The bleaching plant of a kraft pulp mill is the sector that consumes water and generates effluent with the highest volume. Water recycling is an attractive option to reduce water consumption and effluent generation. This study evaluated the technical feasibility of using treated effluent as washing water in the bleaching stages. The bleaching sequence was simulated in the laboratory using four types of washing water: deionized water, whitewater, low organic load effluent, and high organic load effluent. To achieve 90% ISO pulp brightness, the ClO2 consumption increased from 8.1 kg ClO2 odt-1 when using water to 13.8 and 16.3 kgClO2 odt-1 for the low and high organic effluents. Physical and optical tests of the hand-sheet papers did not show any statistical difference between various washing waters. The filtrates showed values that did not burden the efficiency of the effluent treatment plant. It was possible to use effluent in the bleaching stages, considering that the filtrates and the produced paper complied with the quality standards.