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 most effective and least expensive cleaning and disinfecting products you can use.

Is It Safe to Use a Bleach Cleaning Solution?

Household chlorine bleach is a mixture of water and salt in the form of sodium hypochlorite. According to Facts About Bleach, it does not harm the environment or contaminate groundwater. It begins and ends as salt water in a fully sustainable cycle.

Using a bleach cleaner 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.

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. According to the CDC, using a bleach to water ratio of ⅓ cup bleach and 1 gallon of water creates an effective bleach disinfectant. Clorox offers tons of “How To’s” for cleaning with bleach.

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 even at low levels is irritating and toxic.

Using Bleach Cleaner for General Disinfecting and Cleaning

A diluted bleach sanitizing solution can disinfect and sanitize children’s toys, dog dishes, shower curtains, outdoor furniture, and more. It can remove stains and kill germs. From disinfecting and cleaning to whitening, bleach is safe and effective. If you utilize the recommended bleach to water ratio for the cleaning or sanitizing task at hand, you can use bleach all around the house.

Using a Bleach Sanitizing Solution to Clean the Kitchen

Most kitchen surfaces, even sealed granite countertops, can be cleaned and sanitized 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.

You can also use bleach to disinfect trash cans, cutting boards, scrubbing sponges, and the kitchen floor. Did you know you can even use bleach to keep flowers fresher longer? Just fill a vase with ¼ teaspoon of bleach and a quart of water and add the flowers. The bleach sanitizing solution prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, which can shorten the life of your flowers.

Using Bleach To Clean the Bathroom

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.

Because of the heat and moisture in the bathroom, bath toys are another hot spot for germs and bacteria. To clean and sanitize bath toys, fill a bin with bath toys, 1/2 cup bleach, and one gallon of water in a well-ventilated area. Let the toys sit in the bleach mixture for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and allow them to air dry.

Using Bleach To Clean the Laundry

Never add undiluted bleach directly to clothes. Even whites will stain if you don’t use a diluted bleach cleaning solution. 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 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.

You can also mix up a homemade stain remover using powdered oxygen bleach. Mix the powdered bleach with warm water until all the powder dissolves. Just like with washing, you should spot test the fabric before putting it into the bleach stain removing solution. Add the stained fabric and add cold water as needed to submerge the fabric completely. Let the fabric soak overnight and you’ll find that most stains will disappear.

Using Bleach Outdoors

The sterilizing power of bleach can work wonders in the garden. Soak garden tools in a solution of one part bleach to four parts water to disinfect and sanitize them. This disinfecting reduces the risk of spreading plant diseases. Use the same solution on plant pots to remove plant diseases before reusing the pots.

Stepping stones, masonry walkways, concrete sidewalks, and brick paths can be unsightly and damaged when moss and algae grow. Restore your patio and walkways with a solution of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Spray the solution on the growth, let stand for a few minutes, and then hose away. Be sure to rinse away from border plantings.

Use these handy tips to clean and disinfect with bleach safely and effectively. Whether you do it yourself or use our healthy cleaning service, disinfecting and sanitizing your home is more important now than ever. The Maids is glad to provide a free estimate for all your cleaning needs.


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