Cleaning with Bleach

Cleaning with Bleach

Keeping a space clean and sanitized is important. It doesn’t matter if it is your home or your office, proper maintenance is an investment in the health and well-being of you are the people around you. 

One of the silver linings that came forth because of the current global pandemic is the resurgence of the emphasis on the importance of cleaning and disinfection. When it comes to disinfecting high traffic areas like your office space, there are various sophisticated methods like electrostatic disinfection you can choose from. However, if your budget is tight – there is always bleach.  

Bleach is a great and affordable product that can kill germs and sanitize any space. Nevertheless, despite the urgent need, people remain scared of cleaning with bleach. The fear isn’t completely unfounded. There are some risks that come with having bleach in your maintenance kit. 

As with anything, arming yourself with information is the first step in overcoming your fears. This article explains exactly what you need to know about using bleach in your workspace. 

Before Anything Else… 

There is a lot of misconception surrounding bleach as a household cleaner. One of the most pervasive is the idea that bleach is cleaner. 

For the record, bleach isn’t a cleaning agent, it’s a disinfectant. 

It is a great product to use if you are looking to sanitize and sterilize surfaces. However, you shouldn’t use it to clean a muddied area. In fact, bleach loses its effectiveness in the presence of dirt. 

To illustrate, if you intend to use bleach for cleaning up after pets, it’s best to wipe off the excrement AND THEN douse the area with bleach to kill the germs from the surface. Likewise, using bleach to clean up after a natural disaster requires AT least two steps – removing the dirt and then sanitizing with the disinfectant. 

Reasons to Be Cautious About Bleach

The fear of using bleach is not completely unfounded. The product can be dangerous if used incorrectly. 

Bleach Interacts with Other Chemicals

Bleach, by itself, is a strong chemical. In fact, experts who use bleach recommend diluting the product before using it. Nevertheless, using bleach is even riskier if you don’t know the chemicals that it can interact with. 

When bleach mixes with ammonia or acids, it forms a substance called chlorine gas. Chlorine gas attacks the respiratory system and causes cellular damage. At its worse, mixing the two substances can lead to a fatality. Vinegar, another popular cleaning agent, is an acid. Mixed with bleach, it can form chlorine gas. These two substances should never be mixed. 

Bleach Can Be Harmful to Pets

People often take safety precautions for their children while using bleach around the house. They are, after all, more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the substance. However, most households forget their pets when using bleach. 

Bleach leaves a residue on the surface you clean with it. The residue can cling onto your pet’s fur. Because animals use their tongue to groom, pets often inadvertently ingest bleach. Likewise, if you have birds in your household, the fumes that bleach gives off can harm them significantly. Because of their diminutive size, it doesn’t take a lot for them to get sick. 

Bleach isn’t the Most Environmentally Friendly 

The last few years have seen most of the population become more environmentally friendly. More and more people are realizing that climate change is real and change needs to happen in order to circumvent the effects of climate change. 

Between shopping second hand and using earth-friendly substances, this shift is, of course, most welcome. Unfortunately, bleach isn’t the most eco-responsible product. 

While households can still enjoy using this affordable disinfectant, bleach should be used sparingly. This substance is damaging to the planet because it lingers in the atmosphere. 

Bleach Can Cause Damage to the Body

Aside from exposure to toxic fumes, bleach can cause damage to the body in other ways. Inhalation of the product can severely affect a person’s respiratory system. Likewise, the fumes have reportedly caused individuals to experience irritation of the nose passage, lightheadedness, and coughing. 

Bleach can also affect the eyes and skin. Prolonged exposure to the substance has resulted in skin irritation and burning. Long-term effects also include skin lightening and permanent tissue damage. If bleach gets in your eyes, irritation and pain should be expected. Without proper medical attention, bleach can cause vision damage or complete loss. 

How to Clean with Bleach

Despite the risks, bleach is effective and affordable. While precautions are needed to use the product safely, it should be part of every household and office maintenance kit. 

Don’t Forget to Dilute

Again, bleach is a powerful substance. If used alone, you run the risk of exposing the people within the vicinity to harmful and toxic fumes. Thankfully, simply diluting bleach can solve this problem. 

Even before tackling a dirty surface, wear gloves and mix 1 ½ cups of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Best to endeavor in this step in a well-ventilated area to minimize exposure to fumes. 

Wash the Surface with Soap and Water

After diluting the bleach, set the mixture aside and clean the dirty surface with soap and water. Make sure that the area you are cleaning is free from debris before introducing the bleach dilution. 

Rinse it Off

In order to fully maximize the disinfectant properties of bleach, let the mixture sit on the surface for about ten minutes. Set a timer if you must. However, the surface shouldn’t be left unrinsed after exposing it to bleach. Once the timer is up, wipe off the surface and rinse with water. 

Store in Hard to Reach Areas 

Bleach is an innocuous, transparent liquid. If not for the smell, most people wouldn’t’ be able to tell the difference between water and the substance. To protect your household or office from any fatal accidents involving bleach, make sure to label the container and place it in hard to reach areas. 

Cleaning with bleach isn’t as complicated as people think. With the information above, we are certain that you would be able to utilize this product for your home or office.