how much bleach do you use?

muspicNovember 29, 2010

Just got my new washer. A Kenmore FL that I am quite besotted with.

However, have just done a load of whites using the whitest whites and using bleach.

i thought I followed instructions but there was a definite smell of bleach on the clothes, so i suspect i used too much.

How much, or rather how little, should/do you use?

Thanks for your input

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Your owners manual should give you some pointers on how much to use. Thats why I dont use it, too hard ot rinse the smell out and it is hash on clothes

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 10:17PM
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I have an older Kenmore FL. The bleach cup states 1/3 Cup max. The owners manual states you should measure it, not guess. You could always add an additional rise to your load, or try ultimate care bleach (also by clorox). Has the clean smell w/o the harshness.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:46PM
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Try non-chlorine bleach instead. If the whitest whites cycle is hot enough, it'll do the job more gently and without the chlorine smell.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:27AM
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Agree - go with oxygen bleach (aka sodium percarbonate). It's not as harsh on fabrics like chlorine bleach and it doesn't smell. In fact, it also helps to remove odors.

- No environmental hazards - breaks down to oxygen, water and sodium carbonate (soda ash) in your wash water.
- Color safe and fabric safe. It brightens colors
- Continual use will not cause yellowing or graying of cotton fabric
- Effective stain removal in a broad range of water temperatures
- Lengthens time between linen replacement
- Prevents fabric from becoming yellowed or darkened
- Does not weaken the strength of fabrics like chlorine bleach
- In the laundry Sodium Percarbonate is used to destain, deodorize, and whiten. It is very effective as a laundry presoak for heavily stained articles.

Laundry Applications
For light soils add 1ounce of Sodium Percarbonate with your laundry detergent per load.

For moderate soils use 2 ounces and for heavily soiled articles use 4 ounces.

To whiten and deodorize diapers add 4-6 ounces of Sodium Percarbonate into the soak cycle. Soak in hot water for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, then complete wash cycle.

For whitening old linens and yellowed window shears, deodorizing and cleaning tennis shoes, or to get rid of yellow armpit stains on shirts: soak in 2 ounces of Sodium Percarbonate per gallon of water for at least one hour, or overnight, then rinse.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:52AM
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Front loaders rinse so poorly that the clothes always reek of bleach at the end. Sad but true.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 4:26PM
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My clothes smelled of chlorine bleach at the end, even when I used an agitator TL with extra rinse. Now that I have an FL with an effective water heater, I can use oxygen bleach instead. Results are better, and no bleach smell.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 7:13PM
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curiousshopper wrote: "Front loaders rinse so poorly that the clothes always reek of bleach at the end. Sad but true."

No. Not true.

If you put too high a concentration of any substance -- detergent, bleach, fabric softener, whatever -- into the water of any washing machine -- top load or front load -- it will be difficult to rinse out completely.

We have used front loading washing machines in our family for 74 years, and they rinse VERY well, very well indeed.

However, front loading washing machines use half the water to wash the same amount of laundry just as well as top loading washing machines do. If you put the same amount of detergent or bleach into a load of laundry in a front-loading washing machine as you use with a top-loading machine, then you double the concentration of the detergent or bleach in the water.

Front loading washing machines rinse a given concentration of detergent or bleach (ratio of water to detergent or bleach) at least as well as top loading washing machines rinse the same concentration.

The problem is using a top-loader's quantity of bleach in a front-loader that uses half the quantity of water.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 11:01PM
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Maybe you dont have enough rinses programmed in for your whites? I can program up to 4 rinses on my Neptunes, maybe you can add a rinse or two to yours? I havent had any offensive smelling laundry using just the standard bleach dispenser on our machine filled to the fill line on it.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:21AM
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thanks so much everyone for all the helpful replies.
i actually don't like the idea of bleach. much prefer the oxygen bleach.
But the manual instructs to only use chlorine bleach in the bleach compartment ( implies the earth may explode if I put something else there!)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Oxygen bleach goes into the detergent dispenser compartment, along with the detergent. Best to use powdered bleach with powdered detergent, or liquid bleach with liquid detergent.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 9:21PM
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muspic wrote: "But the manual instructs to only use chlorine bleach in the bleach compartment (implies the earth may explode if I put something else there!)"

Put the oxygen bleach right into the drum with the clothes; it does not need to be introduced through the drawer compartment. Generally, do not use the drawer compartments for powders (same applies to detergents); use the drawer compartments to dispense liquids, not powders.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 10:05PM
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I have used sodium percarbonate with both powder and liquid detergents right in the detergent dispenser. Never a problem for me.

Pure sodium percarbonate is a white crystalline substance not powder.

It also takes a little bit (and water) for it to disolve.

A product like Oxy Clean may be different as it contains soda ash among other things.

Use pure sodium percarbonate (like Ecover) and you should be fine either way. Def put it in detergent dispenser.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ecover oxygen bleach

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 10:43PM
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When I use it, about 1/4cup. And I add an extra rinse.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 6:50PM
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My Whirlpool washer has a Whitest Whites cycle that I use for bleach loads. I also add an extra rinse. I use 1/2 cup of bleach.

Sure, there is a slight whiff of bleach aroma when the clothes are done, but nothing too overwhelming and I kinda like that "very clean" smell. By the time the clothes come out of the dryer, the smell is gone.

You have to remember that bleach is a gas desolved in a liquid (water). The aroma will be stronger while the clothes are still wet from the wash cycle, and the bleach will dissipate as the water evaporates in the dryer.

IMO, if the clothes still smell strongly of bleach when they come out of the dryer, reduce the amount of bleach you use. If not, you are good to go.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 11:20AM
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once again, thanks so much to all of you. Such great comments and suggestions.

working great now as in no big 'after smell ' anymore

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 10:11PM
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herring mavin, I'm sorry but even if your family used FLs for a hundred years the fact that the FLs of today are getting their energy star ratings by rationing water use makes it impossible for them to adequately rinse clothes. If you used a teaspoon of bleach the clothes would probably still smell. As for percarbonate bleach, I find it is wonderful for everything but whites. My whites have a tendency to gradually yellow with Oxyclean. I use a small amount of Chlorox about every two months to get back to that really white look.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 10:55AM
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nerdyshopper, I'm sorry, but our current front load washer has an Energy Star sticker on it and we use chlorine bleach in it every ten days or two weeks or so. Our front-loading Energy Star washer rinses clothes brilliantly and we never have the faintest whiff of bleach when we remove the clothes from the washer. We have never believed that if a little bleach is good, then a lot of bleach is better, or that more detergent gets clothes cleaner.

We, too, use percarbonate bleach (Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus, if it matters) more often than we use chlorine bleach, but we volunteer at a weekly feeding program for homeless persons, and, because of chlorine's disinfectant properties, we prefer to wash in chlorine bleach the aprons that we wear and the towels that we use to clean the tables when we perform that service. And, as we are therefore already doing a laundry load, to fill up the load, we throw in other items that we otherwise would wash with percarbonate bleach.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Wow, herring maven, What brand of FL does that? Our Samsung sure doesn't. I thought all brands would be the same. On ours there isn't enough water to make suds or slosh in any way that can be seen through the door. Clothes appear to be just wet through when tumbling. I thought it was the way they ration water to achieve Energy Star status.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 8:56AM
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nerdyshopper: "Wow, herring maven, What brand of FL does that? Our Samsung sure doesn't."

Ours happens to be a Frigidaire, but our son and his wife have a Samsung (model WF330ANW) that they purchased just last month that performs similarly. As a housewarming gift, we gave the couple a pair of bottles of Biokleen All Temperature liquid laundry detergent (HE 3x), with instructions (suggestions) to use just a smidge more than half the amount of detergent per load that is suggested on the bottle, so they should get 100+ loads from each bottle that claims 64 loads.

A modern detergent, especially an HE detergent, should not make visible suds at all; if it does, something else in the laundry load is doing the sudsing. Suds are naturally produced by soap, not synthetic detergents, but post-WWII, detergent makers added sudsing agents to laundry products to reassure their consumers who were used to soaps that the detergents were working; but the sudsing agents are nonfunctional as cleansers, and there really is no use for them in a detergent. Also, hot water, which helps dissolve soap, generally is superfluous with a synthetic detergent, most varieties of which will dissolve just fine in cold water. (We generally set our washer to wash in warm water, in order to speed the introduction of the borax, which we add to the load as a mild disinfectant and flux, into the wash solution; but we set the washer to rinse with cold water.)

By the same token, older automatic washers generally had fewer rinse cycles than modern automatic washers do. Rinsing a given load of clothes with a quart of water each of three rinses will do a much more thorough job than rinsing the same load once with a gallon of water, even though the gallon is equal to four quarts.

It has been a while since I reviewed the specific criteria for Energy Star compliance for washers, but my recollection is that the specs are based on the amount of heated water in a cycle, so (if my recollection is correct) cold water rinses should not affect Energy Star compliance.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 12:38AM
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The Energy Star criteria do include water usage as well as energy usage. But Energy Star certification isn't what motivates manufacturers to reduce rinse water levels. Rather, they go way beyond Energy Star criteria, to qualify for $250/unit direct-to-manufacturer tax credits. You might be able to find some of my past posts about this.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:45AM
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I seldom use either. I've never had great results with oxy cleaners and not too often do I use bleach. I never did mind a little bleach smell in the clothes. Far better than the stench of the chemical odors in detergents IMO. And I always found that any bleach smell dissipated quickly so by the time you put the clothes on there was no bleach smell.

I think it was Mara who suggested using 1/2 as much bleach and an equal amount of baking soda. The idea IIRC was it worked as well and the baking soda supposedly helped protect the clothes. I've only tried it once or twice. Come to think of it I don't recall a bleach smell and results seemed fine.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:14PM
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