can i use toilet bleach to whiten clothes
Kristina Davis

Can I use toilet bleach to whiten clothes? It is true that regular bleach can be used to both whiten garments and eliminate stubborn stains.

In fact, many people find it a great help for washing because it finishes the job that detergents can’t. But, that is all true for normal bleach, which is safer for laundry.

And that is when people ask if they can get similar results by opting for toilet bleach.

No, it is not recommended because it can damage the fabric, and even the normal bleach should be used sparingly.

Understanding More about Bleach

to know more about bleach

It is an oxidizing chemical that can be used to whiten or erase stains.

Since the food stains are oxidized (broken down into tiny components) by the bleach, they can be more readily removed.

But, you need to understand that not all bleach products are the same.

In fact, they can be divided into two categories: 

Chlorine Bleach

The chlorine bleach that is currently available is perhaps the most efficient type of bleach available, as it contains about 5% sodium hypochlorite.

But, it is still quite potent, so diluting the bleach first is necessary. You can find it in both powder and liquid forms, but bleach consumers overwhelmingly prefer the liquid variety.

Fact: Kitchen counters and bathrooms are the most common places chlorine bleach is put to use for disinfecting and sanitizing purposes around the house. 

Oxygen Bleach

an oxygen bleach product

Bleach made specifically for fabrics, sometimes known as oxygen bleach, has been used on various surfaces with some effectiveness.

As opposed to chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach has a lower toxicity level. The hydrogen peroxide in this product has led to its use for purposes other than cleaning fabric, despite the “all fabric” designation. 

An Important Consideration

Brands like Clorox and Legacy of Clean are widely used bleach products for laundry. In order to whiten garments and eliminate stains, Legacy of Clean uses oxygen and minerals instead of chlorine.

Fact: Go with dermatologist-approved chlorine products to ensure they won't cause any irritation to sensitive skin types.   

More About Toilet Bleach

cleaning tools for toilet

Many individuals have used toilet bowl cleaners at some point, yet only a fraction of the population actually understands what they are or how they function.

In most cases, they contain surfactants and HCL. The hydrochloric acid dissolves the ring around the toilet bowl, and the surfactants loosen oils and other tenacious deposits.

A combination of these cleaning agents is sure to get rid of even the most entrenched stains.

Furthermore, many toilet bowl cleaners include fragrances and other additives that assist in making your bathroom smell fresh and feel clean.   

Can I Use Toilet Bleach to Whiten Clothes?

The simple answer is that clothes should not be whitened using toilet bleach (sometimes called toilet bowl cleaner).

Bleach of this kind was developed for disinfecting and cleaning lavatory bowls; it may contain compounds that are harmful to clothes.

The truth is that you need to exercise extreme caution irrespective of what type of bleach you add to your washing machine.    

Reasons to Avoid Using Toilet Bleach on Laundry

don't use toilet bleach on your laundry

It is highly recommended to steer clear of any toilet bleach when washing clothes, and that is for many different reasons.

For instance:

  • It may damage clothes as it has high concentrations of HCL or sodium hypochlorite.
  • It may cause fabric discoloration or yellowing, especially on delicate fabric.
  • It can damage or at least weaken fabric fibers, leading to thinning and eventual tearing.
  • It can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs, and even its vapors can be quite harmful.

Overall, bleach meant for the toilet is not as effective as laundry bleach in whitening clothes because it is not designed to do so. 

The Idea of Using Toilet Bleach in Your Washing Machine

Okay, so it is not a good idea to use toilet bleach, but “can you use normal bleach on clothes?”

Adding regular bleach to your washing machine is safer than adding toilet bleach if you want to get your clothes really clean.

But, even then, you may want to avoid this procedure unless absolutely necessary, and always dilute bleach before adding it to your washing machine with your detergent.

Bleach can remove the color from your garments and cause lasting stains if you spill it into the washing machine drum by accident. 

Using Toilet Bleach on White Clothes

white clothes with toilet bleach

If you want to bleach a white shirt, make sure you check the label first. Bleach, and especially chlorine bleach, is not safe to use on all whites despite appearances.

The ability to bleach a fabric depends on a number of factors, such as its fiber content, finishes, and trims.

Instead of using bleach, you can pre-treat stains with a pre-wash stain remover and then wash as usual. You should always double-check the product’s safety for the surface it will be used on before applying it.

Another option is to presoak the item in a mixture of fabric-safe presoak laundry product and water before washing.

Fact: Soaking your whites in bleach solution overnight might help remove particularly stubborn stains. 

How Do You Use Normal Bleach to White Clothes?

Traditional bleach is often used to whiten clothes, and when used properly it works pretty well.

What you need to remember is that bleach’s active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is a potent oxidizing chemical.

So, knowing how much use is essential.

Follow these directions to whiten your garments using regular bleach: 

Step #1: Verify the Labeling

label on clothes

Always check the label before using bleach on your clothes. The use of bleach is not recommended for all fabrics since it can ruin those that are not bleach-safe.

Never use bleach on a cloth that specifically states “Do not bleach” on the label.

Step #2: Arrange the Clothing

Sort your laundry into items to be bleached and those that will not be. Bleach is safest for use on whites and other bright colors, but can be harmful on dark colors

Step #3: Add Some Water to Bleach

Bleach should be diluted in water as directed on the packaging.

Often, a half cup of bleach is all that is needed for a standard load of laundry. You can mix it with water in a bucket or sink. 

Step #4: Soak the Garments

soak garments with bleach solution

Submerge the garments you want to bleach completely in the bleaching solution. Do not be afraid to tumble it a little to ensure you have properly submerged the entire load. 

Step #5: Wait for a Few Minutes

Let the garments sit in the bleach solution for 5-10 minutes. Do not go overboard with the idea of leaving it in the solution. The reason is that prolonged exposure can damage the fabrics. 

Step #6: Rinse

After soaking for a few minutes, remove the garments from the solution and give them a good rinsing in cold water.

All of the bleach must be rinsed out since any remaining bleach will ruin the fabric. 

Step #7: Give it Good Scrubbing

scrubbing the fabric

After rinsing, the garments can be washed as usual. Laundry chemicals like detergent are optional, but you should still give the fabric a good scrubbing to get better results

Step #8: Let It Air Dry

To dry the garments, simply hang them outside or put them in the dryer as you normally would. 

Tips to Remember When Using Bleach to Whiten Clothes

If you really want to use bleach to whiten clothes, you should keep a few important things in mind.

For instance: 

Do Not Forget to Check the Label

Before washing, examine the care label; some textiles should not be washed with regular bleach (sodium hypochlorite). 

Use Oxygen Bleach When You Can

using the oxygen bleach

If regular liquid bleach is not permitted, a color-safe (oxygen) bleach can be used for the same purpose. Do not forget to check the bottle before using any cleaning supplies

Perform a Test

If you cannot find a label, be sure to patch-test your garment before exposing it to bleach.

The test involves dabbing a cotton swab dipped in a bleach and water mixture onto an interior seam. It is probably safe to use if the fabric’s original color is still visible.

Fact: To keep your clothes from fading, several detergents incorporate color-safe bleach or an alternative to bleach, but remember they are not meant to replace proper sanitation. 


Can I use toilet bleach to whiten clothes? No, it is not recommended to use toilet bleach on fabrics, as it contains chemicals, which can damage clothes and be harmful to your health.

Using laundry-safe bleach is a better idea, as it is a quick and easy way to brighten and whiten your clothing while also removing stains.

Just remember that it is important to follow the directions on the package, dilute the bleach appropriately, and not soak the clothing for too long.