope to a second bottle filled with sand.
  • Make a scooper!  Cut out the bottom of a clean bleach bottle, leave the cap on, then shape the bottle into a triangle to form a scooper.  Use it scoop kitty litter, dog food, powdered detergent, salt to sprinkle on the driveway to melt ice and anything else you would use a scoop for.
  • Make a megaphone!  Cut off the bottom of a clean bleach bottle.  Remove the cap and have your child shout through the spout for an instant megaphone!
  • Have a cup of bleach handy when you remove ticks from your pet.  The pests will be killed immediately when you drop them in the cup.
  • Make an emergency funnel for your car!  Cut an emptym, dry, clean bleach bottle in half.  Remove the cap and keep in trunk of your car for an instant funnel for oil, antifreeze or windshield washer fluid!
To keep a freshly cut Christmas tree looking lively and green indoors:

After you've brought in and set up the tree, mix the following in a bucket: 2 cups light corn syrup, 4 tablespoons (Clorox) bleach, 4 multivitamin tablets with iron, and 1 gallon of very hot water.  Fill the tree stand with the mixture. 

Pour in more whenever the level drops and of course, be sure to keep pets away.
  • Extend the life of freshly cut flowers by adding 1/4 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart water.
  • Placing cut flowers in a vase with this mixture will help reserve them if you intend to dry them out:  Mix 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 drops bleach into 1 cup water.  Let the liquid completely evaporate, and the shape and colour of your flowers will be preserved.
  • Plant diseases can be as contagious as human varieties.  Immediately after working with diseased plants, clean your garden tools in a mixture of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water.  Wash your gardening gloves in the mixture too.

Extra Tidbits:
  • Peroxide bleach was discovered in the middle of last century. Although it takes away stains, it lacks the ability to bleach most coloured fabrics. It is considered to be more user-friendly, as they do not cause weakening of the cloth. It also don't disinfect and can be safely added in laundry detergents. Another distinct feature is that it has a longer shelf life as compared to other types of bleaches It has more popular in Europe where washing machines are produced with inner heating coils which can increase the water temperature right up to boiling point.
    Chlorine bleach has disinfecting qualities and is a powerful germicide. It is useful in disinfecting water, especially in areas where contamination is rampant. In New York City's Croton Reservoir, it was initially used to disinfect drinking water in 1895. In recent times, community health activists have promoted bleach as a low-cost method of disinfecting the needles of intravenous drug users.
  • Louis Pasteur discovered the bacteria-fighting effects of sodium hypochlorite in the late 1800s.  In 1913, five entrepreneurs each invested $100 to convert, by electrolysis, the salt ponds of San Francisco Bay into commercial-grade bleach.  the Clorox Company struggled until 1916, when its chemists developed a less-concentrated household version.  The solution containing 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite, bottled in 15-ounce amber glass bottles, was first given away as a free sample to grocery store customers.

Resource(s):  wikipedia, mia-carter.suite101.com/, hassam.hubpages.com/