“Ah-ha” Uses for Bleach

Bleach does more than remove stains and make whites, whiter. Studio 5
Contributor, Teresa Hunsaker, shares some surprising uses for this go-to

Many of us know that bleach will whiten whites, but there are many other
uses for bleach that you may want to consider. Here are just a few:

Flowers fresh longer: ¼ teaspoon of bleach, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1
quart of cool water…stir together and add to fresh cut flowers. This not
only keeps the algae down, the water clear, but the flowers lasting longer.

vSterilize used toys (or toys in a kids room or church nursery): Mix 2
TBS bleach in a gallon of water. Place solution in a spray bottle to mist on
hard plastic and bleach safe toys, or dampen a clean soft cloth to wipe
down the toys.

Kill weeds in crack on a driveway: Pour undiluted bleach right on
the weeds. In a couple of days the weeds should be dried up and ready to
pull. Keep in mind not to get bleach on plants you don’t want to kill. J

Clean and deodorize thermos and cooler: Mix 1 part bleach with
10 parts water…so 1 cup bleach to 10 cups water. Pour solution into
thermos or cooler. Let sit 10-15 minutes. Wash out with soft cloth. Rinse
and dry well. Store with lid off or slightly open if possible.

Remove coffee and tea stains from porcelain: Mix ¼ cup bleach
in 1 gallon of water. Place stained cups in the solution for at least 15
minutes. Rinse and dry if stain is removed. Let sit longer if stain is not
gone. (This solution and method works for removing tough stains from
Tupperware or other plastic food containers.)

Freshen a sponge: Mix 1 TBS bleach in 1 cup of water. Let
sponge soak in solution for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and store. I recommend
doing this about once every week or two…depending on the sponge and

Disinfect electronic devices: Mix ¼ cup bleach in 1 gallon of
water. Moisten a clean cloth in the bleach/water solution and wipe down
remote controls, cell phones and phones, keyboards, mouse. (This same
solution can be used to wipe down your steering wheels.)

Fish tanks: Combine 1 cup bleach with 1 quart of water. Rinse
out a fish tank with this solution to remove algae, scum, and mildew. This
a significantly concentrated solution so be sure not to get it on anything
that could be damaged by bleach.

Remove mildew from painted surfaces or siding: ¼ cup bleach in
2 cups water. Sponge on, let sit 15 minutes, lightly brush, and rinse.

If you have any questions, contact Teresa Hunsaker at the Family and
Consumer Science Education Department at the Weber County USU
Extension office at (801) 399-8203 or online at

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