Rubber gloves? Check. Face mask? Check. Biohazard suit? Check. Wait, what? Cleaning with bleach isn’t scary or toxic. Bleach is actually one of the best and least expensive cleaning products you can use, next to vinegar.
Is Bleach Safe?
Household chlorine bleach is a mixture of water and sodium hypochlorite – a salt. According to Facts About Bleach, it does not harm the environment or contaminates groundwater. It begins and ends as salt water in a fully sustainable cycle. It also will not damage equipment or hard, nonporous surfaces, including stainless steel, plastics, glazed ceramics, glass, porcelain and other materials. It can be used to safely clean and disinfect countertops, floors, toilets, sinks, trash cans, keyboards, phones, light switches and desks.
How to Clean with Bleach
The most important thing to remember when cleaning with bleach is a little goes a long way. Bleach should almost always be diluted in plenty of water. Clorox offers tons of How To’s when it comes to cleaning with bleach. For example:
- Laundry – Never add undiluted bleach directly to clothes, even whites as it will stain. Instead, add 3/4 cup bleach to your washer’s bleach dispenser. For tough stains, soak white clothes in 1/4 cup regular bleach per gallon of cool water for about five to 10 minutes. Diluted bleach can actually be used on light colors, like grays, as long as the fabrics are safe for bleach, like cotton. It’s also a good idea to spot test any fabrics if you’re worried about staining them.
- Bathrooms – From showers and sinks to tubs and toilets, bleach cleans and sanitizes bathrooms from top to bottom. Mix 1/2 cup bleach with one gallon of water, wipe the surfaces, wait five minutes then rinse with warm water. To disinfect the toilet, pour 1/2 cup bleach into the bowl, scrub with a toilet brush, getting under the rim. Wait five minutes then flush.
- Kitchens – Kitchen surfaces, even sealed granite countertops, can be cleaned with bleach. Dilute 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water, apply the solution, wait five minutes, rinse then air dry. Use the solution inside the refrigerator, sinks and outside of appliances.
- General Disinfecting – A diluted bleach solution can be used to disinfect and sanitize children’s toys, dog dishes, shower curtains, outdoor furniture, basically any hard surface that is prone to mold, mildew, germs and viruses. Use the same dilution rate of 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water and make sure to rinse before allowing to air dry.
Bleach does not play nice with other cleaners, so don’t mix. For example, bleach mixed with vinegar produces a chlorine gas, potentially causing coughing, breathing problems and burning, watery eyes. Bleach and ammonia together produce a toxic gas called chloramine which causes breathing and eye problems, shortness of breath and chest pain. Bleach and rubbing alcohol creates chloroform, which at low levels is irritating and toxic.
There’s always the option to throw the rubber gloves away and just call The Maids. Our teams will clean and sanitize your home from top to bottom whenever it works with your schedule. Contact us to see how easy it is to always have a clean home.