Bleach has long been used as the cleaner of choice and many homes across the US. It has been known to clean many surfaces, including tabletops, bathroom fixtures, and much more. However, while we’re focused on staying safe from things like the COVID-19 pandemic, we start to wonder if cleaning with bleach is the safest option for sanitizing and disinfecting our homes.
While you can use bleach on a variety of surfaces, it is something that you do not want to have around food or anything you ingest. Household bleach can be used on non-porous materials. In this article, we will go over what bleach is, If it’s harmful, safe cleaning practices for the home, and much more.
What is bleach?
Bleach, also known by the names of “household bleach” and “chlorine bleach,” is a concentration of 5.25% or 6% sodium hypochlorite. While chlorine bleach has an active ingredient of sodium hypochlorite, oxygen bleach will contain sodium percarbonate. You’ll see this “bleach alternative” in a variety of places and products.
One crucial fact to consider is that because these are two different products, they will work on different surfaces and have different uses. For example, you won’t want to use a stain remover for laundry to clean your bathroom or kitchen sink. Typically sodium percarbonate is not used for disinfecting surfaces. Not during standard times or during a pandemic.
Uses of bleach
Bleach has many uses. It is a powerful stain remover when used on white surfaces and clothing. It has been used to sanitize toys for children. However, you must be very careful to allow the surface to dry completely. Bleach can also remove mold and mildew around the home, making indoor air quality somewhat safer. Take a look at some of the other great uses households have found to put bleach to work.
- keep sheets and clothing whiter
- keep flowers lasting longer
- eliminates the presence of mold and mildew
- cleans toilets
- sanitizes plastic toys
- sanitize and clean kitchen sinks
- disinfect butcher block top surfaces including cutting boards
- whiten tile grout
In addition to these areas where bleach is highly effective, let’s take a look at each room individually where you may find using bleach to be an excellent option for sanitizing services.
Household bleach has been used in laundry rooms across the United States for decades. Most use this for their whites-only clothing. Though some are formulated to be safe for colors.
Household bleach can also be used in other areas of the house. It is important to know its difference from the chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach can be used in different parts of the house, while the one designed for laundry should stay in the laundry room
While you can use bleach in the kitchen for things like cleaning and sanitizing a butcher block top, you’ll want to be cautious about where you’re spraying the bleach. Avoid any areas where food may be present, or in an area that could contaminate your food. Bleach is not edible and should not be ingested. Furthermore, you should not spray bleach or use bleach in a non ventilated area.
Bleach is particularly helpful when it comes to cleaning your bathrooms — sanitizing surfaces including the faucet, shower, tub, tile grout, toilet, and just about any other surface in the room. Pro-tip: when using bleach in the bathroom, combine in a water bottle with equal parts water and bleach. This can make it easier to clean and can save you money.
Bleach can be used outside the home as well as inside. Many homeowners find that they can clean patio furniture effectively with bleach too without having issues with staining. To disinfect surfaces used by visitors during the pandemic, simply use the spray bottle method on any areas that may have been touched. This includes tabletops, chairs, and door handles.
Proper use of bleach
When cleaning with bleach to sanitize items, it’s important to follow safety precautions. Bleach should almost never be used full strength. Meaning, you should never just use it straight out of the bottle. The CDC advised that using unexpired household bleach is an effective method for killing the Coronavirus. Prepare the bleach solution by mixing a third cup of bleach per gallon of water. You can add it to a water bottle to make it easier to apply, or add to a bucket with water for cleaning larger surface areas.
Is it safe to use bleach?
It is safe to use bleach to clean certain items. However, as mentioned earlier, you should avoid using bleach around anywhere you may have food present. In addition to these things, you should also never clean with bleach and an area that is enclosed or not properly ventilated. Bleach can have fumes that can cause respiratory issues, which may make you feel light-headed and dizzy.
Bleach is toxic
Everyone should know that bleach does carry some degree of toxicity. It should not be ingested, it can also cause irritation and can be corrosive to the skin, lungs, and eyes. When handling bleach, it’s important to practice safety measures, including wearing gloves, protective eyewear, and paying close attention to the surfaces being cleaned. Bleach can be toxic to almost any living thing. Remember to store bleach in a safe area away from children and pets.
Can interact with other household chemicals
It may be tempting to combine household cleaners to try and intensify the cleaning effects, to hopefully get through cleaning faster, but this is not the answer. It is extremely important that you do not mix bleach with any other household chemical, especially those containing ammonia.
Bleach has long had a reputation for being not environmentally friendly. It was one of the first products to be banned by homeowners that had a focus on being eco-friendly. Swapping out bleach for alternatives including all-natural homemade products, found to have similar effects to bleach without harming the environment with hazardous fumes.
Use professional disinfection treatment services
With professional disinfection treatment services, you don’t have to worry about the time and extra expenses needed to clean your home. At Bug Guys Pest Control, we are proud to offer disinfection treatments throughout the Coachella Valley. Contact us today by clicking here, or give us a call at (442) 227-8409 to request a free estimate.