Can You Mix Bleach and Fabric Softener?

Can You Mix Bleach and Fabric Softener
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There are lots of misconceptions about mixing different laundry products. And these misconceptions may lead you to think that it is perfectly safe to mix many laundry products. Many think like, oh! Bleach is a laundry product, and so is fabric softener.

What could go wrong is mixing these two amazing laundry products. But in reality, before mixing two chemical products, you have to know and understand their chemical components and what reactions can happen if you mix them.

Can You Mix Bleach and Fabric Softener?

So, to answer the question directly, you absolutely can not mix bleach and fabric softener. It can get extremely dangerous for you to mix these two products. If you mix bleach and fabric softener, these products’ chemical components will create other toxic and dangerous components that will harm you and your clothes.

To understand why you can’t mix bleach and fabric softener, you have to understand bleach and fabric softener. How these products work, and what chemicals they are made out of. So, read below as I have explained all you need to know about this topic. 

What is Bleach?

So, first, we need to know how bleach works and what components bleach is made out of.  

Bleach is a solution of ~3-6% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) mixed with a small amount of sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, and calcium hypochlorite. Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product used industrially or domestically to remove color or fiber from a piece of fabric or remove stains in a process called bleaching. 

There are several different types of bleach. But usually, you can find two types of bleach. 

Chlorine Bleach: chlorine bleach is a water-based bleach that contains sodium hypochlorite. It is the most commonly found bleach in household work. 

Oxygen Bleach: Oxygen bleach is another popular bleach with hydrogen peroxide or other components that release peroxide when mixed with water. 

Bleach is usually used to whiten colors and remove stains from clothes. They are also a great killing agent for mold, germs, and bacteria. Bleach is usually used as a solution of water and bleach. 

How Does Bleach Work?

Bleach works in a process called oxidation. Oxidation is a process of releasing oxygen molecules. When the oxygen molecules are released, they break up the chemical bonds of chromophores. The changed chromophore molecules either reflect no color or a color outside the visible spectrum.

Bleach Work

The absence of color is what we see as whites. The same oxidation process is performed when we put a breach in our clothes. The same oxidation process is performed when we put bleach in our clothes. And that’s how the bleach removes stains from our clothes and makes them appear whiter. 

What is Fabric Softener?

A fabric softener or fabric conditioner is a conditioner that is applied to laundry during the rinse cycle in a washing machine to reduce the harshness in clothes that are dried a year after machine washing.

The fabric softener is like an after-treatment for clothes after the laundry. The fabric softener does not work like a detergent. It does not essentially clean the clothes but softens them and makes them more fragrant.

The ingredients in fabric softener are deposited into fabric fibers to help fight wrinkles, reduce static and add a soft touch and a fresh scent to your laundry.

You should add your fabric softener during your rinse cycle. After you have added the software to your cycle, it will remove the chemical residue that makes your clothing soft, making it ineffective.  

How Does Fabric Softener Work?

Applying fabric softener to your clothes coats the fabric’s surface with chemical compounds that are electrically charged, causing the threads to stand up from the surface.

And that’s how fabric softener imparts a soft and fluffy texture to your clothes. Fabric softener contains lubricating ingredients that help soften fibers in your fabric. 

What Will Happen if We Mix Bleach and Fabric Softener?

You should not make bleach with fabric softener. Mixing fabric softener with bleach can cause a chemical reaction that produces deadly chlorine gas.

Chlorine gas is a very poisonous gas. When chlorine gas is produced in large quantities, you can suffocate in your laundry room. Usually, the typical laundry rooms are very small.

And the ventilation is not large enough to prevent you from suffocating from chlorine gas. So, you should never risk mixing fabric softener with bleach.

Fabric softeners are usually intended to be dosed into the final rinse cycle. And therefore, if chlorine bleaches are included, it stands to reason that the oxidative elements of the product will be residual at full strength allowing the cellulose fibers of the weave to be converted into oxy cellulose which will rapidly destroy the weave.

Mix Bleach and Fabric Softener

And the garment will soon fall apart. Mixing bleach and Fabric softener can also damage your washing machine. If you often mix your fabric softener with your bleach, eventually, it will pile up. And due to this course of action, the bleach will not follow the right path of the water fill stream.

Instead, the bleach will flow directly into the laundry drum. And this will cause foreseen damage to your clothes. So, for the safety of your health, clothes, and washing machine, you should never mix bleach and fabric softener.

Can You Mix Detergent with Bleach?

You can mix bleach and laundry detergent. Laundry detergent is used to clean your clothes. But sometimes the stains in your clothes are very prominent and extremely hard to remove.

In this situation, adding bleach to your laundry detergent is a brilliant idea. You can safely mix laundry detergent and bleach. Using the mixture of these two will clean your clothes and remove any stains, spills, and marks very easily. 

The components of laundry detergent and bleach are extremely compatible. You don’t have to worry about mixing laundry detergent and bleach in your washing machine. Detergent is made in a perfectly safe way to mix in with other laundry products.

Mixing bleach with your laundry detergent will give you the deep-cleaned, polished, shiny, brand-new look on your clothes that everyone wants. 

You can mix bleach and detergent to wash your white and light-colored clothes without worry. If you mix bleach and detergent, you can do fewer loads and conserve more energy. Both of these products are very strong. So, using these two together will save you from doing unnecessary laundry.   

How to Mix Detergent and Bleach?

There are a few things that you should properly be mindful of while mixing detergent and bleach. To not ruin our precious clothes, here are a few things you should keep in mind while mixing bleach and detergent. 

  • You should get yourself a measuring cup and a measuring spoon. You don’t want to put too little or too much detergent or bleach, as it may ruin your clothes. So, get yourself a measuring cup and a spoon.
  • Take 60 ml or ¼ cup of water with 10 ml or 2 tablespoons of bleach. Mix the water and bleach. You can also mix the bleach in the measuring cup itself or a different cup.
  • Use this mix of bleach in a small piece of fabric that you would like to wash. You have to wait a bit, and then you can take a wet rag and use it to apply pressure on that small surface. 
  • If this area is not damaged, you are ready to wash your clothes with detergent and this bleach mixture.

Before washing your clothes with bleach and detergent, follow these steps.

The result of Mixing Detergent and Bleach

The result of mixing detergent and bleach is brilliant. You will achieve fresh, cleaner-than-ever, stain-free clothes. The mixture will provide you with deeper clean clothes.

Detergent and Bleach

The mixture of bleach and laundry detergent will not show any physical difference. It will not create any bubbles or fog. It will only give you wonderfully clean clothes. 

Can You Mix Detergent and Fabric Softener?

It may seem you can mix fabric softener and laundry detergent, as detergent is made in a way that is mostly safe to use with many other laundry products. But surprisingly, you should not mix detergent and fabric softener.

Mixing laundry detergent and fabric softener is a very bad idea. When you mix fabric softener and laundry beach, it results in very badly washed clothes.

The solution of mixed detergent and fabric softener often leaves you with clothes that are not properly cleaned. Besides unclean clothes, fabric softeners and detergents can harm your washing machine. 

The components of fabric softener and detergent do not go together. So, mixing them does not create a great solution that will provide a nice clean. And continuous usage of the mixture of detergent and fabric softener will also harm machines.

Things You Should Avoid with Bleach or Fabric Softener

Now that you know that you can’t mix fabric softener and detergent or fabric softener with bleach, you should know what else to avoid with bleach and fabric softener. 

One thing that you must remember is that you can’t mix bleach with any product that has ammonia. Any product that contains ammonia should not be mixed with bleach. Laundry detergent doesn’t have ammonia, so you can safely mix these two. 

To remove stains and marks, people often mix lemons and vinegar and put that paste in the stained place. Using acidic products in stains is a very effective way to remove stains from clothes. Just be mindful not to mix these acidic products with bleach, as it can cause serious damage.

Alternatives for Bleach, Detergent, and Fabric Softener

There are other cleaning products that you can use to get clean clothes. You can replace bleach, detergent, and fabric softener with a few products. A few of the alternatives that you can use are mentioned below.

  • Wool dryer balls: wool dryer balls are a great alternative for fabric softeners. It’s a chemical-free alternative to fabric softener. They work by absorbing static electricity and help to soften and fluff the fabrics. And using these wool dryer balls is extremely easy. You can just put the wool dryer balls with wet laundry, and it will do its magic. 
  • Dryer Sheet: dryer sheets work the same as wool dryer balls. But dryer sheets are not as durable as wool dryer balls. And they need to be replaced more often than wool dryer balls. 
  • Vinegar: you have to mix 1 cup (240 ml) of vinegar with 6 cups (1420 m) of hot water. You can use a big basin or tub to hold all the liquid. This is a very simple but effective mixture. Submerge your cloth in this mixture for a while, and it will take out stains.  
  • Baking Soda: it’s a classic mixture of baking soda that is extremely effective for washing clothes. Take half a cup (64 m) of baking soda and throw it in with your laundry. And it will provide you with cleaner clothes. And using baking soda will also make your clothes smell nice.  
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: you have to add 240 ml of hydrogen peroxide to every load of laundry to get a clean wash. You can add it directly to your bleach dispenser as well. It works great on white as well as colored clothes. 


Mistakes in Laundry and How to Avoid Them

The most common mistake in the laundry is putting different laundry products in different laundry compartments. Most products won’t affect the machine or cleaning process. There are separate compartments in the washing machine because different products go in the laundry drum at different times. 

Mistakes in Laundry

You should read the labels carefully so as not to mix and match the compartments. Try not to mix the laundry detergent dispenser and the bleach dispenser. The ultimate solution is not to mix up any dispenser and put the laundry products at a specific time. 


Is there any difference between a fabric conditioner and a fabric softener?

There is no difference between a fabric conditioner and a fabric softener whatsoever. The name is the only difference between a fabric conditioner and a fabric softener. They are the same product with two names.  

How many compartments does a washing machine have?

Most washing machines have 3 compartments. They are the pre-wash compartment, the main-wash compartment, and the fabric softener compartment. Most washing machines’ compartments are marked 1,2, and 3/ star/ flower. This can change in various machines. So, keep that in mind.
Pre-wash: the pre-wash compartment is for when you put detergent in for the pre-wash cycle. Filling this compartment with detergent will give your clothes the extra wash it needs. Keep in mind that not all washing machines have this compartment.

Main-wash: the main wash compartment is almost used every time you do laundry. This compartment is mostly marked as 2 or II. If you plan to use capsule detergent, then make sure to put the capsules in the laundry drum directly.
Fabric Softener: this is the smallest drawer of your washing machine which you use for fabric softener. You should never overfill this compartment. Just fill in what is required. If you are unsure, just read the instructions in the bottle.

How to use a fabric softener dispenser?

Using fabric softener is very easy. You have to follow the instructions carefully. When washing your clothes, don’t put the fabric softener in the beginning. When it’s time to put the conditioner in, you must measure how much you need and put it in the compartment.

But you have to ensure not to put too much softener in the compartment. The compartment should never be full of softener. And then you need to wash away. And you will notice that in the compartment, there is no water.

That means the softener has been transferred into the drum, filling the compartment with water. But there shouldn’t be too much water as well. If you see too much water, there is a blockage in the compartment.  

Can you put fabric softener in the bleach dispenser?

You should never put fabric softener in the bleach dispenser. Like you can’t mix bleach and fabric softener, you also should not use the bleach dispenser for using fabric softener. The bleach dispenser and fabric softener dispenser work very differently. And they work at different times as well. So, putting fabric softener in your bleach dispenser is a bad idea for your clothes and washing machine.  

How much bleach should you add to your dispenser?

You should add just the amount of bleach to your bleach dispenser that is required. Putting too much is just foolishness as it will give you no benefit. It will just harm your clothes. There is a proper measurement of bleach that you need to use. Otherwise, your clothes can lose their color.


Now, you know exactly what you should put and not put in your laundry. You should not mix your bleach and fabric softener. You should not mix your fabric softener and detergent. However, you can surely mix bleach and detergent.

Reading this, you will know everything you need about fabric softeners and bleach and how to use them properly. I hope this was helpful to you. 

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