From a must-have in every household and an effective disinfectant to a potentially aggressive chemical with a detrimental impact on the environment and human health, bleach has had a long, turbulent history. Nowadays, people often worry about the fumes it releases and its corrosive effects on the skin and lungs. And there is an increasing concern about pets’ and children’s safety too.
No wonder many have resorted to other less harmful alternatives. Many experts who offer cleaning services to clients in Rego Park, NY and nearby areas have switched from bleach to eco-friendly products. The truth is, you can use this substance in your household for disinfection, as long as you do it cautiously.
If you want to learn when and how you can clean with bleach, we have prepared a few handy tips for you. Keep reading to find out more!
What surfaces can you clean with bleach?
You can use diluted bleach on many hard, non-porous surfaces, such as countertops, toilets, sinks, and trash cans. You can also use it on your food surfaces to prevent cross-contamination. Last but not least, it is a powerful solution for taking care of your cleaning tools, such as the dishwasher.
However, one of the most important facts about bleach is that it is essentially a disinfectant and does a fantastic job of killing germs.
But it doesn’t necessarily remove all the dirt and residue. To do that, you’ll need to scrub and rinse the surfaces first and then apply a bleach solution.
So, follow these steps:
- Dilute your solution: Dilute 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
- Clean the surface with water and soap.
- Disinfect the surface: Apply your bleach mixture to the surface with a clean rag or sponge, allowing it to sit for five minutes (always follow the product label’s instructions.)
- Rinse and dry: Finally, thoroughly rinse the surface with warm water and air dry.
What should you not do with bleach?
When used properly, bleach can be an effective option for sanitizing various objects and surfaces.
But it’s not an all-purpose cleaner. When it comes to bleach, there are some major no-nos:
- Don’t use it on wood or wood-based materials, such as wallboard, ceiling tiles, wall studs, fabric, and paper products. These are all porous materials that bleach can’t sanitize effectively and safely. The same goes for your butcher block countertops, wooden tables, and cutting boards.
- Don’t use it for wiping marble tops. Stone is another porous material that can be damaged by bleach. Marble is made of calcium carbonate. It reacts with acidic and alkaline substances like bleach, which will eat into a marble countertop’s surface and dull the stone.
- Don’t use it to clean most metals. Since bleach contains ingredients that serve as oxidants during the cleaning process, materials such as stainless steel can become oxidized and corroded when exposed to bleach for a long time.
Final notes: According to CDC, bleach is the only thing that can kill certain bacteria. So, for certain sanitizing needs, it might be the best solution. But, it’s not necessary for everyday cleaning and it may be unsafe, especially when its aggressive fumes are taken into consideration. Instead, you can opt for natural, non-toxic alternatives such as baking soda which can, for instance, do wonders for your shower.
However, if you really need to use bleach, here are some important safety guidelines:
- Never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaners.
- Wear rubber or other non-porous gloves.
- Make sure the chemical doesn’t come in contact with your skin and eyes.
- Try not to inhale product fumes. If using it indoors, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to enter.
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