Bleach can be quite a scary cleaner to use. It’s also pretty contentious – some love it for it’s brightening potential, others loathe the accidents it can cause…

Here’s your ultimate guide to bleaching your whites the right way, without accidents.

Firstly, let’s start by checking the care label. If it says not to use bleach on the garment, then stick to that recommendation.

Even ‘all-fabric’ or ‘all-colour’ safe bleach, and oxygen bleaches, are a no go. If you’re still not sure, never underestimate the power of a spot test on a hidden area – it’s much better than making an irreversible mistake!

If you are sure you’re good to go ahead with bleaching, the next step is to pre-treat all heavy soiling and stains.

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Many machines have a ‘pre-soak’ option you can use.

Now, add the right amount of bleach (usually a cap, but read instructions) to the correct drawer in your washing machine.

It may have a separate bleach compartment. Colour safe/oxygen bleaches can be added at the cycle start.

For ‘normal’ bleach, rather allow water to run for a few minutes before adding, especially for twin tubs and top loaders.

Never apply undiluted bleach to fabric. If you use enzyme washing powders, rather let the first parts of the cycle complete and add bleach late in the cycle, or to the rinse water, as the bleach will deactivate the enzymes if they’re added together.

With a little bit of care and attention, bleaching your garments during laundry needn’t be a worry.