That bottle of liquid chlorine bleach sitting in your laundry room has all sorts of uses that have nothing to do with laundry.

It can help keep your flowers looking fresh, purify water in emergencies and even lend a hand when you’re cleaning up after a disaster.

Deter Mosquitoes

While bleach may not be the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with mosquitoes, it can effectively deter them from reproducing in stagnant water.

Add a small amount of bleach to a birdbath to eliminate mosquito larvae and safeguard the water’s quality. Just 1 tablespoon of bleach can protect up to 50 gallons of water, so use it sparingly.

Avoid introducing bleach into natural water bodies and ponds to protect their delicate ecosystems.

Disinfect Cutting Board

Maintain a germ-free cutting board by rinsing it with a bleach-water mixture (1 teaspoon per gallon) and letting it air dry.

Trash Bin Deodorizer

To banish odors and germs from your trash bin, give it a rinse with a bleach-water combination.

Toy Sanitation

Children’s toys can harbor germs. Combat this by soaking toys in a solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid bleach per gallon of water, followed by thorough rinsing.

Sneaker Revival

Bring the whiteness back to your white sneakers with a gentle scrub using a light bleach-water solution.

Patio Furniture TLC

Revitalize outdoor furniture by scrubbing it with a bleach-water mix (⅓ cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water). Ensure you do this away from plants you wish to protect.

Porcelain Sink and Tub Stains

Bid farewell to stubborn stains on porcelain sinks and tubs by using a paste made of bleach and baking soda. Apply, scrub and rinse for gleaming results.

Sponge Saver

Prolong the life of kitchen sponges by soaking them in a bleach-water solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water), followed by a thorough rinse and air-drying.

Curtain Brightener

White curtains losing their luster? Add ½ cup of bleach to your washing machine on the next laundering. (Check those care labels first!)

Garden Tool Sterilization

Prevent the spread of unwanted pests in your garden by wiping down garden tools with a bleach-water mixture (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) after each use.

Make Glassware Sparkle

Add a teaspoon of bleach to your dishwasher to bring back the sparkle to your glassware. For hand-washing, soak glasses in a mixture of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water, then rinse thoroughly.

Keep Cut Flowers Fresher Longer

Extend the freshness of cut flowers by adding a few drops of bleach to the vase water. This not only prolongs flower life but also keeps the water clear. Remember, only a few drops!

Fridge Fresh

Keep your refrigerator clean and sanitized by wiping it down with a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.

Tile Floors

Brighten white tile floors with a bleach-water solution (1 part bleach to 4 parts water). Mop and rinse thoroughly for shining tiles.

Renew a Wood Fence

Revive weathered wood fences with bleach. Protect nearby vegetation with drop cloths, wear safety gear and apply a diluted bleach solution. Rinse thoroughly after a few minutes.

Disinfect Water in a Pinch

In emergencies where you need safe drinking water, follow Environmental Protection Agency guidelines by adding eight drops of 6% bleach or six drops of 8.25% bleach per gallon of water. Stir, wait 30 minutes, and if you detect a faint chlorine odor, it’s safe to consume.

Kill Weeds

Undiluted bleach can eliminate weeds in walkways or driveways. Apply directly to weeds, but be cautious to avoid damage to grass, flowers and patio surfaces.

This solution will not only eradicate existing weeds but also act as a deterrent against new growth because once bleach dries on a surface, you have salt water when you re-wet it.

Clean Up After Disaster

In disaster cleanup, bleach can sanitize surfaces, eliminate mold and disinfect items. Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for proper bleach dosages.

Rinse thoroughly when using bleach on food surfaces.

Disinfect Your Humidifier

Prevent mold and bacteria growth in your humidifier by using a bleach-water mixture (1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water). Rinse thoroughly after 20 minutes.

Storage and Disposal

Store bleach in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and children. If disposing of expired bleach, do so at a hazardous waste facility.

Avoid pouring bleach down drains or septic systems as it can harm pipes and disrupt bacterial balance in septic tanks.

Tips for Safe Bleach Use

  • Wear gloves and ensure good ventilation when using bleach
  • Never mix bleach with other cleaning products, especially ammonia
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and dilution recommendations
  • Use bleach responsibly to benefit your home and the environment while safeguarding your family’s well-being

Chlorine bleach is an affordable and versatile cleaning agent. Use it wisely and safely to enjoy its benefits without any drawbacks. Your home and wallet will thank you.

Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book Debt-Proof Living. Click here to email your questions to her at Ask Mary. The opinions expressed are her own.