Chlorine bleach is a staple of every laundry room, but it has other uses in and around your home. It’s great for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. It’s also a safe way to remove stains, kill germs and deodorize containers. Here are a few surprising uses for bleach around your house:
Make Glassware Sparkle
Add a teaspoon of bleach to your dishwasher load to restore shine and sparkle to your glassware. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just soak your glasses in a solution of one part bleach to four parts water for a few minutes, then wash and rinse well.
Keep Flowers Fresh
Place a few drops of bleach in the water of a vase to keep cut flowers looking fresher for longer. This will extend the life of your flowers, as well as keep the water clearer.
Get Rid of Weeds
Pure bleach can kill weeds growing in the cracks of your walkway or driveway. Spray bleach on the weeds and let stand to kill existing weeds and help prevent new ones from sprouting. Bleach will kill grass, flowers, and other vegetation, so aim carefully.
Sterilize Gardening Tools
Soak your garden tools in a solution of one part bleach to four parts water to disinfect and sanitize. This helps reduce the risk of spreading plant diseases. Use on plant pots as well to kill any plant diseases before reusing the pots.
Restore Garden Path
Restore your garden stepping stones, masonry walkways, concrete sidewalks, or brick paths with a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon of water. Spray on the walkway to repair weathered and aged moss and algae, let stand for a few minutes, and then hose away. Remember to be careful when you aim to avoid border plantings.
Bleach is also a pesticide. When used with care, a few drops of bleach added to your birdbath will keep standing water mosquito-free. This treatment kills larvae, which grows in stagnant water. A little goes a long way, so just use a tablespoon of bleach to treat 50 gallons of water to eliminate pests and keep feathered friends safe. Never add bleach to natural waterways or ponds.
Renew a Wood Fence
If your wooden fence has turned gray and dingy from mold, mildew, or dirt, refresh it with bleach. Place drop cloths on either side of your fence to protect grass and plants from bleach damage and wear rubber gloves and eyewear to protect yourself. Dilute bleach with water using a garden sprayer and apply it to the slats of the fence. Allow the bleach to work for a few minutes before you rinse it clean with a garden hose.