What do you think of when you smell bleach? Does it transport you back to summers in your youth when you spent endless hours at the community or neighbor’s pool? Maybe it reminds you of a clean bathroom. Whatever your association, the bleach is used for the same thing: killing bacteria.

Bleach is a very strong chemical that is very effective in a number of uses. First of all, it is an excellent stain remover. In fabrics, this, of course, is only true of white cloth. Colored cloth, rather than having a stain removed, will become stained white because of bleach. This is why it is important to remember to be careful when using bleach and be wearing work clothes.

Bleach cleaning your surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom is a great and simple way to disinfect and kill bacteria. All you have to do is mix a solution of nine parts water and one part bleach. Dip your cloth in or spray directly on the surface and allow to sit for a minute then rub down and wipe off and you have a disinfected surface.

Another great use for bleach cleaning is for removing mold and mildew. The bathroom most commonly falls victim to this type of growth because of the use of water and the regular permeation of steam. Mold and mildew often grow on the bath or in the shower. Spraying the area with a mixture of water and bleach will do the trick. Allow it to sit for ten minutes and rinse and wipe. For very stubborn mold, use a full concentration of bleach.

Mildew also grows on window ledges and sills as well as around the frames. This can usually be wiped away quite easily with just a wet cloth or a window cleaner but they will not prevent the mold from growing back. Diluted bleach cleaning the window will help remove all of the mildew completely and will prevent growth for a long time after.

Although bleach is highly toxic, it can be used in extremely small amounts to clean water for drinking. If you are planning to store water or just need to drink unclean water you can simply drop some Clorox in. The amount is very, very small; you only need two drops of bleach to each quart! If the water is actually cloudy you can double the amount but definitely do not use more as it will not clean the water any better and will make you sick.

The uses of bleach in cleaning are many and varied. It is a chemical that everyone should have around the house. However, because of its toxic nature and potentially damaging properties, it must be kept well out of reach of children in a place it cannot be spilled from.