Why You Shouldn't Mix Laundry Detergents with Bleach and Disinfectants

Why You Shouldn't Mix Laundry Detergents with Bleach and Disinfectants

Whenever we go to the supermarket to buy daily necessities, we always find shelves stocked with a wide variety of cleaning products, like laundry detergent, Bleach, and Disinfectants. There's no doubt that cleaning products have become a significant part of our lives. When promoting their products, businesses often claim that their product can effectively remove various stains, eliminate 99% of bacteria, make clothes whiter, and so on. Consumers inevitably raise a question while receiving this information: Since every cleaning product on the market has its own unique features, can the effect be enhanced by mixing different cleaning products in the laundry?

The answer is NO! First of all, different cleaning products use different ingredients,these products are designed to work independently.Moreover, if they are mixed together, the substances inside will undergo unexpected chemical reactions, resulting in unpredictable chemical changes, which we cannot predict.

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to dispel people's misunderstandings and tell people that they cannot mix laundry detergents. Then let’s follow the author’s steps into today’s sharing! The next time you're tempted to add "just a little extra" cleaning booster, remember that more isn't necessarily better when it comes to your laundry!


The Ingredients of different cleaning products

1.Laundry detergent

The Ingredients of laundry detergent has been discussed in the article before.If you’re interested,please review the content.Here we only discuss the main ingredients commonly found in laundry detergents briefly:


These are key ingredients in detergents that help dissolve grease and dirt. Common types are anionic surfactants, nonionic surfactants, and cationic surfactants.


Builders enhance the cleaning power of surfactants. Phosphates, silicates, and carbonates are often used as builders to soften hard water.

Chelating Agents

Chelating agents bind to metal ions in water to prevent them from interfering with surfactant action. Aminotriacetic acid and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid are typical examples.



Enzymes break down protein, starch, fat and other soils to boost cleaning performance. Common enzymes in detergents are lipases, amylases and proteases.


Ingredients like fabric softeners, optical brighteners, and perfumes help soften, brighten and scent clothes.


Preservatives prevent microbial growth and extend the shelf life of detergents. Quaternary ammonium compounds and phenolic compounds are frequently used.


2.The main ingredients commonly found in bleach:


1. Sodium Hypochlorite

The active ingredient in regular household bleach. It whitens and disinfects by oxidizing stains and microbes.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Used in some bleaches as an alternative oxidizing agent to sodium hypochlorite. Helps break down stains.

3. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

Increases the alkalinity of bleach to improve cleaning and stain-removing effectiveness.

4. Stabilizers

Help maintain the potency of bleach over time. Sodium silicate and sodium carbonate are common stabilizers.

5. Thickeners

Thicken the consistency of liquid bleach. Xanthan gum and cellulose derivatives are often used.

6. Deodorizers

Counteract the strong chlorine smell of bleach. Citric acid or lemon fragrance can neutralize odors.

7. Colorants

Add color to distinguish bleach types and make them more visually appealing. Common colorants are FD&C Blue 1 and Green 3.

8. Corrosion Inhibitors

Help protect washing machine parts and surfaces from corrosion by bleach. Silicates are effective inhibitors.

The exact ingredients and formulas vary across bleach brands and product types (regular, concentrated, scented, etc.). But sodium hypochlorite and other oxidizers are the key active ingredients.



1. Alcohols

Ethanol and isopropanol are effective disinfectants against bacteria, viruses and fungi.

2. Chlorine Compounds

Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and chloramine are strong oxidizing disinfectants often used for surface cleaning.

3. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds

Quats like benzalkonium chloride disrupt cell membranes and inactivate pathogens. Used in many surface wipes.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Works as a strong oxidizer to kill microbes and viruses. Commonly used to disinfect medical equipment.

5. Peracetic Acid

Rapidly breaks down to acetic acid and oxygen, making it an effective disinfectant and sanitizer.

6. Phenolic Compounds

Phenol and o-phenylphenol have broad disinfecting properties against bacteria and viruses.

7. Iodophors

Iodine solutions that slowly release iodine, providing lasting disinfectant action on surfaces.

8. Metals like Silver

Silver ions have natural antibacterial properties. Often coated on surfaces for disinfecting action.

The active ingredients target different pathogens and are used for varying applications. Formulas are optimized for surface disinfection, wound care, instrument sterilization, etc.


Some questions about mixing cleaning products


1.Can laundry detergent be mixed with bleach?

It is not recommended to use them together, they are usually used alone. Bleaching powder has strong oxidizing properties and will seriously corrode all animal protein fibers. Long-term soaking will destroy the composition of clothing.

When washing clothes, you can use it sequentially with laundry detergent and soak it for a short time to remove stains on white clothes. Both bleach and laundry detergent contain bleaching ingredients, and in principle, clothes cannot be soaked at the same time. Because the active ingredients in the bleach will destroy the molecular structure of the laundry detergent, causing it to reduce or lose the laundry effect.

But don’t worry too much. There will be no other adverse reactions if you mix them. Bleach takes a certain amount of time, but be careful not to soak it for too long, otherwise the bleach will damage the clothes. At the same time, it is also likely to reduce the bleaching or cleaning effect.

Bleach is specially used to rinse white or light-colored clothes and contains many chemical ingredients. Laundry detergent is an upgraded product of washing powder. In addition to cleaning and decontamination functions, it also has a bleaching effect. In fact, the properties and functions of the two are similar. When washing clothes, if there are stubborn stains, you can use bleach first, and then use laundry detergent for better results.


2. Can laundry detergent be mixed with disinfectant?

The answer is no, because the main ingredients of disinfectant and laundry detergent are surfactants. If they are mixed, chemical reactions will easily occur, weakening the effectiveness of each. If used together, it will have a certain impact on the texture of the clothes. Although it is not obvious, it is not good if they are often mixed. It is recommended to use laundry detergent first, followed by a small amount of disinfectant.

White clothing can be washed with disinfectant, but colored clothing will be bleached. In addition, some laundry detergents themselves have sterilizing and disinfecting effects. If it is only used to disinfect clothes, there is no need to add disinfectant in this case.

Commonly used disinfectants for washing clothes will damage the texture of the clothes, and mixing chlorine-containing disinfectants with acid-containing washing clothes will cause the production of chlorine gas, which can irritate people's eyes, nose, throat and other organs, and have a harmful effect on the human body. It is best not to use disinfectant to clean women's clothing during menstruation, postpartum period and babies.


Tips for Safe Laundry Habits


Read all product labels

Please read all product labels carefully before washing. Labels provide valuable information about proper usage instructions, safety precautions, ingredient list, and any special handling required. Never ignore labels. Always take the time to read warnings, instructions, and precautions carefully.

follow instructions carefully

Follow laundry product instructions exactly as directed on the label. Using more or less than recommended may be unsafe and ineffective. Always follow specified wash temperatures, load sizes, dosages and any special instructions. Don’t feel like this information is useless, we need to respect all guidelines so we can get the most out of our products.

Mix only when label specified

Mix chemicals only as directed on the label. Never mix laundry products unless instructed to do so. For example, don't add bleach to your detergent without explicit instructions. Improper combinations of chemicals may cause dangerous reactions. Always check the labels before combining products.

Use the minimum amount required

Use the smallest effective amount of laundry chemicals needed. The more the merrier, and over time, clothing may be damaged by a build-up of chemical residue. Stick to the minimum dose necessary for your load size and level of contamination. Waste of highly concentrated chemicals is dangerous and uneconomical.

In general, laundry detergent or other types of laundry products are not suitable for mixing with bleach and disinfectant. Any product has its own occasion and time to work, and we need to choose them according to different conditions. I believe that after today’s sharing, everyone will have a deeper understanding of these products around them. If today's content can be helpful to everyone, this will be the meaning of our sharing!

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