The power of chlorine bleach and using it wisely

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Chlorine bleach can be an excellent disinfecting product when used correctly. It can also prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Here are some uses for bleach that you may not have thought of and the correct was to use it.

Remember, chlorine bleach is a hazardous chemical, just read the label on the bottle. Always measure, never just pour. Never pour on clothes. Remember that chlorine bleach fumes can remove color from fabric and mixed with ammonia the vapors can cause death.

Disinfect kids' waterproof toys: This is great for toys you buy at Mom to Mom sales, thrift stores and when the kids have been sick. It's a great way to keep germs from spreading.

1 gallon warm water
3/4 cup chlorine bleach
A few drops of antibacterial hand wash

Soak the toys in this solution for 5 to 10 minutes. If they are too large to soak, wipe them down with the solution and let it sit on them 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse really well several times. Allow to dry well, preferably in the sunlight.

Mold on grout: To clean mold off of tile grout combine 50 percent warm water and 50 percent chlorine bleach. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so and then add more and scrub with a stiff brush. Rinse well. Remember the fumes will be strong so do this with proper ventilation and also if you splash it on yourself or surrounding area it will remove color.

If you have a particularly bad area of mold in the shower, spray with undiluted bleach and let sit overnight and then rinse. DO NOT do this to the entire shower. The fumes will be too strong. This is only for small areas of difficult mold.

Plastic shower curtains and liners: Place the curtain in the washer along with several old light-colored towels, 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach and a normal amount of laundry detergent. Fill the machine with HOT water. Run through the entire cycle. Once it is done gather the curtain into one of the towels and take it to the bathroom to rehang immediately. Close the curtain fully to allow it to air dry and drip into the shower.

Mildew and stains on concrete, patio stones and stucco: Mix 1 cup chlorine bleach and 2 gallons of hot water. Apply to the stained area and scrub vigorously with a stiff brush preferably on a long handle. Do not get this solution on grass or plants. I suggest that you wet down any nearby landscape with water and then rinse it well again when you are done.

Cut flowers: Take one quart of water and 1/4 teaspoon of chlorine bleach and mix. Add to vase of fresh flowers to increase the longevity and keep the water from getting cloudy. Dump the vase frequently and refill with this mixture frequently to keep flowers fresh longer.

Disinfecting spray: Combine the following in a spray bottle:

2 cups of warm water
1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach

Spray on hard kitchen and bathroom surfaces to disinfect. Allow to sit on surface 5 to 10 minutes and then wipe with a paper towel or cloth. Rinse food prep areas and then buff.

For more information on the Queen of Clean Linda Cobb, to find products used and recommended by the Queen and FREE printouts go to Find the Queen’s books at national book stores and on Amazon and